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Rushmore Academy

Marion City School District

A Guide for Elementary Parents

What to Expect at Grant

Marion City Schools builds upon its foundation for success at the middle school level as students enter this crucial time between elementary and high school.

Grant Middle School takes student leadership up a level with LEAD, the middle school version of The Leader in Me, and continues with Literacy Collaborative and Next Generational Learning Environments that let students personalize their learning. Students also start talking about potential careers as they prepare for high school.

LEAD at Grant
LEAD is FranklinCovey’s whole school transformation process for middle schools. It customizes the leadership principles and tools in the elementary schools’ The Leader in Me program to fit middle school students’ needs.

The Leader in Me and LEAD both seek to:

  • Create a culture of trust and caring
  • Empower students to lead their own lives, and make a difference with others
  • Provide students tools to better achieve goals
  • Develop student voice

Grant Middle School joins Marion City Schools’ elementary schools in adopting The Leader in Me. Staff and students read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens and are focusing on a different habit each month. Staff are split into three action teams focusing on leadership, culture and academics. Students learn about creating Wildly Important Goals and keep track of how they are working to meet those goals.

Watch a video about LEAD at Grant

Personalized Learning and Technology

Grant Middle School features the county’s only middle school STEM Lab. The STEM Lab houses the middle school’s robotics program. Instructors Ricardo Lehman and Kristin Tope teach other STEM classes including coding as they strive to interest students in science, technology, engineering and math careers.

Elective Classes

Grant students can choose their own elective classes that include Spanish, pre-engineering, robotics, STEM classes, physical education or fitness opportunities, or art courses. Students can also earn multiple high school credits through ELA Literature 9, Algebra I, Spanish I, biology or pre-engineering. These opportunities are available to every student at Grant Middle School.


Grant Middle School offers more athletic programs than most middle school athletic programs in the area. That includes football, volleyball, cross country and soccer and cheerleading in the fall. We have wrestling, girls and boys basketball during the winter. Spring sports include baseball, softball and co-ed track.

Exploring College/Career Interests

GEAR UP at Marion City Schools partners with Grant Middle School to start talking to students about their future plans. Naviance, a comprehensive college and career readiness program, identifies student strengths and interests and aligns them to post-secondary goals. Students take part in field days led by representatives from community industries, businesses and organizations.

Eighth graders have an opportunity to sign up for the Graduate Pathways to Success program, which provides extra support for students taking college classes while in high school. Students chosen for the program take a preparatory course during the summer between their eighth and ninth grade years.

Music Program

Grant Middle School gives students the opportunity to be part of a musical at the middle school level that compares equally to many high school musical productions. Students learn about performing under the leadership of choir director Ann Schertzer and her team.

Students can also participate in other musical activities including choir, band and orchestra. They perform at Grant and other venues throughout the community during the school year.

After School Program

Grant Middle School offers an after-school program that offers activities four nights a week. Teachers serve as mentors and offer additional homework help and guidance. Snacks are available for students. Once they receive help, they can participate in activities including art, robotics and health. Dinner and transportation to the elementary school closest to them are available for students who participate.

Do you have any questions about Grant Middle School? Email Principal Kirk Ballinger at