Happy August!

Even though I’ve been a McDonald Duck for the past decade, I’m very excited to be your new “Head Duck” this year!

As the summer continues to stay warm, I look forward the beginning of school!  The first day of school this year is Tuesday, September 1st!

Please plan on joining us for our, “Back to School” pizza dinner and open house on Monday, August 31st. Starting at 5:00 PM, students and their families will be able to have dinner (A slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza, carrot sticks & cookie) served to them by their teachers for $1.50 per person. At 5:45 PM, we will open the school doors so students can check out their classrooms with their parents until 6:30 PM.

Class lists will be posted on our front doors on Friday, August 28th, at 4:00 PM.

School supply lists are at local stores that carry school supplies and attached right here!  Student Supply List 2015-2016

Please mark your calendars for our annual Family Movie Night, Friday, September 11th. I look forward to a great movie under the stars!

The main school office will re-open on August 13th. If you need to contact the school before then, please direct calls to the district office at 882-1120.

Stay cool!

McDonald Duck Spring News

Image result for duckling

By Cindy Bechinski

 The Ducks have had a busy and productive spring!  Thanks to all families who were able to attend McDonald School Portfolio Sharing Afternoon/Evening on April 2.  We had a fabulous turn-out as students proudly showed their progress and best work for the 14-15 school year.  It was a wonderful eventWe also had a great turn-out for our Book Fair and Breakfast.  Thank you for coming!

Student Council has been very productive and active.   Recently, they proposed an idea for solar panels to Superintendent Greg Bailey.  The students were so pleased that Dr. Bailey came and visited with them about their ideas.  Dr. Bailey responded to everyone’s questions, and a group of Student Council members led Dr. Bailey on a tour of our beautiful garden, composting area, and outdoor classrooms.  Student Council has also organized Duck Spirit Days for every other Friday through May.  Pajama Day was especially fun for everyone.  We have been very busy with ISAT, IRI, and other testing, so it is great to incorporate some lighthearted, fun activities.

We are all looking forward to our Duck Fun Day on June 4, and our assemblies and fifth grade graduation on June 5.  Please refer to the flyers you received in our Wednesday Express for times.  Thank you for all of your support this year.  We are excited that Mrs. Mikolajczyk will be the new Duck Principal!


Your School District Is Planning For the Future


At Moscow School District we have always referred to ourselves as, “The Pride of the North”. With the help of our staff, community, and students we have worked together to develop a school district that is known in Idaho as being one of the best. We know it takes ongoing reviewing, planning, and guided action to allow us to continually improve and we are doing this through a pilot program with the State of Idaho to complete a system-wide accreditation.

We are working with AdvancED services to review stakeholder feedback, student and staff data, and past accomplishments to determine and identify the strengths and weaknesses of our schools and district. Once this information is complete, we will be audited by an outside committee of professionals that will assess our efforts and provide feedback to help us in our desire to provide the best for our community.


January 2012 Letter to Parents


January 2, 2012 

Dear McDonald Families, 

Happy 2012!  I am so excited to welcome your beautiful and always-inspiring children into the New Year!  We have many “coming attractions” awaiting us with the Spaghetti Feed, Portfolio Sharing Evening, and an incredible Fine Arts project involving students making “totems” that will permanently adorn the brick wall by the cafeteria. 

I decided to write a letter to you in place of sending home a newsletter–I hope it feels more like a conversation this way!  Please always feel free to contact me with any questions, suggestions, or concerns—I welcome this!  Also, please remember to check out our McDonald website: http://msdweb.msd281.org/wordpress/mcdonald for additional important information (although I have had more than my share of technological difficulties with it!).  

As you are hopefully very aware, McDonald School truly values education of the whole child in addition to providing academic rigor.  We want to be certain that our students leave with not only a solid academic background, but also with a sense of confidence, kindness, respect, and responsibility.  We teach children, not just subjects!  To ensure we do nurture the whole child and provide a very well rounded education, here is a recap of some of the exciting student-centered events of the first half of the year. 





In terms of academic assessments, we have both state and district required tests: 

  • The Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) for grades K-3, three times per year
  • Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) in the areas of math and language usage for grades 3-6 in the fall and winter
  • The Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) for grades 3-6 in the spring
  • Many other in-classroom measures

Your child’s teacher will inform you of important test dates.  We are proud of our students’ performance and will keep you apprised of your child’s results and overall school results. 

Other Updates: 

Safety: You may have heard that we have had many drills: fire drills, lock-down drills (in the event we would ever have a dangerous intruder), and even an earthquake drill (recommended by the State Department of Education).  I heard from teachers that the students liked the earthquake drill the best – crawling under the desks and tables was apparently exciting!

 We are making some playground changes to increase safety for your children.  Some very dated equipment is going to be removed and some bark will be added around some other equipment.  Unfortunately, we had an act of vandalism over Thanksgiving vacation that destroyed the school slide.  A police report was filed.  Although we have insurance, there is still a $2500 deductible that we must cover–ouch!  Hopefully, we will have a new slide installed in the near future.  If you ever see suspicious activity around McDonald, do not hesitate to contact the police.  Thank you. 

We are also working hard to keep traffic carefully moving through the morning drop-off and afternoon pick-up times.  Please do not stop in this line and leave your car to walk your child into school – you can park in our lot and then take all the time you need.  Also, please remember not to drop off your child until 7:50 AM when we have duty aides available to supervise.

 Graduation:  There will be a graduation ceremony for all 6th and 5th grade students this spring.  It is hard to believe that so many children will be exiting to attend Moscow Middle School.  Most of the students seem to be excited about the move. Kevin Hill, Principal of Moscow Junior High, soon to be Moscow Middle School, will be in touch with parents of 5th and 6th graders this spring to prepare both parents and students for an exciting new year in 2012-2013. 

 School Improvement Team:  We believe in continuous improvement at McDonald Elementary School.  Right now I am working with a core of 11 teachers to identify areas we wish to target for improvement over the next two years.  I am also seeking a parent team to begin meeting this spring through next year.  I have five volunteers so far!  Please let me know if you are interested in joining us—we will discuss ways to enhance our reading and math programming and any other issues the group believes are important.  I am looking forward to this!

 PTO: We have the best Parent Teacher Organization in the world!  I am so grateful to our PTO under the excellent leadership of Stacey Trivelpiece.  Our PTO cares so much about students and teachers!  PTO raises funds that make a critical difference to our offerings for our students. PTO has “saved the day” on many an occasion.

 Thank you for reading all of this!  Please let me know if you like this method of communication or would prefer a newsletter.  Again, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 


Cindy Bechinski