As we begin the school year, please know it is our goal to make sure we take care of the educational, social, and emotional needs of our students, all while keeping their health and welfare in focus. Please feel free to contact me with any specific concerns or questions. I would prefer that you reach out to me directly if you have a serious concern.
I want to thank all of you that replied to the instructional choice survey Dr. Harris sent out recently. Currently, around 88% of our students will return to traditional instruction and 12% will move forward with the digital plan. No matter which platform you are choosing, we are committed to making your child's learning strong. The teachers are working diligently to develop their classroom approaches, so the traditional students and the digital students receive the same level of instruction.
As a reminder, the first day of school will be Thursday, August 27, 2020. Class Rosters for the 2020-21 school year can be found below.
McCullough Health and Safety Plan
I want to thank everyone that put in a lot of volunteer time to create a building Health and Safety Plan that is manageable and makes every attempt to proactively address many situations. Please read the attached document.
Orientation is scheduled for the evening of August 25th. Families will be individually notified with their scheduled time for the 25th. We are only allowing registered students and one parent from each family to attend this orientation to stay within the 25 person meeting limit in each meeting room. We will be doing a short orientation with the Kindergarten teacher in the Kindergarten room and take a quick tour of the building. Each family will be told the time of their session and tour. We will be sticking to a strict schedule to monitor the number of people in the school at one time.
New Student Orientation
Orientation is scheduled for August 20th. Families were already individually notified via email and letter about their scheduled time for orientation. We are only allowing registered students and one parent for the family to attend this orientation to stay within the 25 person meeting limit. We will be doing a short orientation and take a quick tour of the building.
Chromebooks and iPads
Penn-Trafford is going to offer a “One to One” environment to enhance and aid in student learning opportunities. These devices are theirs to use both in school and at home. At the end of last year, each student in grades 3-5 were allowed to keep his/her chromebook to use during online instruction in March, April and May. Students that will be in grades 4 and 5 need to trade in their chromebooks for a new one to use this school year. The District has purchased new chromebooks for those grade levels. Students not returning their old device will be charged the full cost of the chromebook. Students in grades 1, 2 and 3 will be getting a chromebook for the first time. Students in Kindergarten will be receiving an iPad.
In order to make this process seamless, we are asking that each parent/guardian and student review the PTSD Chromebook Handbook and Network Accessible Use Agreement. Each parent/guardian and student will be responsible for reading, understanding, and signing these documents online. We require an annual technology fee of $30 that will be used for maintenance, accidental damage and other costs associated with each student having a device. To complete the user acknowledgements along with making a payment, please log on to your FamilyID account (or create a new one if needed) and follow the directions to update your account for the 2020-2021 school year. Families must complete this process by before trading in their old chromebook and/or picking up a new one or picking up an iPad.
Please use this link for all families of students in Grades 1-5: Grade 1-5 Family ID Chromebook Registration
Please use this link for all families of students in Grade K: Grade K Family ID iPad Registration
We are hoping to do some of the chromebook exchanges and handouts before the start of school, but that schedule is TBD. More information to come.
Currently, there will be no large scale Open House like we have had in previous years. The virtual “Open House” will be available to view beginning on the evening of Monday, August 24th. The teachers will create a video that introduces parents and students to them and their classrooms. Teachers will post these videos on their District website.
Powerschool Access and Letter
All new students as well as students in Kindergarten and First Grade will receive a letter outlining how to create a Powerschool parent account. Returning students in grades 2-5 accounts will remain the same as previous years. Powerschool is how you will monitor your child’s grades and attendance for the school year. You can also download the free app on a phone or iPad, if you desire. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact the office at your earliest convenience.
In order to give parents and students access to the class homeroom assignments before school
starts, we are asking you to follow the instructions below.
- Please use the PowerSchool login (username and password) included in the letter that will be mailed to you to find out class homeroom assignments.
- Class Homeroom assignments will be available in PowerSchool on August 14th.
- The login website is: http://www.powerschool.penntrafford.org/public/home.html
- Class Homeroom Assignment decisions, once available, are final.
- Entire Class Lists will be available on the school website by August 14th.
Medical Information Update to Family ID
Each year, families are asked to update information in Family ID that pertains to medical and emergency contact information for their children. That system is now up and ready for you to complete this data. Please make sure that you log in to Family ID and do this for each child that you have enrolled no later than August 27th, 2020. Here is the informational letter : EMERGENCY CARD SUMMER UPDATE INFORMATION
Here is the Family ID link to update your information: FAMILY ID EMERGENCY CARD LINK
Lunch ID numbers
Students will be required to use their student ID to purchase lunch in all grades 1-5. As part of our health and safety plan, every student will receive a new picture ID card. This swipe card must be used instead of using the touchpad to bring up a lunch account and it will be kept at school in each child’s personal belongings. In addition, the lunch ID number is used as a password for most of the websites and online access that students use. We encourage the students to memorize this number. For those new students and students entering first grade the lunch ID number is located at the very top of the Powerschool letter that is being mailed to you.
The PTSD Elementary Handbook has been updated for the 2020-2021 school year.
