School News

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Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News After months of discussion, several community forums, and an online survey completed by hundreds of people, the Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees on Wednesday evening approved a plan for reconfiguration of the school system, to bring costs down, improve academic programs, and enhance opportunities for local students.

MCS administrators presented the plan at the previous board meeting. It breaks the reconfiguration into two phases.

The plan presented for the 2016-17 year is as follows:
  • Move career and technical education (CTE) programs back onto the Marion High School campus.
  • Add preschool classes at each of the four elementary school buildings.
  • This would result in the following configuration:
    • P-4 at the Allen, Frances Slocum, Kendall, and Riverview buildings
    • 5-6 at the intermediate school - Justice building (some preschool classes will remain in this building as well)
    • 7-8 at the McCulloch building
    • 9-12 & CTE at Marion High School
The scenario proposed for the 2017-18 year is as follows:
  • Move seventh grade to the Justice building
  • Move eighth grade to Marion High School
  • Repurpose McCulloch building for curricular and co-curricular programming (such as junior high athletics and more), and possibly the district office
  • This would result in the following configuration:
    • P-4 at the Allen, Frances Slocum, Kendall, and Riverview buildings
    • 5-7 at the intermediate school (Justice building)
    • 8-12 at Marion High School
The second phase was approved with this provision: If new information becomes available that leads school officials to believe adjustments are needed, the plan will be adjusted accordingly.

The input gained from the forums and surveys became a major part of the discussion, and the recommendation reflects that, MCS officials said. Some of the major concerns expressed included a desire to keep neighborhood elementaries, a desire for a longer span of years spent in school buildings, questions over moving seventh-graders to the high school, and a desire to slow down the reconfiguration process.

The recommendation approved Wednesday addresses those concerns. It keeps all four elementary buildings open, and actually adds to the number of years students spend in those buildings, potentially by two years, for those students who attend preschool at 3 and 4 years of age. It breaks the reconfiguration into two phases, allowing time for further collaboration and study. The second phase would extend the number of years in two other buildings (the intermediate school and the high school), and would reduce the number of building-to-building transitions between grade levels to two. In addition, the plan for 2017-18 would move eighth-graders to the high school, but seventh grade would move to the intermediate school, making it a 5-7 building.

The 2017-18 plan would also provide opportunity for growth of co-curricular offerings (such as art and music) and extra-curricular activities (such as athletics and clubs) at both the intermediate level (5-7) and the high school level (8-12).

The next step will be to engage teachers, administrators, parents, community members, and the board to flesh out the details as we work toward the reinvention and continuous improvement of our schools, and the implementation of this reconfiguration plan.

“We are thankful for the positive response of our parents, faculty, staff, and community. It is encouraging to see the GIANT NATION rally to make better learning and better stewardship happen!” Superintendent Brad Lindsay said. “We are excited to engage our parents, students, staff, and community members in this reinvention process. Throughout our greater school community there is a renewed energy to seize the day to make even better happen for our students in our schools and in our community.”

“We look forward to co-creating with our stakeholders to customize curricular and co-curricular programs for our students and our community. This collaboration for school transformation will begin immediately.  Together, we will serve a cause that will outlive ourselves, which is our students, who are our GIANT future.”
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News After several months of planning and discussion, Marion Community Schools officials on Thursday evening revealed their recommendation for reconfiguration of the school system, to bring costs down, improve academic programs, and enhance opportunities for local students.

The recommendation presented to the School Board for discussion on Thursday breaks the reconfiguration into two phases.

The plan presented for the 2016-17 year is as follows:
  • Move career and technical education (CTE) programs back onto the Marion High School campus.
  • Add preschool classes at each of the four elementary school buildings.
  • This would result in the following configuration:
    • P-4 at the Allen, Frances Slocum, Kendall, and Riverview buildings
    • 5-6 at the Justice building (some preschool classes will remain in this building as well)
    • 7-8 at the McCulloch building
    • 9-12 & CTE at Marion High School
The scenario proposed for the 2017-18 year is as follows:
  • Move seventh grade to the Justice building
  • Move eighth grade to Marion High School
  • Repurpose McCulloch building for curricular and co-curricular programming (such as junior high athletics and more), district office
  • This would result in the following configuration:
    • P-4 at the Allen, Frances Slocum, Kendall, and Riverview buildings
    • 5-7 at the Justice building
    • 8-12 / CTE at Marion High School
“With this recommendation, we believe we have found a winning solution that is responsive to most of the concerns and questions we heard from staff, parents, and community members in recent weeks. It also puts us on the path to matching our expenditures to our revenues by the end of 2017,” MCS Superintendent Brad Lindsay said. “Additionally, by breaking the plan into two parts, we have time to continue to gather essential information and collaborate with a broad base of stakeholders. If new information would lead us in a different direction for 2017-18, we would adjust that scenario accordingly.”

