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MCS, CSA partner for Arts Academy

Posted: by Patricia Gibson, Communications Director
News Blog Category - News Marion Community Schools and the Marion Community School of the Arts have entered into an exclusive cooperative agreement to provide a unique opportunity for students who are pursuing intensive, pre-professional arts training: an educational program that can be tailored to their needs, combining online and on-site academics with support from MCS staff, along with extra-curricular opportunities.

“Research shows that students who are engaged with the arts are more likely to attend and do well in college, to get a job, to volunteer in their community, and to engage in other civic activities. In short, they are more likely to find success throughout their lives, and to make a difference in their world,” CSA Executive Director Katie Morgan said. “The CSA Arts Academy ensures that students who are choosing to pursue a potential career in the arts don’t lose out on the things that the traditional high schooler gets to experience. This opportunity is helping to shape well-rounded, successful young people who have connection to Marion, Indiana. It is bringing a new energy to our schools and our community.”

The Marion CSA already has students traveling from around the state and as far away as Kansas City to participate in their intensive arts training. Students like this often utilize online learning or home schooling options to make this intensive pre-professional arts study possible. But unlike other online or homeschool learning options, the CSA Arts Academy, in cooperation with Marion Community Schools, not only offers a customized curriculum tailored to each individual student, but much more.

CSA Arts Academy students are enrolled as Marion Community Schools students, and they are connected with a teacher of record for their self-guided online courses. This means that they have resources not normally available through most online learning options, which most often put the burden on the student to keep up with lessons, and to find additional external help if they struggle with coursework. From one-on-one discussions with the teacher, to tutoring options, to help with scheduling and more, CSA Arts Academy students have help that other online programs just can’t offer.

In addition, though, CSA Arts Academy students have the option to take honors and Advanced Placement and dual credit classes on-site at Marion High School, and to participate in co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. MHS offers dozens of early college credit opportunities, all of which are open to CSA Arts Academy students. And MHS has dozens of athletic teams and student organizations that are also all open to participation by CSA Arts Academy students.

The CSA Arts Academy, in cooperation with Marion Community Schools, truly offers the best of both worlds to its students: high quality pre-professional arts training and a high quality academic program, along with the traditional high school experiences — things like being inducted into honor societies, cheering with fellow students at the big game, going to prom, and even participating graduation ceremonies — that pre-professional arts students often have to sacrifice to make their intensive arts training possible.

The program is a fast-paced, intensive program best suited for high performing, serious pre-professional arts students.

“The CSA Arts Academy makes it possible for students participating in pre-professional arts education including, but not limited to, the CSA Theatre compANY and CSA’s Dancers Edge Company, the flexibility in academic courses to dedicate the time to the training, traveling and auditioning required at this advanced level of study,” Marion CSA Artistic Director Shelly Inskeep said.   

At Marion High School, this partnership is just one example of how our online and on-site learning options can be tailored to fit the needs of many different types of students with a wide variety of needs.

“Not only does this innovative partnership with CSA benefit the students involved, but it is a great opportunity for our school and our community,” MHS Principal Keith Burke said. “It adds dedicated, passionate, hard-working students to our school population, and it gives them opportunities they might otherwise not have had. It’s a win-win for all involved.”

Marion CSA believes this exclusive partnership will be a major recruiting tool to bring arts students and their families to Marion.

"This program, within the first year, has proven to be a recruiting incentive for students interested in the high-quality dance and theater training offered at CSA, as well as the excellent academic opportunities that MHS has to offer, with students enrolling from all across Indiana, and the Midwest,” said Marion CSA Executive Director Katie Morgan. “City officials and community leaders have expressed their support for the CSA Arts Academy, as this partnership has the potential to incentivize families choosing whether or not to live and work in Marion. Our vision is to ignite a community of potential through arts and creativity, and this program does that."

This innovative partnership is just one of the ways Marion Community Schools is tailoring options for our students, helping to give them a platform to build on regardless of what the next stage of their life has in store. We aim to equip every Marion High School graduate to make a GIANT difference in our community, and beyond.

“Our students are why Marion Community Schools exists, and providing our students our best is our cause. We are Marion COMMUNITY Schools, and it is important to engage our community assets to make good happen for our students as we train them to become giants in life and in service to others,” MCS Superintendent Brad Lindsay said. “Marion Community Schools and the Marion Community School of the Arts are a winning combination, and the CSA Arts Academy is another distinctive in which the people and city of Marion can take much pride.”

NOTE: Marion CSA will have an informational meeting about the Arts Academy at 6 p.m. June 16 at their building in downtown Marion. Click on the link above for location and contact information and more.