Marshall High School math teacher Skylar Folkens works with student Savannah Smith at the school, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. GREG LYNCH / STAFF Marshall High School english teacher Rachel Osterday works with student Shanae Davis at the school, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. GREG LYNCH / STAFF Marshall High School in Middletown is is celebrating its fifth year August with an open house. GREG LYNCH / STAFF Kelvin Moss talks about the future of Marshall High School, Tuesday, July 25, 2017. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Middletown’s charter high school nearly doubles in four years

The Marshall High School started with 154 students when it opened its doors in 2013.

It was the area’s largest educational experiment in alternative learning for at-risk students looking for an option besides the city’s public Middletown High School, local Catholic or Christian schools.

Charles Hall, director of Marshall, likes to sum it up as “meeting students where they are at.”

“We are working with the at-risk students who more likely than not will not graduate from high without Marshall,” said Hall. “Our school is designed for the students who are struggling in traditional schools.”

“We are not competing against other schools or districts. We are designed to be another option to get your high school diploma,” said Hall. “And in some instances, the best option.”

The school has since grown in enrollment – now 230 students and planning to expand to 275 students in its grade 9-12 learning programs by December.

The taxpayer and privately funded charter school is free to students from ages 16 to 22, with state accredited courses leading to a high school diploma that allows students to advance to two or four-year schools offering associate or undergraduate degrees.

Many of the courses, which officials said are conducted in classrooms with fewer students per teacher than most public or private schools, also provide state-approved work skills certification for those who successful complete the program and can lead to employment in technical and other labor fields.

The school offers busing – provided by Middletown Schools - as called for under state rules and draws students from the city and other Butler and Warren County communities. Breakfast and lunch are provided each school day, which is two daily sessions of classes – an early morning and afternoon session.

Senior Haley Johnson tried Middletown High School but found Marshall to be a better fit.

The 17-year-old is studying to be a veterinarian technician after graduating later this year.

“I’m going to go to college for four years after this,” said Johnson.

“We have a lot of activities here so we (students) all get to know each other. It’s a faster way to graduate and you just focus on your work and if you need help you can get it,” she said.

Marshall’s annual Open House celebration is Aug. 19 at the school’s facility and outdoor area at 4720 Roosevelt Blvd from noon to 4 p.m.

Besides tours of the school, there will be games, prizes, music provided by a DJ, free food, free haircuts and back to school supplies.

For more information on Marshall and its programs go to: www.marshallhs.org or call (513) 318-7078.

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