Ball State and MCS established the Joint BSU-MCS Academic Innovation Council. The team of 30 educational thought-leaders, administrators, parents, and community members guide the partnership and are developing an Academic Innovation and Financial Viability Plan. The plan was due to the Indiana General Assembly by June 30, 2020.
The Muncie Community Schools and Ball State University Community Engagement Council hosted an inaugural “We Thank You Appreciation Luncheon” to recognize teachers, drawing a crowd of almost 600 educators and supporters.
The Academic Innovation Council established a national panel of experts to offer guidance and feedback throughout the process of developing the Academic Innovation plan to guide the future of MCS.
A team of Ball State faculty and students conducted a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) assessment in the district. MCS engaged in a range of other assessments, including a comprehensive external audit of curriculum and instruction.
The joint Academic Innovation Council hosted a well-attended “Dreams for Our Schools” community forum. The event kicked off a three-month effort that, in partnership with the United Way of Delaware and Henry Counties, collected input from hundreds of educators, MCS families, and Muncie residents.
MCS held robust summer professional development for teachers and staff.
The MCS Board of Trustees appointed its first director of public education and CEO (superintendent) Lee Ann Kwiatkowski, a 35-year veteran whose experience includes senior education advisor to Gov. Eric Holcomb, chief of staff at the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE), and assistant superintendent at Warren Township Schools.
The board also voted to boost the starting salary for MCS teachers and approved the first pay increase in eight years. Based on 2018-19 numbers, the new starting salary at MCS will be second-highest in the county.
Muncie native Charles “Chuck” Reynolds joined the MCS leadership team as associate superintendent. For 14 years, the Muncie Central and two-time Ball State graduate worked for MCS in the classroom and as a principal.
Ball State launched a streamline process for faculty and staff to propose academic projects, programs, and research within Muncie Community Schools.
MCS approved a new background check policy to heighten the level of security throughout buildings. The district also adopted the Raptor Visitor Management System, which allows a school’s front office to scan a visitor’s driver’s license to input them into a visitor database. Once approved, the internet-based system prints a photo-name tag with name, photo, time, and destination.
The MCS-Ball State partnership held a two-day Academic Innovation Summit to imagine the possibilities for Muncie Community Schools.
The event brought together more than 500 Muncie educators, community stakeholders, Ball State professionals, and nationally recognized educators and innovators, including George Couros, Jennifer Blatz, and Robert Jackson.
Professional development sessions, table conversations, and school debriefs offered teachers the space to collaborate with each other about ways to implement innovative practices in their classrooms and buildings.