School News

News for Marion High School

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Link WIth the number of high school students taking Advanced Placement tests — which can earn them college credit — on the rise across the nation, the Chronicle-Tribune explores AP offerings at local high schools.

“I think students don’t know what they’re capable of until they challenge themselves,” Marion High School AP Calculus teacher Doug Porter told the Chronicle-Tribune . “They’re getting exactly what the kids get in college. It gives students a sense of what they’ll do when they get to college. It also gives them the opportunity to save thousands and thousands of dollars.”

— More from MCS: For more information on AP offerings at Marion High School, click here. To learn about MHS students recognized on the national level for their performance on AP tests, click here. —
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Link From the Chronicle-Tribune

For many of the more than 30 student actors performing in Marion High School’s 34th annual Black History play Saturday, the event is more than just a performance.

The Black History Club co-wrote the original play entitled “Still I Rise,” which focuses on an upper-middle class family that has been working to send their children to college. The drama shows how the family handles life’s hurdles.

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Link From the Chronicle-Tribune

Marion High School choir members took orders and served desserts and beverages on Sunday in between singing and dancing for parents and community members.

The 26th Street Innovations and Sweet Inspirations show choirs entertained 330 people among three different shows during the weekend, as part of the school’s seventh annual Dessert Theater.

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
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools is moving forward with the installation of a turf field at Marion High School’s stadium, an upgrade that will provide the best possible opportunities for students and the community.

“We believe now is the appropriate time to take this project on,” said School Board member Aaron Vermilion, who has led the committee exploring the upgrade in recent months. “We’ve spent substantial time and money in recent years focusing on our academics and our educational facilities. Focusing on our sports facilities now is part of being a well-rounded, choice high school and offering our kids the very best opportunities we can.”

MCS has in recent years targeted spending to improve educational facilities, including:
  • renovation of the F. Ritchie Walton Performing Arts Center.
  • renovation of the MHS Media Center
  • renovation of the MHS Planetarium
  • addition of a family/consumer sciences classroom at MHS
  • improvements to the JROTC classrooms at MHS
  • interior lighting upgrades across the district
  • continuous technology upgrades across the district, including wireless networking now up and running in all buildings
  • security upgrades to improve student safety
We have also made moves recently at the high school to maximize use of our existing athletic facilities efficiently and wisely, including:
  • new lights and mezzanine (upper gym) curtains in Bill Green Arena
  • maintenance and repainting at Dick Lootens Stadium
  • addition of a press box to the Art Caldwell Baseball Field
With careful planning, these projects have been undertaken within the regular budgeting process. 

This stadium upgrade — now only 25 weeks from completion — will bring Marion Giants sports into a new era. The turf will make Dick Lootens Stadium truly multi-use, and will give the Giants soccer program a home field at MHS. This project will enhance opportunities and experiences for our athletes, fans and community. It also gives Marion Community Schools the chance to offer greater opportunities for school and community programs and events, in addition to athletics, without concern over damage to the field surface.

MCS is undertaking this turf installation with internal funding, but will continue to explore sponsorships and other partnership opportunities, with potential additional upgrades at the MCS Sports Complex still on the drawing board.

“We are excited to be moving forward with this project, and we believe it can become a rallying point and a point of pride for the community,” said School Board member Katie Morgan, who also has played a leading role in the exploratory process.

The pre-bid design work for the turf project is nearly complete, and the bid process will be starting later this month. Marion Community Schools will continue to provide updates as the project continues. The targeted completion date for turf installation is July 25 — just in time for the first IHSAA-allowed soccer and football practices of the 2014 season, in early August.

“Our educational opportunities — including our dual credit offerings, our technical certifications, our AP classes, our academic teams and honor societies, our JROTC program, and more — are already the best around. Our athletes are consistently competitive at the regional and even state levels. This project will let us offer the very best opportunities to our student athletes and other groups. Our goal is to have THE choice high school in the county, and even beyond.”

Project timeline

Here's a look at some of the important upcoming dates for the turf project:
  • Feb. 13 & 20: Advertisements published.
  • Feb. 26: Pre-bid public hearing during School Board meeting at 6 p.m. at Education Service Center.
  • March 5: Bids due / to be opened during School Board meeting at 6 p.m. at Education Service Center.
  • March 12: School Board to consider recommendation, bid approval during School Board meeting at 6 p.m. at Education Service Center.
  • May 19: Turf installation begins at Dick Lootens Stadium at MHS.
  • July 25: Completion of turf installation (just in time for first soccer and football practices allowed by IHSAA rules in early August).