School News

News for McCulloch Junior High School

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools congratulates McCulloch Junior High School choir teacher Christina Huff on being named the Indiana Music Education Association’s Junior High Teacher of the Year.

IMEA gives this award each year to one educator at the elementary, middle school / junior high, high school, and college levels. The award signifies these educators have exemplified outstanding achievement in the field of music education, IMEA said.

Mrs. Huff will be honored at 4:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Embassy Theater in Fort Wayne, at the start of the All-State Elementary and Middle School Honor Choir concert. Three Marion Community Schools students will be performing with the Honor Choir: Caleb Huff and Michelle Rasor, both sixth-graders at Justice Intermediate School, and Christian Vermilion, an eighth-grader at McCulloch Junior High School.

The impact that Mrs. Huff has had on McCulloch can be clearly seen in a variety of ways, from the number of students involved and engaged in the school’s choir program (more than 135 students this year); to the number of students selected for the Honor Choir (for five years in a row now) and the annual Circle the State with Song festival; to the school’s music program being recognized as one of the best in the state, having earned the Indiana State School Music Association’s Junior High / Middle School / Elementary Total Department All Music Award four years in a row — the only school in the state to do so!

Marion Community Schools is so proud of Mrs. Huff, and we are grateful to her for her work to provide Marion students excellent opportunities throughout the year!

There are several opportunities coming up to enjoy the talents of McCulloch Junior High School’s award-winning musicians, at our holiday concerts:
  • 7th grade choir: 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, in the MJHS auditorium
  • 8th grade choir: 6 p.m.Tuesday, Dec. 11, in the MJHS auditorium
  • 7th/8th grade band: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in the MJHS gym
We hope to see you there to support these young performers!
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News It's that time of year again when our calendars start filling up with holiday plans!

And because we know our school holiday programs can take some logistical work for parents and families to attend, we've set the schedule now, so you can make plans early!
  • 7th grade choir: 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10
  • 8th grade choir: 6 p.m.Tuesday, Dec. 11
  • 7th/8th grade band: 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12
Mark your calendars now, because we hope to see you here!
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News McCulloch Drama Club Presents

Appropriate Audience Behavior
A short play

Dress Rehearsal (families only ) Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m.

Show Dates:
  • Monday, Nov. 19, at  6 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 4 p.m.
Posted: 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.”
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion High School Speech and Drama Association, in cooperation with Marion High School Choirs, is bringing the timeless love story of Aida to life at the Walton Performing Arts Center this weekend!

This contemporary classic, with music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice, is a crowd-pleaser with an unforgettable score. MHS is presenting the School Edition, which is abridged and tailored to younger performers’ needs. It doesn’t cut corners, though, on the epic tale of loyalty, duty, betrayal, and love that transcends all! This is a thrilling show that you won’t want to miss!

Show times are at 7:30 on Friday, Nov. 16, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. Tickets are general admission, $8 for adults, $5 for children / MCS students and staff (with ID). Credit/debit cards will be accepted.

Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida School Edition is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).  All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.