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  • McK Construction Update


Attention: SoNo Website Coordinator Needed Immediately

Seeking volunteer experienced with WordPress, available 1-2 hours/week to post updates on SoNo Fest website.

If interested contact Jean Rivaldi right away.

Weekly Papers


McKinley Dine-Out Night 10/20

Present the attached flyer at Grand Ole BBQ y Asado and/or Coronado Spice & Tea  (electronic flyer accepted at Coronado Spice & Tea) on Thursday, 10/20, beginning at 12:00pm. 

McKinley Elementary will receive 20% of the proceeds from Grand Ole BBQ and 15% from Coronado Spice & Tea.

Weekly Papers



The CRAVE (CReative Arts Volunteer Enrichment) program started last year at McKinley and brings visual art into each classroom every month.  Click here to see a video of last Spring’s amazing art show.

See the attached newsletter for more CRAVE information and how parents can help.

Crave Program Director

Ashley Bruce

Complete Federal Survey Cards

federal_survey_cardsYour help and support with securing federal funding for our school would be greatly appreciated.

Each year, our district receives over $8 million in Impact Aid funding. This is not automatic – we must apply for it each year. The U.S. Department of Education requires that a survey be conducted each year and our district then files a claim based on the cards received. This process precludes us from using enrollment cards for this purpose so completing the Federal Survey Cards is critical.

These will be sent home on Wednesday and we ask that they are completed by each and every family in our school community. Please return completed forms to us on or before Wednesday, October 12th. (One card per family)

Those classes that have 100% of their cards returned will win a popsicle party (with heartfelt gratitude from their very appreciative principal).

With thanks in advance,
Deb Ganderton

Box Tops for Education


Clipping Box Tops is an easy way to help earn cash for our school. Each box top is worth 10¢. Just look for the pink Box Tops on hundreds of products, cut them out, and send them to school. The collection containers are in the hallway of the front office and at the PrimeTime check-in/out desk.

Last school year, we earned $490.30 for our school from Box Tops. All money earned is contributed toward our Spanish, ceramics, dance, CRAVE art and garden programs as well as buses for field trips and extra classroom supplies. This school year, our goal is to earn $1,000.00.

For more information on Box Tops, including a list of participating products, go to Ver flyer en español.

Thank you for your support,

Melissa Dohner

School Choice Application Info


The School Choice Application period for the 2017-18 school year opens on Oct. 3, 2016 and will close on Nov. 14, 2016. This is a change from prior years in order to align the district’s application window with neighboring school districts, and thus simplify the placement process for schools and families.

San Diego Unified offers excellent educational opportunities around every corner, and visiting your neighborhood school is a great place to start. However, students who want to attend a school other than their neighborhood school should submit a School Choice Application.

The process is not first come, first served, so there is no urgency to be the first to apply. All applications received by the Nov. 14 deadline are processed through a randomized computer lottery, using a priority structure to weigh factors such as magnet program continuity and sibling enrollment.

Applications will not be accepted after the deadline unless the student is new to the district or a current San Diego Unified student has a change of residence.

Students who were enrolled into their school of choice last year do not need to reapply to remain at that school unless they moved outside of the school district.

Please forward this information to anyone you know that might be interested in applying. This school year, McKinley had a very limited number of School Choice spots available to incoming kindergartners.  Visit SDUSD’s site for more information and ver flyer para Español.

McKinley Picture Day is Monday, 10/10


Picture Day is coming! Mark your calendars for Monday, October 10th. As the flyer states – Smile now – Pay later!

TB Test for McKinley Volunteers

Need a TB test?
All McKinley volunteers are required to have an up-to-date TB test (within 4 years) to be a regular volunteer on campus.

Our local South Park Doctor, Dr. Tara Zandvliet, is offering to provide TB tests for just $10 (cost of supplies).

She will be across the street from McKinley at 3020 Felton Street on Wednesday, 10/5 from 7:30 – 9:00am for the skin prick and again on Friday, 10/7 from 7:30 – 9:00am for the reading. You must plan for BOTH days so mark your calendars! Click here for more details and ver aquí en Español.


School Site Council Ballots


Please vote for your McKinley School Site Council (SSC) candidates. One ballot per family. Return your ssc_parent_community_member_ballot to the office by Monday, October 3, 2016.

Click here to learn more about School Site Council (SSC).

Come Hungry to Back to School Night

Back to School Night is Thursday, 9/29!
5:00pmOrganic and Sun & Sea food trucks will be in the front parking lot selling dinner options. Also, SnoCal Ice will be parked on Redwood St.

5:30pm – The 5th graders will be offering Root Beer Floats at the lunch tables (donations accepted) for their first fundraiser of the year.


Is My Child Changing Classrooms?

Dear McKinley Families,
I know you are eager to hear an update on the possibility of class changes. Last week, I communicated a timeline, but wasn’t able to honor that timeline due to issues outside my “circle of control”.
On Friday, we were notified that we ARE getting an additional teacher!
As you can imagine, there are a lot of moving parts in a process like this. Principals are often in a holding pattern as determinations are made district wide to best meet the needs of each site. During the last three days, I asked myself, “Do I want to communicate every step or do I want to work every step?” I opted for the latter.
Our staff will convene this afternoon and examine our options. IAPW (in a perfect world), we’d be able to reduce class size, eliminate combos and have all students remain in their initial classroom placement. That said, it’s not a perfect world. I am providing the staff with options and we will vote on what we believe best supports the children in our charge. That decision will be communicated to our school community before I head home this evening. Families of children who are changing classrooms will be notified as soon as the district confirms our new teacher’s assignment.
Our district communicated that our new teacher should be joining us the first week in October. We will establish other opportunities for parents to meet the new teacher once for those students who have been reassigned.
Please plan on meeting with your child’s current teacher at tomorrow’s Back to School Night. I am available to answer any questions from 6:30 – 7:30 tomorrow evening (Thursday) and you can always reach me via email (


Principal Ganderton

Floats for 5th Grade on Thursday


Come support the McKinley 5th graders at Back to School Night by enjoying a ROOT BEER FLOAT on Thursday, 9/29 beginning at 5:30pm.

All donations go toward 5th grade events and activities throughout the school year.

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

Carrnitas' snack shack dine out.png

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. 
Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 5.27.40 PM.png
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


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