Marshall Elementary principal highlights strong year in new building

In this photo taken in September 2021, construction of the new Marshall Elementary in Oxford was nearly complete. Students were using the new building as only exterior finishes needed completed. NICK GRAHAM / FILE PHOTO

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In this photo taken in September 2021, construction of the new Marshall Elementary in Oxford was nearly complete. Students were using the new building as only exterior finishes needed completed. NICK GRAHAM / FILE PHOTO

OXFORD — It was an exciting beginning to the new Marshall Elementary school year last August as students returned to a new building and Principal Chad Hinton recapped the first semester’s highlights in a report to the Talawanda board of education.

“This report is brought to you by the Letter C and the number 102,” he began, echoing “Sesame Street” and the educational opening of that PBS children’s program.

The presentation came at the board’s Feb. 17 meeting and the number 102 was due to the fact that day had been day 102 in the new building.

“The letter C stands for COVID, construction and change,” he said, noting those things marked the school’s experiences over the past two years. “We broke ground and opened a wonderful building for our students and staff. The numbers show the effects of what we have been through for the last two years, but all we see is a lot of improvement.”

Hinton presented a video showing a ribbon-cutting ceremony for students on the first day of school in which he cut the ribbon to officially open the building to students, drawing loud cheers from them standing outside on the parking lot. There were photos of many school activities, partially set to music.

One of the songs used in the video included the lines: “Just know you’re not alone because I’m going to make this place your home.”

There were scenes from several special events including the showings of the movie “Polar Express” with a model train display set up in the cafeteria, a Marshall traditional Halloween dress-up event and a Bengals Spirit Week as the football team prepared for the Super Bowl. Art work displayed on hallway walls and a week-long study of bats which worked into both math and reading lessons were highlighted. A Marshall Art Show brought parents to the school to view a wide range of art work on display.

“We want to make learning memorable for students,” the principal said.

The “Polar Express” effort also tied into multiple subjects as part of the school’s transitional learning efforts with a study of the Arctic Circle.

“There were lots of activities tied to that,” he said.

The video opened with several pages of “Marshall By The Numbers” noting those 102 days in the new building include all of those days of building relationships, learning together and meeting student needs.

The numbers showed 350 students in the building in pre-k through fifth grade, 21 classroom teachers, 11 intervention staff members, 14 support staff members and two school-based mental health counselors, one each from Primary Health Solutions and St. Aloysius. He also noted one each of school nurse, counselor, social worker, school psychologist and principal.

Hinton’s numbers showed 64 percent of the school’s students at or above the 40th percentile in MAP math assessment and 63 percent in reading. He said 156 students are connected to Academic Intervention/Enrichments and 15 teachers are trained in Orton Gillingham Reading Strategies.

He noted 105 students are connected to the school social worker and related services while 30 are connected to school-based mental health counselors. There are 13 connected to Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

One of the photos in the video showed two teachers wearing T-shirts reading, “Together is Better,” which seemed to sum up the feelings of the Marshall community depicted in the rest of the scenes.

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