Calendar and Information
Please check the McCullough School Calendar on the McCullough website as well as the Take Home Tuesday links often.
Understandably, this is a unique time in education, and in the world, but working together as a part of the PT community will ensure success for our kids. I know everyone is concerned about their children and how to function at this time. I also understand everyone has an opinion on this matter, but let's work together, please, to make the student experience positive and worthwhile.
Joseph A. Marasti, Jr.
The Penn-Trafford School School District continues to prepare its students with 21st Century trends in education. Penn-Trafford School District will provide a Chromebook for each student grades 1-12 and an iPad to each kindergarten student. The fee for each device is $30. Please fill out the registration form below, for each student in your family.
Early Dismissal / Parent Pick-Up
Please make sure to send in a note with your child that they will be parent pick-up or having an early dismissal. If this is going to be consistent throughout the year only one note is necessary. You will only need to send a note in if it is going to be changing. Please remember that should you email a teacher the day of the dismissal they might not see it because of their teaching responsibilities. If you are sending and email for an early dismissal please send it to the school secretary (email@example.com). Should you have any questions please feel free to contact the school office at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your understanding and assistance.
Penn-Trafford School District has a SAFE2SAY helpline to help prevent threats and dangers to the school community. Safe2Say is designed to assist you in reporting any wrongdoing that impacts our schools, our students or our staff – anonymously, so as to protect your privacy. For example, you may wish to report acts of violence, potential threats, bullying, harassment, suicidal comments, theft, drugs, weapons, or any other dangers that may cause harm.
If you see something, say something! The Safe2Say Helpline is a convenient, confidential way for anyone to report information about situations that might affect safety at our school. You can contact Safe2Say any time of the day or night to report concerns.
In order to utilize Safe2Say Helpline to submit an anonymous tip, you can do one of the following:
Need to use the following website: https://www.safe2saypa.org
Call 1-844-SAF2SAY. The message is anonymous. The Safe2Say Helpline team triage your message and notify school officials, so appropriate action can be taken.
Use the mobile app. It is available for Apple and Android devices.
Thank you for your continued support to provide a better education for all students in Penn Trafford School District. If you have any questions about the Safe2Say Helpline, please contact the school or the administration building.
2Hr School Delays - Modified Kindergarten
Please be sure to check the Take-Home-Tuesday file on the website. If at any time you find that you cannot open a page please contact the school office.
If you are looking to include a flyer in the Take-Home-Tuesday folder, please submit all of your requests with the flyer attached as a PDF File by the Friday prior to the Tuesday for which you want your flyer posted. Should you have any questions do not hesitate to contact the school.
If at any time you need to have paper copies sent home, please contact the school office.
Parent Volunteers / Clearances
McCullough Elementary School is always seeking volunteers willing to provide their expertise as well as compassion for our students. During the course of the school year many occasions arise in which the school needs volunteers. The easiest way to volunteer in our school is to join the McCullough PTO. Listed below are the clearance forms that are necessary to volunteer in the building on a regular basis, as well as the School District procedures regarding volunteerism. Please consider volunteering at the school.
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give" - Winston Churchill
Listed below are the clearances necessary to volunteer in the schools throughout the district. You need all three clearances to volunteer. The PA FBI is not necessary if you have lived in the state of Pennsylvania for 10 consecutive years. You will be required to sign a waiver for this clearance if you see the ten year criteria. I have included a list of venues where you can go if you need to have your fingerprints taken. Should you have any questions regarding the clearances, please contact the school office at your convenience. Please see the attached document for obtaining clearances.
Art and Science Expo Re-imagined
Since things are so different this year, the Art and Science Expo will be too. We can’t have gatherings and volunteers are not permitted in the school, so we will be having monthly virtual sessions this year and a mini project.
On the second week of every month from October – March, there will be videos posted on the McCullough website with a guest expert in either Art or Science. The videos will contain Science experiments or Art activities from a different expert every month. They will be posted under Art and Science Expo.
If there are any materials needed, we will post them along with the videos.
Instead of the Expo projects this year, we will be doing Art and/or Science related Trioramas. A Triorama is a 3D Diorama made out of card stock. All the students participating in the Triorama activity will be entered in a raffle for a prize. The Trioramas are due in March.
October videos are from the Andy Warhol Museum
1) Pop-up Soup Can Cards – materials needed are tape or glue, scissors, paper, and 2 templates from the provided link that can be printed.
2) Potato Stamps – materials needed are potatoes, paint, brushes, paper, marker, and knife(parental guidance may be needed for cutting, can use a butter knife.)
3) Simple Book Making – materials needed are paper, scissors, and yarn.
New Student Registration
If you have moved into the area or have a school age child that is not currently registered for the 2020-2021 school year, please contact the office. Registration is an ongoing process that is completed at the school which your child will attend.
Attached you will find the forms needed to register your child. Please complete and either email them to the school secretary or fax them back to the school. We will also need a copy of your child's birth certificate and proof of residency.
