School News

News for Riverview Elementary School


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News As we head into spring, Marion High School’s state-of-the-art planetarium will put on special shows that explore weather and climate, along with the local night sky in spring and summer.

The public is invited to MHS to the shows, which will feature “The Zula Patrol: Under the Weather”; “The Dynamic Earth: Exploring Earth’s Climate Engine”; and a review of events coming up in the local night sky this spring and summer. Showings are scheduled for 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday, April 1, and Sunday, April 2.

Admission is free, but seating is limited and on a first-come, first-seated basis on the day of the show. Doors will open about 30 minutes before each showing. Enter MHS through Door 22 at the front of the building. MHS is located at 750 W. 26th St.

In addition, the MHS Green Society will be selling concessions at these shows. Proceeds help fund recycling efforts at MHS.

This is a great opportunity for a special experience with the family, right here in Marion!

The planetarium at MHS was renovated in fall 2012. It boasts state-of-the-art LED cove lighting; 5.1 surround sound system with JBL cinema series speakers that push 2400 watts of power; a Digitarium Kappa projector that broadcasts full dome shows; and seating for 58.

Marion Community Schools is pleased to be able to present this special show to the public and share our exceptional facilities with the community in this way.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools is thrilled to announce that our bullying prevention program has been recognized by the School Safety Advocacy Council as a national exemplary program.

Several members of the MCS bullying prevention committee traveled recently to the National Conference on Bullying and Child Victimization, where they accepted the award and gained valuable information and ideas on how to continue to improve our the progressive, proactive program we already have in place.

We are proud of our team and our bullying prevention program! Out of about 40 nominees for this award, three winners were selected, and ours was the only school-based program recognized. The other honorees had a national scope. 

>> Marion Community Schools' Bullying Prevention Award is now featured on the U.S. Department of Justice's website! Click here to check it out.



The Marion Community Schools Board of School Trustees honored the MCS bullying prevention committee at their meeting on March 14, 2017, celebrating news of the national award.
 

Below is an overview of our program, from the award nomination.

National Conference on Bullying – National Exemplary Program Award nomination

December 2016

Marion Community Schools (Marion, Ind.)

Marion Community Schools’ bullying prevention program was started in 2012. Since that time, we feel that this intentional, multi-faceted program has made quite a difference in our schools and our community. We feel that the key has been a proactive effort to change the culture and climate in our schools. Yes, it’s a bullying prevention program, but in reality, it’s more of a kindness campaign.

Every single staffer is involved with bullying prevention at MCS, because we all have specific duties as detailed in our policies and rules. The core steering committee for this effort, though, includes nine members, representing all of our school buildings and stakeholders. This committee has included staff, parents, students, and other community members, including local law enforcement representatives.

From the 2013-14 school year to the 2014-15 school year, we saw a dramatic decrease in bullying incidents — an 83 percent decrease! In the 2015-16 school year, the number of incidents remained at that new low. We believe the education piece of the program has been the key to this decrease. All staff members receive policy training and guidance on how to identify bullying (and the specific criteria involved), as well as the legally required response to any bullying report (including a review of our reporting forms and procedures). In addition, students have had many opportunities to learn more about bullying and its effects on the targeted student as well as the student doing the bullying. These opportunities have included:
  • Rachel’s Challenge presentations at all grade levels, and use of the Rachel’s Challenge curriculum in our schools.
  • Social workers taking this kindness campaign into the classroom, using various positive reinforcements for behaviors that create and sustain an atmosphere of compassion.
  • Cyberbullying training facilitated by the Indiana State Police.
  • Student-led efforts including a Kindness Kids club at one of our elementary schools and a FOR TAXII (Friends of Rachel / Teens Against Extreme Inappropriate Interactions) club at our high school.
  • PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) was fully implemented across the district in the 2015-16 school year; we saw a 25 percent reduction in behavior referrals in that academic year, vs. the previous.
The data tracking is also key to sustaining positive change. We are able to see specific areas of concern, and then directly target our efforts to address them. In addition, we are able to see successes in a concrete way. This helps us decide how to utilize limited resources in the best way.

