2nd Semester UpdatePosted by Greg Allison on 4/3/2019 2:00:00 PMDear Parents,As we enter into 2nd semester, we want to share out some important work going on at our school. McMurray is working diligently to sustain a positive, safe, and inclusive learning community and in this effort, we are employing a variety of strategies throughout the school intended to maximize learning, build social and emotional skills, as well foster a “growth mindset” within our students that will carry them forward to high school and beyond.In building a positive school culture, enhancing student voice and engagement is critical in this focus. This year, we are supporting our Executive Council and Sources of Strength clubs to lead projects that create community, positive engagement and throughout our school in many ways, recognizing that in addition to academics, we want to help develop student’s interests and passions. These strategies include guiding, empowering and engaging our students as leaders. Already this year, our student council has supported projects that aim to build awareness of local and global causes. Celebration of our students and acknowledgement of positive contributions in multiple ways is an important way of building engagement and voice. We seek feedback regularly from our students, host multiple “Recognition Assemblies” throughout the year to honor contributions to clubs, athletics and other endeavors, and employ the “McMurray Roundup” recognition form and “Student of the Week” honors.In our focus on building an inclusive school climate, equity and empathy are at the forefront of this work. We are proud to observe the engagement of many student leaders in our clubs, particularly two new clubs, La Chispa and People of the World (POW). Students are working to build the school and likewise, the type of world they want to live in. We are striving to honor our diversity by celebrating the many cultures represented at school through colorful bulletin boards and integrating awareness in our curriculum. Recently, we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through powerful performances of spoken word to honor Dr. King’s legacy by Daemond Arrindelle, Malea Dickerson, and Kevin Estrada. Students were called upon to reflect upon how they can make a difference through their inclusive and empathetic actions. We encourage our students to continue to be curious, get involved in these efforts and care for those around them.These efforts at building community and a culture of care and belonging are our biggest assets in maintaining a safe school. Prevention efforts such as our social emotional learning through Second Step, and training for students and staff continue as a top priority for our school. We are also in the midst of significant school preparedness efforts to help us respond to any possible threat or hazard. We are partnering Puget Sound Educational Service District, community partners, federal & state law enforcement, & fire department to update our plans on an ongoing basis, train staff, and practice monthly safety drills throughout the year. After any incident on a school campus or major incident in the nation, our district will meet with the administrative team, other staff, and law enforcement partners to review what occurred, how it was responded to and what we can learn to improve our own practices here on Vashon.HOW YOU CAN HELP: Work with your student to ensure they’re mindful of conversations they have in person and on social media. Ask them not to participate in any group chat that discusses any act of violence against any person or any school. Make sure they know to report any concerns to a trusted adult immediately or through our online Anonymous Alerts reporting process.
We are proud of the way these investments are taking hold in our school culture and how our students continue to learn, grow, and take care of one another. Thank you for echoing these themes at home and for your support in developing our students’ “whole selves” here at McMurray. If you are interested in learning more or partnering in these efforts, please let us know if you are interested. We appreciate your partnership!Sincerely,Greg Allison Juanita McCullochPrincipal Assistant Principal
WELCOME BACK TO SCHOOL!Posted by Terri Vickers on 8/16/2018 1:30:00 PM
August 13, 2018
Dear McMurray Students and Parents,
Welcome to McMurray Middle School for the 2018-2019 school year. Our team is looking forward to starting the school year and developing an outstanding learning community at McMurray! This year school begins on Tuesday, September 4th with a full day of classes. Student schedules can be viewed on Skyward Student and Family Access, and students will also receive a hard copy along with their locker assignments on the first day of school.
We invite all 6th graders and those students new to the district to an orientation on Thursday, August 30 from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. Students will meet their teachers, be welcomed by McMurray Student Mentors and receive a printed copy of their schedules and locker assignments at that time. We encourage parents to stay for their very own event that includes a special welcome from our administration and an informative session with Parent Educator, Yvonne-Monique Aviva, who will speak on creating a positive transition to middle school with a focus on helping your student manage stress and anxiety successfully.
For support from your School Counselors, please contact Yvette Butler if your student’s last name begins with letters A-K and contact Carolyn Zike if your student’s last name begins with letters L-Z. We will be working with these students as they progress through their middle school years. School Counselors return to regular office hours beginning August 23rd and are most easily reached by email. Please contact Yvette at email@example.com or Carolyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to making this an excellent school year! Our highest priorities for the year will be:
- Promoting curiosity, engagement, critical thinking, and academic growth for all students.
- Developing a safe and positive school climate will be emphasized throughout the year, with a particular focus on fostering empathy, inclusion, responsibility and respect.
- Enhancing positive collaboration with students, home and the community through a variety of outreach, volunteerism, and communications.
This year will commence with our normal schedule, beginning with the first bell at 7:55 a.m. and dismissal at 2:40 p.m., with last year’s “two lunch” schedule continuing. We will continue with Professional Development Days (10:30 start, 2:40 dismissal). However, we will no longer run the “Block Schedule” this year on PDD weeks. We will utilize block schedules as needed in the Spring for assessment purposes.
Visitors and volunteers are always welcome and I encourage you to become involved in our school in whatever way you can. Volunteers are needed August 29 and September 4- 6. Please see more information on last page of this letter. Visit our website for information updates at www.vashonsd.org/mcmurray. I also encourage you to check out our PTSA partner website at www.vashonptsa.org.
We will communicate with you this year primarily via email, so please make sure we have your current email address. Report cards will be posted on Skyward and will not be mailed. You may update your contact information via Family Access or contact Barbara Jensen at email@example.com. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions regarding the upcoming year, and please see the information following this letter for more specific information about the start of the 2018-2019 school year. I appreciate your involvement and look forward to working with you this year!
Greg Allison, Principal
Juanita McGilton, Assistant Principal