McAlister Intermediate School is an amazing place. As a fifth grader recently stated, “You always feel welcomed at McAlister.” Everyone at McAlister works together to create a school where students learn and grow into independent and creative thinkers, and where parents are our consummate partners. We all realize that together we can accomplish great things for our students!
Each year we start building our school community before the start of the school year by sending home summer letters and we encourage families to participate in their children’s learning throughout the school year. We strive to create lasting bonds through welcoming our families to various evening events, such as our Before School Open House, Parent Open House, Show and Tell Open House, various musical concerts and student grade level traditions. We also invite our families to come to eat lunch with their children and volunteer in the classroom, as the bonds we create further help to meet the needs of our students.
During the school day students participate in a rich and engaging standards based curriculum. Students are challenged to read exciting and texts, both fiction and non-fiction and deeply discuss and write about what they have read. Students read about topics that are aligned to their social studies and science lessons are always building their knowledge base and abilities.
Students also spend a great deal of time writing to a number of genres across the school year; they write opinion pieces (their favorite!), biographies, research papers, memoirs, folktales, and myths to name a few! In addition to writing during English Language Arts, students also write during their math lessons. Math at McAlister is a time to persevere in problem solving with both manipulatives and real-world problems, and then either discuss or write about their thoughtful solutions.
Both social studies and science lessons focus on hands on learning and investigations, as well as field trips and authentic learning experiences. We are thrilled that our students are engaged in units on Colonial Life, CT History, the Civil War, Electricity, Rocks & Minerals, Animal Adaptations and so on.
In addition to addressing students’ academic, social and emotional needs, we also work to provide a number of enriching experiences for students. Students can participate in Expanding Horizons which provides six to eight week courses in engaging activities such as Irish step dancing, making beaded jewelry, cartooning, strategic games, and so on. Students are also given opportunities to serve the community in a number of ways. In the past, students have collected Toys for Tots, raising money for needy Suffield families and for disaster relief, have collected mittens and hats to keep our neighbors warm and have donated pencils to children in Haiti so they too can attend school each day.
Our very active PTO works to further our students’ educational experience by bringing a wide variety of programs to all students. Our PTO raises money in order to provide students with monies for field trips, musical performances on Children’s Day, Civil War Re-enactors, a complete encampment during Civil War Day and a number of other experiences for our students. They also arrange grade level traditions, book fairs, school photo days and volunteer countless hours all in the name of making our school a warm, enriching and engaging place!
As you can see, we love our school and together with our entire school community, we work hard to make it a very special place!