As the number of students grew, the curriculum at Marion High
School underwent great change. In 1882, A.H. Hastings, the superintendent
of the school, worked hard to raise the standard of education
at MHS by improving the curriculum. During August of 1882, he
produced a "Course of Study and Rules and Regulations"
for all high school grade levels. These were readily accepted
by the school board and became Marion High Schools first
detailed curriculum (Weaver 5). Students were given choices between
Latin and German and between physical geography and manual arts.
The honor system was typically used regarding school policies,
thereby eliminating the need for a detailed system of school rules
(Whitson 327). In 1889, several years before the state mandated
the change, the high school course of study was extended to require
four years of high school work in order to graduate (Weaver 5).
By 1912, graduation requirements had become even more rigorous.
In order to graduate, a student needed thirty-two credits, each
credit signifying the completion of eighteen weeks in a particular
subject (Whitson 327).
To enhance the curriculum, Marion High School provided the
best available equipment to its students. When they studied astronomy
with the assistance of a telescope rather than with books alone,
students learned more and produced more (Weaver 6). In 1897, a
laboratory was installed for executing science experiments and
for allowing students an opportunity at "hands on" learning.
According to Welford Weaver, "the excellence of the work
done in the Marion High School, by teachers and pupils, is recognized
throughout the State both by public school and by university men"