Sunday, September 8, 2019

Sept. 8 Update

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope this message finds you well.  The McCall faculty spent quite a lot of our faculty meeting time last year talking about the behavior expectations we have for our students and for ourselves.  After considering the faculty and staff’s input and our discussions, we decided to summarize our values with the phrase McCall for ALL.  The acronym A.L.L. stands for the following:

A for Act Responsibly
L for Lead with Integrity
L for be a Life Long Learner 

The acronym ALL not only signifies the types of behaviors we should ask students (and ourselves) to strive toward, the word ALL also resonates strongly with me because it represents the primary charge given to us as public school educators.  There is no doubt we are a successful school, but it is important for us to constantly reflect on whether our practices have allowed ALL students to be successful or whether they have benefited most students, but excluded some.  It is just as important for us to constantly think about whether our practices have brought about success in ALL parts of a student.  For example, were the academic successes many of our students experienced gained at the expense of mental health and the development of skill sets such as problem-solving and creativity?

I think much of the work our staff will be taking on or continue to engage in this year (e.g., co-teaching, social emotional learning, and performance-based assessments) relate to teaching ALL McCall students so no one is excluded from experiencing success.  Just as importantly, the work we have done and will continue to do is all about teaching ALL aspects of a student so success in one area does not come at the expense of other areas.  The McCall faculty and staff will continue think about how we can incorporate the idea of McCall for ALL into our everyday practices with our students and with each other.  I would like to share with you this welcome sign created by the school’s Acceptance and Inclusion Committee.  It embodies the idea of McCall for ALL and will be displayed prominently in our school to remind everyone what we value.

Here are some additional reminders:

Student Handbook - I would like to ask everyone to review the McCall Student Handbook included in the Resource page of the school website before the start of the school year.  We have made some important changes to the following areas, so I highly advise all families to review the information with their students in order to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding our practices and policies.

·                Attendance (Pg. 19)
·                Student Conduct (Pg. 31)
·                Disciplinary Actions (Pg. 32)
·                Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Gender (Pg. 49)
·                Inclusive Sports and Extracurricular Activity Participation Policy (Pg. 53)
·                Parents Bringing Student Items to School (Pg. 16)

Upcoming Events - Please mark your calendars with the following events.  All of these events are also posted on the school calendar on the school website.  You can access it by clicking here.

September 25 – McCall Picture Day
October 8, 7:00-9:00 pm – Sarah Ward Parent Presentation on Executive Functioning
October 10, 7:00-9:00 pm – McCall Back to School Night for Parents and Guardians

McCall Parent Association -  I would like to give the McCall Parent Association (MPA) a shout out for they do so much to support our school.  They held a successful parent coffee this past Friday, and their first meeting is scheduled for Sept. 24 from 7:00-9:00 pm in the McCall Library.  You are welcome to attend if you are available.  I also encourage everyone to sign up for the their weekly newsletter by clicking here.  The MPA newsletter is an informative resource that helps everyone keep updated on the school, its activities, as well as events in the Winchester community.  It also gives you ideas about how to support the school, its staff, and the students.

Thank you and enjoy the upcoming week!

James Lin
McCall Middle School

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