Monday, July 8, 2019

July 8 Update

Dear Incoming 7th and 8th Grade Parents and Guardians,

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday week.  If you no longer wish to receive updates from this Blog, please do not forget you can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of this message.  

It has been a long time since we had so few snow days during a school year, so it is quite a treat to be able to end school in mid-June as opposed to the end of the month.  We had been using these additional time in June to put the finishing touches on last school year and to work to prepare for the 19-20 school year.  Our administrative assistants and guidance counselors had been working hard to make sure the student records and important student information are updated and are sent to the right places.  The custodial and DPW staff is hard at work to make sure the facilities are cleaned and repaired for September.  We have quite a lot of teachers changing their classrooms due to our work to keep team teachers close together in order to reduce amount of traveling students have to do between classes and to accommodate the increased number of staff hired as the result of the approved override, so I thank the building maintenance staff for helping us with all the moves we have to make over the summer.

Although the faculty is not teaching during the summer, many of them are using the time to improve their practices.  Several McCall teachers participated in professional development opportunities held by the district to improve their understanding of differentiated instruction and social emotional learning.  Many more teachers will be taking part in co-teaching professional development sessions in the upcoming weeks.

You may not think a lot of construction is going on at McCall if you were to walk or drive past the front of our building, however, a lot of progress has been made with the Phase II Classroom/Cafeteria construction work since the school year ended.  The hill, the staircase, and the porch that resided between Knowlton Field and the cafeteria have been completely demolished setting the stage for the construction of the foundation for the expanded cafeteria and the six new classrooms.  The construction crew is currently building the irrigation system of this new area and extending the plumbing system from the existing building to it.  I am very appreciative of how willing the construction company and the town are willing to cooperate with my staff and me to ensure the construction will cause minimal impact to the school’s operation.  Attached are some pictures to give you a sense of the progress that is being made.  For those of you who frequent the track located at the back of McCall, please note that it is still accessible despite the construction.  However, we highly recommend everyone to pay attention to the fencing and the signs put up by the construction company so you do not accidentally wonder into the construction zone.






I would also like to take this opportunity to remind everyone of a few other things.  Please see below:

Summer Reading and Math Review for Incoming 7th Graders – I would like to give everyone a gentle reminder that the summer reading information for all incoming students is now posted on the school website (please click here).  Please make sure you review it if you have not done so already.

The 6th grade math teachers have created a math review packet for all students entering 7th grade.  It is highly recommended - but not required - for all incoming 7th graders regardless of which math level they will be entering to review what they have learned last school year in order to prevent summer learning loss.  You can access the review packet by clicking here.

School Supplies – Please note that the school supplies list is now posted on the school website for those of you who likes to plan ahead (please click here).   Due to the fact that all students have access to Chromebooks or other electronic devices for their learning, and most teachers use online tools such as Google Classroom to post assignments and help students organize their academic responsibilities, we will not be purchasing agenda planners for students next year.  Instead, that fund will be used to acquire resources that align with our school and district goals such as increase the use of performance based assessments and expanding the world language program.  I understand some students may prefer to keep track of their academic responsibilities by using agenda books instead of electronic devices.  If that is the case with your child, we recommend you purchase an agenda book for him or her.

Schedules and Team Placement – My administrative staff are finalizing team placements and student schedules.  We are on par to release your students’ schedules through the Aspen Family Portal at the middle of next month.  I will be notifying you through email as soon as we are ready to release that information.

Thank you and I wish all of you continue to enjoy your summer.


James Lin
Principal
McCall Middle School

Sunday, June 16, 2019

June 16 Update


Dear Parents and Guardians,



I hope this message finds you well.  I would like to begin by reminding all 6th and 7th grade families that the student schedules and the school’s master schedule for the 19-20 school year are currently being built.  They will not be completed and finalized until early August.  I understand some of you have seen scheduling information currently on Aspen or have received that type of information from other sources.  Therefore, I would like everyone to know that the scheduling information you are getting right now other than those you are receiving directly from me or other McCall administrators are likely not accurate and do not necessarily indicate what your students’ schedules will look like next year.  We will disseminate information about how to access your students’ schedules and teaming information once we get to August.  We will also inform you at that time the process you can take if you have questions or concerns about your students’ schedules.



I strongly encourage all 8th grade families to please review the attached memo for important information pertaining to Tuesday’s Moving on Ceremony and Dance if you have not done so already.



Lastly, here are some more end of the year reminders:



Loaner Chromebooks – Please do not forget that the school will not be collecting the Chromebooks that were lent to your students.  We will be collecting Chromebooks from 1:00-3:00 pm on June 18 and June 19 from students who are exiting the school system or are no longer interested in borrowing a machine from the school.  Please make sure you plan accordingly.





Summer Reading – All current 6th and 7th grade students and families please make sure you review the Summer Reading information posted on our website.  You can locate that information by clicking here.





Thank you,



James Lin

Principal

McCall Middle School




Sunday, June 9, 2019

June 9 Update


Dear Parents and Guardians,



I hope everyone is doing well.  I am writing to provide everybody a few end-of the-year reminders.



Early Dismissals – Please do not forget Friday, June 14, Monday, June 17, and Tuesday, June 18 are all early dismissal days.  School ends at 12:00 pm on all three days.



8th Grade End of the Year Activities – All eight grade parents please do not forget to review the Grade 8 End of the Year Event information that was emailed out last week.  Attached here please find the Canobie Lake Trip permission form if you have not filled it out for your students yet.
 

