McCracken Weekly

Dec 7-11, 2015

Everyone, Everyday is Respectful, Responsible & Ready!

December 2015

Monday, December 7

  • Winter Concert (7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, December 8

  • Board of Education Meeting (7:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, December 9

  • Family Night of Code (5:30-7:00 p.m.)

Thursday, December 10

  • Winter Concert (2:00 p.m.)

Friday, December 11

  • MAP Testing begins

Monday, December 2 through
Friday, January 1, 2016

  • No School - Winter Break

January 4-6

  • RCBM Testing

January 7-8

  • MCOMP Testing


Girls' Basketball

  • Varsity (4:00 p.m.)
    • Tuesday, December 8: McCracken @ Park View
    • Thursday, December 10: Lincoln Jr. High @ McCracken
    • Friday, December 11: Play in game
  • Jr. Varsity (4:00 p.m.)
    • Tuesday, December 8: Lincoln Hall @ McCracken
    • Friday, December 11: Play in game
  • 6th Grade (5:00 p.m.)
    • Wednesday, December 9 - Lincoln Hall @ McCracken

Updated game schedules can also be found online at

Middle School Parents Still Make The Difference

Visit our website to access a monthly parent Newsletter titled, “Middle School Parents Still Make a Difference!” This resource provides tips for helping your student succeed in school, and suggestions for communicating with your young adolescent. Each edition also includes a monthly calendar of ideas for you and your middle school student. Enjoy!

Boys' Basketball

Tryouts will be January 4 & 5, 2016. All interested boys must have an athletic participation form on file in order to try out. Please contact the  nurse to make sure you have all necessary forms turned in. Please contact Mr. Petriko if you have any questions.

MAP Testing

This week students successfully completed MAP tests in the areas of Reading and Math. We are proud of their efforts and look forward to using this valuable information to further their learning and growth. Families will receive a copy of their child's individual progress report via mail in early February; in the meantime, ask your child about his or her progress and achievement. If you have any questions about your student's score or how you can help at home, please contact your student's English Language Arts or Math teacher.

AP Approach to College

Niles North High School invites student and parents to discover how AP classes are possible for every student. Those who participate in this event on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 (6:30-8:15 p.m.) will learn more about the college admissions process, meet AP teachers, find out AP course requirements, and more. For more information contact Bridget Connolly at 847.626.2391.

ashton - hour of codeFamily Night of Code

Join us for a Night of Code at McCracken! The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. The goal is for tens of millions of students, globally, to try an Hour of Code during December 7-13, in celebration of Computer Science Education Week! District 73.5 and the PTA are excited to bring this opportunity to our district to engage students and families in problem-solving, math, and science.

  • Who: All interested students and families K-8
  • When: December 9, 2015
  • Time: 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
  • Where: McCracken Multi-Purpose Room (MPR)

All registrations were due no later than December 1.

Emergency School Closing Information

In the event of severe weather conditions or a building emergency which necessitate school closings, closings will be announced on the following radio and television stations:

  • AM Radio Stations: WGN 720, WBBM 780
  • Television Stations: CBS Channel 2, NBC Channel 5, ABC Channel 7, WGN Channel 9, FOX Channel 32, CLTV Channel 41

Listen for "Skokie School District 73½"

In addition, school closings will be posted on the District’s website You can also check online at

In the event our schools are closed, the District will activate the District's automated phone messaging system, which will call each family with a recorded message.

Please make sure the school offices have your most current contact information.

Ping Pong Club

We are pleased to share that we have a new after school club... Ping Pong! Two seventh grade students proposed the idea to Mr. Petriko, who is serving as the adult supervisor. Students are welcome to drop-in to this free club on Mondays. Students should arrive by 3:05pm and plan to stay until 3:55pm. Students can come one time, or each week. The club will meet until winter break.

