State superintendent to visit Marion City Schools

GEAR UP at Marion City Schools advisor Jane Arnold, left, talks to Marion Harding High School senior Shiniya Mallory about her college plans. Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria will tour GEAR UP when he visits Harding and Rushmore Academy on Friday.

GEAR UP at Marion City Schools advisor Jane Arnold, left, talks to Marion Harding High School senior Shiniya Mallory about her college plans. Ohio Superintendent of Public Instruction Paolo DeMaria will tour GEAR UP when he visits Harding and Rushmore Academy on Friday.

The state superintendent will visit Marion City Schools on Friday to learn more about how the district is preparing students to be college/career ready and meeting the needs of the community.

Superintendent Paolo DeMaria will tour Marion Harding High School and Rushmore Academy, a community school sponsored by Marion City Schools, on Friday afternoon. His visit is expected to start at noon.

“State Superintendent DeMaria has told me that he uses Marion as an example of schools that are innovative and adapting to the needs of the community,” Marion City Schools Superintendent Gary Barber said. “He wanted to make sure he had an opportunity to see first-hand what’s happening at Harding and Rushmore.”

Harding and Rushmore have launched a new program, Simulated Workplace, designed to transform traditional career technical education students into work-ready employees. A simulated workplace classroom gives students experiences similar to what they would have in the workplace as they create mock companies and learn as though they were on the job.

Marion City Schools meanwhile continues to implement its Diploma Plus Acceptance initiative dedicated to preparing students for success after high school. The “acceptance” includes acceptance to a two- or four-year college, adult education or internship, the military, or a high-demand job.

“We are encouraged that the state superintendent wants to see what we believe is the right work in ensuring all students receive their diploma plus acceptance,” said Steve Fujii, Marion City Schools’ director of college and career success.

Both programs were launched in answer to feedback that Barber and other district leaders heard from area businesses, industries, organizations and government leaders. That feedback focused on needs like preparing students for jobs available in the community and teaching soft skills like communication and collaboration.

“The success of Rushmore Academy is centered on providing a unique and personalized learning experience for each student including preparing them for career success after they graduate,” said Rushmore Director Steve Vanderhoff. “This would not be possible without innovative support programs and our partnerships with local businesses. We appreciate having the opportunity to share our successful initiatives with Superintendent DeMaria during his visit.”

These opportunities for Harding and Rushmore students are made possible partly by money from Straight A grants awarded by the Ohio Department of Education. DeMaria will get to hear more about both programs and visit with students on Friday.

“We’re looking forward to having Superintendent DeMaria here at Marion City Schools to share with him how our excellent teachers are preparing students for college and career success,” Harding Principal Forrest Trisler said.

The state superintendent will also visit GEAR UP at Marion City Schools, a federally funded program designed to support early college preparation and awareness in order to increase the number of students prepared to enter and succeed in post-secondary education.

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