Loaner Chromebooks – Please do not forget that the school will not be collecting the Chromebooks that were lent to your students.  This includes all 8th graders who plan to attend WHS next year.  The 8th grade students are asked to keep the machines over the summer so they can use them for next year while they are WHS freshmen.  We will be collecting Chromebooks from 1:00-3:00 pm on June 18 and June 19 from students who are exiting the school system or are no longer interested in borrowing a machine from the school.  Please make sure you plan accordingly.



Summer Reading – All current 6th and 7th grade students and families please make sure you review the Summer Reading information posted on our website.  You can locate that information by clicking here.





Thank you and enjoy your last full week of school!





James Lin

Principal

McCall Middle School






Sunday, June 2, 2019

June 2 Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,



The turning of the calendar to June signals the fast approaching end of the school year.  I would like to use this opportunity to give everyone a few important end-of-the-year reminders.



Early Release Days – Please do not forget that June 14, 17, and 18 are all early release days for all McCall students.  Dismissal time will be at 12:00 pm for all three days.



BYOD Loaner Chromebooks – We will not be asking families who are using district Chromebooks for the BYOD program to return the machines to us for the summer.  Please keep those laptops so students can use them during the summer and next school year.  This includes all outgoing 8th grade students who plan to attend WHS next school year.  They will be using the Chromebooks assigned to them by McCall at the high school.  However, we will be collecting Chromebooks from all students who are exiting the school district or have decided no longer to borrow Chromebooks from the district for next school year.  The collection time is scheduled from 1:00-3:00 pm on June 18, and 19 in the McCall Library.  Please plan accordingly.



We encourage all students whose Loaner Chromebooks are not functioning correctly to please bring them into the main office so we can repair or replace them before summer vacation starts.



8th Grade Moving On Ceremony – All 8th grade families please remember that the Moving On Ceremony is scheduled to take place on June 18th at 6:30 pm.  The event will take place on Knowlton Field.  The location will be moved to the high school field house if rain is predicted. 



The McCall Parent Association is sponsoring a Grade 8 dance to take place in the McCall Cafeteria immediately following the ceremony until 9:30 pm.  All 8th grade students are invited to attend.



Washington, DC Trip Registration – All 7th grade families please remember that the early registration deadline for the 2020 DC trip is this Thursday June 6th.  I strongly encourage you to register before the deadline to take advantage of the $75 discount.  Please make sure you consult the DC Information web pages (please click here) for more information if you have not done so already.



Thank you and enjoy the upcoming week.





James Lin

Principal

McCall Middle School

Sunday, May 19, 2019

May 19 Update


Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope this message finds you well.  I would like to share two announcements with you this week.  All 7th grade families please note that your students will be bringing home important information regarding the 2020 8th grade Washington, DC trip on Monday.  All trip plans are in place pending School Committee approval.  Please remember that the school is committed to making sure all students who would like to take part in the trip are able to attend.  Therefore, financial aids will be available to all families who need support.  If you are certain your student would like to participate in this event, I encourage everyone to take advantage of the early registration discount and adhere to the registration deadline even if you need financial support.  The school will work with you after the registration deadline to secure the necessary aid for your students to take part in the trip.

Secondly, I would like to share with you the Summer Enrichment Opportunities.  Please see below.

Summer Enrichment Program 2019!
Winchester’s own teachers and staff have submitted course proposals in subject areas they are passionate about.  We hope that many children will share their interest and sign up this summer. Children will benefit from small classes with expert teachers! Our goal is to reach out to all learners expand their love of learning.

Classes for students pre-k through grade 12 and include art, science, math, sports and more!
Please take a look at our website:

Classes fill up fast, register today!
Please contact our Summer Enrichment Coordinator, Jessica Callahan, if you have any questions at  jcallahan@winchesterps.org



Thank you and enjoy the upcoming week.


James Lin
Principal
McCall Middle School

Sunday, May 12, 2019

May 12 Update


Dear Parents and Guardians,

Happy Mother’s Day!  Yesterday morning I came across this New Yorker cartoon in my Twitter feed, and it made me think of the home lives our students experience every day as well as my own upbringing.  I lived with my aunt and uncle’s family throughout most of my adolescence while my own mother traveled with my father across Southeast to Asia to support him with his work.  I remember overhearing my aunt and my mother having lively discussions on international calls talking about setting boundaries and expectations around driving, dating, and attending SAT prep courses.  At the time having two mothers on your case about those matters is not something most teenagers would be happy about.  However, in retrospect I am grateful that there were multiple people who cared enough about me to guide me through difficult decisions that I was not fully prepared to make on my own.

The Winchester community is becoming more diverse, and McCall students are going home to family structures that are different than traditional ones that are headed by one male father and one female mother.  It is with that in mind that I extend my sincerest Mother’s Day wish to all mothers and mother figures that are out there in the McCall community.  I assure all of you that my staff and I will continue to strive to work collaboratively with all types parents and parental figures to help our students learn and grow.

Happy Mother’s Day!


James Lin
Principal
McCall Middle School

Sunday, May 5, 2019

May 5 Update


Dear Parents and Guardians,

Happy Cinco de Mayo and May the 4th be with you!  I would first like to congratulate our Greenhouse Club students and their “Let’s EnviroMEND Winchester!” program.  It has been selected by EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton’s office to be recognized with the Secretary’s Award for Excellence. The students as well as Ms. Capobianco-Burns and Ms. Higgins the club advisors will take part in the ceremony tomorrow at the State House.  Go Greenhouse Team!

Thank you and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

James Lin
Principal
McCall Middle School