McClure Middle School

Middle School

Academic Programs

Academic Programs at McClure

Information about the academic programs at McClure.

Overview of Advisory at McClure
Advisory is a regularly scheduled class that gives students and teachers the opportunity to build those positive relationships that research shows are so important for social, emotional, and academic success. Advisory also has time built in for academic support. An Advisory class is smaller than other classes – usually between 20 to 25 children – and the Advisory group remains with the same teacher through a whole school year. During the 2020-2021 school year, 7th- and 8th-grade students were assigned to the same advisory class and teacher that they had last year.

Why make time for an advisory class?
Research shows that students who participate in advisory programs with dedicated social-emotional support, along with academic support, feel more included in their school environment, report higher levels of belonging, and achieve at higher levels.  

Below is a typical week in Advisory class. Each Advisory is 35 minutes long, except Wednesday, which is 25.

Monday – Social-Emotional Focus Day Provides a consistent start to the week

  • Circle time, conversations, check-ins
  • Current event video or article
  • Connecting events to our own lives

Tuesday – Asynchronous day

  • Individual and small-group check-ins with teachers
  • Time to catch up on classwork, contact teachers

Wednesday – Morning advisory (25 minutes)

  • Team-building game, movement, activity

Thursday – Structured Academic Day

  • Time for homework, assemblies, librarian visits, counselor visits
  • Academic check-ins
  • Organization tips, technology issues such as checking The Source, Schoology, using OneNote

Friday – Team Building or Art Activity

  • Often a combination of a “theme” lesson and a team-building activity
  • Art is incorporated regularly. Includes projects on computer as well as offline

AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination . While, AVID strategies are used schoolwide throughout McClure, we offer an AVID elective class at the 7th and 8th grades. The elective course provides students with the skills needed to be successful in advancing academically with the ultimate goal of attending college and being career ready. Students are taught study skills, note-taking, time management, writing skills, and research skills, while being immersed in a college-going culture. The class also includes tutoring sessions to support success in academically rigorous curriculum. Additionally, the AVID class provides access to information about colleges and universities through class projects, field trips, and guest speakers. AVID recruits students who are motivated to succeed and who are serious about their academic future.

  • Georgette Duggal teaches 7th grade AVID
  • Jin Lee teaches 8th grade AVID

Scope and Sequence of Grades/Programs

7th Grade:
The 7th grade AVID Elective course introduces the foundational components of the AVID philosophy. There is a heavy emphasis on growth mindset and organizational strategies.  Students will learn and practice Focused Note-Taking and participate in weekly tutor-facilitated study groups. Additionally, they will take an active role in their learning, understanding the roles of all members in assignments and collaborative lessons. Units of study include: Goal-Setting, Public Speaking, Memoirs, Exploring College Options, College Majors, and Exploring Career Options.
8th Grade:
The 8th grade AVID Elective course prepares for high school and beyond. Students will build upon the skills and strategies learned in the 7th grade AVID course. They will refine goals and focus on transitioning into the high school with the aims of a pathway to college. We will focus on the writing process and varying style, word choice, vocabulary, structure, and voice. Major writing assignments include persuasive, expository, descriptive, and timed writing. Students will transition from active learners to leaders. AVID will facilitate guest-speakers and field trips, as they relate to college preparation. Students will also participate in college-preparatory testing (SAT and ACT) and build connections with the high schools they will attend.

Overview of Exploratories at McClure
These courses provide opportunities for students to “explore” a type of learning or skill-building that they may not have chosen or experienced in the past.  Exploratories are not choice driven and are randomly assigned.  Below are just a few examples of our exploratory offerings for this school year. They are subject to change in the following school year. Each course is semester long.

International Performing Arts
Learn about the world through the lens of the performing arts. In this course, students experience immersion into a cultural focus through music, dance, history, linguistics, geography, and visual arts. Students will “travel the world” to discover and explore in-depth specific regions and cultures.  Students will participate in various performance arts, as well as readings, activities, and crafts that relate to the cultures being studied. 

