McCracken Weekly

Oct 5-9, 2015

Everyone, Everyday is Respectful, Responsible & Ready!

October 2015

Saturday, October 3

  • Cross Country Invite @ Niles West

Saturday, October 10

  • Explore Test for 8th Graders @ Niles North

Monday, October 12

  • No school (Columbus Day)

Tuesday, October 13

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

Thursday, October 15

  • Picture Retake Day @ McCracken (8:00 a.m.)
  • Symphonic Band Concert @ McCracken (7:00 p.m.)

Sunday, October 18

  • Explore Makeups

Monday, October 19

  • Eighth Grade Field Trip

Friday, October 23

  • End of Quarter 1
  • Buzz Buck Bonanza (2:00 p.m.)
  • PTA/Student Council Dance (7:00-8:30 p.m.)
Our Helping Hands Flyer


Girls' Volleyball

  • Varsity (5:00 p.m.)
    • Monday, October 5: Lincoln Jr. High @ McCracken
    • Tuesday, October 6: Culver @ McCracken
  • Jr. Varsity (4:00 p.m.)
    • Monday, October 5: Lincoln Jr. High @ McCracken
    • Tuesday, October 6: Culver @ McCracken
  • 6th Grade (4:00 p.m.)
    • Wednesday October 7: McCracken @ Fairview

Boys Soccer

  • Varsity (4:00 p.m.)
    • Monday, October 5: Golf @ McCracken
    • Wednesday, October 7: McCracken @ Lincoln Hall
    • Thursday, October 8: Play in game
  • Jr. Varsity (4:00p.m.)
    • Monday, October 5: McCracken @ Golf
    • Thursday, October 8: McCracken @ Culver

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.

All School Read Assembly

On Friday, September 25 at 2:00 p.m. McCracken students participated in our annual All School Read Assembly. The purpose of the All School Read is to provide a student-driven school wide learning experience rooted in literacy. This was the culminating event around our work with the summer 2015 read Wonder by RJ Palacio. A special thank you to the student committee that helped to select this novel, and a big thank you to Mrs. Lynn Catanus, Mrs. Susan DeStefano, Mrs. Tori Gammeri, and Mr. Jeff Priban for planning the activities and assisting with the assembly. Our third place winners were Ms. Silcroft’s 8th grade advisory, Mrs. Klein’s 6th grade advisory, Mrs. Eccleston’s 6th grade advisory, and Ms. Blades’ 7th grade advisory. They will receive bookmarks and a certificate. Our second place winner was Ms. Amy Keipert’s 8th grade advisory. They will receive snack coupons and a certificate. Our first place winner was Ms. Erin Hamilton’s 6th grade advisory. They will receive Wonder bracelets and a certificate. Thank you to all the students who participated respectfully and responsibly!

Fundraiser for the School Musical

fundraiser is being held Tuesday, October 13 through Father & Son Italian Kitchen in Skokie. Twenty percent of their total sales will be donated to the McCracken Musical Bye Bye Birdie!


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 (note new time) in the Meyer Multi-Purpose room. There is free child-care. Interested parents must complete the registration form at the bottom of the attached flyer (Urdu translation). Slips can be sent to your school office. 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!

Free and Reduced Lunch Information

In order to be eligible for the Free/Reduced Lunch Program for 2015-2016, you must complete an application. Applications are available in the school office and on our website. Families who were approved for the Free/Reduced Lunch Program last year must apply again this year. If you do not apply by September 30, 2015, you will be charged for lunches. If you have any questions, please call Mrs. Elle Karagianes in the District Office at 847.676.8317.

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.

PTA LogoPTA News & Information

Don't miss this special message from the PTA! Learn more about International Night and volunteer opportunities!

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.