School News

News for Marion Community Schools


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
The Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees has selected its preferred successor to retiring Superintendent Steve Edwards, though the hiring cannot officially be voted on for several weeks, due to requirements of a new Indiana law.

At the board’s meeting on June 12, 2013, President Katie Morgan introduced Brad Lindsay as the expected next superintendent of MCS. Edwards will be retiring June 28. Due to public notice and meeting requirements of a new state law, Lindsay’s hiring will be up for a vote in early July, at the earliest.

“We feel we have a really great leader on our hands. He made a really great statement that it’s a challenge and a blessing to follow in the footsteps of Mr. Edwards,” Morgan said, adding that she was confident Lindsay would be able to continue the improvements begun in Edwards’ years.
  • In accordance with state law, MCS will hold a public meeting on the proposed superintendent's contract in advance of the board's vote. To read the notice of the public meeting, set for 6 p.m. June 26, 2013, in the Board Room of the Education Service Center, click here.
  • A week after that public meeting, a special School Board meeting has been called to vote on Lindsay's hiring. That meeting is set for 9 a.m. July 3, 2013, in the Board Room of the Education Service Center.
Lindsay, 50, has been superintendent of Mooresville Consolidated School Corp., southwest of Indianapolis, since March 2010, after serving as assistant superintendent there for two years. That district has seen improvement during Lindsay’s tenure, receiving a “B” grade from the state Department of Education for the 2011-12 school year (and an “A” in 2010-11) after facing academic watch the previous two years.

Mooresville and Marion schools are similar in size, with Mooresville numbering 4,511 students in the 2011-12 school year according to the DOE, compared to 4,017 at Marion, though their racial and socioeconomic makeups are markedly different, reflecting similar differences in the communities they serve. Graduation rates at the two school systems were very close in the 2011-12 school year, with Mooresville graduating 91.4 percent, and Marion graduating 91.1 percent – both above the state rate.

Lindsay is a native of Westfield, but he also has ties to Marion, having earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Indiana Wesleyan University, where his father, Larry Lindsay, is now chief of staff and interim provost. Brad Lindsay has also served as an adjunct faculty member at IWU, and served as a teacher and basketball coach at Lakeview Christian School during the 1995-96 school year.

He earned his educational specialist degree at Indiana State University.

He was named 2006 Principal of the Year in District 10 by the Indiana Association of School Principals while serving as principal of Triton Central High School. Early in his career, he earned Coach of the Year honors in Texas after leading his school’s baseball and basketball teams to state championships, and in 1999, he was named Boys’ Basketball Coach of the Year in Hamilton County, Ind.

He expects to move to Marion with his wife, Vicki, a teacher, and their two daughters.

“We’re so proud and excited about Mooresville, but we felt drawn to this specific time in Marion,” Lindsay told the Chronicle-Tribune at the meeting where he was introduced. “It’s a great opportunity to join the team and continue the great story of the last four years.”
 
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
MARION COMMUNITY SCHOOLS
NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING ON PROPOSED SUPERINTENDENT’S CONTRACT

(per House Enrolled Act 1205)

The Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees will hold a public meeting to discuss and hear objections to and support for the proposed superintendent’s contract at 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 26, 2013, in the Board Room of the Education Service Center, 1240 S. Adams St., Marion, IN 46953.

The details of the proposed contract to be discussed are as follows:

Term:
3-year contract (renewal at anniversary at board’s discretion)

Proposed Salary:
$129,000 per year

Proposed Auto Allowance:
$8,199.96 per year

Proposed Annuity:
$5,000 per year

Proposed Contribution to TRF in addition to 3%:
$13,455 per year

Current Whole Life Policy:
$1,500 per year

Level C Health Benefits:
Up to $15,327 per year

Total Amount of Contract: $172,481.96 per year

Proposed Housing Allowance:
$10,000 within 2 years, by July 2015
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Several students were honored by the Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees during its June 12, 2013, meeting.

Those honored were:



Several Marion Community Schools elementary students who earned perfect scores on their IREAD3 tests: Kaley Ervin, Allen Elementary; Alyssa Townsend, Frances Slocum Elementary; Madelynn Berryman (not pictured), and Bayleigh Reeder, Kendall Elementary; and Olivia Bishop, Hayden Conliff, Rachel Hampton, Corbin Johnson, Faith Keaffaber, Jacob Logan, Alexander Spitzer, and Marley White, Riverview Elementary. Also pictured are MCS Superintendent Steve Edwards, along with board members Cathy Moritz, Scott Murphy, Pam Hutchison, Harry Hall, Aaron Vermilion, Greg Kitts, and Katie Morgan. 
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
From the Chronicle-Tribune

Marion Community Schools is expected to announce its next leader within the next two weeks.

