McKinley Mustang Newsletter

Go Mustangs

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Welcome Back

Welcome back to the 2020/2021 School year. We can't wait to start on August 12th. I am starting my 25th year in education and you would think I've seen it all. I'm using a tropical theme in this newsletter as I hope to one day return to Hawaii for a vacation. But for now, I can have the island vibe in my office.

As I was writing my staff letter last week I was trying to think of one word that could sum up what we need to have a successful year. The word grace kept popping into my head. I think now more than ever we need to think about how we might need to have a little extra grace. Grace in the sense that we are all going through this together in a different way. Grace when someone's frustrations seem to be directed at you. Grace for when we just can't handle one more "to do." I sat in on the 4-hour board meeting the other night to listen in on what the community was feeling both on the parent side and staff. Everyone had insight into what their frustrations are with learning during this difficult time. There was that word grace popping into my head. Grace for letting someone talk about what they need. Grace for understanding what it means to have a working family. None of us would have chosen to have this happen. I know that I will not make every person happy, not everyone will have the perfect set up or be free of struggle with this type of learning. I ask of you to have grace for our staff and our school who have worked over the summer to improve what we did in the spring and deliver the best education we know-how. Grace for the office because of budget cuts and we have limited staff resources. Having grace when I try my best to get back to you but I don't get back to you right away. Let's make this our mantra as this is just a temporary way that we have to learn but know its best to keep everyone safe.

I often don't sleep well these days as my mind is constantly thinking about this pandemic. I share in your worries about the long term effects that this will have on our students. I worry about what this will do to our economy, what it will continue to do to our families. I want you to know that I have plans in place to help our most vulnerable. We will continue with our McKinley Cares program to secure food and resources for our neediest families. This spring and summer we were able to give out over $700 in grocery cards to our neediest families. Our amazing garden coordinator, Julia Luna put together harvested fresh veggies and fruits to give to our neediest families. I have secured pencil boxes and backpacks and will start collecting school supplies so that our students will be prepared to work from home. We will continue to have community outreach to check on our families that are having a hard time. We will continue to provide mental health resources to those who are in need. I am currently in conversation with the boys and girls club to set up care for essential workers / neediest students. Hopefully, I will have more to come very soon.

McKinley has accomplished so much in the last few years. As of today, I have registered 523 students at Mckinley and PACS. We have six new staff members eager to make this an amazing year. We have a new Science curriculum and we continue to work on our Project-based learning vision. So much to be proud of, something I could not do without this amazing staff and families at McKinley.

We also have had some restructuring of staff. Gina Roberts will be going back to the classroom to work in Fourth grade. So lucky to have her on board. That does mean that we no longer have her available to support in the office. Please email me with your concerns. Patience will be key as we do have 523 students and more staff than we have ever had.

Mrs. Parnow will be taking a leave of absence this year to take care of her family. She had been part of the McKinley family for over 12 years. She was an amazing part of our community. The amazing Ms. Alton has moved to second grade we are excited to have her working at this grade level with Ms. Roach.

McKinley now officially has two of ever grade (except TK) What an exciting time to be part of this amazing community.

Things to look for in upcoming communication. Parent Orientation information about Distance learning. Time slots for picking up your materials at school where you will get to see your teachers. Giving them a great big social distanced wave. We are a strong community that looks out for each other. Thank you for everything that you have done to help us out. Here's to a great year!

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Hannah Sarlatte - Transitional Kindergarten

Hello! My name is Hannah Sarlatte and I will be teaching TK this year at McKinley. This will be my first year teaching and I am so excited to be joining the McKinley community! I grew up in Petaluma and graduated from UC Davis with degrees in Communication and Psychology, as well as my multiple subject teaching credential. I have been volunteering in primary classrooms since junior high school and also enjoy reading, staying active, spending time with my family, and watching and playing sports. This school year, I will be completing my Master of Arts in Education and am looking forward to working with the McKinley team!

