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Operation of Schools During Hot Weather

sunMs. Ganderton is closely monitoring the weather forecast as San Diego is experiencing an increase in temperatures this week. McKinley will be open tomorrow on regular schedule and implementing their Hot Weather plan. Parents, please make sure that your child wears light clothing, brings plenty of fluids and is wearing sunscreen as needed. Learn more about the district’s hot weather plans at SDUSD Operation of Schools During Hot Weather.

Time Change for Back to School Night



Apologies – I was left alone with the calendar over the summer (should never let that happen again) and entered 5:00 – 6:30 for Back to School Night (BTSN). My mistake.

BTSN is scheduled for the same time this year as in years past. It will begin at 6:00 p.m. and end at 7:30 on Thursday, 9/29.

Come early for food trucks on campus at 5:00 for those interested in purchasing dinner before classroom visitations and support the 5th graders by donating to their root beer float fundraiser at 5:30. 

We’re looking forward to seeing everyone!


Principal Ganderton

A Message from Principal Ganderton

33245-NZCLE4.jpgDear McKinley Families,

We have a problem and a proposed solution.

Afternoon pick up is a problem.

Cars are blocking neighbors driveways, folks are double parking on our terribly narrow streets and kids – our most precious resource – are crossing the street between vehicles.

I’m asking for your help. Please leave all neighbor’s driveways open so they are available to owners. Sadly, some of our neighbors have had McKinley families refuse to move. This is unfortunate and reflects poorly on our otherwise awesome school community.

When approaching McKinley, please drive on Felton from SOUTH to NORTH. We checked with the city and were notified that they are unable to consider signage (with requests to drive in one direction only as school gets out) without a collective, unanimous agreement of all homeowners who are impacted. If our voluntary efforts are ineffective and concerns continue, we will examine next steps with the city.

Our collective commitment is to the safety and well-being of the children in our charge. Your support during afternoon pick up is most appreciated.

With thanks in advance,
Deb Ganderton

Seussical Update: Stage Crew Interest Form Available & Cast List Posted!


The Cast list for Seussical has been posted. Thank you to everyone that auditioned! We had our biggest turnout yet, it’s going to be a great show! View the list here.

Stage Crew Interest Signup


Please carefully fill out this form.

Students should have availability the week before the show, (November 28-December 2) AND the week of the show (December 5-9). Please note any potential schedule conflicts in the form.

If you have more than one student interested, please fill out a form for each. Our Stage Crew may be smaller this year due to less set changes in the show. We will attempt to make room for as many as possible, but if there is exceeding interest, we will choose based on maturity, grade level and schedule availability.

For questions, please email Barbara Smith at


A Message from Principal Ganderton

a-message-from-pgDear McKinley Families,
Earlier this evening, our Human Resources office was contacting schools with an update on staffing (in other words, do we get an additional classroom teacher?) No final answer this evening, but they anticipate a determination sometime Thursday.

Once I have been notified and establish our final classroom count, I will be communicating with all families of children who will be changing classrooms before we head home for the weekend. (If you don’t hear from me, your child will remain in their current classroom assignment.)
I anticipate those students who do change teachers will begin in their new classroom on Monday.
Please feel free to call with any questions.
Deb Ganderton

Weekly Papers



McKinley PTC Meeting this Wednesday, 9/21 6:15 PM


Come hear the latest and greatest happenings at McKinley by attending the PTC Meeting Wednesday, September 21 at 6:15 pm in the Library/Media Center.

Childcare with pizza will be provided in the auditorium.

Fall ASE Update

ASE logo smallDear Parents,

If you applied for Fall ASE 2016 by the Sept. 7th deadline, you should be receiving your class confirmation in the next 1-2 days. Due to space constraints this Fall, we had a slightly smaller program and unfortunately demand exceeded the number of spots available.Over the past week, we’ve been contacting families that didn’t make the lotteries this time.

Capacity should be much better in the Spring, so if you didn’t get your first choice, missed the deadline, or decided to withdraw from the Fall session, please try again in the Spring.