Should you have any questions please feel free to contact the school at 724-744-7441
Mrs. Sandy Kerna firstname.lastname@example.org
School Hours are 8:00AM - 4:00PM Daily
Math Pearson Successnet
Attached is the website where you can access your child's math series online. Should you have any questions please feel free to contact your child's classroom teacher or the office.
Students of the Month
Twice a year McCullough Elementary is responsible for selecting and honoring an Elementary Student of the Month. The teachers provide the Principal with student names and the Principal then selects the individual student from the list for the award. The teachers use criteria which is not limited to but includes the following:
- Academic Growth
- Outside Activities
- Peer Relationships
As a reminder, the “Backpacks-to-Go” Program is a supplemental nutrition program that was piloted in the Penn- Trafford School District in April 2014 and went district-wide in the 2014-2015 school year. Through the “Backpacks-to-Go” program, we provide a backpack filled with easy-to-prepare meals and snacks for weekends to our children. This program was developed in response to ongoing student needs with no weekend access to the school breakfast and/or lunch program. This program will continue district-wide for the 2019-2020 school year.
Children enrolled in the program, by parent request, take home a backpack with nutritious food in a safe, easy and discreet manner on the designated Fridays. The food items and included menu suggestions may be used for breakfast, lunch and dinner for Saturday and Sunday. Some of the child-friendly foods may include: peanut butter and jelly, easy-open canned fruit, applesauce, puddings, cereal, raisins, granola bars, macaroni and cheese, soup and canned pasta.
We offer the “Backpacks-to-Go” on the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month during the school year with adjustments made for holidays. These backpacks are given directly to the children without requiring their parents to pick up the food at a location.
By meeting basic needs of our children, we hope each child will be better able to focus on learning and schoolwork instead of an ‘empty feeling’ or worry about the next meal.
If you feel that your child could benefit from receiving a backpack as described above during the 2019-2020 school year or if you are able to make a donation, please contact Lauren Traill, Elementary School Counselor, at email@example.com or Lisa Popovich, High School Nurse, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you are sending in money for your child's lunch account please be sure to write their student number on the check and place it in an envelope marked with the homeroom teachers name as well as your child's name on the front. This will help to eliminate any confusion as to the correct placement of the funds.
Your child's current grades can be found on PowerSchool. Everyone should have received a letter with the child's login in July. If you did not receive this letter or are having difficulty logging into the site please contact the school.
Please check the McCullough website calendar frequently. Events will be added to the calendar as they become available.
Welcome to the PTO section of the McCullough Elementary School website. The PTO at McCullough is very active in the school and provides many opportunities for our students. Please check Take Home Tuesday for the meeting schedule. Babysitting is provided by Community Action Program during these meetings from Penn-Trafford High School.
Follow us on Twitter at @McCulloughElem. Announcements and messages will be posted on this site regularly. Please feel free to contact me at the school with any feedback or questions.
Little Savers Club
McCullough Elementary is proud to work in conjunction with the Pheple Federal Credit Union on teaching our students financial literacy. The Little Savers Club helps students understand the importance of saving money and making sound financial decisions. Pheple Federal Credit Union comes to the school each month in order for the students to participate in the Little Savers Program. The students make monthly deposits into their account and receive incentives for participating. I encourage everyone to participate in the program. Attached is a brochure outlining the program as well as the application and the dates when Pheple will be in school.
Clubhouse Life Little Savers Club is a perfect opportunity for your child to start learning about saving. It only takes $5 to start the account. After that, your child can earn fun prizes by making monthly deposits into their account. They can even receive a bonus deposit if they participate all school year.
You can pick up an application in the school office. For more information please call Pheple Federal Credit Union at 724-744-0670.
Safe Schools Helpline Reporting
Penn-Trafford School District is implementing a Safe School Helpline to help prevent threats and dangers to the school community. Safe School helpline is designed to assist you in reporting any wrongdoing that impacts our schools, our students or our staff – anonymously, so as to protect your privacy. For example, you may wish to report acts of violence, potential threats, bullying, harassment, theft, drugs, weapons, or any other dangers that may cause harm.
In addition to reporting danger, Safe School Helpline also provides a direct link to a live, trained suicide/mental health counselor 24 hours/day, 365 days/year. The helpline provides students with a place to call – anonymously – and talk through what could be the most dangerous half-hour of their life. Unfortunately, youth suicide rate has tripled in the past 30 years, and suicide is the third leading cause of death of students ages 14-19 in the United States.
SAFE SCHOOL HELPLINE
If you see something, say something! The Safe School Helpline is a convenient, confidential way for anyone to report information about situations that might affect safety at our school. You can call the number any time of the day or night to report concerns.
In order to utilize Safe School Helpline you can do one of the following:
- Need to use the following website: www.safeschoolhelpline.com
- Call 1-800-4-1-VOICE Ext 359. The message will not be traced, and you will not be identified. The Safe School Helpline team will transcribe your message and notify school officials, so appropriate action can be taken.
- TEXT: 66746, use the word TIPS
Thank you for your continued support to provide a better education for all students in Penn Trafford School District. If you have any questions about the Safe School Helpline, please contact the school or the administration building.
Title 1 Reading Websites