This is an exciting look into the basic concepts of economics and personal finance.  Topics covered will include, scarcity, supply and demand, setting a personal budget, and much more!  The curriculum for this class isVirtual Economics, a comprehensive middle school economics program created by the U.S. Council for Economic Education. 

Tech Exploration
A hands-on exploration of the work worlds of communications, manufacturing, construction and transportation.  Studied areas include problem solving, aviation, rocketry, technical drawing/CAD, video production, crafts and wood-working. 

Gateway/Project Lead the Way
Design and Modeling is team work to solve problems using 2D and 3D modeling. Hands on! Minds on!

Personal Growth: Service Learning
Service-learning combines service to the community with student learning in a way that improves both the student and the community. As they participate in their community service projects, actively meeting the needs of communities, students develop practical skills, and a sense of civic responsibility. By solving real problems and addressing real needs, students learn to apply classroom learning to a real world context. At the same time, students provide valuable services to schools and communities.

Visual or Performing Arts
Hoping to incorporate more opportunities! 

Our Language Arts team has aligned our instruction with the Common Core State Standards and the district grading protocols for distance learning. (A, B, C, C-).  In this way, every assessment rubric offers skill work at grade level, exceeding grade level standard, and approaching grade level standard. This supports individual instruction and scaffolding in each classroom and with each student.

All Language Arts classes are structured in a “blended” model. Students who struggle with reading and writing skills will be provided with extra support, small group lessons and re-teaching of important skills. Students who demonstrate mastery will be provided with advanced learning opportunities, reading/writing enrichment activities, and advanced texts across genres to read and analyze. Our blended classroom model offers differentiation in every skill standard to meet the needs in the room and push the advancement of all students toward mastery and exceeding standard.

McClure students are asked to read an average of 30 minutes each day. This has shown to improve middle grade skill standards in literacy, text comprehension, and writing fluency. Students use class-provided reading logs to keep track of their reading and communicate their reading success with their language arts teachers. Teachers often conference with students to support and discuss reading success throughout the year. Reading is expected to take place primarily outside of class, though silent reading and teacher-directed reading take place in class regularly.

Scope and Sequence of Grades/Programs

6th Grade Language Arts
Reading Life, Personal Narrative, Character Analysis, Non-Fiction Pamphlets, Literary Essay, Book Clubs, Realistic Fiction, Poetry, Genre Fiction (Fantasy, Suspense, Sci-Fi, or Fairy Tale), Independent Reading and Responses to Literature. Writers In The Schools for all 6th grade students, focusing on narrative writing through illustration. 

7th Grade Language Arts
Research Based Informational Project, Character Analysis, Literary Essays, Book Clubs, Creating Graphic Novels from Classic Literature, Persuasive Essay, Poetry and Song Lyrics Comparison, Independent Reading and Responses to Literature.

8th Grade Language Arts
Hero Monologue, Narrative Writing and Reading, Monologue Presentations, Goal Formation, Literary Essay, Non-Fiction studies, Book Clubs, Global Flash Fiction-reading and writing, Social Issues, Realistic Fiction- reading and writing, Poetry, Genre expansion, Inquiry on Global Issues, Argument Essay, Novel Study- House on Mango Street, Promotion Speech, Independent Reading and Responses to Literature.

Blended/Clustered Language Arts at McClure

McClure Middle School is on a path of excellence for all of our students.  Our staff collectively  studies and applies researched strategies to meet the needs of our students and provide effective levels of support and challenge. We have spent more than four years embracing and utilizing the concept of growth mindset – the research-validated principle that we can teach students that their success in school is not stagnant or based on their past but, with grit and perseverance (and a supportive, intentional school environment), all of our students can and will grow.

Our Language Arts department has fully embraced the idea of growth mindset and supporting all students in rising to and successfully mastering high levels of challenge.  The department has been defining and applying the rigorous Common Core State Standards for Literacy.  This includes spending time developing a common definition of what rigor means in terms of standards and outcomes.  Our Language Arts Department has determined that rigor involves attention to  depth of knowledge and enhanced opportunities for critical thinking , not necessarily accelerated pacing and volume of work.  This results in outstanding learning  opportunities for all students.   

