This is a safe place to share your honest opinions of a school, whether good or bad.
Mcclure Middle School5
Posted November 25, 2014
- a parent
We have been pleasantly surprised by McClure. The teachers particularly the language arts (Wizenhunt) and math (Jennings) have been impressive. The music program is really coming along and the recently new choir teacher is fabulous. A great benefit for our child has been that the school is very small and as a parent you get to know the teachers and administration. Communication is good. Having a child who needs more attention than most, this has been a great asset. I love that my child can walk to school and grab ice cream or shop in the village afterwards. The parent support for this school is very strong. As parents who looked at private school initially, I am glad we made the choice to give our neighborhood school a chance. It has been a very good experience all around.
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!