Preparing Marysville’s students | GUEST OPINION

Marysville’s eight high schools prepare students for graduation, college and life.

All students today need to graduate from high school and be college and career ready. High school drop outs can no longer count on a family wage job.  Sixty-seven percent of family wage jobs require some college. Even the military and the trades now require high school graduation and essentially the same skills as colleges.

What is Marysville doing to prepare students for future success?  Each of our eight, yes eight, high schools is organized around one of the high interest themes that match growth industries in Snohomish County. Each of our eight high schools is small — none is larger than 1,200 students — so we can engage students in a community of administrators, teachers, and support staff that know and care about them.

Each spring, 8th grade students with their parents select their top three high school choices — options that excite them, keep them interested in school and connect academic learning to the real world.  Each high school prepares students for graduation — and beyond. They also provide students with courses to prepare for a four-year college, community college, technical or trade school, or to join the workforce.

We are building community partnerships and internships that make work relevant to students. Pathways of Choice has Agriculture and Auto Mechanic partnerships and students can earn their certificates of mastery through local job shadows/internships.  Heritage partners with the University of Washington and Tulalip Tribes.  A&T partners with Boeing and the Future of Flight.  Schools at the Marysville Getchell campus partner with Providence Hospital, Association of General Contractors, and many others.   Marysville Mountain View has an advisory board made up of several community leaders.

Why go to all of this extra effort?  Our district mission is 100 percent — every student — proficient in reading and math, graduating on time and prepared for college and life.  To accomplish this, the school board has set on-going goals — focused on student achievement leading to on-time graduation, and college/career readiness.  Real-world application through high school choice helps accomplish those goals.

Did you know ... we have made significant progress in spite of the state budget cuts?

  • On-time graduations in Marysville are up 20 percent in the past four years, and up 3 percent over 2010. Arts and Technology High School has been recognized as one of Washington’s 22 “Innovative Schools” by the Superintendent of Public Instruction … and visited often by Attorney General Rob McKenna. (10th Street Middle School is also one those 22 innovative schools).
  • International School of Communications student Jessica Osborn, producer for TV3, was featured recently at a conference hosted by the Paramount Duty Coalition.
  • Pathways of Choice (M-P campus) art students, under Karen Epperson’s leadership, recently won 12 Gold Awards and 13 Silver Awards.
  • Marysville Getchell Campus was awarded the International Grand Prize for their architectural design supporting student learning. The Getchell library and librarian, Susan Gregerson, were featured nationally for putting library resources closer to students.
  • School for the Entrepreneur student Dallas Duplessis was recently invited to the White House to meet President Obama — one of a dozen Native American youth leaders nationwide.
  • Two schools, 10th Street and Totem, have all or nearly all of their eighth grade students enrolled in Algebra — a ninth grade course.

Our long-term challenge — graduation and college readiness for all – requires the dedication of staff, students and parents, as well as support from our community, and priority state funding for education. Our students’ future depends on student dedication, hard work, and commitment — and our support.

Dr. Larry Nyland is the Superintendent of the Marysville School District and can be reached at 360-653-0800.


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