McDonald International Community News

We want to make it easy to keep informed. Here are the options we currently have in place along with our update schedule for each.

  • This website  We'll update whenever we have information. Subscribe to our RSS feed to be notified instantly, or check back regularly.
  • Facebook  Follow us on Facebook! We often post fun stuff on Facebook that might not make it to this site.
  • Email List  We send out a weekly email newsletter during the school year and as needed over the summer. This is one of the primary ways our school communicates with famililes, so if you haven't already, click here to sign up
  • SPS website McDonald also has an official school website hosted by Seattle Public Schools and updated by McDonald staff.

Have a submission? Events, news, resources to share? Email us.

Apr 27

Islamophobia: Understanding Islam and the Experience of American Muslims

Apr 27

Reminder: Walk for Water - May 7th

Apr 27

Host Family Testimonial: The Perry Family

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There are so many compelling reasons to host a language intern, from the obvious benefits to the kids of extra language practice, to giving back to the McDonald community in a meaningful way, to learning about another culture. But one of the best parts of hosting for our family is getting the chance to introduce some of our favorite Northwest activities and sights to someone new.

Julian arrived this past fall from Colombia having never seen snow in person. It was such a thrill to share in his excitement upon seeing his first snowflakes during a flurry in Seattle late last year. Even better was taking him up to Snoqualmie Summit for his first skiing experience. He spent a lot of that day sprawled on the ground with his skis pointing in different directions, but he also had a blast. Later, we took a ski trip together as a family to Idaho where he really started to get the hang of it. That drive to Sandpoint, crossing the snow-covered expanse of eastern Washington, was made much more interesting traveling with someone for whom it was all new. Between sleigh rides, snowball fights and the unique thrill of a Seattle snow day (complete with sledding in Lower Woodland Park and hot cocoa), we had a wonderful winter introducing Julian to the upside of all of our precipitation. Throughout it all, Julian’s sense of wonder and adventure helped the whole family to appreciate this beautiful place we call home even more.

Next year McDonald will have four Spanish interns and three Japanese interns. If you have an extra bedroom and are interested in hosting or just curious about the experience, contact us. More information, including the host family application, is also available on the PTA web site.

Apr 27

Update from the Art Room

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Hello McDonald Families,

Spring is in the air and in the Art Room. It's been such a pleasure teaching your very enthusiastic kids about welcoming the joys and the challenges of the creative process into our lives. All of McDonald's students, staff, and community members I have been fortunate to meet have been so warm and kind, just as Kate Baker described you all.

Our first project was an all-ages exploration of Japanese Zen gardens. Our inspiration: short docs from the Portland Japanese Gardens of raked patterns in pebble stone fields within the planting, and the harmonious balance of natural and created elements. Using tempera paints, colored pencils, and sometimes some unique additions (wood pieces, paper pop outs, saranwrap-over-blue paint streams) students across the grades explored visual patterns and textures, and having a calm, repetitive, rhythmic approach to their work, to create their own fantasy Zen gardens. The process allowed us to make cultural connections to Japan, and to discuss the idea of sharing and mixing cultural traditions here in our own communities.

Our second projects combine several media, genres, and techniques for exploring a single concept: representing multicultural and multiethnic people in art. K-2's created oil pastel landscapes of their favorite real or imagined outdoor environments, then collaged in colored pen and pencil figures in a range of skin tones, posed to show how bodies-in-motion would move in those environments. The kids lent their own insights to our conversations about diversity and appreciating our physical similarities and differences. They also loved doing "action poses" for their friends to draw. 3-5's are creating multiethnic/multicultural portrait quartets, based on the art of British contemporary artist Lynnie Z's graphic for a New York Times story, "What Biracial People Know". Using only cut paper, students are exploring how to represent four faces, so their quartet will represent diversity in several forms: gender, age, culture, ability, ethnicity, and personality. Lynnie Z.'s bright, non-natural color palette is inspiring us to get creative in representing people's individuality. The project inspired conversations about how to be a working artist, how art influences and reflects larger social conversations and trends, and how classic elements of portraiture help to connect the viewer to your piece, even if your people are blue, with purple hair!

Even Free Choice Day yields creative surprises (like a Matisse sculpties + snap stacked marker bridges)!

