School News

News for Little Giants Preschool


Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News

>> UPDATE: Enrollment is ongoing. If you wish to apply, email bmcvicker@marion.k12.in.us.



Marion parents will have a new option for tuition-free, high-quality preschool next school year: Marion Community Schools’ Little Giants Preschool.

The MCS Board of School Trustees on May 14, 2014, approved the plan to open Little Giants Preschool for the 2014-15 school year. This paves the way for about 65 students to enter kindergarten with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies and stronger basic math skills, as well as to begin to develop social skills and good classroom habits.


MCS offered a preschool program from the late 1960s through the mid-2000s, when it was discontinued (and full-day kindergarten was added). Recognizing that the need for high-quality preschool continues to outpace our Head Start program (which is serving nearly 160 students this school year, with more than 100 on a waiting list), we are again putting the priority on expanding early learning opportunities.

“Early literacy skills provide an essential foundation for lifelong learning,” MCS Elementary Education Director Brenda McVicker said. “A high-quality preschool program — like Little Giants Preschool — gives children a jump start, so that they can become successful students.”

MCS is creating a preschool wing on the Justice Intermediate School campus. Little Giants Preschool will have a defined, separate space and facilities within the building at 720 N. Miller Ave. 

Morning and afternoon classes will be offered. The morning classes will run from 8 to 11 a.m., and the afternoon classes will run from noon to 3 p.m. (This timing avoids overlap with dropoff and dismissal times for Justice Intermediate School students.) Little Giants Preschool will follow the same school calendar as the rest of Marion Community Schools. To view the 2014-15 MCS calendar, click here

Every classroom at Little Giants Preschool will be led by a teacher licensed in early childhood education, paired with a highly qualified teaching assistant. The program is tuition-free. (There is an initial registration fee of $75; parents who cannot pay this fee can apply for a waiver, or we can work with families on a payment plan. This fee is due once a child has been accepted into preschool.)

Enrollment eligibility is based on academic need. All children who will be 3 or 4 years old the next school year can apply. Children will be screened at time of application. Those who qualify will then be admitted in the order they applied, on a first-come, first-served basis.

Registration is set for 9 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday, June 2, at Tucker Career and Technology Center, 107 S. Pennsylvania St., where the current and Head Start program is housed.

Classes at Little Giants Preschool will first be formed for incoming 4-year-olds. If space is available, classes will also be offered for incoming 3-year-olds. Once all available spots are filled, any other eligible children will be put on a waiting list. (Any 3-year-olds on the waiting list will get first chance of enrollment the following year.)

“Preschool is the single most important move we can make to improve the chances for academic success for more of our students,” MCS Superintendent Brad Lindsay said. “Early learning lays the groundwork for lifelong learning. Lifelong learners make a difference in their community. We believe providing this quality preschool is a service that is absolutely essential for to community to build a better future.”


 

FAQs

Why choose Little Giants Preschool for my child?
  • Little Giants Preschool is tuition-free.
  • Every classroom at Little Giants Preschool will be led by a teacher licensed in early childhood education, paired with a highly qualified teaching assistant.
  • We will help children build social skills they need to be successful in kindergarten and beyond, including independence, responsibility, self-help, interaction and self-expression.
  • Our focus on early literacy skills will lay the foundation for lifelong learning. 
How can I enroll my child in Little Giants Preschool?
  • Apply during registration:
    • WHEN: 9 a.m., 1 p.m., or 6 p.m. Monday, June 2, 2014
    • WHERE: Tucker Career and Tech Center, 107 S. Pennsylvania St.
  • Children will be screened at time of application. Children who qualify will then be admitted in the order they applied (on a first-come, first-served basis).
Are there eligibility requirements for Little Giants Preschool?
Enrollment eligibility is based on academic need. All children who will be 3 or 4 years old next school year can apply. Children will be screened at time of application to determine if they qualify.

