As I wait to see if we hit the fifteenth straight day of 90+ weather on the Palouse, here at McDonald school we are busy as bees preparing for the new school year! Whether this is your family’s second decade of attending McDonald school, or you are a new duck this year, let me be the first to welcome you with open arms to our fantastic flock!
Important Dates & Information
August 21st: Kindergarten Screening if you registered after April 15th, and/or were unable to participate in our kindergarten screening this spring, please contact Angie Packard at our district office, 882-1120, to schedule a time for this important appointment.
August 25th: Class lists will be posted on the front doors of the school at 4:00PM. These lists will also be posted on the McDonald website http://msd281.org/mcdonald/ only until the first day of school.
August 28th: Kindergarten & New Student Bus Ride The bus garage does a “trial run” of their routes at the time they will pick up students on a typical school day. Parents are welcome to join their child on this day to ride the bus to the school and back home again. If you’d like to participate please contact our school office to fill out a “ride day sheet” so bus drivers are on the lookout for you.
Back to School Pizza Party and Open House will be from 5:00-6:30PM. From 5:00-5:45PM please join us on our west lawn where you can purchase dinner for each member of your family for $1.50. The dinner consists of a slice of cheese or pepperoni pizza (served by your child’s teacher), carrot sticks plus a cookie for dessert! This is a great time for your children to see old pals, meet new families and catch up on summer activities.
At 5:45PM we will open the school doors so students and their families can see their new classrooms and talk with their new teacher! We will end our evening at 6:30PM so students can have adequate time to lay out their first day of school outfits and teachers can rest up for this big week!
The office will be staffed at this time so parents can bring in shot records, birth certificates, or medications. The cafeteria will also be staffed to accept lunch payments.
August 29th: FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL! School starts promptly at 8:20AM! This means students are in their classrooms at that time. At 7:50AM the playground will be supervised so that students are able to play with their friends before school. At 8:18AM the bell will ring and teachers will collect their students from the playground to take to class. Breakfast is open at 7:45AM each morning. Students are welcome to come in the front door and go directly to the multi-purpose room if they have breakfast at the school.
Lunch is offered from our cafeteria each day. Students may choose to bring their lunch from home or sign up for school lunch. Our menu is posted on the district website: http://msd281.org/parents-students/lunches/ and offers a different “main” choice item each day. If the main item is not preferred by your child, they are always welcome to have “choice.” Students are invited to choose two of the following choice items- peanut butter and jelly sandwich, yogurt and/or cheese stick. In addition to the two choice items, students will also get the other side dishes listed on the menu.
School will end at 3:00PM (Monday-Thursday). Please make sure your child knows how they are going to get home. Please feel free to send a note (particularly for Kindergarten and first grade students) with your child stating bus, walk home, adventure club, pick up, etc. Please contact the bus garage directly (882-3933) to determine bus stop and time. Many times the way students get home on the first day of school is different than a typical school day. It is imperative, particularly for our primary grade teachers to know where to send your child at the end of the school day.
September 1st: This Friday and every other Friday of the school year, students will be released at 2:15PM so teachers and staff can collaborate with each other. Buses will run the same route, but they will drop off kids 45 minutes earlier than other days of the week.
September 4th: No School. Labor Day.
September 8th: Outdoor family movie night! Continuing our tradition of enjoying a family movie under the stars, join us on the west lawn at 7:45PM for this wonderful Friday evening family activity. Brought to your by your PTO!
Parent Night: Each grade will have a parent night in September. This is an important evening for parents/guardians to learn about their child’s teacher, the curriculum and expectations for the school year, and learn what your child does all day! Look for your child’s grade level parent night announcement in the Wednesday folder, or on our school calendar http://msd281.org/mcdonald/.
Student Immunizations: All students must meet the immunization requirements. If immunization requirements are not met, by state law we are not allowed to have those students in attendance. Please call the office or your doctor if you have any questions.
Wednesday Folder: Each Wednesday your child will come home with a colorful folder filled with information from school. This typically gives you information about the work your child completed during the week. It is also the avenue in which the school disperses information to you about upcoming events.
On the first day of school, (a Tuesday), your child will receive their folder with IMPORTANT forms that need to be filled out and returned quickly.
In order to save on paper and staff time to stuff each folder, the district has now made community flyers available on-line as http://msd281.org/community-event-flyers/. All McDonald school related flyers are also available on the McDonald website http://msd281.org/mcdonald/wednesday-folder/.
We’ve had some changes and additions in staff this summer:
- Kindergarten teachers Heidi Palmer and Emma Riely are adding Jillian McGough to make our third full day kindergarten class. We are so excited to have Jillian with us as a teacher, as she said goodbye to us last as a 6th grade student years ago!
- First grade teachers Kristine Fitze and Brenda Iverson welcome Katy Laun to the team! I’m very, very grateful that she is joining our first grade team.
- Second grade teachers Lance Hamma and Jana Horne welcome Emily Spellman to the second grade team after teaching in kindergarten last year! Emily is such a fine addition to our fantastic, cohesive team.
- Fifth grade teachers Lee Berg and Staci Erickson(congrats on your wedding!) welcome Heidi Broenneke to round out their team! We are SO excited to have Heidi at McDonald and are so thankful she wants to enjoy all our fifth graders!
- Third grade (Pepper Abbott, Ashley Payton, and Krysta Swanger), fourth grade (Wes Bascom, Wendy Thompson, and Ryan Walquist), specialists (Lisa Carscallen, Stephanie Sant, Kathy Stefani, and Maggie Tappana), and our special education team (Becky Adderson, Janet Mundell, Shahna Paul, and Geri Ray) are all keeping strong, solid and the same in their perspective teams this year!
- The Gifted and Talented program pulled Karen Tripepi back into the teaching world! She will be running the program. We are extremely fortunate to have Karen teaching in this area.
- Drum roll please…..yippee! We now have a FULL TIME READING teacher for our school. We are incredibly blessed to have Patty Pancheri run this program FULL TIME!
- We filled our empty office assistant and duty position with the lovely Joanne Heckel. She is like a breath of fresh air and she has a strong belief that children need to be outside for recess! We love her already!
- In the developmental preschool Amy Lichte has become the special educator for that district program. It is SO nice to have her here!
Website & Communication: Increasing communication is important to me and our staff. In addition to Wednesday folders, we will communicate with you through our school website and through emails. This letter, as well as other information throughout the year, will be posted on our website, http://msd281.org/mcdonald/. Please keep Vickie Brandner in our office updated with your contact information so we can communicate with you effectively.
Moscow School District Security Upgrades: The installation of security improvements in the Moscow School District is nearing completion. The overall goal of this project is to improve the safety and security of our students and staff through improved control of access into our facilities and video monitoring of transitional areas in and around each building. These improvements include interior and exterior security cameras, electronic door access controls, and the replacement of many exterior doors.
Starting on August 29, the first day of school, this will result in changes in how students, staff, parents and other patrons access our buildings. After the school day begins, all visitors will be required to communicate with the school office via new intercom and camera systems located at the main entrance of the school before being allowed entry. We recognize that this is a significant change from the way we currently operate, but it is necessary to stay up to date with current trends in school safety and security.
Requesting the Use of District Facilities: Non-Moscow School District groups or individuals wishing to use District facilities for meetings or other activities must now submit requests via our on-line scheduling system. The link and a brief video tutorial on how to submit requests can be found at the MSD website (msd281.org) under either the Community Interest or Operations tabs.
I am so thrilled to start this new school year. The staff and I love your children and will do everything we can to help them grow, learn and belong to our wonderful duck family. See you soon!