Language Arts teacher are intentionally using data to inform their teaching practice to better serve individuals and groupings of students within each classroom. They have also developed common rubrics that include opportunities for all students to reach beyond the proficient level of achievement.  Furthermore, our Language Arts Department has aligned its curriculum and skills across grade levels; this alignment already includes the same scope and sequence for our Spectrum and General Education classes. The department is comprised of a close-knit group of talented teachers who are dedicated to giving all students what they need to be successful in literacy and critical thinking.

To better serve and increase rigorous learning opportunities for all students, McClure Middle  School’s Language Arts Department applies a blended (or clustered) model for the composition of our Language Arts classes; all of our Language Arts courses will include students who have tested in to Spectrum, students who have not, and students who may have an Individualized Education Plan for various disabilities. There are no longer be separate Spectrum classes.  To make this decision, we have looked at test data, grades, disciplinary, attendance, and school report data and have come to the conclusion that there is not a vast difference between the performance, behaviors, and attitudes of students in our General Education and Spectrum  Language Arts classrooms.  We can effectively serve our students in a blended model and we believe this model will lead to higher achievement and opportunities for rigor for all of our students.

The following are some informational bullet points that support this new model:

  • Outstanding teachers  –  all Language Arts teachers provide “honors” level opportunities for rigor and depth of knowledge for all students.
  • A focus on differentiation :  our Language Arts teachers differentiate instruction in their
    classes; they share strategies and rubrics to serve the array of students in their classrooms every day.  Seattle Public Schools Advanced Learning department stipulates that Spectrum students should be “ offered appropriately deep, complex and/or accelerated curriculum.” This is not easy work but it is an obligation that our teachers continue to address in their classroom structures at McClure.
  • Opportunity and Grading: Teachers teach at an “honors” level with the assumption
     that all students can and will pursue this level of rigor.  All students
    will have an “H” next to the course title on their semester grade reports.  All students will be held to the same level of rigor to earn these grades.
  • Same format as the rest of the school:   All other departments at McClure are blended/“clustered” model classes. All of our feeder schools have blended/cluster model classrooms. (Our math students are placed into the next math course in the sequence of math coursework. There are no Spectrum or Honors designated math courses at McClure.)
  • Studies show that grouping high achieving students together is beneficial to their  achievement. McClure has a significant number of high achieving students in our General
    Education classrooms so student groupings are robust and optimal with this model.
  • Studies also show that students who are not performing at grade level benefit from having peers model grade level or advanced level work, behaviors and scholarly attitudes.
  • Studies also show the most important skills for being a productive member of society are communication, problem solving, and critical thinking. Being part of a blended, diverse learning community enhances the opportunities for all three of these skills.
  • Seattle Public Schools Advanced Learning department recognizes clustered groupings in Middle School: The “formula” stipulates that there must be at least six Spectrum-identified students in every clustered/blended classroom.  This is easily accomplished in our Language Arts classrooms.
  • Supports: McClure will continue to garner a robust cadre of tutors to help support McClure students in our Language Arts classrooms.
  • Diversity: In a “blended” classroom, each student benefits from the diversity of others.  Diversity is not a hindrance but a benefit to the acceptance and value of the other.

Our mission is to facilitate the social, emotional, and academic development of every McClure student. We cultivate positive relationships and provide engaging curriculum, promoting independence through opportunities to self-advocate, think critically, and build community.

The McClure Mathematics Department strives to provide a high-quality education to ensure all students are proficient in or ready for algebra when they matriculate to high school. With the advent of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), which are based on national and international data and best practices, we aim to dig deeper into a smaller range of standards each year. We provide opportunities for all students to go beyond mastery once they meet the basic requirements of any given standard.  Evidence strongly supports developing a deeper fluency of a grade level’s standards is significantly richer than accelerating to an advanced grade level’s standards. The data has demonstrated that advancing instead of enriching ends up with superficial mastery.  

To facilitate this growth, we employ a variety of positive motivational teaching and instructional methods that aim to stimulate curiosity, encourage persistence, and incorporate appropriate technology while reinforcing mathematic fundamentals needed for future study. Recognizing that each student learns differently, the math staff provides opportunities that address the diversity of learning styles of all students with care and compassion. It is our intent to instill students with a lifelong appreciation of mathematics both for the discipline itself and for its real-world applications.

