Marshall School Board discusses MHS renovation from fire

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Marshall School District officials who attended the special meeting for the Marshall School Board on Tuesday, Jan. 11, talked about where they were presently in terms of the Marshall High School renovations. Superintendent Carol Maher presented a PowerPoint slideshow, along with MHS Principal Christy Jones explaining to the board the four locations which have been selected for delivery of instruction and student learning.

“I just wanted to give the timeline for DESE communication — what happened all the way through up until — actually today,” Maher said. “So the initial letter request for waiver went in on Dec. 2, and actually I got a response from them on Dec. 2. Then on Jan. 4 we requested an extension of that, (but) that was denied.”

However, after receiving a few recommendations, Maher noted DESE approved the revised plan on Jan. 10. Jones then presented the official revised plan to the Board of Education.

“When we found out that our plan was denied, we started looking for locations when the state told us we had to have our students in seats full days,” Jones said on Jan. 11. “We started looking for locations.”

She noted a lot of members of the Marshall School District community reached out to try to provide different ideas, as well as suggestions. After much discussion, she said they finally came up with four locations.

“Our freshmen will be housed at Marshall High School, our sophomores will be housed at the fairgrounds, and then our juniors and seniors will be housed between the career center and the Martin Center,” Jones continued. “Why are we doing that? Because we have a lot of juniors and seniors who have three hour block courses at the SCCC. So we can provide that as a homebase for them and provide education there, so that there’s not a lot of transportation back and forth between the Martin Center.”

Jones added that the Martin Community Center is big enough to hold the other half of the juniors and seniors. She stated she knew there was a lot of conversation about the center not being able to assist the school district. However, Jones stated the Martin Community Center graciously rearranged schedules, allowing students to be in that facility. She said “We are thankful for that.”

“Transportation — we will continue to run with our transportation as Marshall High School being the hub,” Jones explained. “For our students who walk, or ride the bus, they will come to Marshall High School and then they will get on a bus and be transported to one of those two facilities. If they need that transportation. Our students who drive will be allowed to still drive to those locations like they are now. But this way we are centralized with not running buses all over town.”

She noted Director of Transportation Craig Thompson has graciously agreed to provide two or three shuttle buses to get to locations where the school district needs to get students. Jones said so far it has worked well.

“Food service — breakfast is going to be served at MHS,” Jones added. “So students can pick up breakfast there and then take it where they need to. Then lunch will be served at all four locations. It’ll be a grab-and-go lunch.”

Several other things were discussed in the special Marshall School Board meeting on Jan. 11, from providing security to the students, as well as having credit recovery.

Later in the meeting Jones explained MHS students will not have a session Friday, Jan. 14, because the teachers will be training with the online learning program Edmentum. She said it has been approved by the state. Jones stated teachers will go to all four locations and make sure the district has what they need to start back on Tuesday, Jan. 18. However, Board President Bryon Jacques stated students involved with the SCCC will still have classes.

“There’s an hour system and an hour rationale behind that because they have to have so many hours in seat for that, and for them to have to make up those hours that is not feasible within … the program over there,” he said.

Jacques added the SCCC has been hand-in-hand with the MHS administration team.

“It will be the two- and three- hour blocks that happen at the career center,” he continued. “The one hour classes you will still be able to have the day off. So if you are a two- and three- hour block student at the career center, you will still be expected to be at class on Friday.”

Maher stated elementary and middle school students will also still be in session on Friday.

Before concluding the public meeting, board member Ellen Lance inquired about the timeline to return to the MHS building or when the renovations should be completed. A representative with Servpro briefly talked about the timeline, and Maher stated she informed DESE for the potential date to be March 22. She said this is when the school district returns from spring break. However, it was indicated that it may not be set in stone.

The full conversation can be listened to at the school district’s meeting on the platform YouTube MPS Streaming.

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