Center for Vibrant Schools

Center for Vibrant Schools

Launched in 2021, The Center for Vibrant Schools at Marian University is a center of education innovation to support and improve the academic performance and overall outcomes of schools in our community and region.  We operationalize this vision through a focus on school improvement and elevation programs, comprehensive student support, and the research and development of best practices so all children can succeed at their maximum capacity.  A network of high-performing schools will demonstrate our purpose and vision. To fully realize our mission of developing a network of high-performing schools we will focus the center in three distinct areas.

Comprehensive Student Support

Two-thirds of a student’s time is spent out of school and significantly impacts their life and performance within school. Utilizing an evidence-based model from Boston College called City Connects, comprehensive, wraparound social and emotional support systems will be implemented in schools with the goal of providing support for all students to ensure that they come to school ready to learn and succeed.

The Center of Vibrant Schools will be home to the City Connects Midwest Technical Assistance Center –the Midwest service center to provide technical service and support to schools utilizing the City Connects model across Indiana, Minnesota, and Ohio. In the future, the Center for Vibrant Schools will become the statewide center for comprehensive student support.  The center would have a research focus and provide support and direction to schools that choose to implement comprehensive student support programs.

Learn more about City Connects

School Improvement and Elevation Programs

The Center intends to support existing schools and educators through the services of the School Outreach and Elevation Team.  Functions of the Team include:

Learning Loss Recovery – COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the learning of our children.  Stanford estimates that elementary students could be as much as 24 months behind on reading skills.  We believe that we can mitigate or reduce the effects of COVID utilizing the nationally recognized Orton Gillingham program.

  • Orton Gillingham Reading approach training and support provides research-driven results to improve reading proficiency and assist in the early identification of dyslexia.
  • Multi-Tier Systems of Support (MTSS) and Response to Intervention (RTI) implementation provide additional services to address learning loss.

School Improvement Assistance Programs – The Center for Vibrant Schools has developed various programs to assist our school leaders and educators toward a goal of high-performing schools.

  • Teacher and leadership coaching are critical components of a successful academic experience.
  • Accelerated teacher licensing and school site licensing partnerships are critical to making certain we have educators with content and pedagogy expertise to help our kids flourish.
  • Project BUILD (high school equivalency and post-secondary) “Skill Up” certifications.

Board and leadership training, development, marketing, enrollment, and strategic planning for charter and non-public schools.

ATTENTION TEACHERS: Register now for the six-week Orton Gillingham Reading training on February 21, 2022 (use link below). 

Register for Orton Gillingham Reading Learn more about Orton Gillingham Math

Exploring Educational Alternatives

The Center for Vibrant Schools is exploring the feasibility and launch of a K-12 faith-based academy to serve as an online lab school for The Klipsch Educators College.  This school would open in the fall of 2022 utilizing best practices for learning development in the 21st century.  The school will implement and research the following:

  • Virtual, blended learning model maximizing the impact of both technology and face-to-face instruction focused on personalizing the learning experience for every student.
  • Mastery-based education where technology enables students to learn at their own pace.
  • Project-based and work-based learning including modern youth apprenticeships where students will develop critical thinking and soft skills at the same time they are learning in a work environment.  The primary focus will be to make certain they graduate with a stackable credential or certificate.
  • City Connects comprehensive student support which maximizes community assets to improve the time students spend out of school.
  • Classes will be available in individual modules so smaller schools could utilize to supplement with more rigorous and higher-level courses.  One of the assets of the school would be to supplement and assist Catholic schools and others in small communities by offering these courses to augment or supplement the class offerings available to students.

Meet the Staff

robert behning

Robert Behning
Assistant Vice President
Director, Center for Vibrant Schools
(317) 955-6201
Huntington Hall, 014

Jessica Morales

Jessica (Morales) Maust, MBA
Assistant Director, Center for Vibrant Schools
Executive Director of K12
(317) 822-6818
Huntington Hall, 014

lindan hill

Lindan Hill, Ph.D.
Assistant Director, Center for Vibrant Schools
Assistant Dean, Fred. S. Klipsch Educators College
(765) 513-7866
Huntington Hall, 014

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