How Marion City Schools is working with you to build a better community.
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Building a Better Community

Marion City Schools
Welcome to Marion City Schools' e-newsletter. We are sending this email out to keep our local community and business leaders up to date on how we continue to strive to prepare students for success after graduation. We value your support of the district's initiatives as you partner with us to build a better community. We want you to be the first to know how we are working towards achieving our goals.

MCS previews Simulated Workplace

Marion City Schools invited area business and community leaders in October to get a sneak peak of the district's Simulated Workplace project.

Marion City Schools and Rushmore Academy, a community school sponsored by Marion City Schools, are working on a new initiative that will better prepare today's career technical students to be tomorrow's work-ready employees.

"Our simulated workplace program will shift classrooms into workplace settings, while introducing students to various business processes," said Amy Wood, Marion City Schools' director of educational programs and grants.

"By immersing students in simulated workplace, student-led companies provide students with an understanding of all types of an industry or business and show them how their individual success leads to the company's success."

West Virginia launched Simulated Workplace statewide four years ago. A $623,605 Straight A Innovation Grant awarded by Ohio to Marion City Schools, Rushmore Academy and the Mahoning County Educational Service Center will enable us to be the pioneers of Simulated Workplace in Ohio.

We will add our own twist on the program by using virtual reality to give students training on the soft skills that many of our area employers say they need in employees.


What is Simulated Workplace?

A simulated workplace classroom prepares students for the workforce by allowing them to set up a mock company and learn as though they are on the job. Students fill various roles and learn 21st century skills like collaboration, critical thinking, communication, creativity and problem solving.

The simulated workplace holds students accountable for their learning. The simulated companies are held to the same standards of quality and productivity as real-world companies in which students may someday work. Students have opportunities for advancement like they would in real-world companies. They develop procedure and protocol manuals as well as a name for the company.

"Even though this is a simulation, students feel a real connection to wanting their company to be successful," Amy Wood said after visiting Mingo Central Comprehensive High School in West Virginia to see a simulated workplace program in action. "They develop an identity as part of owning their own company. They are proud. They truly feel that the company belongs to them."


  • Present curriculum in a relevant and purposeful manner
  • Place business and industry processes directly into the career technical programs
  • Incorporate foundational skill sets to ensure all students are college and career ready
  • Provide students an understanding of all aspects of an industry or business
  • Issue locally recognized drug-free certificate
  • Issue locally recognized leadership certificate

Career Focus Areas

  • Global logistics and supply chain management
  • Health technologies
  • Integrated production technologies
  • Manufacturing
  • Automotive technologies
  • Construction technologies

VR matches Gen Z's learning style

In addition to the simulated workplace initiatives started elsewhere, Marion City Schools and Rushmore Academy will develop a virtual reality program to introduce students to soft skills. 

Companies like Walmart have started using game-based training modules to teach skills to new employees. Colleges and the military also use virtual reality.

Marion City Schools' teachers in career technical programs will work with Kent State University's Research Center for Educational Technology to build virtual reality trainings for and with students. They will use a virtual reality system called Oculus Rift to develop modules that teach hard and soft skills and can be customized to the skills that companies need in Marion.

By using virtual reality, students will deepen their skills in novel and adaptive thinking, design mindset, new media literacy and virtual collaboration. 

Committing to being drug-free

Part of our Simulated Workplace project is encouraging students to be drug-free. Results of random drug testing and completion of a drug prevention program called Too Good forDrugs will result in a locally recognized drug-free certificate. This certificate is sponsored in partnership with OhioHealth. the drug testing and prevention programming is made possible through our partnership with Marion City Police and MARMET.

How can you assist?

Visit career technical programs
  • Rate each training program's work environment, safety procedures, processes and skill set attainment
  • Use your expertise to guide teaching
  • Assist these classrooms in preparing tomorrow's workforce
What is your commitment?
  • Attend one half-day training
  • Spend one day annually visiting and rating career tech programs
  • Work in a team to inspect and rate career tech programs
  • Submit rating reports to Marion City Schools and Rushmore Academy
What does this do for your company?
  • You have the opportunity to assist in developing better training programs that will build your workforce
  • You have the opportunity to speak with potential employees and recruit employees through our programs

 Could a Simulated Workforce student be your next employee?

To become involved in the Marion City Schools/Rushmore Academy Simulated Workplace initiative, contact our Simulated Workplace coach Marcia Pitts.

420 Presidential Drive, Suite B
Marion, Ohio 43302
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