I am currently a 6th grader at McClure. It is an amazing school and they make sure you feel welcome with all the WEB events and fun activities. I remember when I dropped some color pencils and 2 or 3 kids came rushing to help me pick them up when there was only 1 minute left till class started. The teachers are super helpful and nice. There are so many things you or your child can learn from this school!
I have a 6th Grader just entering Mcclure this year. At this point, I can only comment on what I have seen in terms of the activities focused on new student orientation. All such activities have been excellent and have illustrated the growing strength of the PTA at the school. The WEB program (which mentors new 6th graders using 8th graders) has been impressive especially when I compare it to my own junior high experience years ago. Most of my interactions with teachers and staff have been really positive. Mcclure serves a bunch of tough customers. High income, high achieving Amazonians, Microsofties, Doctors, Lawyers, Architects etc. All of whom have the means to pull their kids and send them to private school. (Many have done this already) Middle school is tough. As a teacher, you have to really love this age group who can be really loud and annoying. Many parents (myself included) carry irrational fears of middle school based on our own upbringing. So far, I feel really lucky to be able to send my child to Seattle's smallest middle school.
I am currently a student at McClure going into the 8th grade, and I've seen some disturbing and traumatizing things at McClure this school year. I remember the first day of 6th grade there were 8th graders yelling profanities in the hall way right in front of teachers and nothing was done about it. The students here are out of control, and have no discipline. There have been several violent fights outside of the school between students, and this year everyone watched a boy punch another boy to the ground and put him in a headlock. There are also a lot of problems with organization and most of my teachers that I had this year were lazy, and act like they don't care about their job. Don't send your child to this school!! I have picked more bad habits than good, and if I could go back in time I would have gone to a different school. The only reason why I stay is because of the few amazing friends that I've found at McClure.
McClure just completed its 4th year as a neighborhood school and is a great place to send your kids. The parents, staff, school district and local business community have really stepped up and are supporting McClure students more than ever before. Financial support has increased dramatically - helping fund all new students computers and many other student and classroom needs. The student leadership program is the best in the district, the library and librarian are top notch, focus on science, math, language arts, video production, choir, band, orchestra, and exploratory classes just gets better and better. Many more parents are volunteering than ever before, jumping right in starting in 6th grade, no longer "waiting" but stepping right up and joining our committed, growing community focused on building the best little middle school in the district. A couple 7th grade teachers may be (past) due for retirement, but overall the staff is outstanding and focused on educational excellence and encouraging kind, thoughtful behavior and learning in and outside the classrooms. The new principal is an outstanding communicator and absolutely focused on improving academics & community.
McClure is definitely a school of contrasts. My 7th grader is very smart, sensitive, and doesn't have any behavioral issues. He prefers to be a teachers assistant when he can. I trust his reports to me about significant numbers of students in his classes who don't care about learning or rules and who act out every day in ways I can't even imagine being tolerated. The teachers, while well meaning and dedicated, seem to have no tools at their disposal to cope with these ridiculous behavioral issues. This suggests to me that they either lack the training or commitment from the administration or both. I am not sure which it is. I myself am an educator and have an advanced degree and I am appalled at the low level of instruction he receives. They seem to be stuck on simple topics for weeks and with classes often being disrupted by the behaviorally challenged students, I have seen little substantive learning take place. I worry that he will have difficulties when he goes to high school (unless the high school is just as challenged). The teachers seem to hold back, designing their instructional choices to lowest level in the class instead of seeking high achievement. Very disappointing.
I am an eighth grade student at McClure, and I can say that the past three years have been awful, I am a disruptive student in general, but that is only due to the fact that in the classroom the teachers have no power, or don't care. The only reason I wanted to go to McClure is because of all my friends, and next year I am going to ballard and I am worried that I will fail AP classes because of the learning at McClure.
The review below mine is contradictory stating that "student behavior issues...are profound and inumerous [sic]" and that "kids are mostly well-behaved". Which is it? I believe this reviewer's grammar and spelling speaks volumes. McClure, Seattle's smallest middle school, is excellent and the best school at which I've taught. Students receive more attention than those at larger middle schools, some of which house nearly a thousand students. Teachers know their student and families. The PTA is very active and helpful, raising tens of thousands of dollars to support student learning. McClure uses first-rate curriculum with fidelity. Language arts classes use reading and writing workshop, a highly effective curriculum that promotes authentic literacy. Math, science, and social studies also have strong curriculum. Dedicated teachers work together closely to help students. These are the most polite, respectful, and talented students with whom I've ever worked. Many produce high-school-level writing. When behavior issues arise, which is inevitable in any middle school, administration responds quickly and appropriately. If I had children, they would attend McClure Middle School.
Yes, the school sits in a wealthy neighborhood, but that doesn't mean that the school is necesarily successful. This school is run poorly, and has a Principal & Counseling/Student Discipline staff that are not proficient in curbing student behavior issues--which are profound and inumerous!. As a substitute-teacher, I have worked all Seattle Schools. Take my word for it, don't send your child to this one. Some great teachers, but dealing w/the admin. will only give you and child headaches and a distasteful experience. School has great potential--kids are mostly well-behaved, but until admin. is removed, no progress can be made!
My son has gone to McClure for two years and is currently in 7th Grade. I agree with a previous poster who thought that there were some really good teachers intermixed with alot of mediocre teachers. I'm not sure if it's burnout, or inadequate teaching/organization skills, but some of these teachers are very frustrating! My son turns in papers to several of his teachers who then can't find the assignments! It's not ALL his teachers, it's the same two. It is really frustrating. My son doesn't really complain; he just mentions how confusing and disorganized some of his teachers are. My personal standard is, if something isn't working, change the way you do it! It just seems it is easier to blame the students and not admit their system may not be working. On a positive, the new language arts teacher ROCKS!