We appreciate your patience and thank you for using the new online application process. It really made it easier for the ASE admin. team. We had 210 applicants and 83% used the online system. Thank you!

For more program information, including session dates, please visit the ASE Program page. If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Pauline Treviño.

Trick or Trot Roosevelt Fundraiser


Help raise money for Roosevelt IB Middle School by participating in the Trick or Trot 5K/1 Mile Fun Run in Balboa Park on Sunday, October 30 at 9:00 am.  All proceeds go to the Roosevelt after-school enrichment programs.

Costumes are encouraged and prizes will be given to the best dressed. Register by October 9th and save money. Discounts are given for teams so get your runners together! See flyer for more details.

Future Classroom Changes, a Message from the Principal


a-message-from-pgIs my child changing classrooms?

Unfortunately, the answer is, “We don’t know yet.” Our enrollment is quite high in some grade levels and low in others. We’ve felt like we’re playing a perpetual game of chess the last two weeks as we plan for a variety of class configurations based on daily enrollment numbers.

As of today, we are very close to getting an additional teacher IF we enroll additional 4th or 5th graders and don’t lose any students. Although we were hopeful we’d be able to reconfigure classrooms by the end of this week, our “on-the-cusp-kid-count” (my technical term) is so close to an additional teacher, that I’ve opted to wait rather than move students more than once.

Our final student count on Friday, September 16th, will determine our next steps.

Regardless of enrollment, I do know we will be reorganizing after September 19th and anticipate we will have one or more combination classrooms.

I realize that change can be disconcerting and want to reassure parents that a great deal of thought goes into this process. We aim to minimize the impact to both students and staff while honoring the established parameters of our employee’s contract.

If your child is selected to move, we will send a letter home with your child as soon as we’ve determined our final classroom counts and established where our combination classrooms will be. The next day, we will escort those students to their new classroom assignment and their new teacher will introduce them to their classmates. The following day, they will line up with their new classroom, and the teachers will begin the day with a “getting to know you” activity.

In the meantime, my heartfelt thanks to those teachers who are teaching regardless of their high class count and to parents who are patiently waiting to see if their child will transition to another classroom.


Principal Ganderton

McKinley Dine-Out Night 9/15

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Present the attached flyer at Carnitas’ Snack Shack on Thursday, 9/15, between 5:00pm and 9:00pm and McKinley Elementary will receive 20% of the proceeds.

Fun Fact: Mexican Independence Day is 9/16 and it is a tradition for the President to “yell” out the first cry of freedom at 12:00am on 9/16 as Hidalgo did when the battle had been won.  Mexicans are known to start celebrating from 9/15 through to the next day, so eat up to support your local elementary school!

Have your old markers run dry? Recycle them!


Have your old markers run out of their color? Don’t want to send them to the landfill? Good for you! You can put your old markers from home or the classroom in the box outside of the main office for recycling. Any marker type or brand can be recycled!

Crayola and schools across North America are banding together to help kids understand the importance of their role in protecting the environment. Through this initiative, students in K-12 schools are collecting and reusing empty markers.

You can learn more about the ColorCycle program here. And thank you for coloring our world green by recycling!

Casting Call: Seussical the Musical (Audition Registration Now Closed)


McKinley Theatre Company (MTC) is excited to announce that our 2016 production will be Seussical Jr!  This musical is based on Dr. Seuss books, filled with songs and rhyming dialogue. There will be several group production numbers as well as character roles in which  all cast members will shine.






The cast list will be announced by the end of audition week. Parents of the cast are asked to attend an info meeting at the end of our first rehearsal. Our volunteer-run program can accept up to 70 students, including stage crew. Grades TK-3rd are more likely to be placed in group numbers. Lead roles will most likely be cast from grades 3-5.

Cast and crew are expected to commit to scheduled rehearsals and performances. Once the cast announcement is made, all families will be presented with a variety of volunteer opportunities to contribute to the success of the show.

We encourage interested students to start preparing now for auditions.

