School News

News for Marion High School

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Dozens of Marion High School students’ hard work and dedication has earned them success on the College Board’s Advanced Placement exams. MHS students took 16 different AP exams in 2019, and 88 of them passed at least one exam, while 47 of those passed multiple exams — both numbers up from 2018.

AP exams are scored on a scale of 1 to 5.  A score of 3 designates the student as “qualified” and capable of doing the work of an introductory-level course in a particular subject at college, according to the AP Program’s website. Many colleges and universities grant credit and placement for scores of 3, 4 or 5, but the AP Program’s website notes that each college decides which scores it will accept.

Marion High School requires that students taking an AP class take the corresponding AP exam in order to receive the extra credit available for the class. (All AP classes at MHS are “weighted”, meaning that students can earn more credit for those classes because of their difficulty, as compared to standard classes. But students who don’t take the AP exam won’t receive that extra credit.) This leads to a very high percentage of MHS AP students taking the corresponding exams — which makes the passing percentages achieved by MHS students in 2019 even more impressive.

Notable statistics from the 2019 AP exams at MHS:
  • 88 students passed one or more AP exams
  • MHS students passed 16 different exams: Biology; Calculus AB; Calculus BC; Chemistry; English Language and Composition; English Literature and Composition; Environmental Science; Music Theory; Psychology; Spanish Language and Culture; Statistics; U.S. History; World History; and the portfolio-based Studio Art Design 2D and Studio Art Design 3D. The number of students taking a particular test ranged from 4 to 64.
  • 100 percent of MHS students who participated in the Studio Art 2D Design Portfolio and Studio Art 3D Design Portfolio exam passed; this surpasses the 86.4 percent and 70 percent global passing rates, respectively. (Wondering what these portfolios consist of? You can see examples from previous years here.)
  • 93.8 percent of MHS students who took the Computer Science Principals exam passed; this surpasses the 73.3 percent global passing rate
  • 92.3 percent of MHS students who took the Calculus BC exam passed; this surpasses the 81 percent global passing rate.
  • 90.6 percent of MHS students who took the Calculus AB exam passed; this surpasses the 58.4 percent global passing rate.
  • 73.9 percent of MHS students who took the Chemistry exam passed; this surpasses the 55.6 percent global passing rate.
  • 73.1 percent of the MHS students who took the Biology exam passed; this surpasses the 64.7 percent global passing rate.
Marion Community Schools is proud of these students’ excellent achievements, and is proud too of the early college opportunities MHS continues to offer to its students. For information about how your high school student can take advantage of these early college credit opportunities and more, check out the enrollment section of our website.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News This year will be a historic season for the Marion High School Marching Giants, in more ways than one.

Not only is 2019 is the 50th anniversary of the 1969 State Fair Championship — a title that carries with it cherished memories and pride for alumni — but it is also the year the Marching Giants will return to State Fair Band Day for the first time in more than 15 years!

The 73rd annual Music for All Indiana State Fair Band Day is Friday, Aug. 2, at the Indiana State Fairgrounds in Indianapolis — on opening day for the Indiana State Fair. The preliminaries round of the competition starts at 9 a.m. with 40 bands competing; the Marching Giants are set to perform in prelims at 2:18 p.m. The 16 bands with the top scores in the prelims return to compete in the evening finals round, which starts at 8 p.m.

The Marching Giants’ 2019 show is “Spirits of the Past” — an ode to the storied history of the Marion Marching Giants, and the tradition of Marion Giant Pride that is as strong as ever today! The Giants will perform as a Class AAA band, the largest class at the State Fair competition. About 60 musicians will be on the field for the Giants this season.

“We are excited to return to the Indiana State Fair Band Day on the 50th anniversary of one of the biggest wins in Marching Giants history,” Marion High School Director of Bands Joshua Huff said. “We hope to bring out a strong crowd from Marion to cheer on our talented students and enjoy the show — not to mention all the fun the State Fair has to offer.”

To attend, you’ll need to purchase tickets for both the State Fair and Band Day competition.
The 2019 Indiana State Fair will be held Aug. 2 through 18. To pay tribute to the heroism of everyday Hoosiers, this year’s Indiana State Fair theme is Heroes in the Heartland. Throughout the 17-day event, the Indiana State Fair will salute Hoosier farmers, first responders, educators, members of the Armed Forces, and many others who keep us safe and make us proud. Additionally, each day during the fair, Marvel and DC Comics superheroes will be highlighted. For more information, visit
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Nine Cadets from the JROTC program at Marion High School recently returned from a week of adventure at Camp Atterbury: the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge (JCLC). 

Each cadet successfully completed a series of physical and leadership challenges designed to push them beyond what they thought they could do. At the end of the week-long training, five Marion cadets were selected by their cadre/instructors for recognition as a Top Cadets during the camp.

Because of her superior performance and attitude, Cadet Command Sgt. Maj. I’Yela Hornaday was recognized as the No. 1 cadet in her company, which included 55 cadets. She was one of only four from among the 217 cadets attending the camp to earn such an honor.

Additionally, Cadets Cory Rice, Alyssa Townsend, Kylee O'Neil, and Ashley White were recognized among the top 10 cadets in their respective companies.

Marion JROTC Cadet Ashley White leads her team through the leadership reaction course at Camp Atterbury during the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge in June.

