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
McCall Middle School

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