Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to McClure.  The following are some “Frequently Asked Questions and Answers” about the transition to middle school.  We are looking forward to meeting students and families for the 2016-17 school year!

 

How big is McClure, and how many 6th graders do you enroll?

McClure is a relatively small middle school with about 550+ students.  We enroll about 200 sixth graders each year.

 

How do you help students transition to 6th grade?

McClure is organized to ensure a comfortable transition for our 6th graders.  To facilitate a seamless transition to middle school we use a variety of strategies:  in the spring, we send an information sheet to families to inform them about our programs and ask for input for the 6th grade schedule.  McClure counselors send a letter to the elementary teachers to get information on students' needs so we have a sense of their strengths and needs before they arrive at McClure.

When we receive our enrolled students' names, a letter is mailed to each family inviting them to our end-of-year activities and letters go out to 6th grade students regarding our 6th grade W.E.B. (Where Everybody Belongs) Orientation, before school begins*.  All 6th grade students receive W.E.B. mentoring throughout the year from our 8th grade W.E.B. leaders.

We also coordinate activities and assemblies throughout the year to provide more support for all of our students and deepen our sense of what it means to be a McClure Maverick.  For students who have Special Education or Bilingual Services needs, our Team Leaders meet with the 5th grade teachers at "Riser Meetings" in June to glean information about individual students so we may serve them well.

*This year's 6th grade orientation, led by our wonderful WEB leaders, is on Tuesday, August 30, 2016 from 9:00am-11:00am and is for students only.

 

What does the daily schedule look like?

Students may arrive at McClure at 8:15am and are to be seated in their first period class by 8:45am.  School ends at 3:15pm.  After school MOST (McClure Out of School Time) classes run from 3:30-5:00, Mondays through Fridays.  M.O.S.T. classes run mid-September through mid-December and mid-January through early June.

 

When does my child get his/her schedule?

Students get their schedules on the first day of school.  Tables are set up in the gym organized by grade and students’ last names.  Students meet friends, staff and parent volunteers in the gym to collect their schedules.  If the schedules are finalized and available by 6th grade orientation, they will be handed out then.

 

Does every student have a locker?

Yes, every McClure student is assigned a locker.  Students receive a locker use agreement during the first week of school, and lockers are given out during the second week of school.  At the orientation in August, sample locks are available and students are taught how to open them.

Students do not need to bring all school supplies on the first day(s) of school since students won't have locker assignments yet.  Please bring a notebook and pens or pencils and backpack on the first day and teachers will let students know what supplies they will need before lockers are assigned.

 

How much homework is there?

The purpose of homework in middle school should be to reinforce or give practice with material already taught in class and is intended to be done by the student with minimal assistance from parents.  McClure offers monitored homework clubs after school so that students have support to complete assignments and projects.  Parents should not expect homework from each class every day as some assignments are best completed with direct teacher guidance in the classroom.  Homework varies by classroom and by grade-level.  On average, expect between 60-90 minutes of homework per night.  Students are to read 30 minutes daily.

 

How does one keep track of homework?

Every McClure student receives a student planner at the beginning of the year.  The planner is used to track assignments.  Sixth graders are taught how to use the planner.  Teachers post homework assignments and grades on the Seattle School District's online tool The Source.  More information on The Source, including instructions on how to register, is found on the SPS website, linked here.  Teachers also utilize the Schoology page to inform students of upcoming assignments, activities and assessments.

 

Do all grades eat lunch together?

Yes, there are three different lunch periods and all grade levels eat together during 1st, 2nd, or 3rd lunch.  1st lunch is from 11:45-12:15, 2nd lunch is from 12:15-12:45 and 3rd lunch is from 12:45-1:15.

 

Is bus transportation available?

Some McClure students come to us on school buses from the Queen Anne and Magnolia neighborhoods.  The school does not set up transportation so to get a confirmed answer on how your child will be transported, you have to contact the Transportation Department  for Seattle Public Schools and give them your address and the school.  They will confirm if the transportation will be by school bus or by Metro.  School transportation is typically not available within a two-mile radius of the school.

 

What schools feed in to McClure?

Based on the Seattle School District's neighborhood assignment plan, we receive students from Coe, Hay, Queen Anne and Lawton Elementary schools.  Most of our students come from the Queen Anne, Magnolia neighborhoods.

 

Is there science at McClure?

Yes, McClure offers a full year of science at each grade level.  For more information on the middle school science curriculum, please see the Seattle Schools science page.

 

Is there PE?

Yes, there is PE!  All McClure students take at least one semester of PE unless they have signed up for two full year elective classes (Band, Orchestra, Choir, or Spanish) and have followed through on the PE waiver process.  PE waivers are not granted unless students are signed up for two full-year electives.

 

Can my child take music?

Yes, McClure offers both beginning and advanced band, orchestra and choir.  The music program continues to grow each year at McClure.

 

Is there recess time?

No, there is not recess time during middle school.  However, students have plenty of space at lunchtime to enjoy some down time: Library: reading, to play chess or computer research, Gym: volleyball, basketball and other fun activities, Cafeteria: eating and socializing.  Students cannot hang out in the hallways or upstairs during McClure lunch periods.