Scope and Sequence of Common Core State Math Standards

Math Empowerment (EMP)
EMP provides 6th graders the opportunity to build skills, understanding, and confidence in math in a smaller group setting. Students will become clear and practiced at computation and communication of 6th grade concepts and will be able to create convincing arguments about how math works. EMP Math prepares students for middle school, high school, and college-level math.

6th Grade
In Grade 6 Math, instructional time will focus on four critical areas:

  1. Connecting ratio and rate to whole number multiplication and division and using concepts of ratio and rate to solve problems
  2. Completing understanding of division of fractions and extending the notion of number to the system of rational numbers, which includes negative numbers
  3. Writing, interpreting, and using expressions and equations
  4. Developing understanding of statistical thinking.

7th Grade
In Grade 7 Math, instructional time will focus on four critical areas:

  1. Developing understanding of and applying proportional relationships
  2. Developing understanding of operations with rational numbers and working with expressions and linear equations
  3. Solving problems involving scale drawings and informal geometric constructions, and working with two- and three-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving area, surface area, and volume
  4. Drawing inferences about populations based on samples

7th/8th Grade
The 7th/8th CCSS Accelerated Math class will cover 7th and 8th grade CCSS standards in a compacted course based on best practices from CCSS.  Students will be enrolled based on evidence of readiness during 6th grade math at McClure.

8th Grade
In Grade 8 Math, instructional time will focus on:

  1. Formulating and reasoning about expressions and equations, including modeling an association in bivariate data with a linear equation, and solving linear equations and systems of linear equations
  2. Grasping the concept of a function and using functions to describe quantitative relationships
  3. Analyzing two- and three-dimensional space and figures using distance, angle, similarity, and congruence, and understanding and applying the Pythagorean Theorem

Algebra 1
In Algebra 1, instructional time will focus on four critical areas:

  1. Seeing and interpreting structure in equations and using them to solve problems
  2. Arithmetic with polynomial and rational expressions
  3. Creating equations
  4. Reasoning with equations and inequalities
  5. Interpreting and building functions, including linear, quadratic and exponential functions
  6. Interpreting categorical and quantitative data

McClure Middle School Math Progression

The guiding principle for our McClure Math Progression is to give each student the greatest opportunity to learn rigorous and coherent mathematics in a high-quality program while providing them with the supports necessary to be successful.  Our math department encourages students, parents, educational leaders, and counselors to work closely together to meet this common goal.  

Our Math Progression, shown below, intentionally creates opportunities for all students to master Common Core State Standards while making optimal decisions about the most appropriate courses which we offer.  The design of the progression is based on best practices for reaching the deepest level of understanding and highest level of mastery for each set of grade level standards.  

Additional Resources

Seattle Public Schools Mathematics

Maverick Singers Beginning Choir

The McClure Beginning Choir is a year-long class open to boys and girls in 6th-8th grade who want to sing in a group setting. This class is a pre-requisite for the Intermediate/Advanced choir. Students learn and perform a variety of choral literature in conjunction with correct vocal technique, musicianship fundamentals and ensemble skills. Styles of music performed may include Classical, Broadway, Jazz, Pop, and World Music. Some performances take place outside of the school day, and the choir may participate in local and regional music festivals and contests. No prior singing experience is required to join the choir. 

McClure Concert Choir Intermediate/Advanced

The McClure Intermediate/Advanced choir is open to 7th and 8th grade boys and girls who have sung in the beginning choir, or who audition with the director. The class is a year-long ensemble. Students learn and perform a variety of choral literature in conjunction with correct vocal technique, musicianship fundamentals and ensemble skills. Styles of music performed may include more advanced Classical, Broadway, Jazz, Pop, and World Music that require basic understanding of music fundamentals and independent musicianship. Some performances take place outside of the school day, and the choir may participate in local and regional music festivals and contests. 

