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MCS receives $8 million school improvement grant

Andy Klotz
Grissom students hard at work

Muncie, Ind. – Muncie Community Schools (MCS) has received a Next Generation School Improvement Grant from the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) that will provide the district with more than $8 million over the next four school years. The grant is designed to help transform the traditional educational experience into one that better aligns to students’ needs.

The schools awarded the grant funding have been identified as needing additional support. MCS applied for, and received, the grant for three schools: South View Elementary, Grissom Elementary and Longfellow Elementary.

“While we’ve made strides in different areas in all these schools recently, we still have a long way to go,” MCS Director of Public Education and CEO Lee Ann Kwiatkowski said. “With this generous grant, we will be able to obtain outside expertise with innovative educational approaches to help students reach their potential while also accommodating their individual circumstances.”

MCS will partner with other education experts to improve student performance in a number of areas, including kindergarten preparedness, third grade reading and math achievement, lower grade literacy and overall student attendance.

“Ultimately, the goal is to exceed state averages in all these areas within the next four years,” Dr. Kwiatkowski said. “We also want to eliminate the achievement gap that persists in these schools.”

One requirement of the grant is to create an Education Transformation Team (ETT) that will guide the planning and implementation decisions. This team will consist of people inside and outside of the school district, and will include Dr. Kwiatkowski and MCS School Board President Jim Williams.

“This grant is another fantastic and much needed development for taking our schools to the next level,” Williams said. “The ETT will include a diverse variety of local people who are passionate about seeing our students succeed while they’re in MCS and after graduation.”

MCS is one of just eight districts in the state to receive the Next Generation grant, topping the list of amount of funds awarded. MCS will receive $8,058,000 – $558,000 earmarked for planning next school year and $7.5 million for implementation from 2023-2026.

The IDOE received nearly 40 applications representing 55 eligible schools seeking program funding. The Next Gen program is funded with federal Title I funds as required by the Every Student Succeeds Act.

About Muncie Community Schools

Serving the local community since 1855, Muncie Community Schools (MCS) educates more than 5,000 students at six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school while also managing several other educational facilities. Through its unique partnership with Ball State University, MCS strives to maximize each student’s potential so he or she can be a positive, productive member of society. Find out more about MCS or Director of Public Education and CEO Lee Ann Kwiatkowski at muncieschools.org.  

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