McKinley Monthly

November 2018

Dear McKinley Families,

Well we made it through conferences and the costume parade which means November is here--the year is moving fast! As the weather begins to change, please remember to send children to school bundled appropriately, and if you are already missing winter gear, please check the lost and found. The rack is full of coats, sweatshirts, hats, mittens, and other items already.

This weekend, don’t forget to “fall back” an hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday as Daylight Saving Time ends, and on Tuesday, don’t forget to vote if you haven’t already. Be sure to flip your ballot over to answer the referendum question. I know some of the information you may have received can be confusing. If you have any questions about the referendum you would like clarified before Tuesday, please reach out to me, or visit the fact sheet on the district’s referendum website: Wauwatosa Schools Facilities Referendum. It is important that everyone’s voice is heard in this election and important that you place your vote based upon accurate information.

A special thanks to our families who have been contributing to the staff treats, and a special thank you to the PTO and Jane Parish and Carrie Hertzberg who fed us before our Thursday night conferences. We enjoyed the catered Chipotle and appreciate your kindness! Also a big thank you to Amanda Potter and Lisa Swiontek, Book Fair Chairs, Maura Riordan for helping with the transition to new leadership, and all of the many volunteers for this year's Scholastic Book Fair. We are excited about our new books in the office bin, and our classroom teachers look forward to using all of the new books that have come their way. This is a major event with so much planning, set up, and monitoring but well worth it to encourage all of our students to find books they love and to keep reading!

Join us next week for Keepsake Plate night. This is an event where kids create original artwork to put on plates, cups, magnets and so many other choices. These make great holiday gifts and are often longtime family favorites. It is a sweet, special family event.

Those who ordered spirit wear should have it by now. The PTO will have another opportunity to order beginning November 5th with the delivery before the holidays.

In another effort to positively impact our world and prevent plastics contamination in the world, we will partner with Green Tree Plastics, collecting plastic caps in exchange for a recycled outdoor table and bench. Acceptable cap examples are plastic drink bottle caps (paper liners are ok) lids from food containers like coffee cans, peanut butter jars, butter tubs, tops from spray cans, and caps from liquid laundry detergent. Please rinse them before sending to school. There will be a receptacle outside the office near the other collection bins. Unacceptable items include ANY metal, pumps, or fast food cup lids.

We are again in need of a lunchroom helper from 10:30-1:30 on school days. My daughter has been helping out as she was looking for a job in line with her career goals. She will miss the children, who have been a delight in her life. If you know of someone who would like to work a few hours a day for a little extra cash, loves children, and doesn’t mind a little table washing and food prep, have them apply at this link and mention McKinley when applying. The job description looks like more than what the job actually is (it is written for all food service positions in the district). Our cashiers do not handle cash, do not make coffee, for instance. The pay range is $11-$12 per hour.

November 21st we head into the long Thanksgiving weekend, a reminder that the Wednesday before Thanksgiving a no school day as is the Monday after (Nov. 26th) which is a staff development day. I wish all of you who are traveling safe journeys, and hope the family time you have is filled with joyful connections. As a school community we want to express our gratitude to everyone for all that you do!

Have a wonderful month!

Mrs. Hoffmann

Dates to Remember

Please mark these dates on your calendar:

Nov 6 - Voting Day

Nov 7 - Keepsake Art Night

Nov 20 - Change to a Friday schedule

Nov 21-23 - Thanksgiving break

Nov 26 - No School JK-12

Dec 4 - Parent/Principal Listening Session 6-7 room 13

Dec 6 - Secret Holiday Workshop from 3:15-6:30 p.m.

Dec 13 - Winter Sing Grades SK-3 at 2 p.m.

Dec 14 - Winter Concert Grades 4 & 5 at 2 p.m.

Dec 24-Jan 1 - Winter Break; No Classes JK-12


We are looking for someone to work in the cafeteria at McKinley. It would be for three hours a day on school days only. It pays $11-$12 an hour. Apply here through Sodexo, our district food service manager.


