Central High in Muncie IN: The kids are having fun

Enrollment declines in Muncie Schools

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - Central High Principal Tom Jarvis had an easy way to describe the first few days of a new consolidated high school.

"The kids are having fun," said Jarvis, during an update to the Muncie Community School Board this week.

The evidence of a first smooth day came from Charles Hensley, security chief for MCS, who said only a single student out of 1,687 was referred violating rules.

School officials made sure that first day of one high school in Muncie was remarkable with a convocation led by Glenda Ritz, state superintendent of public instruction, Mayor Dennis Tyler, and Jarvis.

It also helped to have the Spirit of Muncie marching band show its recent Indiana State Fair trophy where band students won first earlier this month.

Jarvis did report a downside of the first days of the new Central when the football team lost its first game to Pendleton Heights, 28-21. Of course, the Bearcats turned over the ball twice for touchdowns from the Arabians.

Muncie Supt. Tim Heller did say that Central got the nod for a good sportsmanship award from a Indiana State High School Athletic Association official, something he had not seen in more than 20 years of public education.

Central had some help getting started with dozens of volunteers that directed students to class and facilities. Add on a few million dollars of renovation and repair and the 80 classrooms and other facilities were ready on starting day.

Jarvis said some work still was being done to the weight room and there were plans for a new digital sign in front of Central that would post academic and athletic information.

One of the new changes also involves putting Southside and Northside sports banners in the Muncie Fieldhouse along with those eight state championship basketball banners that have hung there since 1925.

"It looks like Boston Gardens," said Jarvis.

School officials spent hundreds of hours this summer working to consolidate the two high schools and ensure a smooth start to the school year.

Heller agreed that there had been no problems with the new school year except for the lack of students.

Muncie schools reported 6,140 students, a few hundred less than last year. With more school choices and charter schools operating in the Muncie school district, lower public school enrollment is never surprising.

With less students, look for more cost containment to balance spending with available revenue.

School Board President Tony Costello said several measures were being studied to reduce spending as the school system offered a $72 million budget in 2015 that spends more and raises more tax revenue.




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