Unified School District 408 provides K-12 education for the residents of Marion, Florence and the surrounding rural area. By the classification system of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, Marion is a Class 3A school. Total enrollment K-12 is approximately 630. The classes are the perfect size to offer individual care to each and every child, yet large enough to offer a variety of extra-curricular activities.
The Marion Elementary School includes a full size gymnasium, a large activities room which doubles as a cafeteria, and modern, air conditioned classrooms along with outdoor playground and exercise areas.
Marion Middle School is located on the high school campus in the center of town. This facility was constructed within the last ten years and houses grades 7 and 8. Also fully air conditioned, the middle school is attached to the primary high school building allowing utilization of areas such as the cafeteria and library, without having to build and maintain separate structures. It is constructed so that the middle school students and high school students do not share common hallways or interact within the buildings.
Marion High School campus consists of two large, well-maintained air conditioned buildings used primarily for traditional classrooms. It also includes the gymnasium and a building utilized for vocational, shop, computer aided drafting and other “hands on” type educational pursuits. This campus also houses the Old Hill Building which is on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the oldest school buildings still in use. The building has been renovated to include air conditioning and is handicap accessible. The high school is connected by fiber optic cable to other high schools in a network that allows local students to take classes that might not be offered here. This cooperative system utilizes a special classroom where students can see, hear and be heard by a teacher located in another school dDistrict. Marion’s students benefit from the additional educational opportunities while Marion educators share their knowledge with students in other school dDistricts over the same system.
Marion students test well, perform well, and do well once they leave the local school and go on to jobs or higher education. On required Federal and State testing, Marion students consistently score above state averages and do especially well in math.
The sports program includes football, cross country, volleyball, basketball, wrestling, track, baseball, softball and golf. Other extra-curricular activities include the fine arts program which has received state recognition in vocal and instrumental contests, which produces a play in the winter and another in the spring, concert and marching band, jazz band, Marion High School choir and Marion High School singers, National Honor Society, quiz bowl, forensics, debate, a variety of agricultural judging teams and numerous student organizations.
The school facilities are totally accessible to the disabled, are attractive and well maintained. The baseball/softball complex provided by the City and utilized by the school sets immediately adjacent to the Marion High School football and track facility, which is, without a doubt, the match of any similarly sized school dDistrict in this state. A bond issue was recently passed (with NO increase in the mill levy) to build a new gymnasium, auditorium and indoor swimming pool. Construction started in 2006 with an anticipated completion date of 2008. These new additions will allow Marion USD 408 to host regional and state events, which will bring many people to our beautiful town.
Anyone wanting to get a sense for Marion should come to town on a Friday night in the fall and pick a spot (if they can find one) in the stands at the football stadium. The entire town turns out to cheer the Warriors at home and on the road. For those who can’t get to the stadium on Friday night, they can see the games aired on Sunday evenings at 7:00 on MCTV (Marion County Television) Channel 22. For 12 years, local volunteers have taped and broadcast football, volleyball, basketball, wrestling and concerts at the local high school. The operation has grown to include two cameras, instant replays, and innumerable hours of volunteer labor.
The school and the City are linked in the minds of the community and work hand in hand to provide the best educational opportunities possible for local children.
Butler Community College maintains an ongoing extension of its campus in Marion, in a former elementary school building. The well maintained facility allows area residents to complete an Associates Degree without leaving the area. In addition, there are a number of private and state supported colleges and universities located within a one hour drive of Marion.