MCS offers families new option: take-home learning devices for summer learning and beyond

Publish Date: 06/10/2020

Marion Community Schools is offering families new options for summer learning and beyond, with an expansion of take-home learning devices and more.

Video updates from Chief Academic and Technology Officer Scott Hoeksema 


Giant Jumpstart / summer learning

In July, students who are entering grades 1 through 8 can participate in Giant Jumpstart, which will include enhanced home learning options and direct remote connection with a teacher. Giant Jumpstart will run from July 7 through 23. Students will be expected to complete specific remote instructional activities if they register for Giant Jumpstart. Grades 1 through 4 will have remote learning activities three days a week; grades 5 through 8 will have remote learning activities four days a week.

To expand access to remote learning, Marion Community Schools will be offering families the option to check out their student’s school iPad for educational use at home. This will be a new option for students going into grades 1 through 8. (Grades 9-12 have already been provided with take-home devices.)

All MCS iPads are governed by MCS filtering regardless of where they are being used, and parents have additional options for management of the advice for additional restrictions.

We are asking families to complete the MCS Remote Learning Survey, in which they can tell us about their remote learning needs and preferences, as well as register their student(s) for Giant Jumpstart. 

>> NOTE: The survey is now closed. We will provide details about the Giant Online Academy and open registration for it on July 15. Click here for more information.


Marion High School summer programs 

  • Make-up classes available online via Plato (information available at the MHS website)
  • Knowledge Assessment / review sessions for anyone interested in taking an Ivy Tech dual credit course this school year (information available at the MHS website)
  • Summer STEM program and a dual credit opportunity to explore career options, boost study skills, and plan for their academic future, both part of the Credits Count program, a partnership between Marion High School and Ivy Tech Community College. (Registration for both of these opportunities has closed as the programs have reached capacity.)

MHS students were allowed to keep their school-provided iPads through the summer, to help facilitate these summer learning opportunities.


Looking ahead to the school year / Giant Online Academy

The 2020-21 school year is set to start Aug. 5. We are prepared to meet the needs and preferences of our students and families. We understand that some of our families will want to continue our online or blended learning options, due to risk factors, family circumstances, or simple preference. We are preparing to expand our Giant Online Academy options to meet those needs. 

Our Giant Online Academy has previously been available to Marion High School students and younger grades on a case-by-case basis, to help tailor our educational offerings to their needs. Students who have utilized the Giant Online Academy have included those participating in the CSA Arts Academy through our partner, Marion Community School of the Arts.

Expanding and adapting the Giant Online Academy for all grade levels will allow Marion Community Schools to offer remote learning for those families who need or prefer this option in light of COVID-19 concerns. Marion Community Schools will provide school iPads to students who choose to participate in the Giant Online Academy. (Information on how to sign up for Giant Online Academy will be provided on July 15.)

All MCS iPads are governed by MCS filtering regardless of where they are being used, and parents have additional options for management of the device for additional restrictions.

In addition, these preparations mean Marion Community Schools will be better able to offer remote learning to all students during e-learning days or any COVID-19 related closures advised by health officials, the IDOE, or the governor.

We will continue to follow the guidance of local, state, and national health officials and will adapt and update as necessary. The health and safety of our community is our top priority, and flexibility and innovation will be more crucial than ever. We look forward to continuing to work with our families to empower learners to achieve their best.