I am currently a student at McClure and I love it. The school is really small (approximately 450 kids total) which allows everyone to know everyone. They are extremely disorganized though, class sizes are uneven, at the beginning of the 2012-2013 year, one algebra class had 48 kids while another had only 18 kids; at least 75% of the students received schedules that had a missing class period and two of the same class. Counselors and office staff are very unresponsive and none of the staff have the same views on ANYTHING. Some teachers are downright horrible, parents and students signed a petition to get her kicked out but nothing happened & technology is very slow. Otherwise, the school is friendly and had lots of nice art and sport programs and programs for advanced learning.
Our child goes to McClure and likes the school. There are some excellent teachers there who are enthusiastic about their subjects, who take an interest in each child and do a great job. Some teachers are better than others; the quality of the experience for each class really depends on how good the teacher is, and how much he or she cares. The math and english teachers have been especially good. The principal's doing a good job and we've had good experiences whenever we've spoken with her about our child. It's a fine neighborhood school and we've been pleased with the whole experience.
McClure is a mediocre school in a great neighborhood. It has been "up and coming" for over 10 years, but never gets any better. The problem is the leadership, particularly the principal. The principal has no leadership and blames every problem on somebody else, and does little to improve the school. Class sizes are huge and very unevenly distributed. excuse: district didn't fund us. (It's funded exactly like every other school in Seattle, and sits in a neighborhood which richly supports ALL the other schools.) Discipline is terrible and incredibly inequitable. Large class sizes make that worse. Bullying is rampant, as are suspensions. excuse: We have to do it that way. Teacher turn over is tremendous, it lost nearly half it's teachers last year. excuse: Teachers are bad. Really? Even the ones hired by the principal? Arts have been all but eliminated in favor of things like computer literacy. Many teachers are actually very good. There are also quite a few duds. In some classes kids do next to nothing at all, even in core subjects. But the teacher turnover isn't getting rid of the weak teachers, it simply is churning through good ones leaving instability behind.
Everyone knows that teachers need smaller classes and more time with students but McClure really shows it, in the 2011-2012 school year they only had 1 teacher of each core class for each grade. While the majority of the teachers are very good at what they do, they lack the time and energy to do it. The schools bullying policy is atrocious with problems going unnoticed unless someone reports it to the councilors, and even then very little is likely to be done.
There were some excellent teachers at McClure and some frankly atrocious teachers. Most teachers seemed overwhelmed with their workload and seemed to view parent communications as an inconvenience. The biggest problem with Mc Clure is the lack of leadership on the part of the Principal. Bullying was a big problem. Large problems were ignored and there was an overreaction to small conflicts between students. Overall if we could do it again we would not have sent our student to McClure. Hopefully they will get their act together, the community is counting on it.
There are many teachers at McClure who are just wonderful! (Though a few who are OK) The music program is excellent with a very good teacher. For transitoning the new 6th graders they have a very good program called WEB (where everybody belongs). It teaches the kids many new skills, getting comfortable with the school, and the 8th grade WEB leaders become their first middle school buddies.
Our family attended the open house event on March 24, 2011. We live on Queen Anne and have a 4th grader at John Hay School so we were learning about and touring McClure School for the first time. Overall the school seemed just OK and I worry about 3 mediocre years there. The competent and engaging Language Arts teacher was the highlight. The Science teacher was enthusiastic and hands-on. The other teachers we saw were just OK. The principal's response to a parent's question about PTA involvement and fund-raising was disappointing because she seemed to be saying that students don't really want their parents to be involved much any more (sigh..this may be true), and beyond purchasing a some specific equipment items (her example was music stands), the school was doing alright and she understands how growing teens will consume more of a family's funds. I wonder if she realizes that Hay & Coe parents tend to have the time, funds and interest to make their child's public school the best it can be. This is a huge opportunity for community relationship building with the QA neighborhood, as well as improving the vibe and atmosphere of the school. Hopefully she'll think big!
I agree the school does little to communicate what needs to be done. Especially for 6th graders that are transitioning. Some of the teachers are even mean. I do not recommend this school. They actually suggested that my young daughter take the Metro bus alone. I am appalled. I will try to get my child in private school next year. She was at the top of her class last year and this year is just awful so far.
The grade 6 class entering this school for 2011 is amazing. I just see tons of parent evolvement that is going to enable change and improvements especially with the new school plan in place. McClure is a queen anne school very local and convenient, safe surroundings. We met with the Math teacher and are very impressed. Our kid is doing excellent in math and I am not at all worried about the level of education he can achieve at McClure. See you all next year!!!
I keep hearing really great things about McClure and am so excited about how many of my son s friends from Coe will be attending next year. The level of parent involvement at Coe elementary is outstanding, and with so many students from Coe s 5th grade class attending McClure next year, the school can only get better. The open house for incoming 6th graders was very informative and I was really impressed by the principal and all of the teachers I met. My neighbor s son is an 8th grader at McClure and she s very happy with their ability to provide academic challenge to her son whose IQ is off the charts. I m looking forward to seeing even more positive changes in this school and am glad my son will be a part of it.
The school gets a disproportionate number of students who travel from the Central District and thus gets proportionately less parental involvement from those parents because of distance and transportation issues. The school can use all the support it can get.
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