Friday, August 10, 2018


Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the sunshine and warm weather of August.  My name is James Lin and I am the new principal of McCall Middle School.  With the help of Mr. Goncalves, Ms. Lavoie, and all the McCall Staff members who are around during the summer, I have been spending the last four weeks getting myself settled into this new position.  I am proud to say I can now navigate from the school’s new BB wing to the third floor without getting lost, and I can also get myself to school and back home with limited use of my GPS.  Learning everything I need to know about McCall will be a long process, but it is one I am happy to take on with all of your support.

Before I provide you with some reminders about the upcoming school year, please allow me to introduce myself to you.  Prior to working as a school administrator, I was an 8th grade science teacher at Clarke Middle School in Lexington, MA.  I also taught math during my first three years at that school.  I left Lexington after ten years to become the Assistant Principal of Concord Middle School in Concord, MA.  After six years on that job, I decided to pursue my first principalship at Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School in Groton, MA.  I served in that role for three years, and now I feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity to serve as McCall’s next principal.

I have three children.  The oldest one just finished middle school and will enter the high school in the fall.  My son is entering middle school age and will be a sixth grader in September.  My younger daughter will enter 2nd grade and is excited that she will be joining the big kids on the second floor of her elementary school.  My wife, like me, is a long time middle school educator.  She taught ELA for many years and now she is an 8th grade special education teacher.

The increase of Back to School sale ads we are all seeing on TV and print media tells us we should start thinking about the 18-19 school year.  Therefore, I would like to take this opportunity to provide everyone with a couple of friendly reminders about the upcoming school year.

Change in Start Time – I am sure you are all aware that the McCall start time will be changing in the fall.  The official school day will now commence at 8:30 am, and the building will be opening for students at 8:00 am.  Please make sure you plan accordingly since the school will not be able to supervise your students if they are on school grounds before 8:00 am unless they make arrangements with a staff member ahead of time.  Please note that the Winchester Public School calendar is now posted on the school website and you can access it by clickinghere.  Along with holidays, early release days, and other notable dates, the document includes McCall’s regular and early release school hours.  Please take a moment to review it.

Summer Reading List and School Supplies Lists – Please remember that the Summer Reading List and the School Supplies List are also posted on our school website.  You can access that information by clicking here.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – McCall Middle School will continue our BYOD program this coming school year.  Please make sure you review the BYOD Letter to Families sent out by Mr. Goncalves at the end of last school year if you have not done so yet.  Please note that in the letter we asked all families to indicate your willingness or your ability to provide your students with devices by completing a quick survey.  We ask all families to enter your information by August 25 so our staff has enough time to plan for our students’ needs accordingly.  You can access the Device Needs Survey by clicking here.  I will be sending out information before the end of the month about the Chromebook sign out process for those students who wish to use school devices for the year.

The Big Reveal – We are on course to mail home the Welcome letters, which will include your students’ Team and Homeroom assignments, during the week of August 20.  I will email you again with the exact date of the mailing.

Meet-and-Greet – I would like to invite all incoming middle school parents and students to come by McCall during the following times to visit with me.  I would love to have the opportunity to meet as many of you as I can before the school year starts.  If you are not available during the following times, please feel free to reach out any time to introduce yourself to me.

  • Incoming 6th GradeMonday, August 13, 11:20-11:45 am (at the end of the Great Expectations Program)
  • Incoming 6th – Monday, August 20, 11:20-11:45 am (at the end of the Great Expectations Program)
  • Incoming 7th and 8th – Tuesday August 21, 11:30-12:00 pm

Thank you and I will be communicating with you again once we get closer to the start of the school year.  I hope all of you will continue to enjoy your summer vacation!


James Lin
McCall Middle School

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