McCracken Weekly

Nov 23 - Dec 4, 2015

Everyone, Everyday is Respectful, Responsible & Ready!

November / December 2015

Friday, November 20

  • Musical Performance of Bye Bye Birdie (1:45 & 7:00 p.m.)

Saturday, November 21

  • Musical Performance of Bye Bye Birdie (2:00 & 7:00 p.m.)

Monday, November 23

  • Eighth Grade Learning Fair

Tuesday, November 24

  • No school-- Parent/Teacher Conferences (12:00 - 8:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, November 25
through Friday, November 27

  • No school

Wednesday, December 2

  • Concert Band & 5th Grade Band Concert @ McCracken (7:00 p.m.)

Monday, December 7

  • Winter Concert (7:00 p.m.)

Tuesday, December 8

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

Thursday, December 10

  • Winter Concert (2:00 p.m.)
Give Thanks


Girls' Basketball

  • Varsity (4:00 p.m.)
    • Monday, November 23: McCracken @ Fairview
    • Monday, November 30: McCracken @ Golf
    • Tuesday, December 1: Old Orchard @ McCracken
  • Jr. Varsity (4:00 p.m.)
    • Monday, November 23 - Fairview @ McCracken (4:15 p.m.)
    • Monday, November 30 - Park View @ McCracken
    • Thursday, December 3 - Golf @ McCracken
  • 6th Grade (5:00 p.m.)
    • No games scheduled.

Updated game schedules can also be found online at

Congratulations to the Cast and Crew of Bye Bye Birdie!

Congratulations to the cast and crew members of this year’s musical production, Bye, Bye Birdie! Thank you for your hard work, dedication, and creativity! We are all looking forward to your performances this weekend. Special thanks are extended to the many parent volunteers who helped to build and paint the set. Thank you for volunteering your time and talent!

Fall Conferences

District 73.5 is hosting conferences on Tuesday, November 24 from 12:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. During these fall conferences, students are encouraged to participate with their parents and teachers as a means for self-reflection and progress monitoring. This structure provides a supportive and objective forum for students to identify their strengths, as well as their areas for growth. Families are encouraged to schedule conference times via our online conference scheduling tool; families were sent a separate mailing from our District 73.5 Technology Department with specific directions and information about how to use this program. If you have any questions, please contact our Technology Department at 847.676.8213. Please note our district-wide conference dates and times are shared with families in advance to allow for staff members and parents or guardians to plan accordingly for this event. Thank you, in advance, for your conference attendance. We are looking forward to meeting with you!

PTA Smart Card Fundraiser

Parents interested in purchasing gift cards can complete order forms and turn into any of the school offices by November 23 or can bring orders to Parent/Teacher Conferences on November 24.

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)
  • Go to this link to sign up: or click on the Night of Code tile at, or see your child's teacher for paper registration flyers.

All registrations were due no later than December 1.

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 is going to go into effect on Monday, November 30.

Registration for 8th Graders

D219 has sent letters to 8th grade families regarding registration for next year at Niles North. The letters included a link (web address) for parents/guardians to use for the purpose of registering their child. Parents/Guardians should follow these registration instructions. The registration window is October 1 through November 24. If there are questions regarding registration, the high school should be contacted directly.

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.

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.

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!


McCracken is pleased to host an after-school orchestra program for students in grades 6-8. Please review the attached flyer for more information.

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.

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!

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. Here's this week's PTA flyer...

PTA in menu bar