New Family Resource Packet


Website New Families

Welcome to the General McLane School District and congratulations on the first step of getting your child(ren) the McLane Advantage! As a new or prospective parent, we’ve tried to help you by compiling a list of useful information. More details can be found on school and district websites or by contacting the office staff at your child(ren)’s school.

When can I register?
For Kindergarten, each elementary school has a Kindergarten Registration night in the Spring. Please see our website or Events Calendar or call the school of assignment to get additional details.

If you miss the Registration Night or are a parent of a non-kindergartner, you can register your student at any time by visiting the Education Center. Students can be registered at any time and our registrar works throughout the summer. Please call Kristina Sonney at 273-1033 x5905 for more information OR to schedule a time for you to register your child at your earliest convenience.

Is there an orientation for new families?
District Orientation Program
In August, each elementary schools hosts an orientation program for kindergarten students, as well as an orientation program for all new families. The program includes a tour of our schools, a meet-and-greet with the child’s teacher and a mock bus run. In addition, both the Middle School and High School also host an orientation day in the summer for new students.

9th Grade Orientation
Ninth graders are invited to Freshmen Orientation, part of a national program known as Link Crew. This high school transition program takes place the day before the official start date and includes a tour of the school, as well as activities hosted by the Link Crew Leaders (upperclassmen).

Open House
Open House events will be occurring at all schools in September. These nighttime programs give parents a chance to experience each class and meet the teachers who are interacting with their children.

Individual Tours
Individual tours are available upon request. Please contact each individual school to set up a tour.

How do we communicate with teachers?
All of our teachers and administrators have email addresses and review their messages daily. You can also contact the HS and MS teachers via Schoology.
Note: A list of staff emails and phone numbers are on your school webpage under Employee Directory.

What supplies will my child need for school?
Each school is compiling a list that will be posted on websites in early July – in plenty of time to take advantage of the back-to-school sales. If you have any questions, be sure to talk to the office staff at your child’s school.

Is before and after-school care available?
For the convenience of our parents, the YMCA and Growing and Learning host a licensed, on-site childcare program. These child care providers are not affiliated with our schools, so registration must be handled separately. For more information, contact the School Secretary, the YMCA or Growing and Learning.

What time does school start and end?
The schedule for the current year is posted on each school’s webpage in the Student Handbook.

When will we get information about our bus route?
Families will receive a mailer with bus route information in mid-August. This delay is necessary to accommodate the influx of new students, address change requests, etc. Each parent is required to designate one location for pick-up and drop-off by August.

What if my child is absent, late or needs an early dismissal?
In all cases of absence or tardiness, your student must bring a written excuse signed by a parent/guardian. The note should indicate the date and reason for lateness or absence. Tardy notes are turned in to the front office staff upon arrival. Absence notes can be turned in to the front office staff, or, in the case of PK-4 students, the homeroom teacher.

Requests for early dismissal or extended absences must be made in advance by a written note signed by a parent/guardian, indicating the time, date and reason. Permission will be granted in accordance with the policy of the school and district.

If an emergency develops while your child is at school necessitating a change to the usual dismissal pattern, you must contact the school’s main office.

Is there a school calendar?
The district-wide calendar is posted on the district website. It contains information about district-wide holidays, celebrations, performances and events including: Back to School nights, the Spring Art Show, fundraisers, and Band, Chorus & Concert Performances at each school. During the year, your building will supplement this information with details about events that are specific to your school.

If the weather is bad, how will we learn about cancellations or closings?
During inclement weather or emergency situations, early dismissal/school closing information for the General McLane School District will be available from the following:
Parents of k-4 students should make sure the school has your current information on file.
Parents of 5-12 grade students must visit the PowerSchool Parent Portal and verify your numbers and contact information. Information on this Student Information System can be found to the left of the main District Homepage.
TELEVISION / RADIO STATIONS: All local TV / radio stations
Weather Disclaimer: Parents are partners in our district. If, at any time, you believe the weather conditions make it unsafe to send your child to school, we will respect your right to keep your child home that day. Be advised that your child will be responsible for any missed homework or tests and must bring in a signed note from you the following day. Please refer to our weather guidelines, which are posted on our website.

How will I hear about news and events at my student’s school?
Our schools communicate in a number of ways.
– Elementary buildings post a weekly Bulletin on the website on Fridays.
– School websites are updated on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis.
– Grade 5-12 teachers use Schoology to post information about attendance, schedules, home work, grades and more.
– Our free Mobile App (iPhone compatible) lets you catch up on District events whenever and wherever it’s convenient by using your Smart Phone, Tablet or other mobile device.
– All of our buildings make use of an automated call/email system to issue reminders about performances, workshops, testing and special events.
– Our District’s Facebook Page highlights and promotes a variety of events at the District and School level. We update this page several times a week and even daily.
– The superintendent addresses parent and community groups on a regular basis. They include our PTO/PTA or PTSA meetings, the Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, local realtors and more. If you are active in a local organization and wish to request a presentation for your group, call us at (814) 273-1033 x5901 and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Where do we find breakfast and lunch menus?
In an effort to “go green” we do not send this document home. All menus are posted monthly on our website.

How do students pay for meals?
Pre-payment of meals and snacks is available at each of our schools. General McLane uses School Cafe. Participating students will be assigned a confidential student number at the beginning of the school year, which will allow them to access an individual account. That number will remain the same throughout your student’s tenure at General McLane School District. If you do not have Internet access or need more information, please call Food Services Coordinator Amy Skladanowski at (814) 273-1033 x2618.

How do I apply for free and reduced lunches?
Free and reduced applications are mailed to students that qualify and are due by October 7.

What emergency procedures are in place?
We regularly have drills for bus safety, fire safety, sheltering (extreme weather, nuclear threat) and lockdown (unannounced visitor). These drills are practiced not to scare the children but to prepare them to react to an emergency situation in an orderly, calm manner.

What do I need to do to volunteer at my student’s school?
There are countless opportunities to volunteer. All volunteers, however, must have clearances on file with the District. Clearances must be renewed every five years and include the Child Abuse and Criminal Background Check. Links to those are available on our website under Community > Volunteers.

Our elementary schools and middle school also have volunteer parent organizations. Please visit your school webpage or ask the building secretary for more information.

Student Programs Available at GM
Fifth Grade Transition Program: The District realizes that the transition from elementary school to middle school can produce significant change. Therefore, we have a transitional program in place for the students starting in fourth grade that runs through their fifth grade year.

Tutoring Services: Through partnerships with Edinboro University, college students provide tutoring services to High School and McKean Elementary students. High School students provide tutoring services to Edinboro Elementary students through the Education Academy. James W. Parker Middle School runs an after-school tutoring program.

Edinboro University Dual Enrollment: General McLane has partnered with Edinboro University to allow GM students to take University Classes for $125/credit.

Academy of Medical Arts and Engineering: The Academy of Medical Arts and Engineering prepares high school students for careers in medicine and engineering through partnerships with local businesses, hospitals and universities and an enriched the curricula.

iPad Initiative: General McLane High School and James W. Parker Middle School have a 1-to-1 iPad initiative in order to facilitate a higher level of student engagement in all aspects of learning.

Special Needs: If your student has special needs, please call Michael Cannata at (814) 273-1033 x1900.