Are there residency requirements for Little Giants Preschool?
Any 3- or 4-year-old who lives within the Marion Community Schools district can apply. (See question above for further eligibility requirements.)

How many spots are available for students for next school year?
Under the pilot program approved by the School Board, there is space for about 65 students at Little Giants Preschool this year. Once 2014-15 classes are filled, other eligible applicants will be put on a waiting list. (Any 3-year-olds on the waiting list will get first chance at enrollment the next year.)

Where will the preschool be housed?
MCS is creating a preschool wing on the Justice Intermediate School campus. Little Giants Preschool will have a defined, separate space and facilities within the building at 720 N. Miller Ave.

What time will classes start and end?
Morning and afternoon classes will be offered. The morning classes will run from 8 to 11 a.m., and the afternoon classes will run from noon to 3 p.m. (This timing avoids overlap with dropoff and dismissal times for Justice Intermediate School students.) Parents can request to enroll their child in a specific session (morning or afternoon) at registration, and we will try to honor as many requests as possible, while keeping class sizes balanced. 

What day will classes start?
Little Giants Preschool will follow the same school calendar as the rest of Marion Community Schools. To view the 2014-15 MCS calendar, click here

Is there a cost to enroll?
There is no tuition charge to attend Little Giants Preschool. There is a $75 registration fee due at time of enrollment. (Parents who cannot pay this fee can apply for a waiver, or we can work with families on a payment plan.) This fee is due once a child has been accepted into preschool, not at time of application.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Marion Community Schools Board on Wednesday, May 14, approved school meal prices for the 2014-15 school year. 

The choice to raise meal prices is not one that is taken lightly. The price increases for next school year are as minimal as possible and reflect added costs the school system expects to incur. Even with the increases, MCS meal prices remain below the goal pricing levels as determined by the Indiana Department of Education.

Breakfast:
  • Paid, students K-12: 90 cents (10 cent increase from 2013-14)
  • Reduced-price, for qualifying students K-12: 30 cents (no change from 2013-14)
  • Adults: $1.45 (20 cent increase from 2013-14)
Lunch:
  • Paid, students K-4: $1.50 (10 cent increase from 2013-14)
  • Paid, students 5-8: $1.70 (no change from 2013-14)
  • Paid, students 9-12: $1.80 (10 cent increase from 2013-14
  • Reduced-price, for qualifying students K-12: 40 cents (no change from 2013-14)
  • Adults: $2.50 (15 cent increase from 2013-14)
The online payment transaction fee remains the same, at $2.40 per transaction.

For information on applying for free and reduced-price meals, click here.
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News The Second Annual Marion Community Schools Kindness Rally has been rescheduled and will now be a great celebration of the end of a successful school year!

 

Mark your calendars now! The Kindness Rally will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, May 22 — the last day of classes for MCS students. All students, families, and anyone in the surrounding community is invited to come join in the fun!

Features will include bounce houses, an obstacle course, dunk tank, food, and more.

Tickets to be used for the carnival attractions will be four for $1, and proceeds will fund continuing anti-bullying efforts throughout the school system. The Marion High School FOR TAXII Club (Friends of Rachel / Teens Against Xtreme Inappropriate Interactions), which helps organize and run the Kindness Rally, will also be selling T-shirts and bracelets as a fundraiser.

Doors will open and ticket sales will begin at 5:30 p.m.

The Chain Reaction Ceremony is set for 6 p.m. The ceremony will feature the first ever Kindness Awards, to be presented to one student at each building who exemplifies the difference kindness can make. Students from each school will also participate in the parade of kindness chains from each school, with each link in the chains representing a kind act noticed this school year.


Marion Community Schools is proud of our students and staff who are starting a chain reaction of kindness and compassion and making positive changes in our schools and community. The Kindness Rally will be a great end to the school year; and we hope that students of all ages and their families, along with community members, will come and help us celebrate!
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Do you have a child entering kindergarten next year at Marion Community Schools? Come out to Kindergarten Roundup! It's a chance to meet the staff at your school, begin the registration process, and more!

