Connect at Marvin Elementary

group of students in a courtroom with 4 adults and all are waving

Marvin Elementary has a rich history and an ingrained philosophy for academic, social, and emotional development.

Capturing Kids’ Hearts — a program focused on building relationships, accepting others' ideas, and strengthening communication — has been implemented at Marvin for three years. This empowering program teaches student-to-student awareness and accountability. The campus was named a National Showcase School in 2018-19.

A campus-wide initiative of a growth-mindset is also exercised by all grade levels. Students are individually responsible for tracking their own academic growth and are aware of their specific learning standards. Measurable education goals are set by students and they are encouraged by teachers, staff, and peers if they fall short of their target. Teachers utilize research-based, best instructional practices, and analyze data to determine student mastery of content and growth. This initiative began four years ago and has been fully implemented for the past two.

Marvin also operates on the house system, which is inspired by the Ron Clark Academy — a nationally- and internationally-recognized demonstration school known for its student education with academic rigor, and passion that is balanced by a strict code of discipline. The house system groups allow more mentorship with teachers across grade-levels; meanwhile, students are mentoring their peers.

Marvin principal Christi Bailey consolidated the Ron Clark Academy discipline list and added other rules that fit the campus culture — commonly known as "The 30 Essentials." Students earn points for good behavior, exhibiting respect, humility, old-fashioned manners, and student achievement.

The ability to teach character quality skills alongside student achievement contributes another layer of value for a student’s school day experience.

This is the first year for Marvin to incorporate the program Best Buddy International. This initiative provides leadership opportunities for general education students while they buddy up with their special education peers. Together they build genuine friendships and always have someone to eat lunch with and go to for advice.

Marvin embraces a servant's heart mentality and gives back in several capacities. The campus received the Life Saver Award for its outstanding donation of over $2,000 to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in 2018-19. This giving attitude illuminates the school as several groups contribute their time to help the community. Organizations help at assisted living homes, donate items, and host several food drives throughout the year. Teachers and staff also set an example with the annual toy drive for The Salvation Army.

Marvin is a 150-year-old campus with a rich history nestled into central Waxahachie. The location of the school allows walking field trips to the Nicholas P. Sims Library, parks, Waxahachie Daily Light, and various downtown amenities.

Along with outdoor adventures, Marvin maintains healthy relationships with businesses that regularly visit the campus to educate students. Citizens National Bank employees teach third-grade students financial literacy, the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce explains how a municipality operates, and Chick-fil-A often rewards classes when goals are accomplished.

The campus is equipped with a motor lab, ideal for life skills students and general education students who desire a more spacious and hands-on learning environment. A STEM lab is also used, as well as a garden area and a spacious courtyard.

The beautiful architecture of the building inspires children, and uniquely designed classrooms provide minimal interruptions as each room is equipped with a restroom. Another exciting aspect of the classes is that each one has a spacious outdoor patio, excellent for alternative learning.

The culture at Marvin inspires students to challenge themselves to grow through academic awareness and to strengthen their social and emotional skills by creating lasting character qualities.