Board of School Trustees Secretary Harry Hall said Thursday the board is interviewing four candidates, one of whom will be in place to succeed Superintendent Steve Edwards before he leaves the post at the end of June. 

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Recognizing that poor attendance can drag down students’ ability to achieve, Marion Community Schools and the Grant County prosecutor’s office are getting tough on truancy. Criminal charges have been filed in 10 cases involving Marion students since March.

Research shows chronic absences negatively affect students’ achievement, and that effect can haunt students for years. These patterns are consistent across racial, socioeconomic, and special needs categories. A strong correlation between attendance and graduation rates has also been found. (For more information, read the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy’s brief “Attendance and Chronic Absenteeism in Indiana: The Impact on Student Achievement”.) 

Simply put, a student who isn’t in school can’t learn. That’s why MCS is working closely with the Grant County prosecutor’s office and truancy officer Julie Autry to hold parents accountable when students are chronically absent from school.

Penalties can include jail time, and if problems persist, parents can face felony charges.

During the school year that has just ended, weekly attendance rates at individual buildings ranged from lows of about 89 percent to highs above 99 percent. Over the whole year, though, no school reached the district’s attendance goals of at least 95 percent at the secondary level and at least 96 percent at the elementary and intermediate levels. Now that summer break has begun, the prosecutor’s office is continuing to review referrals from the schools.

MCS will continue to work with the prosecutor’s office to emphasize the importance of attendance – and the penalties of chronic absenteeism. All students deserve the opportunity to succeed, and chronic absenteeism is a major roadblock on the path to success.

Since 2010, when efforts between MCS and the prosecutor’s office began to jell, schools have referred about 850 cases in Grant County to the prosecutor’s office in reference to students’ chronic absenteeism. (Not all of those have involved MCS students, but from March to May 2013, 10 out of 15 – or 2 out of every 3 – cases that resulted in charges did involve MCS students.)

Of those 850, about 700 have taken the first step toward possible prosecution on criminal charges. That first step involves the parents meeting with Autry to review state law regarding their child’s school attendance. Here is a look at what the prosecutor’s office advises parents:

Indiana law provides:

1. It is unlawful for a parent to fail to ensure that his/her child attends school as required under our Compulsory Attendance Statute (Indiana Code 20-33-2-27).
2. It is unlawful for a parent to fail, neglect, or refuse to send his/her child to a public school for a full term as required under our Compulsory Attendance Statute (Indiana Code 20-33-2-28).
3. It is unlawful for a parent to fail or refuse to produce a certificate of the incapacity of a child signed by an Indiana physician. When a parent does not send the child to school because of the child’s illness or physical/mental capacity, the certificate must be provided within six (6) days after it is demanded (Indiana Code 20-33-2-18).
4. It is unlawful for a person having the care of a dependent, whether assumed voluntarily or because of legal obligation, to knowingly or intentionally deprive the dependent of education as required by law (Indiana Code 35-46-1-4).

Indiana law provides that a child is required to attend school until the date on which he/she reaches the age of eighteen (18) years. If the parent or other person having the care of a dependent under the age of eighteen (18) years is charged and convicted of any of the offenses stated herein it could result in imprisonment for a term of six (6) months to three (3) years and a fine of One Thousand ($1,000) to Ten Thousand ($10,000). The penalty would depend upon the offense charged.

ANY FURTHER VIOLATION OF THESE STATUTES MAY RESULT IN CRIMINAL CHARGES BEING FILED AGAINST YOU.

Parents acknowledge with their signature that they understand the law and will provide appropriate documentation for any further absences. (At Marion Community Schools, if a student is too sick to attend school but the family does not wish to seek a doctor’s services, a nurse at the child’s school can verify the child is sick – but he or she must be brought to the school for this verification.)

Parents are also referred to a short series of parenting classes through Family Service Society. 

If the same parent is again referred to the prosecutor’s office in reference to a student’s attendance – even in a subsequent school year – it can result in criminal charges being filed. Violations do not start over at the start of a new school year, even though school policies do.

A first offense following acknowledgement of the law can lead to a Class B misdemeanor charge of compulsory school attendance violation. A subsequent offense can lead to a Class D felony charge of educational neglect.

MCS’s current attendance policy can be reviewed here. In short, after five unexcused absences, a letter is sent to the parent advising them of school policy. At eight, another letter is sent stating any further absences must be accompanied by appropriate documentation explaining the reason for the absence (i.e. doctor’s note). At 10 absences, the case can be referred to the prosecutor’s office.