What is the schedule/curriculum
The sixth grade schedule, like that of the rest of the middle school and the high school, is a rotating schedule, though a modified one. Each day of the ten day cycle is different, a day identified simply as a '1' Day, a '2' Day, etc. Core subjects meet eight times a cycle, while Music, Art, and Drama meet six times per cycle and Phys. Ed. and Computer Technology meet four times per cycle. The curriculum for each core subject will meet and exceed NYS core curriculum standards. Curriculum for Theology will, in general, follow Diocese of Rochester guidelines. Grading policies for each subject will be generally uniform across the faculty. We use numerical grades with 70 being the passing grade.
What are the core subjects?
Core subjects include ELA, Reading, Math, Science, Social Studies, and Theology. NYS Core Curriculum is the starting point for all courses, and then our academic challenge of our students exceeds these guidelines. McQuaid is not bound by the requirements of Common Core.
Is there a dedicated sixth grade faculty?
Yes. There is a dedicated faculty who only teach sixth grade students. The faculty teaches all sixth grade students in certain subjects. The sixth graders have different teachers for music, art, physical education, and technology.
Where do the sixth graders learn?
Sixth grade classes are held in the rooms closest to the middle school office on the middle school corridor: rooms 221, 223, 225 and 224. The middle school art room is 222.
Is there snack time?
Sixth grade students are permitted, even encouraged, to bring a healthy snack.
What materials/books will my son need?
Textbooks are provided courtesy of the NYS textbook law; classroom sets 'live' in each room. Efforts have been made to provide students and parents access to the online versions of the texts. The sixth grade faculty will communicate with you regarding additional items your son may need.
Is there a sixth grade calendar?
A calendar is included in the New Parent Orientation packet and available online. Please note that several sixth grade activities (e.g. Parent/Teacher meetings) are scheduled separately from the rest of the school, as age appropriateness dictates.
Does my son need an agenda?
Agendas should be with the boys whenever they are in class or move from class to class. Homework assignments should be carefully recorded here.
Communication between parents and teachers
Communication is an absolute must. In addition to Parent/Teacher meetings and quarterly report cards, progress reports are issued mid-marking period. E-mail is the preferred means of parent/teacher outreach since every teacher has access to his/her McQuaid e-mail in the classroom. Mutually convenient times for phone conversations can be arranged via e-mail. Electronic letters/updates to parents are sent out as occasions require.
What can I find on the website?
Upon registering your son to McQuaid, you will receive access to the school’s Learning Management System. Here you will find all the pertinent information regarding your son’s education and life at McQuaid.
What is the dress code?
Dress code for the sixth grade is the same as that for all McQuaid students: From the beginning of homeroom to the end of the school day, boys wear a dress shirt (not a golf or flannel shirt), a tie [We can help with this if he’s knot-tying-challenged], dress slacks and dress shoes. Sneakers may be worn to and from school. We do have some ties and suit coats available for borrowing if the need arises. A sports coat is worn from just after the Columbus Day weekend until spring break.
Can my son participate in sports?
By law, sixth graders are not permitted to participate in Section V sports. However, club sports are open to all students. Currently these include sailing, squash, archery, and bowling. Intramurals between sixth grade classes will also be arranged.
What if my son is absent or has an appointment?
A phone call from a parent to Mrs. Wagner or Mrs. Thomas (256-6175) concerning that day’s absence should be made before 9:00 a.m. Appointments (e.g. orthodontist) should be arranged via a parent's note by the beginning of that day. The student will then be given a yellow pass to present to his teacher with the time of his pick-up from school. He must report to the middle school office to sign out before departing the building. Upon his return that day (if applicable), he must again report to the office and sign back in. When an absence extends beyond two days, a parent may request that Mrs. Wagner or Mrs. Thomas gather assignments and handouts from the student’s teachers to be picked up at the office at day's end. Please Note: an absence for any reason other than illness or a family emergency is considered an unapproved absence. We strongly discourage absence from school for family vacations, non-McQuaid sporting events, etc. When a student returns from an absence, he should report to the middle school office with his written excuse. He will be given a yellow pass to be, in turn, given to his homeroom teacher. If he has forgotten the excuse, he should still report to the office for a pass. He then has until the next day to bring in his note.
Are there semester exams?
Yes. These take place in January and June. Sixth grade exams will be grade-appropriate in nature, including length. A special schedule is implemented during exam week.
When do Progress reports/report cards come out?
These are issued mid-quarter and at the end of each quarter, respectively. Typically, students are given these reports on a Thursday and have until the following Tuesday to return them, signed.
Will there be Parent/teacher meetings?
Yes. Meetings for sixth grade parents formally take place once a school year, separately from those of the rest of the middle school. Meetings are typically 15-20 minutes in length and will be arranged ahead of time by appointment. Second semester conferences will be as needed/requested.
How are lunches/lunch accounts managed?
Students are welcome to bring their lunches from home. Beverages may be purchased from vending machines within and just outside the cafeteria. All students have lunch accounts available through our computerized ID system (The 'Gold Card'). This account may be 'loaded' with funds through the treasurer's office or online, as needed. Please note: Cash is not accepted for purchases in the cafeteria. However, if a student's account is empty and he’s forgotten his lunch from home, he should let a teacher, or someone in the middle school office know, and we will arrange for some food for that day. God forbid a pre-adolescent male go without lunch!!
'Whom do I call about….?'
Where can I pick up my son after school?
Most middle school parents pick up their sons at the south entrance to the building, also referred to as the “Auditorium (or ‘Middle School’) Entrance.” Pick-up by buses depends upon your district: some buses come to the Auditorium entrance and others to the traffic loop at the north end of the building. Please check with your district concerning your son’s drop-off and pick-up location here. Both bus 'pick-up' locations will be supervised by McQuaid teachers.
How will I know if McQuaid is closed due to inclement weather?
Depending on your communication preference, you will receive a text message, automated phone call, and email upon the announcement of the school being closed. Radio stations, especially WHAM 1180, and TV, channel 9 (YNN), also will post any closings.
How is the dispensing of my son’s daily medication handled?
All medication is dispensed through the nurses’ office where his medication is kept. His record of daily meds, including those taken at home (the privacy of which is protected), is kept on file at this office.
What other efforts will be made to keep sixth graders appropriately apart from other students?
All of the following provisions will be in place for sixth graders:
- A separate section of the cafeteria for lunch. No high school students will be in the cafeteria at this time. One sixth grade teaching assistant will supervise lunch each day, in addition to other faculty proctors.
- 'Buddy' system for school bus transportation.
- Gym classes are sixth grade only.
Will there be field trips?
Is there a sixth grade service requirement?
Yes. Sixth graders must give five hours of service over the course of the year. A number of clothing/food /materials drives also occur throughout the year. Our goal is to have service to others be as natural as breathing.
Will there be opportunities for prayer and worship?
Absolutely. Our day begins with a school-wide prayer and individual classes may do so, as well. There will be a sixth grade class Mass and penance service each semester. School masses occur in September (The traditional Jesuit Mass of the Holy Spirit), just before Christmas break, and on Holy Days.