Muncie Community Schools (MCS) is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion for all. There is no justification for anything less. We are committed to dismantling racism in our schools and vow to have adequate representation of our Black and brown educators as well as culturally relevant teaching and learning embedded in all that we do, such as curriculum, professional development, social-emotional learning and family and community involvement.
Here are some of the ways we keep our DEI efforts at the forefront:
District Equity Team (DET)
Led by MCS Director of Diversity Rhonda Ward, the District Equity Team consists of MCS board members, its CEO, district administration, school administration and teachers. The team meets quarterly to discuss goals, strategies and implementation as well as any new ideas that will improve diversity efforts.
School Equity Team (SET)
Each school has its own Equity Team that receives training each summer. These SETs are responsible for monthly training using "Take Time" articles assembled by Ms. Ward and distributed at the beginning of the school year.
Diversity CATS (Cultural Awareness Transforming Students)
Ms. Ward leads this group of high school students in exploring and promoting awareness and understanding of various cultures among all Muncie Central students and beyond. Students participate in regular meetings to discuss a variety of topics with a goal of providing a safe environment for them to voice their concerns and discuss potential solutions. The Motto of Diversity CATS is: Strive to live a life Respecting Individual Cultures by Harmonizing and Embracing all Races (RICHER).
- Implicit Bias - BSU provides training to all teachers, classroom assistants, bus drivers and SROs on implicit bias. In addition, summer professional development is offered to teachers and administrators by an outside consultant. Increasing awareness is not enough. Training teaches people to manage their biases, change their behavior and track their progress.
- School Equity Teams - Each summer, SETs participate in cultural competency training with an outside consultant. School administrators also participate in this training.
- Innovation Summit - Each September, MCS and BSU hosts and Innovation Summit for educators. Sessions on culturally relevant practices are included during this day of professional development.
- Early Release Days - MCS principals and master teachers create professional development opportunities during these regularly scheduled early release days. These opportunities focus on culturally relevant practices centered on improving classroom and building environments to make everyone feel welcomed, safe and respected.
- Cluster Meetings - On a weekly basis, all teachers participate in professional development with master teachers that may include training on culturally relevant practices.
- Indiana Black Expo Education Conference - Ms. Ward and other staff members participate in professional development at this conference that spotlights topics impacting the school experience and gathers sought-after experts influencing pivotal advancements in education.
The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace.
- Carlos Santana