If we had to summarize Marston in two phrases it would be Academic Excellence and Unprecedented Student Choice. We have a large Gifted and Talented Education (GATE) program for both cluster- and seminar-identified students. We believe in all students and pride ourselves on integrating college-prep rigor in all courses. This is only possible with the excellent teachers that we have. Marston teachers are very experienced, invested and compassionate. Many Marston teachers live in the Marston neighborhood and have been working at Marston for more than 15 years.
Although more and more "specialty" schools are popping up throughout the county, at Marston Middle School we understand the importance of students choosing from a large variety of exciting and relevant courses. It is only when students engage in something they're very passionate about, that they can realize their potential. Marston offers unprecedented student choice. In addition to high-quality core classes, our students have the opportunity to choose an elective course. Our elective options include: Drama, Band, Orchestra, Computers and Coding, Engineering and Design, Yearbook, AVID and Spanish. We are currently creating a TV studio for a new elective course, Video Production.
In addition to students choosing an elective class, Marston students take a new exploration course every 3 weeks. These courses meet daily during first period. Marston offers over 50 exploration courses to choose from including: Cooking, Water Rockets, Gardening, Creative Writing, Cartoon Drawing, Robotics, iMovies, Yoga, Basketball, Soccer, Weight Training, Jazz Band, Photography, French and Painting.
The other critical layer to our Exploration Program is the intervention component. All core classes feature learning targets that are taught and assessed every 3 weeks. Students who don’t meet those targets get an additional opportunity to learn the content in a different format. In 2015, every team of teachers from core subjects spent significant time refining the learning targets and intervention classes in effort to ensure each Mariner student is successful. Because all students are assessed every 3 weeks and referred to intervention in a timely manner, the Marston staff continuously has a pulse on each child – throughout the entire school year. Reaching every child is possible here because of the commitment, compassion and determination of all of our staff members including our clerks, counselors, paraprofessionals and administrators.
Marston is diversity in action. Our school is a great mix of ethnically and socioeconomically diverse student populations and geographically mixed as well, for students from all over the city choose our school to attend outside their own neighborhoods. We have waiting lists of students wanting to be involved in our excellent programs.
The feel on the Marston campus is amazing. The campus sits on approximately 20 acres of land, rich with trees, grass, wide walkways and cool ocean breezes. The physical environment adds to the peace and positivity that our Marston students naturally bring to school each day. While Marston was originally built in 1957, the school has since undergone many renovations including a new library and engineering studio. The future for Marston is extremely promising. Millions of Proposition S and Z dollars have been allocated to Marston for Whole Site Modernization. Tentative projects include: telecommunications upgrades, remodeled building interiors, improved athletic facilities and renovated restrooms.
Marston families play a critical role in supporting the many programs at Marston. Parents are involved in shared decision making through the School Site Council, Site Governance Team, English Learner Advisory Committee, and PTSA. In addition, parents and community members share their time and talent with students by volunteering in the library, providing one-on-one tutoring, speaking on Career Day and reading with students on Read Across America Day. Many families from outside our neighborhood seek to enroll their children in our school through the Voluntary Ethnic Enrollment Program (VEEP) and Open Enrollment Options programs.