McKinley Garden Work Party-June 8

We hope you can join us for the last garden work party of the school year next week on Thursday, June 8 (12:30-2:30 pm). We will have lots of fun giving the garden some extra care before the summer break. Please feel free to pass along the flyer to anyone else!

We are also looking for a few 5th-grade parents to help install the special tiles created by all McKinley 5th graders this year. If you can help on June 8 (install tile) or June 11 (grout tile), please sign up below or contact Jen Spencer. Sign Up Here.

For more information, click on this flyerMcKinley Garden 2015.

Thank you!

Ms. Marney & the Beautification Committee

school garden

McKinley Palm Street School Entrance


In an effort to mitigate some of the traffic on Felton Street, we are opening the gate on Palm Street each morning at 8:10. A staff member will be on duty and will direct children to the playground to line up. The gate will be closed just before 8:25am so the staff member can join his/her class.

This will be done on a trial basis. If access is used by families, we will continue using this entrance, if not, we will reevaluate.

Thank you,

Principal Ganderton

Office Art Mural – Update


Thank you for all the bottle tops donations. The office art mural is coming along nicely! We still need more colored bottle tops. Please leave in the box by the office. Thank you so much!

First Thursday Garden Work Party and First Friday Farm Stand

school garden maggieJoin us at the Octopus Garden every first Thursday this spring (April 6, May 4, June 1) from 12:30-3pm for a garden work party. We will be pulling weeds, spreading mulch, working with the compost, harvesting and tasting food from the garden, and tackling other special projects. Students must come with a parent or adult guardian.

Each first Friday (April 7, May 5, June 2) look for the farm stand at the front of the school from 2:45-3:30pm. See and taste what’s growing at the McKinley gardens!
Donations accepted but not necessary.

If you are able to help out on first Thursday or farm stand Fridays, please email

Come volunteer with enthusiastic students and parents and help make our school campus even better! See this flyer in English or Spanish for more details.

Sponsored by The McKinley Elementary School Beautification Committee:
Geysil Arroyo, Will Dumka, Grant Ferrier, Jason Folkman, Marney Jensen, Ivana Milosevic, Matt Murphy, Jennifer Owens, Jon Rogers, Shannon Scoggins, Jen Spencer, Mindy Swanson, Christian Vanvlie, & Betsey Zbyszynski (President of the McKinley PTC)

For further information, contact:
Marney Jensen, or Jon Rogers,

Come Help Us Build a Mosaic Mural at Roosevelt IB Middle School!

Leave your artistic mark on the Roosevelt campus by helping to create a mosaic masterpiece! We are looking for enthusiastic artists, craftspeople, students, parents & community members to be a part of the mosaic team, under the guidance of Rob Tobin, from the non-profit organization, ARTS.

Saturday, April 8th9 am4 pm (place mosaic tiles)
Sunday, April 9th9 am3 pm (grouting mosaic tiles)

Roosevelt IB Middle School
3366 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92103
Meet in front of the office.

All you need is a willingness to try & a spirit of fun! Come for the day or just a couple hours. Any and all kinds of help will be welcome & appreciated! We’ll need help with set-up, tile sorting, tiling, and clean-up. Make sure to dress to get dirty!

Questions? email:

For more information, see this flyer.

Saturday lunch will be donated by Buona Forchetta Pizza Oven! Sunday lunch will be donated by True North and Encontro-North Park.

A note about ARTS
The creation of our mosaic mural will be led by the non-profit arts organization – ARTS – A Reason To Survive. They also helped us create the mosaics at McKinley Elementary – our Octopus and Tree murals! This organization is dedicated to assisting youth by building hope, self-confidence, resiliency, and 21st century life & work skills through art!

Screen Shot 2017-04-04 at 9.07.55 PMMcKinley Elementary Mosaic Tree

This project has been funded by Friends of Roosevelt Foundation.

Got Bottle Caps?

Would you like to help us beautify the office? Please collect all colored bottle caps of any shape, color and size. There will be a cardboard box placed by the office for collection. Alternatively, you may deliver the bottle caps to your child’s classroom, and we can pick them up. Thank you for helping to make our office a colorful, happy place for our staff and families.screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-8-47-18-am

McKinley Joint Use Park Update


The rain has been a setback, but on the up side, the soil has been “flushed” and should better support the subsequent sod installation. (For the record, there are technical terms for “flushed”, but I’m at a loss for what they are at this moment, so I’m sticking with layman’s language.)

This week our district support team met with City in effort to correct all irrigation issues for the field. Once we have 10 days of clear weather, the balance of scope -grass field, ramps, playground and surrounding areas will move forward.

We’ve been told our field will be ready by the end of April and the city will release the field for daily use shortly after that.

We’ll keep our school community updated with regular posts. We’re on the home stretch folks!


Principal Ganderton

McKinley Beautification Brigade

McKinley Beautification Committee News

If you couldn’t join us for Green Day, consider joining us in the morning. Starting in December, on Monday and Wednesday mornings (8:00-8:20 am), we will be working on smaller projects in the garden and around campus. A great way to start your day, working alongside other McKinley families to make our campus even more awesome! See flyer for more details (Español).

Thanks to the dedicated volunteers who came out on November 5, our Fall Green Day was a huge success! The volunteers (more…)

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.

