School News

Building Relational Capacity in the Ceramics Art Sanctuary.

Ceramic 1 students are starting the year learning basic ceramic craftsmanship and design techniques through the Symbolic Hands Project. Touching on the career option Art Therapy, students are engaging in a project which explores alternative ways to communicate feelings. Using their own hands as templates, students are designing a bowl with the left hand expressing words, designs, and symbols of things they wish to “Let Go” of in their life. The right hand, symbolically placed on top, expresses words, designs and symbols of things they would like to “Invite In” to their lives in order to feel more satisfied and fulfilled. Inquiry and engagement are in full force and students are discovering one of the many facets of the power of art!

2018-09-21T15:20:23+00:00September 21st, 2018|

McKay AVID Family Night Brings Everyone Together

We would like to thank the many families who attended our AVID Family Night. Mrs. Larkin Foley, our AVID Site Coordinator, provided our families and students key information on college readiness, events and timelines. This information is critical to our work for students. As a McKay community, we would like to recognize our families for actively supporting our students’ ability to graduate college and career ready!

2018-09-19T14:19:52+00:00September 18th, 2018|

Safety at McKay: Lockdown Drill This Week

‘Good morning.  This week, McKay will be conducting our first lockdown drill of the year, in accordance with Oregon State law.  We will be practicing in both Levels 1 and 2 conditions, in which classrooms are asked to lock the door, close the blinds, turn off their lights, and be silent.  It is likely your student is already familiar with practicing these conditions, as all SKPS school have conducted these drills annually.  We appreciate your support as we continue to improve the safety and security of McKay HS.’

2018-09-17T08:49:26+00:00September 17th, 2018|

Principal Update: Attendance Matters!

Hello McKay Parents and Community,

Our vision is ‘All students will graduate college and career ready.’ We are so excited to be partnering with each of you in support of our students as we work to ensure our vision is realized for every student here at McKay. 

With it being the first week of school, our staff and students are working diligently in classes reviewing procedures and expectations, course requirements and, most importantly, allocating adequate time to develop relationships and a strong sense of community in every classroom.   We believe this work is foundational to the start of the year.   Developing a safe and welcoming environment is key to effective learning outcomes for all students. 

Another area that we believe is foundational to student success is the importance of regular attendance.  We expect all students to attend 90% or more of their classes for the year.  To put this in perspective, students must attend at minimum 9 out of every 10 school days.  If students attend less than this 90% mark, it affects learning and creates gaps key information students must know in order to be successful in classes.  Attendance matters and regular attendance will improve academic success.   

As we start the 2018-2019 school year, I ask that we as a community continue to support our students’ ability to attend regularly.  We have numerous supports for our students and families in the area of regular attendance so please feel free to call our office at 503.399.3080 to get more information and resources on attendance.

We appreciate the continued partnership and support to ensure all students graduate college and career ready here at McKay High School.

Rob Schoepper

2018-09-05T13:43:23+00:00September 5th, 2018|

Salem-Keizer Public Schools Launches “Every Day 24J!” to Address Chronic Absenteeism

Buses were rolling this morning carrying almost half of Salem-Keizer Public Schools’ (SKPS) 42,000 students, but with the back-to-school excitement was another message: “Every Day 24J!” Nearly one in three students in SKPS is chronically absent, and this year, schools and community organizations are collaborating to identify barriers to attendance and develop solutions.

The campaign officially launched at Auburn Elementary, where Principal Katie Shumway identified the shift in weather as one of the contributing factors to absenteeism. Auburn is a neighborhood school, and many of its 700 students live within the one-mile radius of the school, meaning they don’t have access school bus transportation. Through the work of the Every Day 24J committee, One Thousand Soles was able to purchase 50 pairs of rain boots at a reduced cost from Wilco. Students who attended the school’s back-to-school picnic received raffle tickets, and winners will be announced at the school on Mondays and Fridays – the days the school has the lowest attendance. Auburn is just one example of the purpose of Every Day 24J! – to identify barriers, create solutions and encourage positive behaviors.

“We believe that all parents want what’s best for their kids and that’s why we continue to look for ways to build relationships with families and strengthen community partnerships,” said Shumway. “We strive meet families where they’re at and provide the tools and resources necessary to get kids here and learning at Auburn every day. When we begin to see dips in student attendance, our community school outreach coordinator works to find out why and then identifies those resources that can create solutions.”

Additional community organizations have come forward to help provide rain gear for more students.

“We know that September is the most critical month for setting a student’s attendance pattern,” said Superintendent Christy Perry. “What happens during that first month sets the tone for the entire year, and we know there’s a direct correlation between attendance and graduation. We see chronic absenteeism from students across all spectrums – cultural norms and socioeconomic statuses play roles, but we also see students who are performing really well at school who might not see the connection between attendance and employability after graduation. We must all use our sphere of influence to make those connections for our children – their futures depend on it.”

