School News

News for Allen Elementary School

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
Marion Community Schools is excited to announce that it has received a three-year grant worth just under $2 million to fund improvement initiatives at Allen Elementary School.

The Indiana Department of Education awarded this 1003(g) school improvement grant, which directs federal funds to specific high-priority schools in the state to fund significant interventions.

The list of high-priority schools is lengthy, the application process is rigorous, and the pool of available funds is limited, so MCS is thrilled to have earned a grant that will fuel continuing improvements at Allen Elementary School.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for Marion Community Schools, our students, and our community,” Superintendent Brad Lindsay said. “This grant will help advance our mission to provide a welcoming, inspiring, and productive place where our students can seize the opportunity to learn and enjoy the experience of learning well. This is a blessing that we will maximize!”

Here’s a look at some of what this grant will fund at Allen in the next three school years:
  • New staff positions: a second assistant principal, a parent involvement coordinator for the district, and a guidance counselor.
  • A partnership with EdisonLearning, a well-known and well-respected school improvement leader.
  • Funding for teacher development through The TAP System for Teacher and Student Advancement.
  • Technology improvements including dozens of new iPads to be used in the classrooms, as well as large interactive digital touch boards for every classroom in the building.
  • Instructional supplies and other materials for the classroom and for school-sponsored parent events.
“This is a giant win for Allen Elementary,” Lindsay said, “but it’s also a win for Marion Community Schools and for the community of Marion. What we learn in this transformation at Allen will impact teaching and learning at all of our other schools, as well.”

One of the required elements of the state DOE’s Transformation Model, which is the improvement strategy MCS has proposed to use at Allen Elementary School, is to promote the use of data to inform and differentiate instruction. The partnership with EdisonLearning is integral in this effort.

EdisonLearning’s eValuate Student Benchmark System helps diagnose trouble spots for individual students, which allows the school to tailor and target instruction for that student. The eValuate System then helps track individual students’ progress, allowing for immediate strategy adjustments to continually meet the students’ needs and help them fulfill their potential.

A previous school improvement grant funded a fruitful EdisonLearning partnership at Justice Intermediate School in the 2012-13 school year. MCS is happy to be able to expand this valuable relationship, and the administrative and assessment support that EdisonLearning provides.

Another element of the Transformation Model is new leadership at the school involved. At Allen Elementary School, after a year helmed by an interim principal, Anthony Williams will be taking over as principal in the 2013-14 school year. Williams most recently served as assistant principal at Justice Intermediate School, so he is already well-versed in EdisonLearning’s programs, and specifically the eValuate System.

At Justice, Williams said, eValuate helped students take ownership of their assessment data - and of their progress. Though at Allen it will be younger students involved, the eValuate assessments will still help students (and their parents) see month-to-month progress, or lack thereof.

“With eValuate, we can allow students to challenge themselves, set goals for themselves, then work harder to reach those goals,” Williams said.

The resources the grant provides, he said, are key.

“We can connect these resources - and they’re not just financial - back to how they directly impact student achievement,” he said.

Marion Community Schools is grateful for this school improvement grant and is confident that it will help propel Allen Elementary School to great things – and provide tremendous opportunities for learning and growth for our students!
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

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.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
This year, Marion Community Schools is looking to simplify the registration process for families, offering a 24 hours of in-school registration: On July 22 and 23, 2013, registration will be open at all MCS schools from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

With our universal registration system, parents can register all of their children, from kindergartners through high schoolers, with one visit to one of their schools.

However, all schools will also be open for school visitation during that time, so families and students can go explore their buildings even if they’ve already registered online or at another school. (For information about online registration, click here.)

One exception to universal registration is for those students who have never before been registered with Marion Community Schools. Those families must register at their home school. (For those first-time registering families who are not sure which school their elementary student will attend, our online tool Infofinder I features a search-by-address function.)

Also, Marion High School students registering for Tucker Career and Technology Center programs should do so at Marion High School during the regular registration times on July 22 and 23. Students from other county schools registering for Tucker can do so from 8 to 11 a.m. and 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. July 22, 23, 24, and 25 at Tucker.
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.