McKinley Monthly

January 2016

A Letter from Mrs. Hoffmann

Dear Families,

I hope you enjoyed the long winter break! I sure did. I know the staff and students were ready for this break, and I hope we are all refreshed and ready to go!

As I was reflecting on what to write for January, I had a flashback to winter 2005:

The family had a great weekend enjoying the fresh snowfall. After a wonderful Sunday afternoon sledding at Curry Park the snow pants and wet boots went down to the basement, and we headed upstairs for chili and hot cocoa. After dinner I graded some papers as the kids finished up their homework, and we all got to bed on time. The next morning, Kazmira headed to Washington, Philipp to Longfellow, and I to East. Beautiful day! Cold, crisp, and sunny!

After lunch I noticed that I had a message on my phone at school. It was my daughter’s teacher from Washington. She was scolding me for not sending snow pants to school with my daughter that day. I was shocked at her tone! She informed me that Kaz was not allowed to play in the snow during recess and at lunch without snow pants and boots and asked that I send these essential items with her in the future. At first, feeling indignant, I got defensive. Not my fault! Let her play anyway! Why punish her for my failure to send the gear? But then I realized, ashamed, that the snow pants and boots were still drying in the basement, and I really needed to make sure that my daughter was equipped for the day. That evening, my daughter let me know how horrible it was for her. She couldn’t play with her friends. She was cold. Her socks got wet from the snow on the playground, and they were still wet when she got home. It was all she could think about. It was a bad day. I apologized and vowed to do better and worked with my kids to develop a checklist system so we could be sure we all had our gear as we left in the morning.

I think it worked, since I have no other memories of that degree of disappointment over non-participation in winter fun. I know that as a parent it sometimes can be a struggle to keep everything straight and to get everyone off to school with all they need. Here I am 11 years later on the other end—as enforcer rather than parent or student—of the playground rule: no snow pants or boots, blacktop only! It is good for kids to go outside as long as it is safe with proper attire. I know snow play is not appealing to all, but fresh air and outdoor activity is beneficial even for those who don’t like it, so snow pants, boots, gloves, scarves, hats, and warm coats are essential pieces for winter. It took a long time for winter to come to us this year, but now that it is here, please send your children prepared for the snow, ice, and cold.

And, now that we are all bundled up, be sure to take a moment to remind your children to avoid sharing hats during these winter months. Coming off of a break, during which time sleepovers and movie going often occur, the spread of lice can become an issue in schools. Take notice if you see scalp scratching or unusual playing with the hair, and look carefully for critters. If you find live lice, please treat the scalp with approved shampoo designed to kill lice and remove nits from the hair or seek professional lice removal services before sending your child back to school. Students with live lice will be sent home but may return once treated. Remember, after an occurrence and treatment, regular checking is needed because nits take 7 to 10 days to hatch. If you discover that your child has lice, please notify Mrs. Uden so that we can take measures to prevent the spread of lice at school. If you don’t know much about lice and the process for checking for them, you can refer to the following website:

To wrap things up, I will finish by saying, welcome 2016! We have much fun and learning ahead of us yet this school year. Winter MAP testing begins right away so that we can see how students are progressing. Coming up January 14th, join me for the Mechanics of McKinley at 6:30 p.m. This month’s topic: Rigor and engagement—what does this mean for parents? (Featuring tips in response to this often-asked question: how do I help my child when I don’t understand the way it is being taught these days?) The PTO meeting will be held immediately afterward at 7 p.m. Also, be sure that you have January 22nd on your calendar for family game night. It is sure to be a fun time!

Happy New Year to all!

Mrs. Hoffmann


As always be sure to read the community flyers on the district website.


Jan 13 JK/New SK Registration for next year 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Jan 14 JK/New SK Registration for next year 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.

Jan 14 PTO meeting 7 p.m.

Jan 18 No school - teacher in-service day

Jan 19 Change from a Tuesday to a Monday schedule

Jan 22 Family Game Night 6:30-8:30 p.m.

School Day Stability

At McKinley we try our best to ensure all students have the best environment possible to learn and achieve their best. One way we can help is by keeping disruptions to a minimum. When something has been forgotten please drop it off at the office, and we will try to get it to your student in a timely manner. Thanks for your cooperation!

Free Dental Exams!

Attendance Line

773-1502 - Program this number in your phone, and you'll be all set to call your child in if they will be late, need to be picked up early, or be missing a day of school. Emailing your child's teacher is always a good idea too!
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JK Winter Concert on December 22, 2015

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Winter Concert on December 18, 2015

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More Composting News!

Jenny Leigh, Liz Daily, and Melissa Tasjien are speaking to the Wauwatosa Recycling Commission about their efforts so far at McKinley. It will be at the fire station by Lincoln on Wednesday January 6th at 6 p.m.

Chess Club Reminder!

Chess club starts Tuesday, January 12. Please get your money and registration in by the end of this week. Here is the link to the registration form.