Our First Week - September 8, 2017

Dear McDonald International Students and Families,

We had a great first week back to school and are eagerly waiting to greet our Kindergartners on Monday. This week, we spent a great deal of time going over classroom and school-wide expectations and procedures. This weekend, see if your child can tell you his/her classroom routines for homework, group work, independent work, walking in the hallways, eating in the cafeteria, etc.

If you haven’t signed up for your class Google group, please do so as soon as possible so that you stay informed about everything going on in your child’s classrooms and at school. If you are not sure how to access your child’s google group, please email your child’s classroom teacher.

Last Spring, you might recall that we held a school-wide competition to design crosswalks on NE 54th Street and NE 55th Street, next to the playground. These crosswalks will be installed this Saturday, and we can’t wait to see our top two designs, which were created by Sasha Crane and Julia Chase.

We are proud to share that 5 of our students were selected to have their writing published in the Writers in the Schools (W.I.T.S.) “Best of the Best”  2016-17 Anthology, Pulling the Secrets Out of the Flames book. Congratulations to Rosemary Groebner, Felix Horn, Hugo Horn, Kai Monear, and Kaya Constantina Fotinatos. W.I.T.S. is one of the many great programs the PTA funds for the students at McDonald International. Thank you!

This year we welcome two new staff members. Marta Janer Villanueva and Cynthia Simon Luc. Marta will serve as our full-time ELL instructional assistant and work alongside Mr. Grunewald (our .5 ELL teacher) and Ms. Simon will be our .5 interventionist and work alongside our other interventionist, Mr. Nate. For a more information about each of these new staff members, please see below. Additionally, be sure to say “hello” when you see them. 

Mark your calendars! The McDonald International Curriculum Night will take place on Tuesday October 3, 2017 from 6pm-8pm. From 6pm-7pm we will have two 25-minute sessions for parents/guardians of students in grades K-2 and from 7pm-8pm we will have two 25-minute sessions for parents/guardians of students in grades 3-5. Reminder: this is an adult-only event. We will send out more information about Curriculum Night closer to the event. 

Mark your calendars! Parent-Teacher conferences will take place after school the week of November 13th-17th and all day on November 20th and 21st. Your child’s classroom teachers will follow up with more information about signing up for a conference. If you are planning to travel for Thanksgiving and will be out of town on November 20th and/or 21st, please make sure you sign up for an afterschool conference during the week of November 13th-17th.

After school, several students have been climbing on the trees in front of the building. While we think this a great way for kids to be active and play, it is important for parents to supervise their kids when they are doing this, as we do not have McDonald International staff supervision after school. If you have a climber, please make sure you are watching from close proximity. Thank you.

Lastly, many students and families have heard that I am pregnant and expecting twin boys at the end of December. In my absence, Kathy Jolly, a retired Seattle Public Schools principal, will be filling in for me. Kathy comes with years of experience, as the former principal of Laurelhurst Elementary School and most recently as the long-term substitute principal at Cascadia Elementary. I am confident that Kathy will do a great job at McDonald International in my absence. Kathy and I are currently in the process of figuring out a time for her to meet the community. Please stay turned for more information. 
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to reach out. 

Michelle Goldberg

Hello McDonald Elementary,
My name is Marta Janer Villanueva and I am very excited to join your community. I was born in Barcelona, Spain but I have also lived in London, Oxford and Seattle. My background is in Biology. I worked in the field for more than 15 years before deciding to pursue a different career in order to have more time with my family. 
As a scientist, I worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Washington and the Institute for Systems Biology. All along the way I enjoyed working with children and volunteered in various programs when I had the opportunity. I spent the last 7 years at Wedgwood Elementary as a tutor and more recently substitute Bilingual IA. I am very excited about this new phase in my life. Looking forward to working with all of you.    


Aloha (Hello)! Some of you may already know me because I supported Ms. Brooke's 2nd grade class last school year!  My name is Cynthia Simon Luc but I go by Ms. Simon at school.  I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii for most of my life and came up to Seattle for college. I've been teaching for about 4-5 years as a classroom teacher with most of my experience teaching 2nd grade.  I enjoy spending time with family and friends, taking my dogs on adventures, and getting fit at the gym. A core value I have when teaching is to create a community of powerful scholars and caring citizens that engage in learning within a safe learning space. I feel grateful that I get to return and I look forward to continuing my partnership with the students, families, and faculty of McDonald International! Mahalo (Thank you) and A Hui Hou (Until We Meet Again). Thank you!

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