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IDOE school grades highlight successes, challenges

Posted on Nov. 14 2018 by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools is pleased that the hard work being done every day by our staff, students, and families has been recognized for excellent improvement by the Indiana Department of Education’s 2017-18 school grades.

For the first time since the start of ISTEP, no MCS elementary school will be placed in the bottom two categories of the state’s accountability labeling system. In fact, overall, our elementary school grades are the best they have been since the start of the state’s school accountability grades, with Riverview Elementary netting an “A”; Allen and Frances Slocum netting a “B”; and Kendall netting a "C". All of these are up from last year, with three of the four raising their grade by more than 15 points — due largely to the growth accomplished by our students.

“We focus on making sure every student is growing every year,” said MCS Education Director Michele Smith. “We are building a strong foundation at our elementary schools, with preschool through fourth grade. We work for breakthroughs every day, and our students are growing toward proficiency.”

At Riverview Elementary, which jumped from a “C” to an “A”, Principal Lendon Schwartz credited the students for setting goals and working to meet them.

"We are extremely proud of our Riverview students and teachers for their hard work and dedication in achieving the letter grade ‘A’!” Schwartz said. “All of our students are held to high academic expectations, and it pays off. We use data to drive our decisions and to create specific learning paths for each individual student. We also take the time to build authentic relationships and teach our students to be GIANT citizens. Our students made a goal last year that they didn't want Riverview's letter grade to be a ‘C’ anymore. We motivated them to push themselves to give their best — and that's what they did!”

The school is planning a special celebration on Nov. 28, to which last year’s Riverview fourth-graders (now at Justice in fifth grade) will be invited. More details will be provided from the school to students’ families.

At Frances Slocum Elementary, which jumped from a “D” to a “B”, Dr. Gwen Lavert, the school’s principal, emphasized her students’ strengths and potential.

“The Frances Slocum teachers and staff are very happy and excited about moving to a grade of ‘B’,” Lavert said. “This movement was based on the students’ strengths of being verbal, creative, expressive, analytical, resilient, and problem solvers. These are also the strengths that the teachers will continue to build on to move our students to achieving their targets this year.”

At Allen Elementary, which also jumped from a “D” to a “B”, Principal Anthony Williams noted the work is a team effort.

"We are all very proud of the hard work that our students and teachers exhibit daily at Allen Elementary,” Williams said. “It's the effort of an entire Allen community that allows us to see the success that is visible daily. We strive to keep growing toward achievement. Our continual focus on growing each student one at a time is the foundation to all of our students hopefully achieving their very best on state assessments, but more importantly life in general."

Kendall Elementary raised from a “D” to a “C”, and students and staff are working hard for continued success there!

Four schools exceeded 100 growth points, and the lowest growth points total was 75. Any growth total that exceeds 50 means that students’ growth rate is above the average rate across the state. Overall, Marion Community Schools is in the top 10 percent in the state in terms of growth.

Marion High School misses 'A' by fraction of a point

Marion High School remained a “B” based on the 2017-18 school year, but was only a fraction of a point away from an “A”.

“Every single student matters,” MHS Principal Keith Burke said. “Being that close to an 'A' comes down to just a couple students. Growth for every student is our mission, what we work for every day, because it’s not just about a test — we are setting our students up for success in life beyond high school, in college or a career.”

Justice Intermediate School remained a “D”, albeit with score that is several points higher than the previous year.

McCulloch Junior High School, the only school that did not increase its overall score, remains a high priority for the school district. The school’s grade fell by a fraction of a point, keeping it at an “F” for the 2017-18 school year.

“We have intensified our energies for academic improvement at McCulloch and at Justice,” said Dr. Brad Lindsay, superintendent of Marion Community Schools. “Meeting individual student needs and making school fun, purposefully engaging, and exciting is essential. Our McCulloch and Justice staff are mission-motivated, committed, caring professionals, and we are intentionally directing attention, resources, and support to put these schools on the path to sustained improvement. Though there are many great things happening, including growing athletic programs and one of the best music programs in the state, we must continue to strive for greater academic success for our students in the middle grade levels.”

There is much for the schools and community to take pride in, Lindsay said.

“I believe in and am proud of our students, staff, and administrators throughout our district. In every school, our people are working purposefully to provide our students their very best,” he said. “I’m thankful for the families who have chosen Marion Community Schools to educate their precious children. We count that as a high privilege, and we understand that family and community support is essential to continuously increasing our students’ success.”

The success of Marion Community Schools is intertwined with the community’s support and success.

“We love and are thankful for the community of Marion, which has rallied around our schools,” Lindsay said, “making education and our students a priority, and helping us to serve a cause that is greater than our individual selves, which is our children, our community, and our future. Marion Community Schools’ success is the city of Marion’s success. And the city of Marion’s success is Marion Community Schools’ success. Together, we will wrap support around our children and families to help us all become the best we can be.”

Order your Giant Bistro pumpkin roll today!

Posted on Nov. 09 2018 by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News
Marion Regional Career Center's Culinary Arts students have a special offer for you for the holidays: pumpkin roll!
 


Order this special treat for your holiday gathering or any special meal!

Cost is $7 each.

>> Order deadline is Nov. 16. 

Call 667-6254 to place your order or stop by the Giant Bistro 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday.

~ or ~

Stop by the Marion Regional Career Center office at Marion High School 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

All items will be available for pickup at the Giant Bistro, 2201 S. Western Ave., from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20.

MHS, McCulloch, Justice students selected for All-State Honor Choirs

Posted on Nov. 05 2018 by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools is proud to announce that choir students from three of our schools have earned spots in All-State Honor Choirs.

John Flowers, Myles Kohn, both juniors at Marion High School, who have been selected for the Indiana Choral Directors Association’s All-State Honor Choir; and to Christian Vermilion, an eighth-grader at McCulloch Junior High School, and to Justice Intermediate School students Caleb Huff and Michelle Rasor, both sixth-graders, who have been selected for the Indiana Music Educators Association’s All-State Elementary and Middle School Honor Choir. Congratulations to these talented and dedicated students on this outstanding achievement!

This is the second year in a row for this honor for both Myles and Caleb. Christian joins a tradition of excellence at McCulloch; this is the fifth year in a row that choir students from the school have been selected to the IMEA All-State Honor Choir. Caleb and Michelle are helping to build the tradition at Justice, which is sending students for the second year in a row.

            

 
Students submit a recorded audition in the fall, which is then evaluated by three judges and compared against hundreds of other students from across the state. This is an elite group, as each of the honor choirs includes only about 150 singers, some of the best in the state.

The choirs will gather together for two days of rehearsal on Jan. 18 and 19, and then will be featured as guest performers at the IMEA professional development conference. The will perform on Jan. 19 at the Grand Wayne Embassy Theater in Fort Wayne.

The All-State Honor Choir is a great opportunity for these talented students, and will give them the chance to learn and grow as musicians. We are so proud of all three of these students, and their teachers, Christina Huff at Justice/McCulloch, and Bryce Conway at MHS!

A Giant's Mission

I am a Justice Intermediate Giant
 I take pride in: my home, my school and my community.
Learning is my top priority.
I respect my parents, my teachers and most of all myself.
I am Respectful
I am Responsible
I am Smart 
I am Talented
And I will Achieve