(NOTE: More information about Stage Crew coming soon)

Fall ASE Update

ASE logo smallGreat news! We’ve been able to add a 2nd hour of WOW LEGO® Elementary Engineering 2 – Machines(2nd-5th). If you’ve already applied and need to update your application to take advantage of this class, please email Bridgette Tullis before Sept. 7th.  (It’s offered 1:30-2:30 pm.) 

Also, I regret to inform you that we didn’t get enough volunteers for registration tables this week before school. So, if you have any questions, please address them by email for now. If we get volunteers for Tuesday & Wednesday, we will have a registration table in front of the school. If you haven’t done so, please visit the ASE page to take advantage of the new online application!

Come Support Roosevelt at TSB

Join us at Thorn Street Brewery and help us raise money to create a mosaic mural at Roosevelt IB Middle School!!! RMS is the community middle school that McKinley Elementary feeds into.

When: Thursday, September 8th from 5pm-8pm
Where: Thorn St. Brewery
3176 Thorn St, San Diego, CA 92104
Thorn Street will contribute $1 of each individual beer sale to our mural fundraiser.

The Project:
Raise $6,000 by Fall to create a meaningful and artistic mosaic mural on the Roosevelt IB Middle School campus in the 2016-17 school year. The kids will help design and install the mural. 
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Questions? Would you like to help but can’t make it to Thorn St? You can also make a tax deductible donation at our fundraising website.

For more information, click here.

After School Enrichment


The McKinley Parent Teacher Club offers a variety of After School Enrichment opportunities on Thursday afternoons. Classes are one hour long, starting at 12:20 pm and will be offered in 2 periods.

Students participating in Prime Time & Character Builders are welcome; however, those that are enrolled in after-school tutoring may not always be able to join. (The after school Spanish program is run independent of this program and conflicts with the first hour. Please visit the Spanish Language Program page for more information.)

Fall 2016 ASE: Sept. 22nd – Nov. 10th

Fall applications will be sent home this week to the TK & K classrooms. All other grades will receive a flier with information on our new online application! Please visit the ASE page for class descriptions and to register online. We encourage you to register online, if possible. However, if you need a hard copy, there will be a few extras in the front office.

Applications will be accepted with payment through September 7th, 4PM. Volunteers will be in front of the office to answer questions and process registrations on the following days:

  • Thursday, 8:15-8:45 am
  • Friday, 8:15-8:45 am
  • Tuesday, 8:15-8:45 am, 2:45-3:30 pm
  • Wednesday, 8:15-8:45 am, 2:45-3:30 pm

Please note that our program is slightly reduced this year due to construction and other space constraints. While we try to accommodate all students that apply, we anticipate running lotteries for impacted classes. If your child does not get into the program this Fall, they will get priority for the Spring program.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact  Pauline Treviño as soon as possible.

After School Spanish Club at McKinley


Learning a new language is fun. Studies also show it’s great for the cognitive development of our children.  We’re very pleased to offer an After School Spanish Club presented by the IES Language Foundation.

Classes meet on Thursdays from 12:20 – 1:20 and will start on Thursday, September 22, 2016 and run until Thursday, May 18, 2017 on the McKinley campus.

The cost is $405 for the full year, or can be paid in three easy installments of $149 (due 9/16/16, 1/13/17, and 3/17/17). This program will supplement the Spanish language class your children already receive during the weekly wheel.

You can sign up online here. By phone by calling 619.584.7956. Or by email at

Please note that this program is separate from our After School Enrichment program that you can learn about here.


A message from the Principal

Dear McKinley School Community,
What a great first day! Especially appreciated was the excellent example our fifth graders set for our younger students at lunchtime! (Thanks, guys. Uber impressive!)
Any obstacle that was put in our path was overcome with brief brainstorming, collective cooperation and humor (the only way to solve problems!) Teachers were prepared, kids were excited and parents were appreciative. What more can a principal ask for?!?!? I am blessed.

With a happy heart,
Deb Ganderton


Back to School Construction Update

McK Construction UpdateWe cannot wait to see you and your children tomorrow morning!

Please enter and exit our campus as you have in the past year.

This is an update on the ongoing construction at our school:

1. New concrete paving at the main school entry has been placed and complete. New ornamental fence posts are in place. However, given new ornamental fence panels and gates haven’t arrived, temorary fencing and gates for security and access/circulation have been installed.

