Staff Appreciation Week starts on My 4 and there are 3 things the PTA is working on. But they require your participation! Please share these with your kiddo(s) and I hope you will join in. Entries needed by this Saturday, May 2.

Mission #1: We’re going to make a fun video for the McK staff to thank them for all they do. I am collecting pictures of McKinley students and families to put in this video. It would be great if you could make a sign or a picture and hold it in the photo. It could be an emoji, a hashtag you create, some words, a heart, or something else. Please email photos to: mckinley22205@gmail.com.

Mission #2We’re going to do something extra-special for our FLES/Spanish teachers, Senoras Byrne, Avila, and Malks. APS is making some changes for next school year and it’s possible that elementary schools won’t have FLES anymore. If this happens (we’ll know in May), then we might not have a chance to thank our Spanish teachers for everything they’ve done for us, and to say goodbye to them in person. I would love it if you could write a letter, draw a picture, or make a card for your Spanish teacher. You can make it in English and/or Spanish. Mail these to Mary Kadera at 901 N McKinley Rd, or drop it off in a plastic bin on her front steps that is labelled “FLES.”

Mission #3We’re creating online “walls” where you can post messages to McKinley staff members. This is using a program called Padlet and you can add your message using the links below. Please feel free to add messages to as many of these “walls” as you like! 

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Please join us next Tuesday night for a virtual PTA meeting over Zoom (details on how to connect are below). Agenda as follows:

  • General check-in: How are folks doing? Are there any McK community needs we should be aware of?
  • APS Virtual Learning: Later this week we’ll get some more information from the APS Superintendent about the system’s plan for virtual learning the rest of this school year. We’ll have an opportunity to discuss it and ask Q’s during this meeting.
  • PTA Stuff: We’ll talk about our finances, remaining business for this year, and prep for next year’s work.
  • APS Stuff: If I have any updates from APS about the next steps in 2021 Elementary School Planning, I’ll share during this meeting. I emailed Lisa Stengle again a few days ago.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/232195082

Meeting ID: 232 195 082

Join by phone: +1 312 626 6799

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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 https://arlingtonthrive.org/donate/.

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. https://afac.org/donatepage/donate-give
  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! https://www.gofundme.com/f/optin-one-pantry-at-a-time
  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 contact@realfoodforkids.org.

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

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We’ve been watching the developments over the past 24 hours and I think the right thing to do is take the auction online.

The VA PTA last night issued guidance advising us to postpone all events for 30 days. The WHO has issued a sobering announcement. Also, I understand that there is guidance coming shortly from APS which will affect out-of-school-time events starting next week.

So,

  1. We will work on moving the auction online. It won’t begin this Saturday, but we will keep you posted regarding timing and hope you will participate.
  2. It would be a huge help to our PTA treasury if we could consider your registration fees (for those who have already registered) as a donation. If you have concerns about this please email me

And most important, I hope you will join me in expressing our gratitude to our Auction chairs, Jackie Giambalvo, Jen Myers, and Janaki Kates. This has been a really challenging event to plan this year, with the school move uncertainty in the Fall/Winter and now the coronavirus. They have handled this with such grace and perseverance and thoughtfulness. I hope you will join me in sending lots of sympathy and thanks their way.

-Mary

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Don’t disappoint LEO! We’re still short of our 75-bottle goal for the Wine/Spirit Wheel. Please consider donating a ~$20 bottle of wine or spirits, and keep the wheel rollin!

Donations are accepted through March 13, but you will reduce the stress level of the auction planners tremendously if you can drop your bottles off this weekend. There is a donation box on Carly Kelly’s front porch that she will be checking regularly. Email Carly Kelly for her address. 

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