The Birth of a School: Marysville STEM Early College High School

Topics: Early College High School

There is a lot of work underway to make sure that next year students will be able to start attending Marysville STEM Early College High School.

In 2013, Marysville Exempted Village School District was awarded $12.4 million through the State of Ohio’s Straight-A Fund to establish the Marysville STEM Early College High School. It will be Ohio’s first manufacturing-related STEM early college high school.

Marysville STEM Early College High School is a collaboration between Marysville Schools, Ohio Hi-Point Career Center, Columbus State Community College, Honda of America Manufacturing, the Union County Chamber of Commerce and KnowledgeWorks.

Dan Hoffman, PhD, a KnowledgeWorks Technical Assistance Coach, is excited about the progress he is seeing at Marysville STEM Early College High School. “I think this is going to be a premier effort rivaling many of the other STEM-focused high schools in Ohio.”

Dr. Hoffman has been participating in planning sessions for the school, which involves staff from schools partners Honda and Columbus State so that the school’s curriculum reflects real-world employer needs. Robin Kanaan, the National Director of Teaching and Learning for KnowledgeWorks, and Brenda Neel, a KnowledgeWorks Technical Assistance Coach, have been conducting professional development with the teaching and leadership staff for the early college high school.

In addition to professional development, Kanaan and Neel have been working with a cross-section of school staff and partners in design sessions, which gives people a voice in how the school will work and be successful.

“The month of March has primarily been devoted to adding additional teaching and support staff for our new school and initiating some early planning for curriculum and design models that will serve as the framework for our school,” said Marysville STEM Early College High School Principal Kathy McKinniss.

Marysville STEM Early College High School will be using the KnowledgeWorks early college high school model. This means each student will have a personalized learning plan and the opportunity to earn up to 60 hours of college credits, or an associate degree, and a high school diploma in four years.

Working towards the creation of personalized learning plans for each student, McKinniss said each student will be interviewing with staff from the school. During the interviews they will discuss freshman year class schedules, learning needs, goals and interests.

“Following the student interviews, parents will be invited to an open forum to meet the new staff, gain an understanding of the coursework for next year and have any of their questions answered,” McKinniss said.

Once the school year begins, students will be immersed in the early college high school experience. The school schedules is being designed in such a way that students will earn 8 to 10 credits by the end of their first year at the STEM Early College High School.