Messages from the Superintendent:
December 6, 2013
of Muncie Community Schools:
The Muncie Community Schools over the last decade has been
filled with both great successes and extremely difficult challenges. As our enrollment has declined over this same
span of time, we have consolidated and/or closed several schools, yet have
attempted to maintain the best possible programming and courses that have
brought us positive local, state, and national recognition.
The past few months have been filled with town hall meetings
and work sessions. After an in depth review of all pertinent information, the
school board members voted on November 18, 2013, for a school merger. While emotions and questions of tradition run
high, the Board of School Trustees has determined the best possible solution to
a very difficult situation. Beginning
with the 2014-2015 school year, the district will maintain one high school, two
middle schools, nine elementary schools, and one career center. Programs housed outside of these facilities
will continue to function at their current locations.
Every child we serve has unlimited potential to learn. As
your superintendent, it is my responsibility to ensure that every student in
our district has equal access to high quality schools with great principals,
great teachers, and a positive culture for teaching and learning. I know we are just beginning this journey,
but we are on our way………………….……and it’s time we unite our efforts as one
district, one city, ONE MUNCIE!
As we continue with the transition to one high school, please
allow me to assure you of the following facts:
TRANSITION TEAM AND
Fact: Numerous committees are now being
structured to assist with the transition.
The members of these committees will consist of students and all stakeholders
with the Muncie Community Schools. Once these committees have been announced,
the transition team will welcome parents and community members that have an
interest in serving on the planning groups.
Fact: Class sizes at the high school will
continue to follow the school board guidelines, 28 or fewer students. Occasionally a content class grows to 29 or
30 students. These are rare instances
and will continue to be an exception at Muncie Central High School.
Fact: The vast
majority of current teachers at Southside High School will transition with the
Southside students to the merged school.
However, current Southside students may have current Central teachers or
Fact: The curriculum
will be strengthened through additional course offerings and academic programs
that meet the needs of all of our students. (i.e., Early College, Advanced
Placement, etc.) We
will explore the possibility of becoming a candidate for International Baccalaureate.
Fact: The 2015 graduates will be given the
option of receiving a diploma from Southside High School dated June, 2015. This will be a one year opportunity.
Fact: No trophies, awards, or memorabilia
from Southside’s history will be destroyed or discarded. They will be on
display as determined by a transition sub-committee led by the principal. There will be input from committee members and other
stakeholders on where and how to display these treasures.
Fact: All coaching and extra-curricular positions
will be open for an application process.
No current athlete at either high school will be discriminated against.
Fact: We will
continue the outstanding band and music programs that currently exist. Planning
will begin immediately to combine, unite and enhance the rich tradition of both
band programs. We realize that information, which isn’t all factual,
is circulating utilizing social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and personal
editorials as well as other websites.
Please know that this administration, teachers and staff want the very
best school district possible for every child that enters our doors. We are legally bound and morally obligated to
give the best and most accurate information possible to teachers, parents,
students and community members. That is our mission and promise to each and
every parent and student.
This will be a continuous process to prepare for the 2014-2015
school year. I sincerely hope that you
will work with us to make this merger as smooth as possible and encourage your
student to take advantage of this new opportunity.
M. Tim Heller, Superintendent, Muncie Community Schools