Students who miss just two days of school a month will miss a month of school each year. If a student continues that pattern through elementary and middle school, he or she will have lost an entire year of instruction by ninth grade. According to the Oregon Department of Education, students who attend school regularly are 172 percent more likely to graduate.

South Salem High Senior Kudzai Kapurura shared her perspective as a student: “In high school, you’re an independent, so it’s no longer really your parents telling you to go to school – it’s more of a personal decision. Some students don’t want to go because they don’t feel like they’re included in the community at their school. I think more than it’s credited, that’s a big part of why attendance drops in high school. When students don’t feel included, their grades start to drop. That combination makes people not want to go.”

The Every Day 24J committee comprised of district staff and community members will continue to meet throughout the year to identify benchmarks for success and develop additional solutions to remove barriers for attendance. Through a grant from Kaiser Permanente, the Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality is simultaneously developing attendance supports for families in the North Salem High feeder system. For more information on how to support the campaign, please contact Community Relations and Communications at (503) 399-3038 or by emailing

2018-09-19T15:10:32+00:00September 5th, 2018|

1st Annual Fall Athletics Parent Meeting a Huge Success

Thank you families and athletes that came out to our Fall Athletics Parent Meeting on Monday, 08.21.18 here at McKay.  Each coach had an opportunity to introduce themselves and their program.  They gave an overview of program goals, core values, beliefs and expectations for student-athletes.  We are excited to start the season.  It is going to be a great year for McKay Athletics!  We hope to see you all at our events this year.  If you are interested in becoming involved, our McKay Athletic Booster Club meets monthly in our library.  With everyone working together we can continue to move our students’ closer to our vision of ‘Every Student Graduates College and Career Ready.’
2018-08-21T16:27:16+00:00August 21st, 2018|

McKay Athletics Builds Student Success

Dear McKay Parents and Community,

McKay High School’s vision is “Every student graduates college and career ready.”

I am excited to welcome everyone to the 2018-2019 school year. We have many athletic programs and students that have made tremendous progress this summer, and I look forward to a successful school year.

We believe that students at McKay who are involved in athletics will graduate college and career ready through the development of skills and characteristics that are transferable throughout their lives. Athletics at McKay support students’ development in our core values: leadership, scholarship, and competitiveness.

We believe that as students develop these values, they will become critical thinkers with skills to navigate their lives in a successful manner. Supporting students’ growth in these areas is our priority in McKay Athletics, and the reason for some changes at McKay. We have added an Athletic Leadership and Sports Psychology course that teaches athletes our core values and skills to apply and model those amongst their peers and teammates. We have also worked in collaboration with our head coaches and stakeholders to create our Athletic Success Program where students track attendance, set academic progress goals, and provided access to supports as needed. We believe that as these are monitored, and interventions and supports are provided when necessary, students will become successful and demonstrate continuous growth as critical thinkers and leaders.

We are in need of parent involvement and support to assist in the development of the most positive experiences possible for athletes at McKay. In athletics, we have an opportunity to be involved in our McKay Athletic Booster Club. We are seeking support from parents and community partners that can assist in giving our athletes and programs better opportunities and experiences. The boosters have been highly successful in the past year, as they built a turf facility, are painting the announcing building and track sheds, and are building a new and upgraded entrance to the stadium. All parties interested in joining the booster club or attending meetings should contact the school office or the booster club. Meetings are the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 in the McKay High School Library.

I am excited to announce our new Athletic School Office Specialist Stephanie Mentado-Hernandez. Stephanie comes to us from McKay’s student services office, as a parent of athletes at McKay, and an advocate for our athletic programs and student athletes. I look forward to her ability to think critically and proactively about athletics and bring a fresh and new perspective to make programs more accessible and systems more supportive for our families and students.

Please do not hesitate to call us at (503)399-3080 to discuss these opportunities in further detail. Thank you for partnering with us, as we continue our journey of success for your student and all of our Royal Scots.
We look forward to seeing you at student events this year. I look forward to a wonderful school year at McKay High School.

Go Scots!

Jerimy Kelley
Assistant Principal
Athletic Director
McKay High School

2018-08-16T10:36:34+00:00August 16th, 2018|

New Athletic Secretary Hired

“Our McKay Athletic Department would like to welcome Stephanie Mentado-Hernandez as our new Athletic Secretary. She has been currently working in the Student Center as a School Office Specialist. Stephanie has been a part of the McKay community for many years and is a great supporter of our school. She currently has 2 boys attending McKay High School and is very active in every aspect of our environment including but not limited to wrestling, football, booster club, and project grad.  Stephanie was born in Salem and graduated from the Teen Parent Program. Despite all odds she continued her education and untimely received a Bachelors in Psychology from Corban University. Her passion is to help mentor and guide students not only to achieve their goals but to believe in themselves no matter what their circumstances are. Stephanie is excited to work with all the amazing students “athletes” and to help them be successful.”

2018-08-09T06:20:27+00:00August 8th, 2018|