Dear Parents and Guardians,

As you may know, the Wauwatosa School District has adopted its first District Equity Plan. In brief, this plan consists of five main pillars developed through extensive dialogues with the Wauwatosa School District’s Equity team. It also has its theory of action tied to the Culturally Proficient Schools and Administration Offices policy 5440. The team created the following five pillars:

  1. Empower all students to achieve their own academic vision/goals and encourage excellence in education for all;

  2. Increase and improve cultural awareness/competence of all teachers, administrators, and staff;

  3. Ensure a welcoming, safe, inclusive, and equitable school environment for all, where we value all students and respect their differences;

  4. Recruit, hire, and retain teachers, administrators, and staff of color; and,

  5. Strengthen parent and community partnerships.

In regard to Pillar 5, Strengthen Parent and Community Partnerships, I would like to invite you to a sharing opportunity in an open dialogue format. On December 4, 2018 from 6:00-7:00 pm I invite you to share your thoughts about your family’s overall experience at McKinley. Here is a to a Google Doc if you need childcare to attend: . All childcare requests must be entered by November 26th.

I hope that the results of this meeting will guide our future equity work at McKinley. I will share the results of the meeting in future newsletter. If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact me at 414-773-1500. I look forward to this opportunity.


Jean Hoffmann

Gym Shorts - Your Monthly Guide to McKinley Physical Education

Hello families! We cannot believe it is already the beginning of November. The first two months of school have flown by. All of the students have been extremely active in the gym. Our students in K5-2nd grades have been working hard on practicing their underhand tossing, catching, rolling, kicking, and throwing skills. They have explored these skills using numerous types of equipment such as hula hoops, bean bags, juggling scarves, deck rings, and balls. The skills they are acquiring are building blocks to being successful participants in more organized games and activities.

Our students in grades 3-5 have been focusing on using good sportsmanship while learning the skills to play football and soccer. The students played a number of football and soccer lead up games to give them an introduction to the skills needed to continue playing those sports outside of school, if they don’t already do so.

With the weather starting to turn, we would also like to give you a friendly reminder to make sure your kids have their proper footwear on gym days. It is important to have proper footwear for the safety of them and the other students in class. The proper footwear is any shoe that has a rubber sole, covers the toes, and stays fastened on the child’s foot when they are actively moving.

Lastly, we would love for all of you to consider following our twitter account for daily updates on things happening inside the gym. We are McKinley PE. Twitter handle: @McKinley_PE

Mr. Roloff and Mr. Zank

Backpacks! Backpacks!

Kids shouldn't carry more than 15% of their body weight. Average weight of a 10yr old is 70lbs, which means backpacks shouldn't be more than 10.5lbs. However, if the backpack is worn properly, more weight can be carried safely. The math book, water bottle, and 1-2 standard sized library books should be fine. Other items that kids put in their bags such as gym shoes, lunch boxes (ice packs are heavy!), toys, coats and sweatshirts is where the weight is really coming from.


  • Backpacks should be worn over both shoulders at all times and straps should be tightened so that the bottom of the backpack hits at the lower back.
  • Kids should be taught that the heaviest item needs to be placed in the back of the backpack, so that when worn, the heaviest item is closest to the back.
  • Kids should carry their lunch boxes in their hands, not stuffed in backpacks
  • Heavier jackets should be carried in hands
  • Winter gear (snow pants and boots) should be carried in a separate bag
  • Parents should spend time at home every evening making sure extra items aren't going to school that are unnecessary
  • After the above has been implemented, if the child is complaining of back pack they should consult their doctor.

Be in the know! Check out the McKinley and community flyers on our website!

*** McK Attendance Line 773-1502 ***


We are looking for parents who are interested in helping Ms. Leigh, the art teacher, with making bowls which will be sold at our Art Night/Empty Bowls/Open House which will be at McKinley on February 28. She will need extra parent help in the art room starting in November. Some of the tasks will include prepping clay, assisting students while working, loading/unloading kilns, mounting and hanging art work throughout the school. Please considering helping out!

Empty Bowls is a national event, held locally every year with the purpose of remembering there are people in our communities who's bowls are empty. This year Milwaukee Empty Bowls is celebrating its 20th year. At our Empty Bowl night, the bowls will be wrapped in paper so the bowl you purchase will be a surprise. Students bring home various projects throughout the year from art class - this is a time to promote service to others.

