August 20th, 2021

Dear McKinley Families,

Welcome to a new school year!  Historically, we’ve sent “Beginning of the Year” information to families a few days before the new school year begins.  This year, we’re sending an overview early as we know there are so many questions as we transition from Hybrid and Virtual Learning to being back in classrooms full time. 

First day of school is Monday, August 30th! 

Students who are enrolled at McKinley will be on site five days a week.  School hours are 8:25 – 3:00 with a Modified Day each Thursday where dismissal is at 12:15.  

NOTE:   The first two weeks of school will be minimum days for TK and Kinder ONLY.   Dismissal will be at 12:15 from August 30th – September 10th.  Students will continue to have lunch before leaving for the school day.   Our TK/Kinder Team will be making appointments with families to have conduct 1:1 assessments with your child.  Teachers will reach out to families to schedule.  

On or before the end of next week,  our District is generating a Parent Guide which will be distributed to all families.  Until then,  let me share some of the logistics you may need to know to plan for the first two weeks.   

Friday, August 27 

  • 9:00 a.m.    Parent Portal will be opened and you and your child(ren) will see the name(s) of their new teacher(s).  
    • If you have not yet set up your child’s Parent Portal, please email Erika at : and she will reply via email with links and your password to set up your Parent Portal account.   Please write “Parent Portal” in the subject line.
  • Orientation for NEW STUDENTS ONLY
    • TK and Kinder –  11:00 – 11:30      or     11:45 – 12:15   (same presentation offered two times)
      • TK with Ms. Small – meet in front of blue double doors in the front of the school
      • Ms. Willoughby and Mrs. Zdunich – meet at the “Yoga Statue”
      • Mrs. Siems and Mrs. Tandy – Meet at the Kindergarten Playground
      • We are only allowed to have essential adults on campus, therefore, parents will need to wait at the same location where they dropped off their child.   Our IB Coordinator, Office Manager and I will be available to answer parent questions outside of your child’s drop off/ pick up point. 
    • 1st, 2nd & 3rd Grade New Students – Meet with Principal Ganderton at the Yoga Statue   2:00 – 2:30    
    • 4th & 5th Grade New Students – Meet with Principal Ganderton at the Yoga Statue           2:45 – 3:15    

Monday, August 30th 

  • First day of school!
    • 8:10 – 8:25 Gates Open – multiple points of entry.  Map will be posted on PTC & McKinley Websites 
    • 8:25 All students have entered campus
    • 8:30 Instruction begins
    • 12:15 Early Dismissal for ALL STUDENTS today

August 31st – September 10th

  • Half Day for TK and Kindergarten students ONLY for the first two weeks of school    
    • Arrive 8:25
    • Pick up 12:15 at same gate where children were dropped off 

September 2nd

  • Half Day for ALL Students EVERY Thursday throughout school year
  • Lunch available and scheduled prior to 12:15 dismissal 

September 6th 

  • Labor Day – School Closed 

September 9th

  • Half Day for ALL Students EVERY Thursday throughout the school year .  Dismissal at 12:15.
  • Back to School Night (BTSN) – Virtual Presentation via Zoom for Parents 
    • Students do not need to attend this presentation as this information is intended to provide an overview of our grade level standards, instructional program, classroom agreements, home school communication, etc.  
    • Two presentations from each grade level – attend only one as information will be the same
    • Zoom log in information will be sent to you by Friday, September 3rd
    • Each grade level will present two times – choose one (information is the same)
      • 5:30 – 6:15 pm
      • 6:30 – 7:15 pm
    • Although we are hopeful parents can attend this evening, we will be recording presentations for those folks who are not to attend at the scheduled times.

Before and After School Care

  • If you have questions regarding  Prime Time, please click on the attached link.  Currently there aren’t any openings in the program, but my understanding is that you can apply and be put on a wait list.  
  • If you have questions regarding our Character Builders Program , you can email

Parents often ask what supplies they need their child to bring when school begins.  The school provides basic supplies, such as paper, pencils, writing journals, etc.   We never say “no” to parent donations of Baby Wipes (not alcohol or Lysol – kids cannot have contact with those, but Baby Wipes are always appreciated.    Each child should bring their backpack, lunch box and a reusable water bottle with their name written on it.  

I recognize you may have additional questions and anticipate many will be answered by our classroom teachers, but please do not hesitate to email me at : and I will do my best to reply within no more than 48 hours.

I am delighted to begin our school year with a campus full of our kiddos, seeing so many familiar faces and  getting to know the families that are new to our school community.   It is going to be a great school year!

In partnership,

Deb Ganderton

McKinley Principal