McKinley Elementary School

What's Happening —

A Thank You, Auction Update, and More

Thank You to everyone who contributed cash and gift cards to McKinley families in need. Together we raised more than $3,600! 

If you find that your family is experiencing financial hardship because of the closures in our area, please know that you can reach out to our school social worker, Cherelle Washington, at and get confidential assistance. She can point you to some good community resources.

Auction Update: Our indefatigable Auction Committee has wisely but regretfully concluded that we need to table the auction entirely until next fall. We recognize that families may have economic hardships now and that our collective priority needs to be the well-being of the community. Look for the fall game plan later this spring.

PTA Activity Leads: While you’ve got time at home to think, please consider volunteering for one of these activity leads for next school year. Lots of training and appreciation provided!

  • Community Service (chiefly, Light Up the Holidays)
  • School Directory
  • Enrichment
  • International Night
  • Newspaper Club
  • Reflections Contest
  • Additional Auction Committee Co-Chairs

A Note from APS Regarding Social Distancing Measures

Parents have asked: what does social distancing mean, and how can I protect my family? Here are some reminders.

  • Avoid group gatherings, such as play dates, sleepovers, parties and visiting each other’s homes.
  • Those in need of childcare should limit the number of families involved as much as possible.
  • Get outside, take walks, ride bikes, go to the playground or go on hikes, but maintain 6 feet of distance between individuals outside of your immediate family.
  • Cook meals at home, if possible.
  • Limit visits to stores and restaurants or coffee shops; try to plan grocery store trips during non-peak hours if/when possible.
  • Practice prevention like covering coughs, hand washing and social distancing techniques with children and have them practice among themselves.
  • Remember that there are many safe activities to explore – family game nights, reading books, listening to music, going for walks and spending time outside, checking on a friend and group video chats are a few.

As the weather continues to improve, outdoor gatherings of fewer than 10 are viewed as appropriate at the moment, but social distancing techniques must still be practiced. Teens are included in this group, and activities like bike riding and hiking/walking are viewed as better alternatives to gathering in groups.

Supporting Families in Need During School Closure

Hi all,

I received some wonderful messages from you all asking how we can support families in need, both in the McK community and countywide.

Here's the information I have in hand. If you have other information or ideas, please email me.

Thanks, Mary

Q: What will happen to the hourly employees who work in/for our schools? (e.g., bus drivers, cafeteria staff, etc.)
A: APS has reported that at this time, it will continue to compensate hourly employees as planned. Other positions, including clinic staff and crossing guards, are employees of Arlington County, which has also confirmed these employees will be paid through this time. 

Q: What will happen to families in our community who can't pay bills (rent, utilities, etc.) because parents may be temporarily out of work?
A: There is a program called Arlington Thrive which provides emergency funds to low-income families in need in our area. You can donate to this fund at

Q: How can I help McKinley families in need, specifically?
A: The request from our school social workers, counselors, and admin team is this: they would appreciate donations of gift cards, either grocery gift cards or gift cards that function as cash (like a VISA gift card) to help families with bills. You can order one via Amazon Prime and have it mailed directly to me: 901 N McKinley Rd , Arlington VA 22205. Gina Miller will pick them up from me next Monday, 3/23 for distribution.   

You may also/otherwise donate to one of the countywide programs/efforts described elsewhere in this email, or to others you may know about. 

McK's families in need are encouraged to get in touch with Cherelle Washington, our school social worker, or Maria Montas, McK's bilingual resource coordinator.

Q: How can families in need access food?
A: There are a number of ways you can support families' access to food, above and beyond the measures that APS is taking to provide free lunches to children in need (APS described this in an email late last week). Additional measures you could take include:

  1. Donate to the Arlington Food Assistance Center. I've heard from many other PTAs at schools with a high percentage of low-income families that their families will be turning to AFAC for help.
  2. You can donate to the GoFundMe grocery card campaign organized by two Yorktown HS teachers. So far more than $145K has been raised and more than 300 grocery cards delivered!
  3. You can donate to Real Food for Kids, which is providing lunch food to families in need in N Arlington (note that the two APS sites are in S Arlington, so this is a good supplement to what APS is doing...) More info on that follows.

    Real Food for Kids and award-winning chef, David Guas, are teaming up to help our neighbors. Starting Tuesday, March 17, Chef David will be cooking up meals for grab-and-go distribution at his Arlington restaurant, Bayou Bakery, between 10-11:30 a.m., Monday-Friday

    Needy Arlington children and families can come to Bayou Bakery to pick up a meal, no questions asked. Bayou Bakery is located at 1515 N Courthouse Rd, Arlington, VA 22201.

    For more information, please email

    PLEASE DONATE. Your support is urgently needed to help prevent hunger during this unprecedented lapse in access to school meals.

Seeking New ETC Lead for 2020/21 School Year

Interested in helping with McKinley’s long-standing partnership with Educational Theater Company?

This is Stephanie Dickerson’s last year as a parent at McKinley, and we are looking for someone to take the lead for next year! It’s a great way to support the Arts at McKinley, connect with McKinley families, and work with a great team.

It’s a well-run program that is easy to lead.

If interested, contact Stephanie Dickerson ( / 919.368.4964)

What's Next —

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Clip to Win!

Submit your Box Tops to support the McKinley PTA!

The classroom with the most Box Tops in the fall and spring will be rewarded with a special activity!

Learn more, and join the competition!

What We Did Last Year —


Donated to AFAC through the Food Bus

$30,000+ IN GRANTS

Gifted to McKinley staff for training, supplies, field trips and more

3,000 Books

Purchased at the Book Fair, including 60 for the McKinley library


Offered to students, from robotics and coding to yoga, cooking, and more

12,000 TICKETS

Traded in for carnival games, activities, and food at the Fun Fair


Participated in the arts thru Reflections and the Educational Theater Co.

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