Looking forward to more!
Karen Willemsen/ Ms. Karen

P.S. We are still hoping for a few more Art Room helpers, especially during the K-1 classes. You may bring your kiddo if you would like to help after school, M,T,Th, or Fri from 2:15 to 3:15. See the Art SignUp Genius link.

Questions, Comments, and Volunteering: My door is open or email me.

Apr 27

Help Support Our Interns: May 4th Planning Meeting

Apr 27

International Night Student Talent Show: Calling All Performers!

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One highlight of International Night is seeing the diverse and spirited display of student talents. Now's the time to sign up! Led by emcee Michelle Hippe with DJ Nat Hillary, it's sure to be a fun experience for performers and audience alike.

When: Saturday, May 13th from 6:00 to 7:30pm
Where: McDonald playground
Rehearsal: Thursday, May 11th in McDonald Gym, exact time TBD. Attendance at rehearsal is strongly encouraged.

To participate, sign up here by Sunday, April 30th at 5:00pm

Acts can be up to 90 seconds long, and there are 60 total available slots. Students may perform solo or with a small group. Sorry, no pets. School behavior norms--safe, kind, responsible--apply for all performers as well as those in the audience.

Confirmation emails to all performers will be sent after May 1st. Every attempt will be made to include all students who want to participate. However, if demand is high, we may need to cut off sign ups before the April 30th deadline.

Questions?  Contact Erica Lerer.

Apr 27

May is Bike to School Month

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Time to get rolling!  We have some exciting events planned for two wheels in May to celebrate Bike to School Month:

  • Tuesday, May 4th: Bike Rodeo | Playground | 5:30-6:30pm
    Practice bike safety and road biking skills. Optional bonus bike jumps and balance beam fun! We’ll need a few parent volunteers; please register here to help. 
  • Wednesday, May 10th: Bike to School Day. Ride your bike to school and earn fun prizes.
  • Wednesday, May 10th: Scotties at Duthie Day
    For bikers big and small, Duthie Hill Mountain Bike Park is great fun!  There is a central clearing with pump tracks for the very young and a variety of easy and hard loop trails to accommodate every skill level. Meet at the new Duthie Hill parking lot (26150 SE Issaquah-Fall City Rd) at 1 p.m. to ride together to the clearing. More information and directions can be found on the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance site. 
  • Thursday, May 18th: Scotties at the Green Lake Dirt Jumps
    There are some fun bike jumps right in our neighborhood! You can roll on the little ones or catch serious air on the big ones. Meet at 5:30 p.m. at the bike jumps, located at Green Lake Way and N 54th. The jumps are west of the Lower Woodland soccer fields next to the skate park.
  • Monday, May 22nd: Bike to Ice Cream Day
    We will be leaving from the front school entrance at 2:15 p.m. for a bike train to Zoe Yogurt on 4th and Ravenna on Green Lake. Optional ride around Green Lake or we can play on the Green Lake playground after the treats. Yum!

And don’t forget to fill out your Bike To School Calendar coming home in your folders (extra copies available at the office) to earn cool prizes and the Golden Pedal Award for McDonald! Biking in groups, called “bike trains,” is safer.  Check the boxes on the calendar for an extra prize if you rode in a group of three or more friends to school or back home.  Please turn your calendar in to your teacher or the office by Friday, June 2nd to qualify for prizes.

Questions about any of these activities? Email Misa Heater or call (360) 472-1619.

Apr 19

Meet One of Next Year's Interns!

Apr 19

Host Family Testimonial: The Sider Family

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We are extraordinarily lucky to be hosting Natalia this year! She has become a true member of our family. Her love and affection for our daughters makes her like a sister to them. And for me, she is like a daughter, sister, and friend. We have all enriched our lives through this experience of welcoming Natalia into our home. We have had the pleasure of taking her to Vancouver BC, Leavenworth, Los Angeles and last week we went to Hawaii for spring break. She is so appreciative of the opportunity to be in our family, at McDonald International, and all the wonders that come with being in the United States. Her enthusiasm and gratitude for being here is contagious and endearing. We will miss her dearly when she goes back to Spain but we already have plans to visit her next summer. We love Natalia and are grateful for the chance to be her host family.

Next year McDonald will have four Spanish interns and three Japanese interns (meet one of them below!). If you have an extra bedroom and are interested in hosting or just curious about the experience, contact us. More information, including the host family application, is also available on the PTA web site.

Apr 19

Free Dental Services for Kids


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