Mary McDonald

Phone: 515-965-9640


Degrees and Certifications:

B.A. University of Iowa M.A. Drake University

Mary McDonald

Hello! My name is Mary McDonald I teach 6/7 Gold and Maroon Art at Parkview Middle School.

I attended the University of Iowa for my Bachelor's degree and received my Master's degree from Drake University. 

There are two things in this world that I am passionate about: my love of art and my love for children. I could not imagine a better combination of the two than that of being an art teacher. Art is an area where individuals believe that they are either born with the talent or they are not. I have had countless students tell me, “I can’t draw” or “I’m just not good at art.” I am living proof that through hard work and practice, artistic skills and abilities can be developed. Throughout my own educational journey, I was fortunate enough to have art teachers who pushed me to grow and to believe in myself. It is my hope to teach my students the growth mindset and help them understand that art is similar to all other subjects where they can improve through practice. In order to help students discover their potential, I will set high expectations and provide scaffolds to help the students meet those expectations. Helping students develop their self-confidence and a belief in their abilities will extend much farther than the four walls of my classroom. In addition, those values and skills will contribute to their future success in life. Each time I have the opportunity to witness a student see their progress and gain more confidence in themselves, I am reminded with no doubt that this is what I was meant to do. Being an art teacher allows me to combine my passion for art and my passion for children. I look forward to instilling a love of art in my students and helping them realize their potential.


Don't hesitate to contact me at with any questions or concerns.





Contact information:

Name: Mary McDonald


School phone: 515-965-9640


How students will be graded on academics:


  • Letter grades will continue to be assigned for all courses at the secondary level 
  • When utilizing the Levels of Proficiency (Beginning, Progressing, Meeting, Advanced), teachers will show the connection between a student’s performance on the Performance Scale to the assigned grade. This connection will be communicated at the onset of its use and throughout the learning progression for the purpose of providing feedback.


Grading Scale for Non-weighted Classes:

Letter Grade:              A

Minimum Percent:   92.5

Letter Grade:              A-

Minimum Percent:   89.5

Letter Grade:              B+

Minimum Percent:    86.5

Letter Grade:              B

Minimum Percent:    82.5

Letter Grade:              B-

Minimum Percent:   79.5

Letter Grade:              C+

Minimum Percent:   76.5

Letter Grade:              C

Minimum Percent:    72.5

Letter Grade:              C-

Minimum Percent:    69.5

Letter Grade:              D+

Minimum Percent:   66.5

Letter Grade:              D

Minimum Percent:   62.5

Letter Grade:               D-

Minimum Percent:   59.5

Letter Grade:               F

Minimum Percent:   Below 59.5

Guiding Practices:


Multiple and Varied Assessment Opportunities

All students should have multiple and varied assessment opportunities to demonstrate higher levels of achievement.   Additional opportunities may include being reassessed on only the content/skills not mastered, spiraling assessment of content/skill on subsequent assessments, reassessment of an alternate form of an assessment (e.g., Form B instead of Form A), student revisions of work products based on descriptive feedback, or alternative methods of assessments (e.g., an oral response rather than a written test).  


Guidelines for reassessment opportunities include the following:

  • Students will be provided the opportunity to be reassessed - best practice is to provide additional opportunities for students to demonstrate learning during future assessments.
  • Teachers determine appropriateness and authentic need for reassessments.
  • Reassessment method will be provided at the discretion of the teacher.
  • Reassessments will be given within a reasonable time frame that the teacher determines and students will be communicated with in advance.

Homework / Independent Practice

Homework is an opportunity for students to practice skills, apply knowledge, review and build on past learning, and extend learning.  Homework is individualized and based on each student’s progress towards established standards. The purpose of the assignment will determine whether or not a grade is given and will be clearly articulated to students. Through independent learning tasks (homework), students assume more responsibility for their learning and are given opportunities to apply what they have learned to new situations or experiences.


Extra Credit and Bonus Points

To ensure that grades reflect progress toward and achievement of the standards, giving extra credit points or bonus points will not occur in this class.   


Behavioral Expectations

The work habits/behavior standards are for grades 6-12 courses in our district. These work habits/behavior standards will be reported throughout the semester and are as follows: 

  • Organization and Readiness
  • Productivity and Accountability
  • Collaboration Skills

For those of you accessing this document electronically, the work habits tool can be accessed online:  Work Habit Tool Online Link. We will be using the following performance levels


Performance Levels for Work Habits/Behavior Standards:

MS = Meets Standard

PM = Partially Meets Standard

DM = Doesn’t Meet Standard

NE = No Evidence


These descriptors are intended for feedback and communication and do not impact a student’s GPA. 


Formative and Summative Assessment:



  • Formative Assessment: Formal and informal processes teachers and students use to gather evidence for the purpose of improving learning. 


  • Summative Assessment:  Assessments that provide evidence of student achievement for the purpose of making a judgment about student competence or program effectiveness.