McCracken Weekly

Nov 9-13, 2015

Everyone, Everyday is Respectful, Responsible & Ready!

November 2015

Friday, November 6

  • Honors Assembly (8:10 a.m.)
  • International Night @ McCracken (6:00-8:30 p.m.)

Tuesday, November 10

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

Wednesday, November 11

  • Veterans Day (No school)

Saturday, November 14

  • ILMEA District 7 Band Trip

Tuesday, November 17

  • PTA Meeting (7:00 p.m.)

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.)
International Night Flyer


Girls' Basketball

  • Varsity (4:00 p.m.)
    • Tuesday, November 10: Park View @ McCracken
    • Thursday, November 12: Culver @ McCracken
  • Jr. Varsity (4:00 p.m.)
    • Monday, November 9: McCracken @ Culver
  • 6th Grade (5:00 p.m.)
    • No games scheduled this week.

Updated game schedules can also be found online at

Congratulations, ILMEA Participants!

Congratulations to the following band students for being accepted, by audition, into the ILMEA District 7 Junior Band: Rebecca A. (percussion), Dyllan B. (euphonium), Ryan B. (clarinet), Will D. (percussion), Ryan F. (tuba), Gabriel S. (percussion), and Louis S. (clarinet). These students will represent McCracken at the ILMEA District 7 Festival on November 14 at Wauconda High School.

Congratulations to the following vocalists who were selected to represent McCracken in the ILMEA Jr. Musical Festival Honor Choir: Sophia B., Crystalin C., Maddy K., Seble M., Aithan N., Julia R., Emily R., Amy S., Eliana S., Grace S., Ava S., and Christina T. These students, who were chosen by audition, have been meeting each week to prepare four songs to sing at the festival on Saturday, November 14.

Quarter 1 Report Cards

As you may remember from communication earlier this school year, there have been two updates to our quarterly reporting methods. At the end of each quarter, your child will continue to earn an academic grade for each class. The academic grade serves to communicate your child’s progress toward meeting specific content area learning standards. Please note that this grade is now on a ten-point scale to better mirror typical grading scales in our community. The adjustment in this scale shifts the criteria for our Honor Roll (3.2-3.59 G.P.A.) and High Honor Roll (3.6 G.P.A. and above) lists. In addition, your child will now earn five different student skills scores for each class. These scores replace the single effort grade we have used in previous years, so that you and your child have more specific and clear information about your child’s learning behaviors in each class. A complete rubric for these five student skills is enclosed with your child's report card. We look forward to our continued partnership in supporting your child’s success!

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!

Flu Vaccinations

On November 18, we will host Health Heroes and the Skokie Health Department to offer flu vaccinations for students. Please be sure to refer to the attached letter and registration forms for more information.

Band Fundraiser FlyerAnnual Band Pie Sale

The McCracken and Middleton Bands annual Pie Sale Fundraiser is coming to an end! Included with the Weekly is a flyer/order form for purchasing a Pie Card from Bakers Square. Cards are only $15 and can be exchanged at any Bakers Square for a freshly baked pie!  All proceeds benefit the McCracken and Middleton Bands for new instrument purchases, guest artists, and special projects.  Please click the attached flyer for more information!

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.

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 19. If there are questions regarding registration, the high school should be contacted directly.

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 People LogoPTA News & Information

International Night is Friday, November 6 from 6:00-8:30 p.m. at McCracken Middle School

"Many Cultures, One District" Travel the world without leaving Skokie! Discover many cultures through food, traditional dance and music, games, and artifacts. Children are invited to dress in the traditional attire of their culture and join the parade! Sign up to be an International Night Ambassador! Click through to choose a volunteer slot to help out or host a table:

Check out the PTA Weekly Flyer for more information!