Outstanding Fees

If a student has any outstanding fees, such as instructional, bus, lunch, library, etc., which are over $6.00, the student will not be allowed to participate in the Athletics/Enrichment/After-School Activities/Swing Choir and any other student paid activities, until these fees are paid. This policy went into effect on Monday, November 30.

Camera Apps Parents Should Know About

Teens can use apps with names such as Private Ninja Cam and Best Secret Folder to ensure privacy and independence from parents who may be monitoring their online behavior. Visit Common Sense Media for information about these and other apps.

Extended Learning Program

Our Extended Learning Program provides honors classes for students in math and English language arts in grades 4-8. Students qualify for these classes based on a variety of measures. Families are notified of this information in June (for class placement for the upcoming school year). Parents may complete a Parent Inquiry Form if they believe their child may benefit from a more rigorous curriculum. The window for submitting Parent Inquiry Forms opened October 1 and remains open until April 1. Parent Inquiry paperwork is available in the main office of Middleton and McCracken, or by contacting your school’s Assistant Principal.


Calling all Volunteers! Be on the lookout for more information from the PTA about volunteer opportunities! We are creating an online sign-up sheet and will pass along all links as soon it is up and running. Opportunities include committee chairs, volunteers for school events, helpers in the school, and more. With your help, we know it will be a great year.

Peanut and Nut-Free Classrooms

As part of our ongoing effort to ensure a safe learning environment for all students, classrooms and other learning spaces in our building are peanut and nut free. (Students travel to multiple classrooms each day, so it is not possible to designate only some classrooms as "peanut and nut-free zones.") Therefore, when selecting snacks or meals for your child to eat during activities or events meeting outside of our cafeteria, please send peanut and nut free options. Your child may continue to bring peanut and nut products for lunch in our cafeteria, as we have a peanut and nut free table in that location. Thank you for your support and cooperation!

Center for Adult Learning LogoEnglish Classes

Once again, free English classes are being offered to district parents and grandparents on Saturday mornings from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m in the Meyer Multi-Purpose room. There is free child-care. Classes began on Saturday, September 12.

Reminder: Arrival and Dismissal Safety Guidelines

Ensuring the safety of all students during arrival and dismissal is a collective effort. Please review the Skokie Police ordinances, McCracken Middle School regulations, and safety reminders outlined on the website and distributed to all students on Schedule Pick Up Day so that we may work together toward improved student safety. Please also remember not to block the driveways of homes on East Prairie to ensure that our neighbors may enter and exit safely. Thank you!

Learning Center

The Learning Center will open for students at 7:30 a.m. every day before school, and remain open until 4:00 p.m. after school on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. (After 7:40 a.m. students must wait to enter the building until the bell rings at 7:50 a.m.) The Learning Center is closed after school on Tuesdays and Fridays.


The cafeteria is open at 7:30 a.m. for students to purchase breakfast. (After 7:40 a.m. students must wait to enter the building until the bell rings at 7:50 a.m.) The Learning Center is closed after school on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Early Dismissal

Every Tuesday students are dismissed at 2:00 p.m. so that teachers may participate in professional development and collaborative planning sessions.

Late Bus

We offer late bus service again this year. If your child is a current bus rider and has paid for service, there is no extra cost and he/she may use our regular bus pass to ride the late bus. If your child is not a current bus rider, you may pay a $70 fee in the McCracken office to secure a late bus pass. Students must show the driver their late bus pass to ride this bus. The late bus runs on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and leaves McCracken at 4:00 p.m.. If you have questions, please call the office.

Student/Parent Email Registration:

To receive alerts via email, please register your email address with the district via PowerSchool.

Community Pages

Visit the Community section of our website for links to Community Pages, an archive of "frequent flyer" handouts shared by our community partners for students to take home in their backpacks and folders.

PTA LogoPTA News & Information

The PTA is live on! Look up in the bookmark bar for the PTA link and then click it to get to know your PTA, find out how you can get involved, learn about events, download/print PTA flyers, and more.

PTA in menu bar