All families with children who will be 5 years old by Aug. 1, 2014, are welcome to attend Kindergarten Roundup, which will be held at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at all MCS elementary schools. (Both sessions will be the same, so you can attend either session — whichever works best for your family’s schedule.)

Since Kindergarten Roundup gives you and your kindergartner-to-be a chance to meet the staff and start to get familiar with the building, we ask that you attend Kindergarten Roundup at the school where your child will attend next school year. Please note that MCS has revised its elementary school districts for the 2014-15 school year, to balance enrollment vs. school building capacity. If you’re not sure which elementary school district you live in, click here to search by address on our website using the InfoFinder i  tool.

Things we’re asking you to bring to Kindergarten Roundup:
  • Proof of residence (like a recent utility bill with your name and address on it), so we can make sure you’re at the right school.
  • An official copy of your kindergartner-to-be's birth certificate. You'll be beginning the registration process at Kindergarten Roundup, so we need that official document to certify your child is eligible for kindergarten. (If you cannot bring a copy of the birth certificate on May 1, we can still begin preliminary registration, but we'll need you to follow up with us and provide that document before we can complete the registration process.)
  • Immunization records. You can get a copy from your child's health care provider, or online through the state's MyVax website. For the 2014-15 immunization requirements from the Indiana State Department of Health, click here. (If you cannot bring your child's immunization records on May 1, we can still begin preliminary registration, but we'll need you to follow up with us and provide that documentation before the start of school.)
  • Your future Marion Giant! Kindergarten Roundup is a great way to help your future kindergartner get an introduction to the school building and staff without other older students around. It's a low-pressure, informative session that's meant to specifically meet the needs of families with incoming kindergartners.
We hope to see all families of incoming kindergartners at this event that is just for them! (And if you don’t have an incoming kindergartner but know a friend, family member or neighbor who does, please share this information with them!)

It’s an exciting time to be a Marion Giant! Did you know …
  • Our high school was recently recognized by a national publication as being among the best high schools in the country, and our graduation rate far surpasses the rate seen statewide.
  • Our students have amazing opportunities and support:
    • highly individualized, data-driven instruction at all levels
    • excellent music programs
    • advanced high school credit opportunities at our junior high school
    • advanced college credit and career/technical programs at our high school
    • and much more!
  • Our community support is extraordinary:
    • PTOs
    • various advisory and support committees
    • mentoring programs for students
    • cooperative relationships with local universities and colleges
    • partnerships with various community organizations

We hope you’ll join us as we continue to expand our opportunities and make our community a better place!
Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools has moved to a new system for online meal payments. This move means all online payments, including meals and textbook fees, will be processed through the same system. However, parents who were already making online meal payments will need to create a new account with the new system to continue making online payments. (Any funds already loaded in the old system will be transferred to the new account.)

Our new online meal payment system is through SchoolPay.com. Please note that you can no longer make payments through SendMoneyToSchool.com.

>> If you have already used SchoolPay to pay book fees in the past, you will already have an account set up. You can now use that account for online meal payments. (If you've forgotten your password, click the "Forgot Password" button, which looks like a lock.) 

>> If you have not used SchoolPay before, you'll need to set up a new account.

Once you're logged in to SchoolPay, you'll see a piggy bank tab for your Food Services account.

All account balances left on SendMoneyToSchool will be transferred to SchoolPay. Deposits and transactions will be reflected in your SchoolPay account in real time. A convenience fee of $2.40 per transaction is still in place.

We apologize if the switch to SchoolPay has caused any inconvenience or confusion for you. But we believe having one provider for all online payments will be much more convenient in the future!

If you have any questions, please call Jeanie Warren at 765-662-2546, ext. 113, or Cathy Griffin at ext. 143.