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Exploratory Week Catalog

EW 2015

See this year's offerings.  Exploratory Week 2015:  June 8-12

March 2015 Calendar

March 2015 Calendar

February 26 PDD…late arrival

27 8th grade Exploratory Week catalogs to students

March 6 Exploratory Week selection forms due

9 Living Voices presentation during humanities classes

12 PDD & Taproot Theater assembly

13 McMurray Free Movie Night “Sponge Bob”, drop off at Vashon Theater 9:15 pm, pick up at 11:00 pm

17 Shelter in Place drill, 10:45

19 & 20 Student-Led conferences

27 6th grade to Pompeii exhibit

EMERGENCY DRILLS EXPLAINED Washington State schools are required to hold one emergency drill per month during the school year: 3 fire evacuation drills, 3 lockdown, 1 shelter in place, 1 high-risk (eg. Earthquake), 1 mapping system.

LOCKDOWN is an emergency protocol to protect people inside from a dangerous event. A partial lockdown means the doors leading outside are locked and people may not exit or enter the building. A full lockdown means that people must stay where they are and may not enter or exit a classroom or the building. If people are in the hallway they must go to the nearest classroom.

SHELTER IN PLACE is the use of a structure to temporarily separate individuals from a hazardous outdoor atmosphere. The drill entails closing all windows, doors and vents and taking immediate shelter in a medium to small room, trying to make it as airtight as possible. MAPPING SYSTEM is a tabletop drill among staff.

CLASSROOM VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Volunteers are needed in the 8th grade AVID class on Tuesdays and Thursdays during 3rd period and on monthly field trips the last Friday of every month. Volunteers will assist students in academic achievement by meeting them on a regular basis to clarify learning problems and work on study skills. Your tutoring is a supplement to our teaching.

AVID Class Volunteer Job Duties: • Tutor and assist students individually or in small groups. Content: pre-algebra, algebra, reading, writing, research, science • Present subject matter under the direction of teachers, using lectures, discussions or other methods • Help supervise students in classrooms, halls, cafeteria, gym, campus or on field trips • Conduct demonstrations to teach skills necessary to be a successful student • Share personal anecdotes about how your education has improved your life. If you would like to volunteer please contact Sara Filanoski at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 206-463-9168 ext 3147.

STUDENT-LED CONFERENCES Information coming soon in an email from Principal Greg Allison.

Smarter Balanced Assessments

Dear parents of VISD students,

This spring our State is switching student summative assessments to a computer based system called Smarter Balanced. Smarter Balanced will assess student knowledge of the Common Core State Standards in reading, writing, and math grades 3 - 11. 

Smarter Balanced assessments offer significant shifts from State tests in the past, including writing at every grade, new question types, and performance tasks that ask students to demonstrate an array of research, writing, and problem solving skills. Vashon 3rd graders will take the assessment using paper and pencil, while students in grades 4 - 11 will take the assessment via computer; Smarter Balanced assessments make use of computer adaptive technology, which provides more accurate information about student achievement.

Because the assessments are administered online, teachers, principals, and parents can receive results in weeks, not months. Faster results also mean that teachers can use the information from assessments to check student progress and plan instruction during the year.

All VISD students in grades 3-8 will practice interim tests in their classrooms between January and March. The summative tests will occur between March and May. We encourage you to take a practice test and to provide practice sessions for your children as the assessments are quite different from those in the past and the more familiar students are with the format, the more likely assessments are to reflect their achievement. Simply open this link, click sign in, select a grade, then get started!

Smarter Balanced Practice Tests


Thank you for your ongoing support of our students!

Warmly, Roxanne Lyons

Greg Allison

Jody Metzger


Check out these links to learn more:

Smarter Balanced website

frequently asked questions


Magazines Needed for Projects

Magazines for McMurray students – REUSE and recycle with us!

Want a great way to dispose of those old issues of magazines?  McM students could use them!  We do a variety of projects where students cut up and create with magazines.  Any kind of magazine with large lettering and pictures would be optimal. Families that would like to donate please bring your magazines to the McM main office.

Thank you


January and February Calendar

                                          McMurray School Calendar
12-20  Sign up for Girls Basketball and Wrestling
15  Late arrival, 10:30 start
15  Night of Visual and Performing Arts, 6 to 8 pm
19  ML King Jr. Day, no school
21  Girls Basketball and Wrestling practices begin
23  End of first semester
26  Teacher In-service, no school
27 Second semester begins
5  Late arrival, 10:30 start
16-20  Late Winter Break, no school

26  Late arrival,  10:30 start

Enrolling Non-Resident Students at McMurray 2015-2016

Each year around this time the phone begins to ring with parents calling who are interested in exploring McMurray Middle School and learning about the process for students commuting to Vashon as a “non-resident.”
McMurray offers a series of tours for students and their families aimed to give a broad overview of our Middle School programs as well as familiarize visitors with our campus, facilities, and extracurricular programs.Tours are led by Principal Greg Allison. Following a welcome and overview, a student panel will offer their perspective on commuting to McMurray Middle School. Information will bshared about what is involved in navigating the commute to Vashon for those coming from off-Island. Tour participants are encouraged to ask questions.

If you are interested in attending one of our tours, please contact Greg Allison at 206-463-9168 ext 3166 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to sign up.

Tours are currently scheduled for the following dates, and align with the 10:20 boat leaving Fauntleroy and the 10:10 boat leaving Southworth :

Wednesday January 21st  11:00 am
Wednesday March 4th  11:00 am

The Enrollment Process

The process for enrolling as a non-resident student at McMurray involves a few simple steps:

1. Join us for a tour to learn more about our school. We encourage you to bring your student along.

2. Apply for admission using our Non-Resident Student application

3. Applications are currently being accepted for the 2015-2016 school year; these forms are date-stamped and considered in the order they are received.

4. McMurray has two application cycles: Early enrollment forms are due by February 13th enrollment applications are due by April 30th  2015, with notifications regarding acceptance mailed out by March 2nd. Late enrollment applications are due by April 30th, with notifications mailed out by May 15th.

5. When receiving an acceptance letter for enrollment at McMurray, you must obtain a “non-resident inter-district transfer agreement” from your local Superintendent’s office and send this form to McMurray. You will also complete and return McMurray’s enrollment packet that contains a form used to request records from your student’s current school along with immunization forms, and other critical documents. Your student’s enrollment will not be finalized until all of these documents have beenreceived by the McMurray front office.

6. Families who decide to “decline” enrollment at McMurray are asked to notify the school’s Principal, Greg Allison in writing as soon as a decision has been reached.