An Innovative Partnership

Muncie elementary students listening to their teacher

MCS' New Director of Public Education and CEO

On its one-year anniversary of its partnership with Ball State University, Muncie Community Schools Board of Trustees voted to hire Indiana native Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, Ed.D., as its new Director of Public Education and Chief Executive Officer.

Read the Full Announcement

Dream. Inspire. Lead.
An Innovation Summit to Imagine the Possibilities for Our Schools

September 25-26, 2019
Horizon Convention Center

Administrators, teachers, community stakeholders, and nationally recognized educators will share their ideas and imagine the possibilities of the historic partnership between Muncie Community Schools and Ball State University.

Learn More

About the Partnership

Members of the Muncie and Ball State communities share an unwavering commitment to Muncie children, and they are collaborating in unprecedented ways to inspire and empower the next generation.

During a special legislative session in May 2018, the Indiana General Assembly adopted legislation to grant Ball State University—Indiana’s fourth-largest public institution—authority to appoint a Muncie Community School (MCS) Board of Trustees in June.

Since July 1, the board has guided the district of nearly 550 educators, staff, and administrators and 6,000 students in preschool through 12th grade.

A Joint MCS/Ball State Academic Innovation Council is developing a long-term Academic Innovation and Financial Viability Plan, which will be presented to the Indiana legislature in June 2020.

The Academic Innovation Council is a team of representatives from both Ball State and MCS. This blend of educational thought-leaders, teachers, administrators, and passionate Muncie residents are driven to:

  • Engage and embrace the ideas of all stakeholders throughout the development of the Academic Innovation and Financial Viability Plan.
  • Develop strategies and wrap-around services to strengthen academic performance. Those goals and tactics will appear in the academic innovation plan.
  • Embolden Muncie Community Schools educators and staff to pursue innovative teaching and partnerships.
  • Create a user-friendly process for educators and community partners to propose collaborations that benefit students and align with MCS goals and objectives.
  • Celebrate and share the transformative work happening in our schools.
  • Build community around and support for Muncie’s school system and its one-of-a-kind partnership with Ball State.

Given the community’s investment in this partnership, Ball State launched a Community Engagement Council (CEC) to champion and advocate for Muncie Community Schools through fundraising, advocacy, and volunteerism. Learn more about the Community Engagement Council and keep up the council’s efforts on the CEC Facebook page.

What We've Accomplished

Enrollment stabilizes

The 2018-19 school year began with 160 more students than it otherwise would have had, following an ambitious, collaborative campaign in which Ball State helped with recruitment and registration. The efforts helped stabilized the school corporation's previously declining enrollment.

students working on crafts in classroom

Community organizations pledge millions of dollars to support MCS

This partnership has encouraged philanthropic support from individuals and organizations eager to enhance the economic and civic vitality of our region.

Soon after the Indiana General Assembly approved the legislation establishing the partnership, community institutions committed $3.1 million for our local schools. MCS faculty and staff are the first to benefit. The University is directing $50,000 to fund classroom supplies for MCS educators to use in their classrooms.

Teachers receive recognition for their hard work

Supporting teachers has been one of the top priorities of the new partnership. In July 2019, the MCS School Board passed the first teacher salary increase in eight years. To further demonstrate the value placed on Muncie educators, Muncie Community Schools and Ball State University Community Engagement Council hosted the “We Thank You Appreciation Luncheon” in January 2019 and “A Night 4 You” appreciation gala in May 2019.

teachers working at a computer

Volunteers showed up by the dozens to help start the year right

Over the past year, hundreds of Ball State faculty and staff contributed their time, talents, and skills to volunteering on behalf of our local public schools.

Among their efforts, volunteers helped with registration and classroom preparations, assisted with school special events, and lent a hand in classrooms and at lunch time.

Charlies Cardinal with students

Academic Innovation Council empowers MCS and Ball State to move forward together

Ball State faculty and students are initiating academic and immersive learning projects with MCS through a newly formed Joint Academic Innovation Council, which is creating innovative programs and strategies to improve the academic performance of MCS students.

The council has launched a series of educator and community input sessions, in partnership with the United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties, to inform the development of the long-term Academic Innovation and Financial Viability Plan to be presented to the Indiana legislature in June 2020. The council is hosting an inaugural district-wide Innovation Summit in September 2019.