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Frequently Asked Questions

McClure Middle Frequently Asked Questions 2023-24

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 2023-24 school year!

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

McClure is a relatively small middle school with about 500+ students. We enroll about 175 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 our 6th graders if they would like to participate in our music programming in their daily class schedule.  McClure counselors also 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 Multi-Lingual Services needs, our Service 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 from 10-12:00 pm on Thursday, August 31st, 9:00-11:00 and is for students only.

What does the daily schedule look like?

Students may arrive at McClure at 8:35 and are to be seated in their first period class by 8:55 a.m. School ends at 3:45 p.m. In the 2022-23 school year, McClure has a blocked (extended period) schedule for Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Fridays.

When does my child get his/her/their schedule?

Students get their finalized schedules on the first day of school. We will meet on the field before school and line up with our Advisors who will hand out the finalized schedules.

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.

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 most assignments are completed with direct teacher guidance in the classroom. Homework varies by classroom and by grade-level. Students are to read 30 minutes daily.

How does one keep track of classwork and 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 tools Schoology and The Source. 

Do all grades eat lunch together?

Yes, there are currently two different lunch periods and all grade levels eat together during.

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, Magnolia Elementary and Lawton Elementary schools.  Most of our students come from the Queen Anne & Magnolia neighborhoods.

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 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, play chess, build with Legos
  • 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, Winter Break, Mid-Winter Break and Spring Break; or summer!!  All days missed due to vacation will be marked as unexcused.

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 how to offer the student Families can choose to go through the district opt-up process. (Not recommended as students are, in effect, skipping an entire year’s worth of skills and content knowledge.)

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 various settings in the school. For example, at McClure we have a dedicated program for students who are Medically Fragile. 

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 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 filled out prior to participating.  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. 

If you have the time you can also come to the school and join our volunteer crew. Parents can be involved in many ways to support the programs at McClure. We have parents who help in in the hallway or cafeteria during lunch, in the library, in the office and in the nurse’s office. You can also help supervise field trips!

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 Middle school is over in the blink of an eye, so go ahead and jump in – there are many opportunities to help!