2. The new ramp between Bldg. 100 and 200 has been placed and is complete, including paved tie-in to the top and bottom of the ramp and adjacent stairs. However, new handrails for the ramp haven’t arrived, so the ramp will not be accessible until railing is installed. An alternate route is available. Entrance remains the same and is accessible.

1. Visitor and staff parking is open and accessible. New asphalt paving, striping and signage has been placed at the staff parking. The adjacent concrete paved walk between the exterior east wall of the boys’ restroom and the staff parking lot has also been placed. Railing and fencing at this location is not complete however. Therefore, cones/delineators will be placed at the edge of the new concrete walkway just south of the boys’ restroom.

1. Ornamental fence panels between the joint-use field and school playground have been installed. Temporary fencing extends to the playcourt area to separate from work in the field to ensure safety.

We should have more updates to share with you shortly as work is progressing quickly. Your patience is appreciated!

Welcome Back & Class Lists Posted!

Welcome to McKinley!-02.pngDear parents,

Class rosters are now posted outside the main office! Please plan on lining up in  your child’s assigned classroom line on the first day of school, on the blacktop. The teachers will be holding signs to help you find your way.

We’re so excited to have your kids with us at McKinley Elementary School. Because the summer has been long, a few reminders:

The first day of school is Monday, August 29, 2016. We are starting a week early this year.

Please remember that each and every morning the campus opens at 7:45 AM for our students in our breakfast program.

The campus opens at 8:10 AM for all other students. (In the coming weeks we’ll share information about our Run for Your Life exercise program on the blacktop that will start at this time).

Short bell is at 8:20 AM. Students should start lining up with their class at this time.

At 8:25 AM the second bell rings. Students should be in line with their teachers at this time.

Class instruction begins exactly at 8:30 AM. Let’s start the year off with everyone at school on time and ready to learn!

On Monday mornings we have our weekly school assembly on the blacktop. Parents are encouraged to join us to learn about important school and community news.

School ends each day at 3 PM, with the exception of Thursdays, which is a minimum day.

Class ends at 12:15 PM on Thursdays. We’ll be sending out information about our After School Enrichment program on Thursdays shortly. Please stay tuned!

As you know, construction is ongoing on campus. Our principal, Deb Ganderton, is in contact with the construction project manager on a regular basis. Please expect an email this coming weekend that will let us know where to enter the campus for the first day of school. Your patience is appreciated!

If your child is enrolled in the breakfast program or purchases lunch through our cafeteria, you can check the menu here. Information will come home with your child about how to add money to their cafeteria account shortly.

We look forward to a wonderful school year with you!

Attention Character Builders Families!

If your child was accepted into Character Builders this year and you received a notice of a meeting this week, it may have been confusing.

Here’s the real deal: The meeting for McKinley Character Builders program is on Wednesday 8/24 (THIS WEDNESDAY) 5-6pm at:

COPLEY-PRICE YMCA community room
4300 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego 92105


Creative Kids Class Mondays After School

Children will express their creativity and have fun experimenting in the Green Art Lab with artist, Joan Green. Each week we’ll offer a different palette of reusable materials – clean and safe items saved from the landfill and turned into amazing one-of-a-kind creations such as inventions, games, vehicles, instruments, sculptures and dioramas. Students will work individually and collaboratively. Through art making they will find their inventor, engineer, designer, artist, and environmentalist self! This class encourages problem solving, social-emotional opportunities, creative thinking, fine motor skills, and more with STEAM concepts. Ages 5 and up. Small ratio of 8 students per teacher.

3:30-5:00 p.m.
Expressive Arts SD
3201 Thorn St., SD 92014

Green Art Labs Website

We can walk kids over to the class from McKinley for an additional fee.


Construction Update from Ms. Ganderton

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A construction update as of Friday, August 19th.

The Construction Project Manager has informed me the restrooms (that are near the lunch area) will be ready the first day of school. The ramp at the entrance will not be ready (railing will still have to be set) but there is an alternate ramp off of Redwood that will take you down in front of the new boys girls restrooms. The parking lots will be complete, striping maybe the only thing missing and everything will be power washed.

