2017-18 PrimeTime Application Available Starting March 6th

ptmasterlogoINITIAL APPLICATION TIMELINE: MARCH 6, 2017 – MAY 5, 2017
Applications will be available online beginning Monday, March 6, 2017 at 6:00 a.m. and must be completed and submitted online by Friday, May 5, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. to be included in the initial review and enrollment process. Applications faxed, e-mailed, mailed, or hand delivered will not be accepted. Please see the 2017-18 PrimeTime Application flyer or visit SDUSD’s PrimeTime page for more information (and translated forms).

Join us for an informational meeting about the new application process on Monday, February 27th at 5:30 pm in McKinley’s auditorium. PrimeTime staff will go over the new process and how to apply for the PrimeTime program online. Additionally, families will have an opportunity to create email accounts, as an active email account is required for the 2017-2018 application process.


Family Friday Cancelled 3/17/2017


Our Jog-a-thon is scheduled for Friday morning, March 17th. Family Friday falls upon that same afternoon.

We’d love to encourage parent attendance at our annual Jog-a-thon and have opted to cancel our March 17th Family Friday.

Principal Ganderton

Volunteer for the McKinley Jog-A-Thon

Join the Jog-A-Thon Committee!

The McKinley Jog-A-Thon has always been a GREAT fundraiser, raising over $50K last year!  The big three events (SONO, Jog-A-Thon, and Gala) pay for the majority of the arts, dance, gardening, and the teachers’ training to maintain the school’s IB accreditation.

Please email or private message Mauricio Ahumada, if you would like to help (he is fluent in Spanish too). He is requesting 7+ volunteers. The actual day of the event, March 17th, many additional volunteers will help with setup, lap counting, water, fruit, etc…

(Planning meetings will *always* be held in a brewery or somewhere equally as fun!)

Free Tutoring

BAME Education Enhancement Program offers free tutoring!


When: Tuesday-Thursday, 3-6 pm

Where: 2754 Imperial Ave.

Who: Grades K-8

More info: or see this flyer

2017 McKinley Jog-A-Thon

Start training for the McKinley Jog-a-thon to be held on March 17, 2017.

More details to follow soon but mark your calendars now. We will have fun showing our Irish colors for the Leprechaun run!

McKinley Music Winter Concert – 1/24


Please join us for the McKinley Music Winter Concert featuring 4th and 5th grade Band, Choir, and String Orchestra.

Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017
McKinley ES Auditorium

Performers must arrive at 6:00 pm
The concert starts at 6:30 pm

Student performers must dress appropriately:
Girls: Conservative black or white dresses, black dress pants or skirts with white top.
Boys: Black dress pants and white dress or polo shirt.
Shoes should be black if possible.
Please bring music stands if available.

(There will be a music assembly earlier in the day at 2:00 pm.)

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

Digital Gym Camp Monday, 1/16


Anyone still looking for a camp on January 16th? Don’t forget that Digital Gym is offering a day camp from 8:30 – 3:00 pm. Extended care is available until 5:00 pm. It’s open to children ages 6-14. Students will learn storyboarding, stop-motion animation, green screen and other digital video techniques and editing software. Digital Gym is also coming to McKinley’s ASE program starting January 26th, so this might be a good way to try it out (see flyer for details).

Support Kinder’s Cause at McKinley

In the spirit of the holidays, the Kindergarten classes have embarked on a community service project.

Last week, we discussed several different causes we could potentially support (e.g., hungry children, sick children, etc.), and then we voted to support animals in need. The specific shelter we will be supporting is the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe. Helen Woodward is a wonderful local shelter that relies heavily on volunteers and donations.

Click here to donate or bring any of the following items to ROOM 5 by 12/16: newspaper, puppy pads, unopened dog/cat food (wet or dry), plastic crates, blankets, grocery bags (paper or reusable), toner, printers, camera equipment, ladders, and spare coins.

We also created posters to spread the word of our project. They are posted around the campus…take a look.

Thank you for supporting Kinder’s Cause!

The Kindergarten Classes

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…)

McKinley Dine-Out Night 11/17


November Dine-Out at Pete’s SeafoodThursday, 11/17 from 12pm-9pm.
McKinley will receive 20% of the total cost of your order. Pete’s will honor the flyer on your phone. In fact, he says just let them know you’re with McKinley! See you there!

Also that night, our friends at Roosevelt Middle School PTSA will be holding a fundraiser at Thorn Street Brewery, 5-8pm. Stop by and enjoy a brew on your walk home from Pete’s. This event benefits the mosaic mural project they are working toward.


20th Annual SDCC Community Chili Contest 12/3/16

Come join the 20th Annual SDCC Community Chili Potluck & Contest!

This McKinley fundraiser and local tradition is where neighbors make, share, and vote for the best neighborhood chili.
Where: San Diego Ceramic Connection, 3216 Thorn St., San Diego 92104
When: Saturday, Dec 3rd, 2016 from 1-4 pm
Info and sign-up: Click here or go to McKinley’s main office

Come buy a handmade ceramic chili bowl and enjoy a fun time with neighbors. 50% of the proceeds go to McKinley Elementary. Don’t want to buy a bowl? Bring your chili and/or a small donation for McKinley, and join the fun anyway.

Get Your Otter Pops Friday


Due to popular demand, Otter Pops are back! The 5th graders will be selling Otter Pops for $1 after school this Friday, October 28th (and they have upped their supply to satisfy more customers). Thank you for your support!

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.


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.


Weekly Papers



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

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

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.

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

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!

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.

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!!


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! 🙂

Parent Survey Follow-Up

IMG_7072Thanks to all who completed the survey we sent out in June. 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!


PTC President

Roosevelt Theatre Co. Presents Grease! This Thursday & Friday 6:30 PM

rms grease danny sandy pic.jpegRoosevelt Theatre Co. invites you to a family-friendly production of the musical Grease!

Thursday, June 16 6:30PM & Friday, June 17 6:30 PM

Roosevelt Middle School Auditorium

3366 Park Blvd. San Diego, CA


The students (including many McKinley alumni) have been working very hard the past two months  on their first Roosevelt Theatre Co. production. Directed by  McKinley family volunteers Grant Ferrier, Barbara Smith and Celeste Ferrier, this production promises to be full of laughs and will have you dancing in your seat!

We Want Your Feedback!

We’ve made it to the end of the year! Let us know what worked, what could be better! Three (3) short questions! We’d really appreciate 3 minutes of your time to give us feedback.



Final PTC Meeting of the school year! Wed. June 1st

McKinley Elementary 1929

Give a cheer, it’s the end of the year!

Please join us for the last PTC Meeting of the school year,  Wednesday, June 1 at 6:15 in the library/media center. Come hear the summary from the school year and plans for next. And don’t miss out on awesome McKinley giveaways!

Childcare (with pizza) provided in the cafeteria.

See you there!


McKinley End of Year Happy Hour | June 3rd



Let’s say a special goodbye to our retiring teacher Frankie Appleby, and our other McKinley families that are leaving us this year.

Where: Ritual Kitchen & Beer Garden – 30th & Polk, North Park, San Diego

When: June 3rd, 4:00- 7:00 pm 

*This is a non-hosted event. |  Facebook Event Page Here.


No School This Friday


Just a reminder that there is no school this Friday, May 27th, as well as Monday, May 30th in observance of Memorial Day.