The Vision

McKinley Middle School: Back to School Edition

Purpose of The Vision

Welcome to McKinley Middle School's family newsletter known as The Vision. The purpose of The Vision is to provide ongoing communication to McKinley families and our community. This communication will be centered around our three focus areas: Academic Instruction, Social-Emotional-Behavior (SEB) Instruction, and Community Engagement. Our goal is to provide regular communication and progress updates on these three focal points as well as specific information that falls within these realms.

The McKinley Dream Team

McKinley Middle School Collective Commitments: 2018-2019

Over the past year, the McKinley staff has identified its core values and beliefs. The following are the building's mission and vision statements:

McKinley Middle School Mission Statement:

McKinley STEAM Academy is a unified community that engages all students to be socially, emotionally, and academically prepared for their future.

McKinley STEAM Academy Vision Statement:

As a magnet middle school, McKinley STEAM Academy is dedicated to learning collaboratively, cultivating curiosity, celebrating diversity, and building relationships through high quality integrated curriculum opportunities.

McKinley STEAM Academy Tag Line:

Knowledge is created. Dreams take hold. Students lead the way.

Knowledge, Dreams, Leadership.

In order to fulfill our fundamental purpose and become the school described in our mission and vision statements, each member of our staff committed to each of the following:

  • I will be a positive, contributing member of my Professional Learning Community

  • I will teach the essential learnings of our guaranteed and viable curriculum

  • I will monitor each student’s learning on an ongoing basis through formative assessment

  • I will use evidence of student learning to inform and improve my practice and to better meet the needs of individual students

  • I will seek out the most promising practices to support student learning

  • I will keep parents informed of the progress of their children

We will monitor the following indicators to mark our progress:

  • Increase the percentage of students proficient on all priority standards

  • Increase the percentage of students proficient on school, district, and state reading assessments

  • Increase the percentage of students proficient on school, district, and state high-stakes assessments

  • Increase the percentage of students pursuing and being successful in the most rigorous curriculum in all programs

Social-Emotional-Behavior Instruction

At McKinley, our mission is to equip students with the skills that will allow them to experience success not only in high school but beyond. This means providing a rigorous academic curriculum while also strengthening the “soft” skills students need to flourish in any environment. In our building, we explicitly teach these skills during Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) time. This instruction takes place for 25 minutes at the beginning of each day. Researchers generally agree upon five competencies of SEL (Duriack, Weissberg, Dymnicki, Taylor & Schellinger, 2011). These include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making. These competencies provide the foundation for maintaining high-quality social relationships, setting rigorous goals and responding to challenges in life. A meta-analysis of 213 programs, primarily covering three decades of research, found that social and emotional learning, which aligns to the five core competencies, increased students’ academic performance by 11 percentile points, as compared to students who did not receive explicit SEL instruction (Vega 2017). At McKinley, we utilize two evidenced based programs, Second Step and Common Sense Media. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns regarding your student's progress during SEL time.

Justin Blietz

Community Engagement

McKinley Middle School will be hosting its first Parent Academy on Wednesday, September 12 from 5:00-7:00 pm. Topics being presented include: PowerSchool, Canvas, Learner-Centered Assessment, and Social-Emotional-Behavior expectations and systems. In addition, our Scholastic Book Fair will be available in the IMC and our MakerSpace will be open to all elementary and middle school students. Four 30 minutes sessions will be held on each of these topics throughout the evening.

We have volunteer opportunities available for parents to partner with our school. Choices include volunteering in the Bear Paw store, Grizzly Cove, or serving as a before school parent greeter. If you are interested in volunteering at McKinley Middle School, please contact our volunteer coordinator Mrs. Jackie Mason at 319.558.2348 or email

After School Opportunity w/Eastern Iowa Arts Academy


Who: All McKinley 6th-8th Grade Students

When: Fridays, September 21 – November 9, 1:35-2:35 pm

Instructor: Troy Williams (Eastern Iowa Arts Academy Instructor)

Description: Learn about the history of DJing from the 1980’s to the present. Experiment with equipment and techniques to entertain at all types of events from school dances, to clubs and radio. Come with your favorite genre of music to add to the mix! Also come with an open and creative mind to invent and polish your own style!

How: Sign up available in the main office or see Mr. Martinez

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Safe, Secure, and Orderly Environment

Nothing is more important than the safety of our students and staff and we are committed to providing a safe, secure, and orderly environment. Please take time to visit with your child about the importance of communicating information with the adults at McKinley. We want our students to follow this slogan: See Something, Hear Something, Say Something!

Follow McKinley Middle School on Twitter!

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