The Marion cadets made up only 4% of the JROTC cadets from across the state who attended JCLC this year, yet earned nearly 13% of the top awards.

“Our cadets continually amaze me with their achievements,” said retired Lt. Col. David Farlow, the Senior Army Instructor at Marion High School. “To have so many of our cadets recognized as Top Cadets demonstrates the strength of our program and the quality of our cadets.”

Marion Cadet Alyssa Townsend prepares to conduct land navigation using a compass and map while at Camp Atterbury for the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge in June. Townsend, along with eight other Marion cadets, joined with cadets from across the state to attend this camp. 

The mission of JCLC is to provide an environment conducive to practical application of good citizenship and leadership techniques taught during the school year. The cadets faced many physical challenges, including rappelling, obstacle courses, land navigation, and a leadership reaction course. Additionally, they learned water safety and survival techniques.

“I really enjoyed getting to know the cadets and instructors from the other schools,” said Alyssa Townsend, who attended JCLC for the first time.

Maj. General Carr, the Adjutant General for the Indiana National Guard, visited JCLC, and he presented a Commander’s Coin to Townsend for her superior performance during the camp.

Marion Cadet Joanna Hidalgo learns how to handle a raft during water safety operations at the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge at Camp Atterbury in June. Hidalgo also rappelled off a 60-foot tower, conducted land navigation, and was challenged by the leadership reaction course, along with many other adventures while attending the camp.

The cadets rose at 6 a.m. each morning and conducted a full day of training, including two hours of athletic competition each evening. Their bunks, personal area and barracks were inspected each day to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness. They learned how to function as part of a team, completing most tasks in squad-sized elements of 10 to 13 cadets.

“I really enjoyed the leadership opportunities and serving as a squad leader,” said Cadet Rice. “I hope I have the chance to go to JCLC again next year.”

Marion Cadet Cory Rice (center) straps in for his first-ever ride in an Army UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter while attending the JROTC Cadet Leadership Challenge at Camp Atterbury in June. Rice, along with eight other Marion cadets, faced many leadership challenges and adventures during the six-day camp. 

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Any family with a student new to MCS should attend onsite registration, which is set from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 23 and 24 at Marion High School. (Registration for all grades will be at that location. Staff from all school buildings will be available on those days at Marion High School.) Families can come at their convenience any time during those hours.

Please enter at Door 4 on the 26th Street side of the building. Parking is available in the parking lot on the east side of the building. Please do not park in the circle off 26th Street. 

Those with students who are new to MCS (including kindergartners) should plan to attend our onsite registration days to provide needed documentation and information, including proof of residence (such as a recent utility bill with your name and address), and the name and contact information for the school your student most recently attended, along with any health/allergy information.

Any MCS family is also welcome to attend onsite registration, but is encouraged to use the online registration option if possible. Online registration is already open; click here for instructions.

Any family with students who were enrolled at an MCS school last year, including Little Giants Preschool students who will be in kindergarten this year, as well as any families who attended Kindergarten Roundup in the spring, can use the online registration system.

(Computer access and assistance with passwords or other issues will be available at Marion High School during onsite registration days.)

Textbook fees and deposits can also be paid online as part of the registration process, or at the onsite registration days (where you can avoid the online payment processing fee).
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community School of the Arts (CSA) will be holding an informational meeting on the CSA Arts Academy, a partnership with Marion Community Schools, at 5:30 p.m. June 24 at CSA, 305 S. Adams St., Marion. This meeting is for anyone who would like more information on the program; it is not required of those already enrolled in the programming.

The CSA Arts Academy was formed in 2016 as an exclusive cooperative agreement between Marion Community Schools and Marion CSA to provide a unique opportunity for students who are pursuing intensive, pre-professional arts training: an educational program that can be tailored to their needs, combining online and on-site academics with support from MCS staff, along with extra-curricular opportunities.

CSA Arts Academy students are enrolled as Marion Community Schools students, and they are connected with a teacher of record for their self-guided online courses. This means that they have resources not normally available through most online learning options, which most often put the burden on the student to keep up with lessons, and to find additional external help if they struggle with coursework. From one-on-one discussions with the teacher, to tutoring options, to help with scheduling and more, CSA Arts Academy students have help that other online programs just can’t offer.

In addition, though, CSA Arts Academy students have the option to take honors and Advanced Placement and dual credit classes on-site at Marion High School, and to participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. MHS offers dozens of early college credit opportunities, all of which are open to CSA Arts Academy students. And MHS has dozens of athletic teams and student organizations that are also all open to participation by CSA Arts Academy students.

The CSA Arts Academy, in cooperation with Marion Community Schools, truly offers the best of both worlds to its students: high quality pre-professional arts training and a high quality academic program, along with the traditional high school experiences — things like being inducted into honor societies, cheering with fellow students at the big game, going to prom, and even participating in graduation ceremonies — that pre-professional arts students often have to sacrifice to make their intensive arts training possible.

The program is a fast-paced, intensive program best suited for high performing, serious pre-professional arts students. It provides flexibility to students participating in pre-professional arts education including, but not limited to, the CSA Theatre compANY and CSA’s Dancers Edge Company, providing high quality academics while still allowing them to dedicate the time to the training, traveling and auditioning required at this advanced level of study.

Anyone who would like more information about this outstanding opportunity for young artists should plan to attend this informational meeting, 5:30 p.m. June 24 at CSA, 305 S. Adams St., Marion.