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Information concerning Marvel program

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Since we released our 2020-2021 school year re-entry plan and our Return-to-School Student Information form, we've received several questions concerning the Marion Virtual and Extended Learning (Marvel) program. Students in grades 6-12 may apply to the Marvel program. Below you will find information about Marvel including how it differs from our Distance-Learning option.


What is Marion Virtual and Extended Learning (Marvel)?

First, it’s important to understand that Marvel is not a school in and of itself. Instead, you should think of Marvel as an opportunity for students whose circumstances make it difficult to succeed while going to school in a traditional manner. These students need the flexibility afforded by self-directed online courses they can complete at their own pace. However, you shouldn’t consider Marvel a less rigorous route to a high school diploma. In fact, for students to be successful, they will need the ability to work independently with occasional help and support from staff members. 

That’s why we have a thorough application process to determine whether a student would fit well into the Marvel program. While the flexibility of the program may seem inviting, we find many students are more successful in a traditional classroom. 


What are the requirements to be accepted into Marvel?

While Marvel is only available for students in grades 6-12, there are no absolute requirements to be accepted into the program and each application will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. 

However, there are a few general guidelines when deciding if Marvel would be a good fit:

  • It’s very important that students be able to read on grade level. The curriculum for these courses is reading-intensive. 

  • Students will need a daily, reliable Internet connection.  

  • It’s preferred that students have shown success in online coursework in the past.

  • Students need a legitimate reason why they are unable to attend traditional school.

What’s the difference between Marvel and the Distance-Learning option for the 2020-2021 school year?

First, parents should understand that the Distance-Learning option was created to address the current COVID-19 situation; Marvel is a program that already existed. Marvel was designed specifically for students who may not be successful because of their circumstances, whereas Distance-Learning is an option that mirrors a traditional school day while learning at home. We feel Distance-Learning is a much better option for most students/parents who aren’t comfortable with the In-Person option. The chart below outlines some primary differences.




Classes are self-paced and self-guided.

Classes meet at specific times just as with a traditional school day so that teachers have daily contact/communication with their students.

Students have access to some staff members for additional help.

Students are assigned teachers who will instruct and support them.

9th-12th grade students are enrolled in and graduate from the Hugh C. Spalding Academy, which requires 22 credits.

Students are enrolled in their assigned school.

Curriculum is provided through an online platform.

Teachers design and plan lessons while making use of online tools.

Transitioning back to In-Person learning can be difficult because Marvel classes don’t align with the school’s schedules.

Students can easily transition back to In-Person learning at 4-week re-entry points.


What’s included in the Marvel application?

Before the current pandemic, we revamped the application process for Marvel. Some requirements have been adjusted to make completing the application more feasible. In addition to basic contact information, the application includes:

  • An essay written by the prospective student focusing on “Why I want to be a Marvel Academy student.”

  • A list of three teacher/principal references who feel you would be a good fit for Marvel.

  • An upload of your attendance record -- available through the Infinite Campus parent portal or student portal.


We may also review transcripts/report cards or standardized test scores.

Students who are accepted will also be required to sign a contract outlining their responsibilities.


What else should I know?

Students in grades 9-12 who are accepted into the Marvel program will be enrolled in our Hugh C. Spalding Alternative School and are required to earn a minimum of 22 credits. This means that those students will be graduates of Hugh C. Spalding Alternative School and not Marion County High School. Students in grades 6-8 will remain enrolled in either Marion County Middle School or Marion County Knight Academy.

We accept Marvel applications throughout the year; for those hoping to begin the 2020-2021 school year in the Marvel program, applications should be submitted by August 5.

Parents should also complete our Return-to-School Student Information form and indicate their preference for In-Person or Distance-Learning for the 2020-2021 school year in the event their child is not accepted into the Marvel program.

If you are interested in applying for Marvel, please contact your child’s guidance counselor:






Marion County Middle School

David Hamilton


Marion County Knight Academy

Veronica Brown


Marion County High School

Rachael Trent


Marion County High School

Caroline Colvin



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