Beginning Band and Beginning Orchestra

Beginning instrumental music focuses on beginning strings, winds, and percussion instruments and playing in a large ensemble. Students develop their beginning musical abilities like making a sound on a wind instrument, using a bow on a string instrument, stick technique on percussion, and creativity in performing written music and music played by ear on their chosen instrument. Beginning ensembles typically play 3 performances at McClure per school year. Previous instrumental music experience is not required for this class.

Advanced Orchestra and Advanced Band

Advanced instrumental ensembles continue to develop and challenge students with increasingly difficult music and musical concepts that they will perform with creativity and musical sensitivity. The music increases the technical demands and requires more technical facility to continue expressive playing and creativity. These classes typically do four or more public performances per school year along with several field trips. Incoming students must audition for these ensembles.

Physical education is an opportunity for students to exercise, have fun, develop skills, and learn more about nutrition, fitness concepts, and anatomy.  This course will focus on the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development of each student through various sports, success-oriented activities, physical challenges, cooperative play, and content knowledge aimed to promote a healthy lifestyle.

We incorporate lessons and activities from the Five for Life curriculum, the adopted physical education curriculum of Seattle Public Schools, along with other supplemental programs and activities throughout the school year.  Fitness testing will be done on a periodic basis to assess the components of fitness.  These assessments will include the pacer, curl-ups (aka sit-ups), push-ups, and the sit-and-reach test. (These assessments have been suspended for the 2020-2021 school year) Students will be developing SMART Fitness Goals and completing distanced learning fitness challenges located on Welnet. Students will be reading, writing, and working on health and fitness topics on a regular basis in this class as well as completing a culminating project which combines all of the knowledge they’ve learned in the semester.

Scope and Sequence of Grades/Programs

Content Knowledge
Nutrition – Diet, nutrients, food labels, hydration, body composition
Fitness concepts – Components of fitness, heart rate, FITT principle
Anatomy – Bones, muscles

Activities/Games/Units/Skills  (Suspended for the 2020-2021 School year)
Team handball, archery, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, rowing, hockey, soccer, basketball, flag football, pickleball, badminton, climbing, and many other games/activities.
2020-2021 School year remote learning circuit training, flexibility training, functional training.

Teamwork, sportsmanship, respect, honesty, cooperation, friendly competition, safety, etiquette, conflict resolution, integrity, accountability, discipline, structure, focus, patience, and perseverance.


Registration for Spring Sports will open Friday, February 14th.  McClure will be offering Boys Soccer, Girls Volleyball and Co-Ed Track!  Registration will be available through FamilyID.  Be sure to listen to the daily bulletin for upcoming tryouts and meetings, practice days are still to be determined.  

Remember, you must upload a current physical on FamilyIDin order to complete your registration.  No physical, no participation!  We look forward to seeing our Mavericks turn out for Spring Sports!!  If you have any questions about Spring Sports be sure to talk to Ms. Tocci!

Our goal in science is to cultivate critical thinkers and problem solvers who are able to apply concepts and grow their understanding of the world around them. We nurture the naturally inquisitive minds through inquiry-based instruction. Our curricula are fully aligned with and guided by the Next Generation Science Standards, which include Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science and Engineering Practices. The department collaborates regularly to provide a fully aligned experience that includes content, assessments, and grading. Moreover, technology, engineering practices, and STEM careers are fused into the curriculum to facilitate greater connections.  

We incorporate a variety of materials and concepts that are challenging at all levels of learning. Students who struggle in science are provided necessary supports through guided instruction, supplemental resources, such as websites and readings.  

Scope and sequence of grades/programs

Sixth Grade
Students are introduced to the course in our Microbiome Unit, where students gain an understanding of the role of bacteria and our health.  Transition to the Metabolism Unit, students develop an understanding of how our bodies use the raw materials they ingest to run all our organ systems, as well as an opportunity to design a hypothetical nutrition bar to meet the needs of rescue workers.  The role of heat and molecular motion prepares us for our final units where we explore our oceans and how our climate has been changing over the history of Earth. 