We will post another update on Friday, August 26th.  At that time, we’ll let everyone know where students will enter the campus for the first day of school.

We’ll have the proverbial “all hands on deck” the first day of school to streamline the entry and exit process.

Eager to see all our kids and start the new school year!

Deb Ganderton

Reminder: come to the park on Sunday!

McKinley Summer Playdates at Montclair Park

Join us this Sunday (August 21st) at Montclair Park (at the end of Nile St.) for the final playdate of the summer. 4pm! New and returning students welcome! Bring food to share, or just bring yourselves. Meet new friends and reconnect with old ones.

Returning McKinley families: please come as ambassadors to give a warm welcome to our new families!


Construction Update from Ms. Ganderton

Dear McKinley Families,


I’d like to offer a construction update as the beginning of the year is fast approaching.

I’ve been in regular contact with our Site Project Manager (who, lucky for us, happens to be the parent of a McKinley student!)  Construction is a bit delayed which we have planned for since the inception of the project.

We have a plan in place for several potential scenarios to ensure safety and will be asking our school community to work with us as we weather the challenges inherent in any construction project.

The construction supervisor and I reevaluate weekly and I will be communicating an update to all our families via this website and a School Messenger on Friday, August 26th.

Please feel free to reach out to me via email ( should you have further questions.

Deb Ganderton
McKinley Principal

McKinley Theatre Co. Announces Seussical the Musical for the 2016 Season!

Seussical The Musical.jpeg

I can see that you’ve got quite a mind for your age! Why, one Think and you dragged me Right onto the stage!

Now, I’m here, there is no telling what may ensue With a Cat such as me, and a Thinker like you!  

Oh, the Thinks you can think! Oh, the Thinks you can think If you’re willing to try…

Think invisible ink! Or a gink with a stink! Or a stair to the sky…

If you open your mind, Oh, the Thinks you will find Lining up to get loose…

Oh, the Thinks you can think, when you think about Seuss!

– The Cat in the Hat, OH THE THINKS YOU CAN THINK, Seussical the Musical


Dear McKinley Families, 

McKinley Theatre Company (MTC) is excited to announce that our 2016 production will be Seussical Jr.! Performances will be December 8th & 9th in the McKinley Auditorium.

This musical is based on Dr. Seuss books filled with songs and rhyming dialogue. There will be several group production numbers as well as character roles in which  all cast members will shine.

MTC expects to hold auditions in late September. The cast list will be announced followed by a parent meeting that same week. Our volunteer-run program can accept up to 70 students, including stage crew. Grades TK-3rd are more likely to be placed in group numbers. Lead roles will most likely be cast from grades 3-5.

Cast and crew are expected to commit to scheduled rehearsals and performances. Once the cast announcement is made, all families will be presented with a variety of opportunities to contribute to the success of the show.    

We encourage interested students to start preparing now for auditions. 

To see examples of Seussical Jr. production numbers, please browse the web and look up additional information through the publishing company, Music Theatre International, or see the following links:

More details will be announced the first week of school!

For questions about the show, please contact Barbara Smith:

Join the ASE Committee!


The After School Enrichment (ASE) committee is currently recruiting volunteers for the 2016-17 school year. If you’d like to lend your talents to this beloved program, please contact us for more information. (Click here to learn more about the ASE program.)


  • Program Coordinators: Be a part of the team that selects course offerings! Highly organized individuals with a passion for bringing high value enrichment programs to our students. Face-to-face meetings are usually limited to 2-4 times per school year. Must be comfortable with communicating via email. Position requires working with some confidential material, so discretion is required. A professional communication style is highly desirable as you will be interacting with various organizations in setting up contracts, communicating requirements, requesting invoices, etc. This position does not require you to be present on Thursdays during program hours. Most work can be done at home and outside of school hours. Familiarity with Google Docs and MS Excel is highly desirable. Contact Bridgette Tullis for more information. (Note: The Fall program will be set prior to the first day of school, so please don’t delay.)
  • Site Volunteers: If you have availability most Thursdays between 12:15-1:30 pm or 2:00 pm, and work well with young children, we’d love to have you join the team. Site volunteers escort the TK-1st grade students, assist instructors in classes, take attendance, answer questions, and even socialize a little between periods. (In the past, ASE site volunteers have even offered some support to our CRAVE art program and McKinley Theater Company.) SDUSD screening requirements apply. If you can envision yourself hanging with the stylish crew in the photo below, please contact Pauline Treviño.