This night will combine our Open House which is usually in November with our Art Night and reviving a previous event - Empty Bowls. You will be able to see your child's classroom and specialists rooms. Art work will be hung in the hallways around school. The bowls made by McKinley's 3rd-5th grade students will be available for purchase to raise money for Tosa Cares. The dinner portion of the night needs volunteers to plan and coordinate. Please contact Ms. Leigh or Mrs. Garder to volunteer.


News from your school social worker

This month, I wanted to share a great resource that families don’t often know about. I do believe that parenting is one of the toughest jobs in the world, and it’s always good to know about resources that provide support for that important role.

The Parenting Network

The Parenting Network is a local, community organization that offers a variety of services and programs, often free of cost and always confidential. The Parenting Network works to empower anyone in a parenting role-mothers, fathers, grandparents or other relatives raising children, whether stepparents, foster parents, adoptive parents- to provide a safe and nurturing home for their children.

They offer classes for parents and caregivers (often free childcare is provided during these meetings) and also support for individuals and families. They even have confidential phone counseling services about any parenting issue:

Just call them at 414-671-0566. Available M-Th 8:30-5:30, Fri 8:30-5:00. Parents can call 211 (community info line) after hours for assistance and support. Their website is

*Also, please check out the free brochure (courtesy of the Parenting Network) that we have right outside the main school office: What Moms and Dads Can Do About Stress.

Student and Family Assistance Program (SFAP)

Another great resource to help with a multitude of concerns is Aurora’s Student and Family Assistance Program (SFAP). The SFAP provides up to 6 counseling sessions for any student or caregiver who is a part of the Wauwatosa School District. It’s free and confidential. Call #1-800-236-3231 to access services or obtain more information and feel free to take a brochure located in the hallway outside of McKinley’s main office. Some topics that can be addressed:

· Adoption information

· Academic pressures

· Anxiety and depression

· Child/family issues

· Stress management

· Divorce or blended families

· Alcohol and other drug issues

· Legal consultation

· Elder care concerns

Sodexo - Service Project

Fall Community Service Project

Right at School would like to welcome all of McKinley to take part in our Fall service project. This year we are going to collect holiday and get well cards for patients at Children's Hospital. There will be a collection box in each classroom from November 1st-20th. Since these cards will be ready to turn in around the holidays cards for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and New Years would be great as well as traditional get well cards. Our goal is to turn in 200 cards! We hope that you can take some time in your day to make a card for the patients at Children's Hospital.

Raising Caring Kids - please watch the video below

Safe Routes to School video

Office Max / Office Depot Gives Back

This year Office Max and Office Depot stores are offering local schools the opportunity to partner in a fundraising activity. For McKinley, 5% of all purchases made by parents or teachers for the entire year will be donated to the school in the form of a merchandise credit. Our master ID # is 70113794.

* * Tosa Cares * *

Tosa Cares is a local, non-profit organization located in Mount Zion Lutheran Church that helps families with food donations and so much more. Here are the dates for the monthly food distributions. You are encouraged to contact Linda Ertel before you come either by email Tosacares​ or phone 414-861-4725, or you can just show up on one of these dates.

​2018 dates:

Nov 17

2019 dates:

Jan 12th

March 9th

April 27th

June 15th

August 10th

October 5th

November 23rd

Tosa Cares is also always looking for donations of food, or cash. There are three permanent donation sites/times which you can find on their website:

Here is a list of the most needed items:

  • ​Cereal
  • Nonperishable fruits, vegetables and juices
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Spaghetti sauces and noodles
  • Pastas and rice
  • Canned protein, such as chicken, tuna and beef stew
  • Snacks such as granola bars, crackers, popcorn and cookies
  • Packaged dinners, especially those with meat
  • Hearty soups
  • Toilet paper, diapers, baby wipes, paper towels and tissues
  • Personal care items such as shampoo, hand soap, lotion and toothbrushes and tooth paste
  • Dish soap and laundry soap
PTO Newsletter

Click here to read our PTO's newsletter.

Big picture
A Cool Math Video for Parents

Follow this link for helpful information about how to help your kids with the new math.