 

What is McClure’s philosophy on school absences and truancy to school?

One of the most important things a student can do to achieve academic success is also one of the most basic: going to school every day.  In fact, research has shown that a student’s attendance rate may be the biggest factor influencing his/her academic success.  Chronic absenteeism means missing 10 percent of a school year for any reason, excused or unexcused.  In Seattle Public Schools, that means a total of 18 school days for the school year.  Chronic absenteeism and truancy negatively impact academic performance (Gottfried, 2009).  Moreover, chronic absenteeism also impacts students' personal and social well-being.  According to a survey by Todd Rogers of Harvard University, many parents mistakenly believe missing school in the early grades is fine and students will catch up; that an absence is not a problem if a parent signs off; and that only consecutive absences matter.  We strongly advise that families emphasize the importance of attending school, on-time every day, barring student illness, doctor’s appointments or family emergency.  If absenteeism is a challenge for your student/family, we will provide support and resources to help you and your student get back on track!

We also strongly advise that families schedule their vacation time during our scheduled breaks (4 weeks during the school year, Dec. 17-Jan. 2, Feb. 18-26, and April 8-16; 10+ Summer weeks June 24- Labor Day).  All days missed due to vacation will be marked as unexcused.

 

How are students challenged at McClure Middle School?

Language Arts

To better serve and increase rigorous learning opportunities for all students, McClure Middle School's Language Arts Department follows a blended (or clustered) model for the composition of our Language Arts; all of our Language Arts courses will include students who have tested in to Spectrum and General Education students who have not.  There are no separate Spectrum classes.  We effectively serve our students in a blended model which will lead to higher achievement and opportunities for rigor for all of our students.

 

Math

The McClure program offers math courses ranging from 6th grade math through Algebra I.  Unlike elementary school, there are no "honors" or “Spectrum” math classes; students are placed in the next most appropriate math class (i.e. students who completed Math 6 will be promoted into Math 7).  Students may be in math courses with students in other grade levels.  If a student has been accelerated in elementary school to the point that they will require Geometry in middle school, the school and the family will work together with the District to determine a solution.

McClure math teachers are observant of students' cognitive processing intentionally utilizing observations, student achievement data and diagnostic assessments to ensure students are in the best possible placement.

 

What Special Education programs do you offer?

McClure offers a range of services and supports for students who qualify for an IEP.  Some students attend all or most classes in a mainstream or inclusion setting.  We also provide classes that are considered “Resource” in a special education setting for Math, Reading, Writing, Social and Study Skills for students who qualify for those services.  Additionally, we have students with a variety of needs who are served in self-contained settings for some or all of their academic day, for example, at McClure we have a dedicated program for students who are considered Medically Fragile, an SM3 program for qualifying students with a need for intensive behavior supports and a variety of self-contained settings for students with specific individual needs related to their development.  These settings are in the process of being named/realigned with the High School feeder configurations that are consistent with those student’s IEP and academic goals and needs.

 

What if my child has a 504 Plan in elementary?

We receive information about students who have a 504 support plan from elementary school.  Our 504 coordinator will contact the family to review the plan with the 504 team and will make any revisions necessary.

 

Are there after school programs?

M.O.S.T. - the "Maverick" Out of School Time is one of the best after school programs around! Various classes are offered each semester, 2:30-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Classes in the past have included Homework Club, creative writing, pottery, drawing and painting, dance, chess, magic, fitness and weights, music, cooking, book club, team sports, art specialties, i.e., animation.  Transportation is provided.

 

Are there sports at McClure?

McClure participates in all sports offered by Seattle middle schools.  They include:  Fall - Co-ed Ultimate Frisbee, Girls' Soccer;  Winter - Boys' and Girls' Basketball; Spring - Co-ed Track, Boys' Soccer and Girls' Volleyball.  To participate in the Seattle Public Schools sports program, your child will need to have an Athlete Registration & Physical Form (click here) filled out prior to participating. < span style="text-decoration: underline;">A portion of this form needs to be completed by medical personnel.

 

How can I be involved in the school?

There are many ways for parents to stay involved and stay informed about what is happening at McClure.  McClure's web site provides information on events and activities.  The PTSA emails a weekly newsletter to each family.  Many teachers provide ongoing email communication to keep parents updated on classroom assignments.  You can self-subscribe to the McClure PTSA newsletter on the PTSA web page or email info@mccluremavericks.org.

If you have the time you can also come to the school and join our awesome volunteer crew.  Parents can be involved in many ways to support the programs at McClure.  We have parents who help in classrooms, in the hallway or cafeteria during lunch, in the library, in the office and in the nurse's office.  You can help supervise field trips, be an instructor for one of our Maverick Out of School Time (M.O.S.T) programs or provide support tutoring to individual students.

Our PTSA has many volunteer opportunities!  At the beginning of the school year, you will receive either a hard copy or an electronic version of our Volunteer Form.  Want to go ahead and sign up now?  Email volunteer@mccluremavericks.org.  Middle school is over in the blink of an eye, so go ahead and jump in - there are many opportunities to help!

 

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