Linn-Mar High School is part of the Linn-Mar Community School District. Linn-Mar High School is located on 3111 North Tenth Street, Marion, Iowa. Linn-Mar High School is one of the larger schools in the state of Iowa with over 1,700 students attending.
Linn-Mar High School operates an eight-period/four-block schedule. Math, music, and foreign language courses meet for forty minutes per day for four consecutive quarters. All other courses meet for 85 minutes per day for one, two, or three consecutive quarters.
Linn-Mar High School has used the modified block schedule since the 1999-2000 school year. It was adopted in order to: a) maximize the number of courses that a student could take in a four-year period, b) match content areas with appropriate class lengths, and c) assure that the time allotment enables teachers to address multiple learning styles of students.
Math, music, and foreign language courses are designated as "skinny" courses (forty-minutes) because of the sequential nature of the content/subject matter. For example, a student who completes first level Spanish is best-served by taking level two Spanish during the next fall rather than waiting until mid-year. A science course such as Chemistry, however, can make great use of blocks to accommodate lab activities, group projects, and other exploratory activities. Allowing for extended periods of time for multiple learning activities helps to engage traditional, visual, and kinesthetic learners.
Most L-MHS Advanced Placement (AP) courses are three quarters in length, begin in the 2nd quarter, and meet for 85 minutes per day. This is done to minimize the length of time between the conclusion of a course and the spring AP exam. This format greatly increases the amount of class time for each AP course and the average AP score for Linn-Mar students has risen sharply since the inception of the modified block schedule.
Because most block teachers have three classes per quarter, they are working with 75 +/- students per grading period versus the 150+/- that a traditional teacher might work with at any given time. This allows for a very high level of personalization and enhances the teacher's ability to track progress and learning styles of individual students.
L-MHS offers an "Early Session" between 7:45 a.m. and 8:30 daily. This gives students unlimited access to the entire teaching staff (hard to find in most high schools because of co-curricular responsibilities) and gives students opportunities to make up work, quizzes, and projects. The "Early Session" opportunity helps to minimize the impact of missing a block class.
A student typically takes 35 credit hours per semester. This means that most students have a forty minute ("skinny") unscheduled time per day. 9th and 10th grade students are assigned to study hall during unscheduled time. 11th and 12th grade students have “Time Release” privileges that allow them to leave campus or work independently in the Cafeteria, Outdoor Commons , or Media Center .
These renovations took place during the 2006-2007 school year and the following summer. These renovations disrupted classes with lound noises, smells, and fire alarms. The fire alarms sounding became commonplace. One notable alarm came in the middle of the performance of Beauty and the Beast, causing cast (in full constume) and crew to mill about in the North lot for around twenty minutes. The roof was retared during the summer.
The construction work was largely completed in time for the 2007-2008 school year.