School News

News for Marion Community Schools

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

As parents and students begin to plan for the start of the 2013-14 school year, a select group of learners are getting a head start on the next step in their education.

Among the usual slate of remediation and credit recovery to help students catch up over the summer, Grant County school districts are offering an increasing amount of opportunities for students to work ahead.

This summer was the first for Marion Community Schools’ advanced credit program, which offers high school students a chance to get basic courses including English 9, algebra and geometry done sooner, said Director of Communications Patricia Gibson.

“The new offerings this year for advanced credits for incoming freshmen are building on our effort to start, even in junior high, to have a concrete program for students to begin their path to college,” Gibson said.

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Marion Community Schools’ overall 2013 IREAD-3 passage rate is up over the previous year, after summer remediation helped more than two dozen additional third-graders pass the state-mandated test that clears the way for them to advance to the fourth grade.
According to state law, third grade students must demonstrate reading proficiency — by way of passing the IREAD-3 (which is separate from the ISTEP+ test) — before moving on to fourth grade. (There are certain exemptions available in special circumstances. See the state Department of Education’s IREAD website, for more information. Many of the MCS students who still have not passed IREAD-3 this year will likely be eligible for exemptions.)
This summer, MCS used an intensive intervention strategy, making use of READ 180 and System 44 assessments to diagnose specific trouble spots for students who had not passed the test during the first round of testing in the spring and target instruction to their needs.
District-wide, 86 percent of students passed IREAD-3, up from 78 percent in the spring. The final total passage rate is also up from the total rate after summer 2012, which was 83 percent.
The rates are as follows: 
  • MCS: spring+summer 2013 = 86 percent (up from 78 percent in spring); spring+summer 2012 = 83 percent
  • Allen Elementary: spring+summer 2013 = 88 percent (up from 75 percent in spring); spring+summer 2012 = 74
  • Frances Slocum Elementary: spring+summer 2013 = 85 percent (up from 70 percent in spring); spring+summer 2012 = 74
  • Kendall Elementary: spring+summer 2013 = 77 percent (up from 75 percent in spring); spring+summer 2012 = 88 percent
  • Riverview Elementary: spring+summer 2013 = 96 percent (up from 92 percent in spring); spring+summer 2012 = 89 percent 
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
From the Chronicle-Tribune

Local families will receive a chance to swap school clothes at Marion Community Schools’ fifth annual dress code compliant clothing (DCC) swap this month.

“It’s to provide a means for families to get school uniforms for no cost,” said Patty Barney, executive assistant to the superintendent and swap organizer. “Last year we had 620 items of clothing swapped. … It serves a group of people that need the help.”

— More from MCS on this story: To learn more about the DCC swap, click here. —
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
From the Chronicle-Tribune

Marion Community Schools is set to cut its educational assistants below 30 hours per week this fall.

The Board of School Trustees approved Wednesday involuntary cuts from as many as 35 hours per week to 27.5 for 31 employees. One employee voluntarily changed from 32.5 hours to 15 hours per week.

Marion is the latest school district to approve work time reductions in response to a looming provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires businesses with more than 50 employees to provide an opportunity for health insurance to all staffers who work 30 or more hours weekly.

That provision was delayed last week from Jan. 1, 2014, to that date in 2015, but McWhirt said Marion’s change will go into effect Aug. 13 regardless.

“We feel like it’s a good thing for the corporation,” McWhirt said of the shift.

Marion will deal with the reductions, McWhirt said, by hiring more assistants to work fewer hours each. Other districts, including Eastbrook Community Schools and Madison-Grant United Schools, have opted to provide raises to the affected employees and cope with fewer total assistant hours.

— More from MCS on this story: To read the minutes of this board meeting, click here. —
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director

Marion Community Schools families have a great opportunity to trade in dress code compliant clothes they no longer want or need and in exchange pick up free clothes at the DCC Swap Shop!

Families of MCS students of all ages are welcome to participate in this year’s DCC Swap. Gently worn clothes and belts that comply with the MCS dress code will be accepted for donation. (To see the details of the 2013-14 dress code, click here.) MCS reserves the right to inspect items and refuse any that are stained or too worn.

Clothing can be dropped off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, July 15 and 16, 2013, in Room 217 at Marion High School, 750 W. 26th St., or at the Education Service Center, 1240 S. Adams St. Vouchers will be given for each item of clothing donated. (A donated shirt, for example, would earn the giver a voucher to exchange for another shirt.)

Vouchers can then be used to shop at the Swap Shop, set for 3 to 7 p.m. Monday, July 22, 2013, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday, July 23, 2013, in Room 217 at Marion High School. Entrance to the building will be through Gate 6 and the front entrance. (Both sessions take place during MCS 2013-14 school registration. For more information on that, click here.)

Clothes at the Swap Shop can only be “bought” with vouchers given in exchange for donated clothes. No cash transactions will be made.