We offer several different ways for our families and community to contribute to this kindness campaign. One example is our Giant Hotline, an anonymous tipline for anyone who needs to share anything that threatens the safety of our students or schools. Though we do encourage people to reach out directly to their principal when possible, this hotline fills a need for those who want to remain anonymous. We also have provided parent presentations from the ISP (cyberbulling) and Rachel’s Challenge.

The annual MCS Kindness Rally, which is going into its fifth year in 2017, is perhaps the most visible community-wide event. The Kindness Rally is a way for us to celebrate everyday acts of kindness and the difference they can make. We invite the entire community to celebrate with us, with a carnival and Chain Reaction Ceremony. This ceremony includes a parade of students and staff carrying paper chains made up of thousands of links — each one representing an act of kindness done at one of our school buildings during the preceding school year. This is an amazing sight to behold, as you watch our students and staff proudly carry in chains that eventually stretch all the way around our high school arena — one of the biggest in the country. In addition, talented students present songs, poems, and other projects that celebrate kindness or speak out against bullying. We also have an annual T-shirt design competition for the Kindness Rally, where students submit designs and several are chosen to be printed and sold.

This event not only celebrates kindness in general but also puts specific students and staff members in the spotlight for their personal efforts at kindness, compassion, and inclusion. Nominations are submitted by students and staff, and a committee chooses one student and one staff member from each school building to present with the MCS Kindness Award, which we truly believe is one of the highest honors we can bestow, because we believe that simple acts of kindness have the power to change our classrooms, our schools, our community, and the world. 

These efforts have garnered local and regional media coverage, but also caught the interest of the Indiana Department of Education. In 2013, IDOE solicited applications from schools to be a part of crafting guidelines for schools to apply a new state law aimed at bullying prevention. MCS applied and was accepted to be part of that process. Members of the MCS bullying prevention steering committee were involved at the state level, helping to write guidance lessons and sample policy. MCS bullying report forms were used as an example of a best practice.

We see the differences this program is making every day. The data show that difference in a concrete way, but more importantly you can feel a difference in the culture and atmosphere in our buildings, and in the attitudes of staff and students who make an intentional choice to focus on the positive, and on ways that our choices can change our community.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The enrollment application period for the 2017-18 school year at Little Giants Preschool begins next month!

>> Click here for more information!
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Last weekend, all five Marion Community Schools robotics clubs were finalists in the VEX IQ tournament in Gas City, and our Justice Intermediate School Sixth Grade Tech Giants advanced to the state finals.



Thirty teams from around the state competed in the elementary level tournament, held at Northview Elementary School on Saturday, Feb. 11. The top 10 teams advanced to the event finals round, and five of those were Marion teams!

Two teams from Justice Intermediate School (fifth and sixth grade), along with teams from Frances Slocum, Kendall, and Riverview elementary schools, have been working for months to design and build their robots, and to practice the required skills that would be tested in the tournament.

The VEX IQ Challenge, presented by the Robotics Education & Competition Foundation, provides students with open-ended robotics and research project challenges that enhance their science, technology, engineering, and math skills through hands-on, student-centered learning. The Marion robotics clubs foster teamwork, critical thinking, project management, and communication skills. Opportunities like this help prepare students to become the next generation of innovators and problem solvers!

This year’s challenge is called Crossover, and teams use their robots together with one other or alone to score points by completing specific maneuvers, as outlined by the challenge rules. The Justice Sixth Grade Tech Giants earned a Teamwork Champion Award and advanced to the state level competition, set for Feb. 25 at IUPUI in Indianapolis.

Here's a video of that final match-up in which they earned their state berth:


 
We are proud of these students, and of the teachers who have sponsored the robotics clubs and spent countless hours working with these students outside of regular class time. We wish the Justice Tech Giants good luck as they continue on in competition!



The Teamwork Champions! Justice Sixth Grade Tech Giants advanced to state-level competition. Pictured are Gabby Aguilar, Haden Montgomery, Alex Powell, Xavier Stewart, Beck Vermilion, and Christian Vermilion, along with Mary Miller, Justice Intermediate teacher and Tech Giants sponsor.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Last weekend, several dozen Marion Community Schools students joined with thousands of students from across the state in the annual Circle the State with Song choral festival.