Seventh Grade
Students are introduced to the course in our Geology on Mars Unit, where students examine geologic conditions on Earth to infer the geological processes that have taken place on Mars.  Our next unit continues to explore earth science principles introduced by exploring Plate Tectonics and how rocks are cycled through the planet.  After these units, students will have the opportunity to design and test a simulated tsunami detection system.  The latter half of the course focuses on Chemistry, a branch of Physical Science.   

Eighth Grade
8th Grade Science sequence includes units on Energy, Force & Motion, Light Waves, The Earth, Moon & Sun System, and Natural Selection. One of these units is followed by an Internship unit where students further develop their conceptual understanding by applying their new knowledge to solve either a real-world and/or hypothetical problem. 

All Grades
Students are provided an age-appropriate unit on Family Life and Sexual Health. Seventh graders are taught an additional unit on Drug and Alcohol Awareness. Letters will be sent home to alert parents/guardians prior to the units.  

Areas of Study by Grade Level 

6th grade areas of study: 

6th grade history will cover ancient world history. We will explore people across regions and eras using a thematic approach to examine world history from 8,000 BCE to 1,400 CE. Units include Introduction to Culture and History, Geography, Emerging “Civilizations,” Government, Belief Systems, and Industry. We will also focus on skill-building: critical thinking, notetaking, argument writing, examining artifacts, creating presentation, and research skills.  

7th grade areas of study: 

7th grade history will cover Washington State History. Students must pass WA state history to meet high school graduation requirements. The course begins with geography, Indigenous cultures of WA state, Ethnobotany, and colonization of WA state in the first semester. The formation of WA state’s government, economics, WWII in Washington, and social movements past and present are covered semester two.  

8th grade areas of study: 

8th grade history is the history of the United States from pre-European conquest to the Civil War and Reconstruction. To understand events happening today, it is imperative to know about events in the past. Specifically, we will focus our learning on how geographic regions, diverse cultures, the concept of race, politics, and role of economics contributed to the formation and growth of United States.  


Spanish courses are open to 8th grade students who are eager to explore their world and community.

Learning Spanish engages our students as thoughtful global citizens, and prepares them for college and the job markets of the future. Our Spanish program is based in the World Readiness Standards of the ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages): Communication, Cultures, Connections, Comparisons and Communities. Our goal is to grow students’ skills in interpersonal, interpretive and presentational communication skills and prepare them to be lifelong learners. Students are exposed to diverse perspectives, authentic resources and opportunities to be creative with language.  

Two credits of World Language are now a state requirement for high school graduation – completing our Spanish program in middle school allows students to enter high school with one credit already accounted for! We encourage students that finish this program to start at Spanish 2 when entering high school, and to continue on to higher levels such as AP Spanish.

Scope and Sequence of Spanish Program

The McClure Spanish program will utilize SPS’s newly-adopted Vista Higher Learning curriculum, including the textbook “ Senderos, Level 1 ” as well as teacher-created curriculum. 

Middle and High Schools across the district are moving to an aligned curriculum district-wide.  This means your student will be well-prepared for high school Spanish or any other middle school Spanish class in our district. 

For more information about the Spanish program at McClure, please reach out to
Maari Swain at or Tel: 206-252-1856

McClure has a variety of Special Education Programs available to serve students with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs).  Students are provided with the varied meaningful opportunities to learn and make progress academically, socially and behaviorally.  All students are full members of their classrooms and the wider school community.  The goal of the Special Education Department at McClure is to provide services and supports to meet the individualized needs of our students. 

Scope and Sequence of Grades/Programs

Our Special Education Programs strive to ensure that our students receive the most appropriate services and supports to help guide their learning. McClure provides a continuum of services for students. All students are provided instructional support, including IEP-based accommodations and modifications, to help them access learning opportunities in all their class settings. Our team works in consultation with general education teachers to review curriculum, assess learning needs, and adjust accommodations and modifications to classes and individualized programs as needed. 

In Visual Arts we will review the elements of art at the beginning of the semester and refer to them throughout our term together.

Students will learn the behaviors indicative of an artist: creativity, open-mindedness, cultural awareness, critical feedback, and self-care. Students will be responsible for a personal identity project that we will showcase at the end of the term. Other unit projects will take place throughout the semester according to the element of art under study.