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New Student Registration opens August 18th


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The McKinley office will re-open for new student registration August 18th. The office will be open from 8:00-3:00PM.

Save time by pre-enrolling online here (New to SD Unified students only), and then bring your immunization records, proof of residency, and student birth certificate or passport to McKinley during office hours. Enrollment forms will be available in the office as well.

See all enrollment requirements here.

New Students and Kindergarten Orientation is Friday, August 26th at 11:00am in the Auditorium.

Join the Communications Committee!


We are in search of some volunteers to join the Communications Committee!  You will need access to a computer, and “meetings” are almost entirely through email.
We need:
  • Writers/Bloggers: Ability to post and/or edit on our website. (We use WordPress, which has a very short learning curve that we can teach you if needed) Most posts are emailed to us, and then we repost on the blog. Occasionally you will need to craft longer or original messages for web and print, so strong writing and grammar skills are appreciated.🙂
  • Social Media-Savvy Posters: Help update and monitor the McKinleyPTC Facebook page ( Posts from the website automatically post to Facebook, so this would mostly be helping respond to queries and comments on our page.
  • Website Designers or Coders: Experience editing websites using WordPress software and simple web form development (Google Forms).

If you have any of these skills and are interested in keeping the McKinley community in the loop, please send an email to Barbara SmithBridgette Tullis.

Reminder: Summer Playdate on Sunday 8/7

Don’t forget to meet us at Montclair Park (at the Southern end of Nile Street) this Sunday 8/7, starting at 4pm. Meet new friends and catch up with old friends! Bring food to share or just bring yourselves! We’re not picky, we just want to hang out with you!

McKinley Summer Playdates at Montclair Park

Parent Survey Follow-Up

A word from our PTC President, Betsey Z:

sunThanks to all who completed our survey. We appreciate your input and feedback. Deb Ganderton and I will be working on a few solutions and follow-up to some of the comments we received. Be on the lookout for updates when the new school year starts.

Hope you are enjoying your summer!



Art Playdates at Expressive Arts SD

GAL Playdates poster

McKinley Summer Playdates– Dates have changed!

McKinley Summer Playdates at Montclair Park.png

Please note the following changes in the McKinley Summer Playdate schedule:

Sundays, July 24th, August 7th, and August 21st at 4PM at Montclair Park. Hope to see you there!!


Voice of San Diego Article About McKinley’s Transformation

See Voice of San Diego Article written by Mario Koran: McKinley Elementary’s Transformation Mirrors a Changing Neighborhood


June 20, 2016. I San Diego, CA. USA. |Betsey Zibyszynsky is the President of the Parent Teacher Club at McKinley Elementary School. |Photos by Jamie Scott Lytle. Copyright.


Summer Fun Cafe

Summer Fun Café is where kids 18 and under can enjoy healthy food, engage in active play and have fun. No proof of income or paperwork are necessary. There are 61 sites throughout the city of San Diego. Visit the SDUSD website for more details and to find a site near you.

The Kick Off Party will be at Skyline Park on June 29th. Click here for event details on Facebook.

McKinley Summer Playdates!


McKinley Summer Playdates at Montclair ParkWe did it! Congratulations everyone on a wonderful year! Mark your calendars for these fun McKinley summer playdates at Montclair Park.

Please note the following changes in the McKinley Summer Playdate schedule:

Sundays, July 24th, August 7th, and August 21st at 4PM at Montclair Park. Hope to see you there!!

Know any new families headed for McKinley this summer? Pass this along! We look forward to meeting new students and catching up with returning families. Have a great summer! 🙂

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