The recommendation differs from the “what-if” scenarios that were put forward as conversation starters at the community forums. MCS officials and a team of staff, board members, and community members studied those scenarios and many more before settling on the recommendation presented to the board for discussion Thursday evening.

“The bottom line is that we care. We care for our students, for our staff, for our parents, for our community. We’ve intentionally taken a lot of time to work through this process. We’ve listened. We’ve learned. This recommendation is based on what we’ve learned,” Superintendent Lindsay said.

The input gained from the community forums and surveys became a major part of the discussion, MCS officials said. Some of the major concerns expressed from many sectors in recent weeks included a desire to keep neighborhood elementaries, a desire for a longer span of years spent in school buildings, questions over moving seventh-graders to the high school, and a desire to slow down the reconfiguration process.

The recommendation presented Thursday addresses those concerns. It keeps all four elementary buildings open, and actually adds to the number of years students spend in those buildings, potentially by two years, for those students who attend preschool at 3 and 4 years of age. It breaks the reconfiguration into two phases, allowing time for further collaboration and study. The second phase would extend the number of years in two other buildings (the intermediate school and the high school), and would reduce the number of building-to-building transitions between grade levels to two. In addition, the plan for 2017-18 would move eighth-graders to the high school, but seventh grade would move to the intermediate school, making it a 5-7 building.

The 2017-18 plan would also provide opportunity for growth of co-curricular offerings (such as art and music) and extra-curricular activities (such as athletics and clubs) at both the intermediate level (5-7) and the high school level (8-12).

“Every child deserves the best opportunities we can provide for them, and I believe this plan will help Marion Community Schools do an even better job of doing just that,” said MCS School Board President Scott Murphy. “We must also live within our means, and this two-phase process will help us make wise choices with our resources and make the best plan for the future of our schools and our community.”

After discussion on Thursday evening, the recommendation will be brought to the board for a vote at the next regularly scheduled meeting, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 28, in the MHS cafeteria.

The next step will be to engage teachers, administrators, parents, community members, and the board to flesh out the details as we work toward the reinvention and continuous improvement of our schools, and the implementation of this reconfiguration plan.

“We will plan and create together as one Giant Nation to make even better happen in the lives of our students and the future of our community,” Superintendent Lindsay said. “We are excited to begin to put these plans into motion, and to energize and empower our school community. We must live within our means, but within that framework, we can co-create a GIANT future. Our mission-motivated Marion Community Schools team is determined to bring our students and our parents our very best.”

View the slideshow presented at the meeting below:

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News This week's regular meeting of the Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees has been moved from Wednesday to Thursday, to allow for attendance at the girls soccer regional in Logansport, where the Giants will be competing. We hope you'll consider traveling to cheer on the Giants!

>> For more information on the team and the game, visit MarionGiantsSports.com!

If you plan to attend the School Board meeting on Thursday, please note that the location has also changed for this specific meeting. It will be in the MHS cafeteria. (The Oct. 28 meeting is also scheduled in the cafeteria. November meetings will return to the Board Room, Room 4-4 at the high school, unless otherwise noted.)


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News

You're invited to Tucker Career and Technology Center's annual fall open house on Tuesday, Oct. 20. This year, we have even more fun in store: A murder mystery game, airbrush pumpkin painting, and a blood drive.

>> Click here to learn more.

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The community forums on the reconfiguration/consolidation proposals come to a conclusion, with the final session set for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, at the Walton Center at MHS. Information will be presented on the proposals currently under consideration. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and share their thoughts, concerns, and suggestions.

>> Click here for a look at FAQs and some of the information that will be presented in the forums.

>> Click here for a look at the schedule for all the public forums.