School News

News for Marion Community Schools


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

Marion Community Schools officials expect the district to lose $5.6 million next year.

According to a 2014 budget presented at the Board of School Trustees’ Wednesday meeting, MCS anticipates $28.8 million in general fund revenue and $34.4 million in expenses.

From 2012 to 2014, MCS’ budgeted general revenue has dropped from 30.5 million to $29.6 million to a projected $28.8 million. Its budgeted expenses in that fund have increased from $32.5 million to $33.5 million to a projected $34.5 million.

MCS currently has an $18 million surplus, projected to fall to $12.3 million.

“We’re approaching the point we’re going to make some hard decisions,” said board member Harry Hall. “We’re in a position to lose money over the next couple years” on education.

— More from MCS on this story: To read the minutes of this School Board meeting, click here. —
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Several Marion Community Schools students were honored by the MCS Board of School Trustees during its Aug. 28, 2013, meeting as Teachers Choice Art Award winners during the 2012-13 school year.

Their winning artworks will be displayed for a year in the Board Room at the Education Service Center, 1240 S. Adams St.

Those honored were:
  • Mya McKillip, for work done in grade 1 at Allen Elementary School, and Kelsi Nantz, for work done in grade 3 at Riverview Elementary School; their art teacher was Twana Johnson.
  • Kassidee Dearing, for work done in kindergarten at Frances Slocum Elementary School, and Jayce Flemmons, for work done in grade 1, at Kendall Elementary School; their art teacher was Karen Fry.
  • Jaycee Cox, for work done in grade 5 at Justice Intermediate School, and Latrell Guerrero, for work done in trade 6, at Justice; their art teacher was Lori Gates.
  • Ethan Nguyen, for work done in grade 7 at McCulloch Junior High School, whose art teacher was Tashema Davis.
  • Trista Jones, for work done in grade 8 at McCulloch, whose art teacher was Darrell Wisser.
  • Sahman Seerha, for work done in grade 10 at Marion High School, whose art teacher was Ellery Diaz.
  • Maris Bounds, for work done in grade 11 at Marion High School, and Mitchell Diedrich, for work done in grade 12 at Marion High School; their art teacher was Debi Shepler.

Marion Community Schools is proud of its young artists and is pleased to be able to display their artwork prominently all year.



The Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees at its April 28, 2013, meeting honored several students who earned Teachers Choice Art Awards, and whose art will hang in the Board Room for the year. Pictured is Maris Bounds, whose work as an 11th-grader at Marion High School earned her an award, Kelsi Nantz, (for work in grade 3, Riverview Elementary School), Kassidee Dearing (for work in kindergarten, Frances Slocum Elementary School), and Jaycee Cox, (for work in grade 5, Justice Intermediate School). Also honored were Mya McKillip, (for work in grade 1, Allen Elementary School), Jayce Flemmons, (for work in grade 1, Kendall Elementary School), Latrell Guerrero, (for work in grade 6, Justice Intermediate School), Ethan Nguyen, (for work in grade 7, McCulloch Junior High School), Trista Jones, (for work in grade 8, McCulloch Junior High School), Sahman Seerha, (for work in grade 10, Marion High School, and Mitchell Diedrich, (for work in grade 12, Marion High School). Also pictured are MCS Superintendent Brad Lindsay, School Board members Cathy Moritz, Scott Murphy, Pam Hutchison, Aaron Vermilion, Greg Kitts, Katie Morgan, and Harry Hall, along with MHS Art Department leader Noelle Lehman, and art teachers Twana Johnson, Karen Fry, Lori Gates, and Darrell Wisser.




The Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees at its April 28, 2013, meeting honored several students who earned Teachers Choice Art Awards, and whose art will hang in the Board Room for the year. Pictured is Latrell Guerrero, whose work as a sixth-grader at Justice Intermediate School earned him an award. Also honored were Kassidee Dearing (for work in kindergarten, Frances Slocum Elementary School), Mya McKillip, (for work in grade 1, Allen Elementary School), Jayce Flemmons, (for work in grade 1, Kendall Elementary School), Kelsi Nantz, (for work in grade 3, Riverview Elementary School), Jaycee Cox, (for work in grade 5, Justice Intermediate School), Ethan Nguyen, (for work in grade 7, McCulloch Junior High School), Trista Jones, (for work in grade 8, McCulloch Junior High School), Sahman Seerha, (for work in grade 10, Marion High School, Maris Bounds, (for work in grad 11, Marion High School), and Mitchell Diedrich, (for work in grade 12, Marion High School). Also pictured are MCS Superintendent Brad Lindsay, School Board members Cathy Moritz, Scott Murphy, Pam Hutchison, Harry Hall, Aaron Vermilion, Greg Kitts, and Katie Morgan.

 
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Marion Community Schools is beginning the discussion of re-establishing a preschool program.

At the MCS School Board meeting on Aug. 28, 2013, MCS Director of Elementary Education Brenda McVicker discussed the need for such a program from an educational standpoint, and the demand for it from parents as well.

“MCS has always been and continues to be committed to early childhood literacy,” she said. “A high-quality preschool would open up opportunities for more of our students to excel.”

MCS has administered a Head Start program since the mid-1960s. From the late 1960s through the mid-2000s, MCS also had a “Preschool Enrichment Program” that served additional children in Title 1 schools. That program was discontinued when MCS instituted full-day kindergarten in the 2005-06 school year.

“At that time, that was a common decision,” MCS Director of Elementary Education Brenda McVicker said. “However, in the years since, with expectations in kindergarten rapidly changing, the need for high-quality preschool has only increased.”

In its final years, P.E.P. served 153 students, while Head Start served another 153. In total, that’s the rough enrollment equivalent of a typical grade level in Marion Community Schools.

Seven years later, that demand is still there, and going unmet. This year, MCS Head Start serves 158 students, and 53 others are on a waiting list. When that waiting list is opened back up in September, it is expected that another 70 families will be added.

Children who attend high-quality preschool enter kindergarten with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies and stronger basic math skills than those who do not. They also begin to develop social skills and good classroom behavior.

In 1977, the handbook for P.E.P. stated:“It is our belief that a preschool program which provides for the intellectual, emotional, physical, and social needs of each individual child can help to assure that child a more successful school experience than if he/she had not had this experience.”

Marion Community Schools still believe this to be true. That is why we are considering restarting a preschool program, to give more of our students the best chance to succeed, to create best possible for our students, our community, and our future. The possible "when", "where", and "how" of such a step will be addressed in future discussions.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
From the Chronicle-Tribune

Officials from most area school districts said early enrollment figures look positive for their districts.

Though the official fall count day isn’t until Sept. 13, local school districts already have preliminary estimates, though they stressed that numbers will still fluctuate — possibly dramatically — before count day.

The preliminary estimate for Marion Community Schools was 3,793, said Patricia Gibson, director of communications for MCS. The total enrollment figure for September 2012 was 3,858. If the decline from last September remained in this range, it would be one of the smallest year-over-year declines in almost a decade.

— More from MCS on this story: To learn more about early enrollment numbers (and view a graphic showing the trend over the years), click here. —
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
According to early estimates, enrollment within Marion Community Schools is down, but the trend appears to be leveling off.

The unofficial figure for enrollment just a week into the school year stands at 3,793. That would be down 65 students from the official September 2012 enrollment count. If MCS enrollment remains in this range through September, this would be one of the smallest year-over-year declines – if not the smallest – in nearly a decade.


“At this point in the year, the priority is on making sure that we have resources and relationships in place to serve the students who are here,” said Superintendent Brad Lindsay. “But if this early enrollment estimate ends up an accurate picture come September, it is certainly positive news for Marion Community Schools.”

A rough comparison of enrollment numbers from the 2012-13 school year and early counts at the start of the 2013-14 school year shows the high school enrollment slightly up. This is especially notable considering that the Class of 2013 was a large senior class. Most of the enrollment losses seem to be concentrated at the K-4 grades at this point.