School News

News for Marion Community Schools

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
From the Chronicle-Tribune

Marion Community Schools is in the middle of a pilot program for the state that officials are saying increases bus safety for children.

The district’s Transportation Department began using the Guardian Angel School Bus Lighting System in March after getting approval from the Indiana Department of Education.

— More from MCS on this story: To learn more about MCS' s pilot program of the Guardian Angle School Bus Lighting System, click here. —
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
From the Chronicle-Tribune

Marion Community Schools Superintendent Brad Lindsay said he is anticipating an improvement in this year’s ISTEP exam scores.

Officials with the Indiana Department of Education announced Monday that results wouldn’t be released as planned, but parents have access to the scores. The results are embargoed until Tuesday, but Lindsay said he’s optimistic about the results.

“We are expecting to see growth, and we are looking forward to that final report when it’s delivered to us,” he said at a school board meeting on Wednesday.

>> Read more at 
— More from MCS: To read the minutes of this School Board meeting, click here. —
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
From the Chronicle-Tribune

As the nation paused Wednesday to reflect on the tragedy of Sept. 11, local schools also commemorated that devastating day.

Near the flags in front of Marion High School, the JROTC led a remembrance of Sept. 11 Wednesday morning — the first year the JROTC has been responsible for such an event.

— More from MCS on this story: To learn more about the Marion High School JROTC program, click here. —
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Marion Community Schools is hoping a pilot program its Transportation Department initiated will one day help improve safety for children at bus stops across Indiana.

MCS is in the midst of a trial period for use of the Guardian Angel School Bus Lighting System. Four buses have been equipped with special lights on their front bumpers that can be activated to shine across the road, illuminating a path for students who are crossing in front of the bus – and in front of oncoming traffic. The light gives better sight and safety to the students, but it also serves to illuminate the children, to make them more visible to oncoming drivers.

MCS Transportation Coordinator Don Batchelor and Lead Transportation Mechanic Dave Chapman learned about the Guardian Angel lights from their main replacement parts supplier, United School Bus Parts. Batchelor learned that the lights were not approved for use by school buses in the state of Indiana, but believing that this extra lighting could improve safety for Marion students, he pursued permission from the state to use them.

Initially, state officials denied the request, but asked for more information. After a presentation from Batchelor and Chapman, in spring 2012 MCS was given permission to proceed with a 12-month trial with four buses. At the end of that trial period, Batchelor is to give a report to state officials on how the system performed, and provide his recommendation as to future use of the system. The state will then consider approving the lighting system for wider use.

A few months into the trial period, Batchelor said, “the drivers really think the lights are fantastic.”

He has asked each of the drivers to document positives and negatives, and the department is tracking input from parents, as well. Batchelor said parents at the bus stops have commented on the added safety the lights provide.

As the days grow shorter heading into fall and winter, the Guardian Angel system will again be guiding the way for students on dark mornings. Marion Community Schools is proud to be leading the way in testing this system.

"This is another fine example of the employees of MCS going above and beyond to provide a safe environment for our students," said MCS Director of Support Services Troy Freeman, who oversees the Transportation Department.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Parents can now access ISTEP+ scoring reports for last school year's test.

To access their student's scores from Spring 2013, parents should log on to the state Department of Education's Indiana Parent Network.

Parents who have forgotten their username or password can retrieve those through the Parent Network website above. Those who have never created an account should watch their mail in the next few days, as Marion Community Schools will be sending letters to parents with Invitation Codes needed for that registration process. Parents who need further information should contact their child's school. (Click here for contact information for all MCS schools.)

Parents can also request a rescore of open-ended items/essay for English/language arts, mathematics and social studies portions of the test. Those requests must be made before Sept. 30. More information is available to parents through the Parent Network website.

A wider view of performance data by grade level is to be released by the DOE later this month. The individual student data available now is only for parents’ review, not for the general public.