Marion Schools to roll-out “full service” education

August 22, 2019

By Aaron Michell
Correspondent

Marion Public Schools Superintendent and Elementary Principle Chris Arrington is excited for the 2019-20 school year.

Some of that excitement is due to a recent $675,000 Michigan Department of Education grant awarded to the school, which will fund an ECOSEEDS after-school program for students in K-5 over the next five years.

It is the hope that with the ECOSEEDS after-school program, along with the recent implementation of educational programs such as System 44, I-Read, Rocket Math, and Ed Ready, will help Marion become a “full-service” educational institution.

The ECOSEEDS program will start in October, and run Mondays through Thursdays from 3:30 to 6:30.

“ECOSEEDS is very environmentally conscious, and more often than not, learning is going to center around nature and environmental issues,” Arrington said. “Hands on, tech assisted, environmental learning. I can’t wait for our kids to have the opportunity to engage in that.”

Arrington hopes that the after-school program, along with the recent implementation of educational programs such as System 44, I-Read, Rocket Math, and Ed Ready, will help Marion become a “full-service” educational institution.

“We’ve really reinvested in the foundation of our children’s learning. We know we have a rock-solid educational program.”

In addition to the educational opportunities, food and transportation will be provided to students, now including dinner and transportation in the evenings.

“We’ll get your kid to school by virtue of transportation if needed,” Arrington said. “Every single kid gets a free breakfast. Then we’re going to teach them with a great deal of efficacy; they’re going to get a great education. We’re a CEP district, so every single child gets a free lunch. And then at 3:30, if your child qualifies, and you want your child to participate in the after-school SEEDS program, we’ll do some innovative learning. And we’re in the process of getting a dinner program at Marion Elementary School that will give the SEEDS kids a dinner. Then, if you need it, we’ll put your child on a bus and get them home for free too.”

In addition to the after-school program, Marion Schools will implement a social/emotional learning program in 2019-20, called SUITE 360.

“It’s going to help our teachers work with our students not only through behavioral issues, but more importantly through coaching them and helping support their social and emotional growth,” Arrington said. “It has a parent part as well, that we can push out to our parents, and it should help parents understand the issues that their kids are dealing with and should help them – from a parent standpoint – speak the same language as the school so that we can work in a way to help influence the students’ academic and emotional growth.”

Other new changes for the upcoming year include the implementation of a district-wide smartphone app, and the offerings of online education through Michigan Virtual – for students of high school age, up to the age of 21.

“If the traditional classroom isn’t working out, this could be an online alternative that would lead to a Marion diploma.” Arrington said. “This will actually be a quality diploma. There’s a real teacher, who has been certified to teach the subject being taught on the other end of the computer, with real feedback.”

While Marion will continue to use the district website and Facebook for communications, Arrington is excited to roll out the new app.

“It’s amazing,” Arrington said. “It’s going to change the way the district communicates for the better. It’s going to be the hub for district communications.”





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