School News

News for McCulloch Junior High School


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Do YOU have a plan for your students for the summer?

Did you know that students currently in grades kindergarten through eight can sign up NOW to attend the Giant Summer Academy?

The schedule: 

This free four-week program will run 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, starting June 5 and ending June 29. Free breakfast (at 7:30 a.m.) and lunch will be provided to all students enrolled in Giant Summer Academy. 

Morning sessions will be tailored to each student's academic needs. (These will not necessarily be grade-level groups. Rather, each student will be guided and challenged to grow from whatever their starting point is, and will have the chance to interact with others who are at a similar level.) 

Afternoon enrichment sessions each week will center on a theme:
  • June 5-8: Sports and Games
  • June 12-15: Performing and Fine Arts
  • June 19-22: STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)
  • June 26-29: Entrepreneurship
Field trips will be taken on Thursdays.

Location 

All academic and enrichment sessions for all students will be at Marion High School, 750 W. 26th St. Breakfast and lunch will be available free for all students at the MHS cafeteria.

Transportation

Morning pickup and afternoon dropoff will be provided to all Giant Summer Academy students. (No transportation to or from home will be available midday.)

How to sign up

1. Click here to view the enrichment course list. Determine what your student's top three choices are for each week. (Final class assignements will be based on demand and space available.)

2. Click here to download the registration form and field trip permission slip.

3. Return your completed registration form (including top three enrichment courses for each week) and the field trip permission slip to your student's school! 



>> NOTE: For information on summer classes for grades 9 through 12, click here.


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News For the third year in a row, the McCulloch Junior High School music department has earned the Indiana State School Music Association’s highest honor, the J/M/E Total Department All Music Award — making it the only school in the state to win three years straight.

Every year, ISSMA hosts several competitions for music students in the state. The All Music Awards are the culmination of those contests, and the music departments who earn them are among the best in the state.

“Our students deserve a lot of praise,” said McCulloch choir teacher Christina Huff. “They have worked very hard to get this recognition.”

To qualify for the All Music Award, the school’s music students must have received gold ratings in all of the following events:
Because McCulloch qualified for the award in both choir and band, they were given the Total Department award, one of only two schools in the state to earn this award.  In 2016, McCulloch was one of only three schools in the state to earn this honor, but the only school to have won it back-to-back. In 2015 — the first year this award was given at the junior high level — McCulloch was the only school in the state to earn this honor. This is an outstanding accomplishment, three years running, and our fantastic music students and teachers deserve much praise. We take this opportunity to say congratulations to them all!

There will be many chances to hear these award-winning groups at various year-end shows. Watch for more information on these events — we hope to see you there!
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News McCulloch Junior High School’s academic team was the top scorer at a regional invitational on Thursday, and brought home the gold in three separate categories as well.



The McCulloch Academic Team displays their awards from the April 6, 2017, invitational. Members are, front row (left to right): Carynna Aguila, Halen Munday, and Mia De las Alas; second row (left to right): Annika Sharlow, Evelyn Detamore, and Soren Bruehler; and top row (left to right): Marisa Wallace, Jaron Hofmann, and Vikram Oddiraju. (Not pictured: Savannah Fry.)


Marion students competed with teams from a dozen schools from around East Central Indiana in the Academic Super Bowl invitational at Delta Middle School in Muncie on April 6, 2017. Academic Super Bowl competitions at the junior level consist of four subject matter rounds (English, science, social studies, and math) and a fifth interdisciplinary round. Each year a theme is selected, and questions at the competitions center around that topic. This year’s topic is “The French Revolution”.

The Giants earned first place in English, science, and the interdisciplinary round. They were also among the top teams in social studies (second place) and math (fourth place). With this excellent performance, they earned the title of overall points winner as well.

The students who competed April 6 are: Carynna Aguila, Soren Bruehler, Mia De las Alas, Evelyn Detamore, Savannah Fry, Jaron Hofmann, Halen Munday, Vikram Oddiraju, Annika Sharlow, and Marisa Wallace. Coaches are Mike Halliwell (English/social studies), Brooke Detamore (science), and Alex Hornett (math).

Next up, the McCulloch team will compete in the state competition, set for April 29. McCulloch Junior High School and Marion Community Schools offer their congratulations to these outstanding students and their coaches, and wish them good luck at the state level!

The Academic Super Bowl competition is offered by the Indiana Association of School Principals. The IASP offers academic competitions to honor intellectual achievement, showcase students, and give their families an opportunity for involvement.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News As we head into spring, Marion High School’s state-of-the-art planetarium will put on special shows that explore weather and climate, along with the local night sky in spring and summer.

The public is invited to MHS to the shows, which will feature “The Zula Patrol: Under the Weather”; “The Dynamic Earth: Exploring Earth’s Climate Engine”; and a review of events coming up in the local night sky this spring and summer. Showings are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, April 1, and Sunday, April 2.

Admission is free, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis on the day of the show. Doors will open about 30 minutes before each showing. Enter MHS through Door 22 at the front of the building. MHS is located at 750 W. 26th St.

In addition, the MHS Green Society will be selling concessions at these shows. Proceeds help fund recycling efforts at MHS.

This is a great opportunity for a special experience with the family, right here in Marion!