McCulloch Junior High has participated in the festival for the past several years. For the second year in a row, though, students from Justice Intermediate School and all the MCS elementary schools took part. In addition, one McCulloch student, Michael Seybold, earned the honor of singing a solo!

The festival – which is held at several different sites around the state (this year from Feb. 11 through Feb. 25) – exposes young singers to new music and gives them the chance to have a choral experience quite different from the regular school class or performance.

After weeks of practice on their own and at their schools, students from across the state come together and work with a guest clinician on the day of the performance. Nearly 5,000 students from elementary schools, middle schools, and junior high schools around the state participate in this annual festival series, which is in its 29th year. The Indiana Music Educators Association puts on the event.

Marion Community Schools’ young artists performed at the CSWS festival on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Honeywell Center in Wabash. The students spent the day in rehearsals, and then put on a public performance in the afternoon.

"This was a great opportunity for our students," said Christina Huff, choir teacher at McCulloch Junior High School. "They held themselves to high standards, behaved professionally, and sang beautifully."

The students who participated in Circle the State With Song 2017 are:

McCulloch Junior High
Sopranos
  • Kari Bilbee
  • Tori Daehn
  • Jazzlyn DeBoard
  • Evelyn Detamore
  • Cassie Evans
  • Briana Huston
  • Makayla Kephart
  • Emma McAbee-Reher
  • Kaylie Nantz
  • Kylee O’Neil
  • Isis Phifer
  • Kaitlyn Tu
Altos
  • Timothy Bento
  • Navia Cushingberry
  • Mia de las Alas
  • Emily Fannin
  • Robert Herrington
  • Lizzie Nielander
  • Jessie Pickell
  • Amyah Richardson
  • Czarina Sierra
  • Anna Wuertley
Baritones
  • Marcus Bounds
  • Greg Johnson
  • Austen Mills
  • Alex Rayment
  • Michael Seybold
  • Jackson Vice

Justice Intermediate
Part 1 / Soprano
  • A’Miyah Adams
  • Chloe Bell-Mitchell
  • Nazdhia Dominguez
  • Brooklyn Evers
  • Emily Fisher
  • Lillia Fisher
  • Victoria Hardnett
  • Damari Harshaw
  • Chloe Hawkins
  • Alandra King
  • Emily Luckey
  • Stephany Miksch
  • Angel Mosier
  • Dessie Norwood
  • Destiny Reed
  • Ruby Saylor
  • D’nei Smith
  • Teysia Walker-Gray      
Part 2 / Alto
  • Danika Ayers
  • Lalah Boyd
  • Lexi Colbert
  • Noah Compton
  • Shalyn DeBoard
  • Keionna Foard
  • Destiny Gillespie
  • Savana Harvey
  • Gracey Johnson
  • Princess Jones
  • Alicia LeBlanc
  • Kalique Malone
  • Greg Marble
  • Hailey Markley
  • Karli Purvis
  • Faith Riggs
  • Aidan Ruley
  • James Russell
  • Kelsie Shoup

Allen Elementary
  • Chloe Kaski
  • Christian Harland
  • Kinadeigh Smith

Frances Slocum Elementary
  • Josephine Gibson
  • Nevaeh Grace
  • Michael Herrington
  • Jacen Rose

Kendall Elementary
  • Ava Adams
  • Nathaniel Beck
  • Ethan Boogar
  • Ciara Caldwell
  • Grace Chandler
  • Abigail Crouch
  • Makayla Munday
  • Michelle Rasor
  • Colin Rayment

Riverview Elementary
  • Dacia Boyd
  • Caleb Huff
  • Darionna Wrigh
We’re so proud of our talented students, and of our choral and music teachers as well for the opportunities they give to our students not only at special times such as this, but every day! At Marion Community Schools, we recognize the life-changing potential of arts education, and we are continuing to invest in these important programs.