School News

News for Justice Thurgood Marshall Intermediate School

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools is shifting to a more efficient, cost-effective bus transportation system starting next school year that will also alter start and end times at our schools.  

On Wednesday, March 19, 2014, the MCS Board of School Trustees approved the recommendation (based on the work of a panel of staff members from various departments and schools) that the district move from a three-tier transportation system to a two-tier system.

Right now, MCS picks up K-4 students in one round of busing, 5-8 students in another, then after elementary drop-off sends that first group of buses back out to pick up 9-12 students. So we are sending buses into the same areas of the city three times. With the change approved Wednesday night, one round of busing will pick up K-4 students, and a second round will pick up 5-12 students. 

This change represents the most cost savings. A single-tier system (K-12 students picked up in one round of busing — which is what many other Grant County school systems already do) would have required additional buses be added to the fleet, which would come with an additional price tag that would have canceled out some of the savings achieved by eliminating busing tiers.

Marion Community Schools believes making this change now is the responsible thing to do. Though we are not in emergency need of this change — like some school systems across the state, including Muncie Community Schools in neighboring Delaware County, are — a proactive decision at this point is needed to make it possible to continue offering transportation in the future.

"We want to be good stewards," said Superintendent Brad Lindsay. "Our goal is to continue to provide transportation for our students. We have to think differently and creatively to be able to continue to do so."

To make this change possible, start and end times for classes at each building will be shifted as follows for the 2014-15 school year:

Elementary (K-4)
  • Monday-Friday: 7:25 a.m. drop-off time; 7:45 a.m. starting bell time; 2:15 p.m. dismissal bell time
Intermediate (5-6)
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 8:35 a.m. drop-off time; 8:55 a.m. starting bell time; 3:40 p.m. dismissal bell time
  • Thursday, Friday: 8:50 a.m. drop-off time; 9:10 a.m. starting bell time; 3:40 p.m. dismissal bell time
Junior High (7-8)
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 8:35 a.m. drop-off time; 8:55 a.m. starting bell time; 3:40 p.m. dismissal bell time
  • Thursday, Friday: 8:50 a.m. drop-off time; 9:10 a.m. starting bell time; 3:40 p.m. dismissal bell time
High School (9-12)
  • Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday: 8:15 a.m. drop-off time; 8:45 a.m. starting bell time; 3:55 p.m. dismissal bell time
  • Thursday, Friday: 8:30 a.m. drop-off time; 9 a.m. starting bell time; 3:55 p.m. dismissal bell time 
These changes will take effect in the 2014-15 school year. Marion Community Schools will continue to communicate with our families to make this transition as smooth as possible. 

"Basically this is virtually the same schedule that we have in place currently, with very minimal changes," said John Butcher, president of the Marion Teachers Association. "This is keeping our students' needs at the forefront."
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Congratulations to Justice Intermediate School fifth-grader Jinwon Pae on her win at the Grant County Spelling Bee on Tuesday, March 18, 2014!

This year's competition, hosted by College Wesleyan Church and sponsored by Indiana Wesleyan University, featured 81 students from 18 Grant County Schools. By the fourth round, Jinwon and fellow Justice fifth-grader Carynna Aguila were the last two spellers standing, and they went back and fourth for 11 rounds before Jinwon came out victorious, with the winning word "distinguished".

Jinwon will continue on to the 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee, set for May 27 through 29 in Washington, D.C.

This is her second year competing in the county spelling bee, which features students in fourth through eighth grades. In the 2013 bee, she was the runner-up

We're proud of Jinwon and wish her luck at the National Spelling Bee! 

Congratulations, too to the rest of the top spellers at our elementary and intermediate schools, whose performance at their school spellinjg bees earned them the right to compete in the county bee:

Allen Elementary
  • Champion: Kaeda Smith
  • Runner Up: Jada Ellis
Frances Slocum Elementary
  • Champion: LaNyiah McCreary
  • Runner Up: Landon Morris
Kendall Elementary
  • Champion: Peyton Riddle
  • Runner Up: Chloe Hamilton
Riverview Elementary
  • Champion: Alex Spitzer
  • Runner Up: Kaitlynn Weesner
Justice Intermediate
  • Champion: Brayton Ramsey
  • Runner Ups: JinWon Pae & Carynna Aguila
McCulloch Junior High
  • Champion: Zach Stephens
  • Runner Up: Lane Charlton, Adriana Aleman, and Matt Renbarger
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Link From the Chronicle-Tribune

Three of the Marion Community Schools’ lowest scoring buildings presented plans for improvement in the coming year at the district board meeting on Wednesday night.

It is a legal requirement for priority schools to have a public hearing on their improvement plans and all of the individual schools focused on how to increase their student test scores.

— More from MCS: The minutes of the Feb. 26, 2014, School Board meeting will be posted once they have been approved by the board. To view meeting minutes, click here. —
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Due to the high number of school cancellations caused by this winter’s extraordinary weather, Marion Community Schools will be lengthening its school day for about two months, to regain lost instructional time in a way that is most effective for continued student success.

This plan is in line with alternative make-up solutions offered recently by the state Department of Education, and it would address the seven days MCS has canceled so far this winter for which waivers were not granted. That means at this time, the make-up days built in at the end of the school year would all still be available, should more cancellations be needed. More importantly, it means that teachers and students would regain instructional time now, when it is needed most, prior to high-stakes testing such as ISTEP+ and IREAD.

“We have explored multiple solutions with a broad base of stakeholders, and we believe this is the best solution to meet the challenges of this extraordinary winter that has caused our children to miss a significant amount of valuable instructional time,” Superintendent Brad Lindsay said. “We will be able to custom fit this extra time at each building and within each department, so that we can maximize this additional learning time and make better possible for our students students prior to essential high-stakes assessments including ISTEP+ and IREAD.”

In general, the plan would add an hour to the school day — moving the start time earlier in the morning, and moving the end time later in the afternoon — starting Monday, Feb. 24, and ending Friday, April 18. In addition, Marion High School will have have no shortened days when this alternate schedule is in place. The MHS schedule would be the same Monday through Friday. (Please see the links at the bottom of this post for specific start and end times at each building during this time.)

This alternate schedule will not be extended past April 18. If further cancellations are needed, the make-up days at the end of the school year will be used. (And if delays are needed during this alternate schedule period, they will be delays starting from the alternate, earlier time.)

We know this change will greatly affect scheduling for our students and their families, along with our staff members. 

In the days leading up to the schedule change, building administrators and district department heads will be working with their staffs to determine the best way to use this additional learning time each day.

We will work to ensure extra-curricular activities have the least disruption possible. And we will work with families to try to make the transition to this modified schedule as smooth as possible.

“There are challenges with any solution when you’re talking about such a high number of cancellations,” Lindsay said. “We believe this gives us our best chance to help all of our students succeed.”

For specific start and end times at each building, click on the links below.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Unfortunately, due to scheduling concerns brought on by weather delays and cancellations, as well as concerns over travel conditions, the MCS family reading night set for Thursday, Jan. 30, has been canceled.
The event may be rescheduled at a later date to be announced.
We apologize for any inconvenience.

All Marion Community Schools families are invited to join the Giants Reading Team at a special family night next week at Justice Intermediate School.

It will be a night of food, fun, giveaways and special guests: Marion Giants winter sports athletes, who will be reading to students.

The event begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30, at Justice Intermediate, 720 N. Miller Ave. All families with Marion Community Schools students are invited to attend.

** Click on the image above to view a full-size flier that you can print and share! **