The planetarium at MHS was renovated in fall 2012. It boasts state-of-the-art LED cove lighting; 5.1 surround sound system with JBL cinema series speakers that push 2400 watts of power; a Digitarium Kappa projector that broadcasts full dome shows; and seating for 58.

Marion Community Schools is pleased to be able to present this special show to the public and share our exceptional facilities with the community in this way.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools is thrilled to announce that our bullying prevention program has been recognized by the School Safety Advocacy Council as a national exemplary program.

Several members of the MCS bullying prevention committee traveled recently to the National Conference on Bullying and Child Victimization, where they accepted the award and gained valuable information and ideas on how to continue to improve our the progressive, proactive program we already have in place.

We are proud of our team and our bullying prevention program! Out of about 40 nominees for this award, three winners were selected, and ours was the only school-based program recognized. The other honorees had a national scope. 

>> Marion Community Schools' Bullying Prevention Award is now featured on the U.S. Department of Justice's website! Click here to check it out.



The Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees honored the MCS bullying prevention committee at their meeting on March 14, 2017, celebrating news of the national award.
 

Below is an overview of our program, from the award nomination.

National Conference on Bullying – National Exemplary Program Award nomination

December 2016

Marion Community Schools (Marion, Ind.)

Marion Community Schools’ bullying prevention program was started in 2012. Since that time, we feel that this intentional, multi-faceted program has made quite a difference in our schools and our community. We feel that the key has been a proactive effort to change the culture and climate in our schools. Yes, it’s a bullying prevention program, but in reality, it’s more of a kindness campaign.

Every single staffer is involved with bullying prevention at MCS, because we all have specific duties as detailed in our policies and rules. The core steering committee for this effort, though, includes nine members, representing all of our school buildings and stakeholders. This committee has included staff, parents, students, and other community members, including local law enforcement representatives.

From the 2013-14 school year to the 2014-15 school year, we saw a dramatic decrease in bullying incidents — an 83 percent decrease! In the 2015-16 school year, the number of incidents remained at that new low. We believe the education piece of the program has been the key to this decrease. All staff members receive policy training and guidance on how to identify bullying (and the specific criteria involved), as well as the legally required response to any bullying report (including a review of our reporting forms and procedures). In addition, students have had many opportunities to learn more about bullying and its effects on the targeted student as well as the student doing the bullying. These opportunities have included:
  • Rachel’s Challenge presentations at all grade levels, and use of the Rachel’s Challenge curriculum in our schools.
  • Social workers taking this kindness campaign into the classroom, using various positive reinforcements for behaviors that create and sustain an atmosphere of compassion.
  • Cyberbullying training facilitated by the Indiana State Police.
  • Student-led efforts including a Kindness Kids club at one of our elementary schools and a FOR TAXII (Friends of Rachel / Teens Against Extreme Inappropriate Interactions) club at our high school.
  • PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) was fully implemented across the district in the 2015-16 school year; we saw a 25 percent reduction in behavior referrals in that academic year, vs. the previous.
The data tracking is also key to sustaining positive change. We are able to see specific areas of concern, and then directly target our efforts to address them. In addition, we are able to see successes in a concrete way. This helps us decide how to utilize limited resources in the best way.

We offer several different ways for our families and community to contribute to this kindness campaign. One example is our Giant Hotline, an anonymous tipline for anyone who needs to share anything that threatens the safety of our students or schools. Though we do encourage people to reach out directly to their principal when possible, this hotline fills a need for those who want to remain anonymous. We also have provided parent presentations from the ISP (cyberbulling) and Rachel’s Challenge.

The annual MCS Kindness Rally, which is going into its fifth year in 2017, is perhaps the most visible community-wide event. The Kindness Rally is a way for us to celebrate everyday acts of kindness and the difference they can make. We invite the entire community to celebrate with us, with a carnival and Chain Reaction Ceremony. This ceremony includes a parade of students and staff carrying paper chains made up of thousands of links — each one representing an act of kindness done at one of our school buildings during the preceding school year. This is an amazing sight to behold, as you watch our students and staff proudly carry in chains that eventually stretch all the way around our high school arena — one of the biggest in the country. In addition, talented students present songs, poems, and other projects that celebrate kindness or speak out against bullying. We also have an annual T-shirt design competition for the Kindness Rally, where students submit designs and several are chosen to be printed and sold.

This event not only celebrates kindness in general but also puts specific students and staff members in the spotlight for their personal efforts at kindness, compassion, and inclusion. Nominations are submitted by students and staff, and a committee chooses one student and one staff member from each school building to present with the MCS Kindness Award, which we truly believe is one of the highest honors we can bestow, because we believe that simple acts of kindness have the power to change our classrooms, our schools, our community, and the world. 

These efforts have garnered local and regional media coverage, but also caught the interest of the Indiana Department of Education. In 2013, IDOE solicited applications from schools to be a part of crafting guidelines for schools to apply a new state law aimed at bullying prevention. MCS applied and was accepted to be part of that process. Members of the MCS bullying prevention steering committee were involved at the state level, helping to write guidance lessons and sample policy. MCS bullying report forms were used as an example of a best practice.

We see the differences this program is making every day. The data show that difference in a concrete way, but more importantly you can feel a difference in the culture and atmosphere in our buildings, and in the attitudes of staff and students who make an intentional choice to focus on the positive, and on ways that our choices can change our community.