Green Art Labs Classes & Camps


Joan Green at Green Art Labs has been doing fantastic garden art with our McKinley kindergartners. Check out her upcoming classes and camps for all your kids here: Green Art Labs

Also, check out an update on all the great projects that happened at the last Green Day: Green Day Update!

McKinley Elementary School breaks ground on new joint-use park

Click through to the KUSI news story featuring interviews with our great kids:
Kids at McKinley Elementary in North Park are getting a new park and they’re excited. Councilmember Todd Gloria, students, parents and community members will break ground for the Joint-use park Mon…

Source: McKinley Elementary School breaks ground on new joint-use park


The Ground Is Broken!


Photo courtesy Jen Campos

We had a wonderful groundbreaking ceremony this morning. Cindy Marten, Richard Barrera, Todd Gloria, and Deb Ganderton all spoke, and then broke the ground with gold shovels (with help from some students)! Thanks to everyone who showed up, we will post the news stories as we see them. We are looking forward to a fantastic playground and park!



Photos courtesy of Jen Sabo Spencer

Reminder: Park Groundbreaking Monday Morning!

"The Tree of Z" Watercolor and cut paper collage.

“The Tree of Z” Watercolor and cut paper collage.

You’re invited to join San Diego Unified School District’s Superintendent Cindy Marten and Board Trustee Richard Barrera, as well as the City of San Diego’s Councilmember Todd Gloria, to celebrate the groundbreaking for the McKinley Elementary School Joint-use Park in North Park.

Monday, May 9th @ 8am.
(Meet at the South end of the schoolyard near the blue bars).

More information: 619-546-3378 or

Official flyer: Park Groundbreaking

Save the Date: Green Day May 14th

The date is set for our spring Green Day, so mark your calendars for May 14, 9am-4pm.

The McKinley Beautification Committee has a Green Day several times a year. Some of our projects this time include:

  • Weeding and planting in the garden
  • Installing rain barrels
  • Art project for the kids
  • Cleaning up around campus
  • Finishing our new tool shed
  • Installing new tiles created this year by students
  • And giving our school some tender loving care!

This is a great opportunity to meet other McKinley families and keep our school looking awesome. No skills or experience necessary! Don’t forget your hat, sunscreen, and to wear comfy clothes that can get messy! See you there!

In the meantime, bring your clean, empty plastic water bottles to the bin in front of the office to be turned into a fabulous art project.
More info on water bottle project: Water Bottle Art

See this flyer for more info:
Green Day May 14th


Joint-Use Park Groundbreaking Ceremony

Monday, May 9, 8am-8:30am!

Did you know there is going to be a park on the McKinley campus that is open to the public outside of school hours? Joint Use means it will be used by both the school and the community. For our students, it means we’ll have grass and trees on our playground, and you can come use it on the weekend! We are so excited!

You are ALL invited to the groundbreaking ceremony before school on Monday, May 9th, starting at 8am. Afterwards, kids will go into their classrooms with their teachers.

If you are interested in what the new park will look like, click through to see the plan: Joint Use Plan

Stay tuned for news on the next campus beautification Green Day, May 14.

Thank you to the many parents, staff and community members who have worked on this over the years. This is a huge achievement.




New Art on Campus!

You may have noticed the newly painted murals on the utility boxes near the red bars and lunch pavilion. Thanks to funding from the McKinley PTC, the beautification committee was able to hire local artist Eric Cox to create two wonderful new paintings to brighten up our campus! Coming soon: a name-that-face contest for the large, colorful face on the larger utility box.

Campus Clean Up and Electronic Recycling This Saturday


imagesThis Saturday November 14, 9am-4pm
Free Electronics Recycling 9am-1pm

We need your help!
This year’s campus beautification projects include:

Weeding and planting in the garden
Installing rain barrels
Art project for the kids (after 11 am)
Cleaning up around campus
Finishing our new tool shed
And giving our school some tender loving care!
We will have projects for the kids and all skill levels.
No experience or skills necessary!

Come volunteer with enthusiastic students and parents and help make our school campus even better!

Feel free to come by for 1/2 an hour or longer – every little bit helps!


McKinley Elementary’s Fall GREEN DAY

20150131_105822McKinley Elementary’s Fall GREEN DAY Campus Clean UP and Electronic Recycling
Saturday, November 14, 2015 9am-4pm

We need your help!
This year’s campus beautification projects include:
•       Weeding and planting in the garden
•       Installing rain barrels
•       Art project for the kids
•       Cleaning up around campus
•       Finishing our new tool shed
•       And giving our school some tender loving care!
We will have projects for the kids and all skill levels.
No experience or skills necessary!
Come volunteer with enthusiastic students and parents and help make our school campus even better!

Find out more here: Nov. Green Day Flyer and in Spanish: Nov. Green Day Flyer Español

Joint Use Field Update

McKinley Elementary Joint Use Field

(click to view master plan)

Hello McKinley families!  As many of you know, our school will soon be benefitting from the addition of a Joint-Use field at the south edge of campus.  This is a project that has been MANY years in the making and we owe a lot of thanks to current and former McKinley parents as well as staff from McKinley, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD), and Todd Gloria’s office for helping to make this idea into reality.

For anyone who is new to campus or who wasn’t able to participate in various planning meetings, the City (Todd Gloria’s office) generously donated funds for a Master Plan to be created for turning the “dirt field” at the south end of campus into a more useable turf field.  Amenities shown in the Master Plan include a walking path surrounding the field, addition of trees and other landscape, and access improvements including sidewalks and fencing upgrades.