Heather Loughlin - First grade

I’m Heather Loughlin and I teach 1st grade. I live in Petaluma with my husband Sean and my chocolate lab Murphy. I enjoy spending time outside whenever possible. Going to the beach, playing soccer, hiking and walking around our beautiful town are some of my favorite things to do. This will be my third year teaching elementary school but my first year teaching at McKinley. It is a dream come true to work in my community and I am so excited to get to know all of you! When you walk in my classroom (or join me in distance learning), you will notice that I love to play games and incorporate movement as much as possible. I know it can be fun seeing teachers outside of school but it makes my day when I see a familiar face downtown or at the grocery store, so if you see me around town please say hello. I look forward to a unique, yet wonderful year with you. Go Mustangs!

Morgan Cooper - First Grade

Hello! My name is Morgan Cooper and I am one of the new 1st Grade teachers here at McKinley Elementary and I couldn’t be more thrilled! I am 45 years old and I live here in Petaluma with my five-year-old son Cooper, my thirteen-year-old daughter Ryan, and my partner DeWayne. I enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with my family.

I have been an elementary classroom teacher for eleven years in grades Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. I have experience teaching at a G.A.T.E school in Sacramento, a science and arts charter school in New York City, the United Nations International School, and Title 1 schools in my hometown of Stockton, Ca. I am very excited to be joining this amazing team of educators as we work together to make the 2020-2021 school year a positive and productive learning experience.

Erin Skoien - Fifth grade


To give a little background about myself, I’ve been teaching for about three years, starting out in San Francisco (where my teaching program was) and then in Rohnert Park (where my husband is). Prior to being a teacher, I was a mental health social worker in the Santa Rosa area, working with kids and homeless adults.


I like most things outside, but I especially love the ocean. Other things I love include rock climbing, volleyball, swimming, lasagna, ice cream, dogs, and the movie “UP.”


1) My husband and I have the same first name (spelled differently). We

became Aaron and Erin Skoien on July 13th, 2019 (yay!). If you were

curious about how to pronounce Skoien, try “ss-COIN”.

2) My first job was as a tractor driver on a cherry orchard in Oregon.

3) The coolest place I’ve climbed is the Devil’s Tower.

I’ve heard great things about your team and school, and I am really

looking forward to working with you all and making this the best year


Brenna Drumm - Resource specialist

Hi! I’m Brenna and I am so excited to be the new Resource Specialist for McKinley Elementary! Growing up near Palo Alto, I had a passion for history and always knew that I wanted to be a teacher. In 2015 I graduated from the University of Oregon (go Ducks!) with a Bachelor of Arts in History and moved straight to San Diego where I began my career in the classroom as an “Academic Coach,” or an assistant to the Educational Specialist. While I had not planned on working in Special Education, for almost two years I worked with 9th and 10th graders with special needs in an inclusion setting and fell in love with the kids and the work that I was doing. At that time, however, I still really wanted to teach history so I pursued and earned a Social Science Teaching Credential from San Diego State University. That year I taught Government and Economics to 12th graders, which was extremely challenging as a first-year teacher! While I definitely grew as an educator in that year, this was when I realized that Special Education was my true teaching passion. Because of this, last year I went back to school at the University of San Diego and completed a two-year program in one year where I received my Education Specialist Instruction Credential and a Master’s in Special Education. While in the program, I was a 6th-grade homeroom teacher, teaching a variety of subjects to the 6th, 7th, and 8th graders: Language Arts, Literature, Algebra, Social Studies, and Geometry! Last year was very challenging, as I know it was for everyone, but it was all worth it to be able to move up to the Sonoma area and become the Resource Specialist at McKinley! I am so excited to be working at this amazing school with so many wonderful educators and students - I can’t wait to meet everyone! :)

Did You Miss This?

Its time to start dusting off those Ipads and getting them ready for the school year. Below is a link for making sure your Ipad is ready for the school year.

If you are new to our school you will be receiving your Ipad at our designated pick up days.

Link to getting Ipads ready by pressing the Ipad picture.

Parent Square: Our new communication platform for PCS

Student and Family Handbook for COVID-19: (Just click on the picture)

Meal application : Click on the image

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Wondering About Student Supplies

Your child's teacher will communicate with you about what supplies are needed for Distance Learning. Supplies will also be provided in the bag you receive on the 1st day of school.

If you wish to donate to the McKinley Cares program please bring extra supplies by the office as soon as you can. We will need glue sticks, crayons, markers, and pencils. Please not more than that right now. Nelson staffing has generously donated pencil boxes and backpacks to our families in need.