Superintendent ‘s Letter
Dear Capac Schools Residents:
Midyear is a good time to reflect on the multitude of events and achievements that the school district experiences. Capac Community Schools are constantly improving and meeting the challenge of providing a quality education for our kids. I would like to take this opportunity to highlight just a few of the positive things that are happening.
Capac High School
• The high school band was recognized for their performance at the Blue Water Area Conference Band Extravaganza.
• The band and choir also gave great performances at the October Fest Concert.
• The Know How to Go program provided a Parents, Kids and College night for the parents and students of 9th and 10th grades to help better understand college application and scholarship money.
• Know How to Go also provided 11th grade students College Survival Kits to help students and their parents organize college applications, college visits and other information.
• The Capac High School Metal and Soul Robotics club placed first in an all female competition.
• The boys' and girls' cross country team not only qualified for the state meet but also won all state academic honors.
• The high school had 50 art students attend Art Prize Event in Grand Rapids.
Capac Middle School
• Middle school advanced students participate in Middle School Academic Academy, STEM programs, MChamp for advanced algebra and A3 Advanced Academic Achievement.
• Under the direction of Mrs. Raymond, students publish the CMS Chief Gazette newspaper. Aspiring reporters and editors work hard to put out an interesting and informative paper.
• Middle school students are using Read Naturally, an intervention program to improve their reading skills.
• Capac Middle School has a new Reporting Hotline which allows students to report information via text to administrator and counselor.
• Middle school students raised money to Adopt a Penguin with all funds benefiting Port Huron Children's Hospital.
• Middle school student collected pocket change to buy turkeys for needy families through the holiday months.
Capac Elementary School
• Capac Elementary School provides early childhood programming including Early Childhood Developmentally Delayed, Great Start Readiness Program, Kids-N-Kare Preschool and latchkey, as well as Great Parents/Great Start.
• The elementary utilizes a school wide Positive Behavior Intervention Support System along with CES Pride Points.
• Elementary students can participate in an Advanced Academic Achievement gifted and talented program with STEM-based programming.
• Robotics begins in the elementary with Lego Robotics.
• The elementary PEAK parent organization encourages great student, parent and family programming.
• The MSU Master Gardener Program developed a rain garden in our bus loop.
• Capac Elementary School hosts some great community events including the 1st annual Schoolapalooza, 2nd annual Yuletide Jubilee and the spring 5K Literacy Run.
• The district is a county leader in Michigan's Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative which builds capacity for school wide supports in academics and behavior.
• The district has technology that includes classroom Promethean boards, revamped computer labs, iPad labs and laptop labs to provide technology enriched classes.
As always, there are challenges and changes ahead but it's nice to be able to look back at some great things happening at Capac Community Schools
Dr. Charles Smith
Superintendent Explains “Last Best Offer” Vote by School Board
On Saturday, June 15, the Capac Schools Board of Education, at a special board meeting, voted 6-1 to impose their “last best offer” after coming to an impasse in negotiations with the teachers. The salary and benefit cuts in the contract are similar to those accepted by all our other unions within the past two years.
In presenting my recommendation, the action was taken with deep regret to our faculty. In fact, I feel this community has an outstanding staff of teachers. They have helped our students improve test scores significantly in recent years, and have also held a tremendous role is helping our students earn a number of top awards in such extracurricular activities as Fine Arts Festivals, Mock Trial, Business Professionals of America, and many more.
It is also important to stress that the contract imposition is not related in any way to the $9.76 million bond issue proposal that is on the local Primary Election ballot Tuesday, August 6. All bond issue funds come from locally approved property taxes. No bond issue funds will or can be used for salaries or benefits, not one cent! All spending will be directed toward improving the educational environment, safety and technology progress of our student body. The August 6 bond issue can be financed by an expiring debt millage, resulting in a “net zero tax rate increase.”
In all district contract negotiations in recent years, we have had to negotiate with funding per student that is lower than it was more than five years ago. As a result of enrollment decline and other challenges, we have at least a third less faculty and more than one–half fewer administrators than a decade ago. To finance any other finance terms with the teaching group, it may be necessary to cut more instructional staff, increase class size, or reduce the emergency fund we want to carry for our total operating budget—or all three! To stimulate more enrollments, we also began a communication effort this summer detailing the positive comparisons of Capac Schools programs with other nearby districts.
We also have informed the teaching group that we are still open to continuing negotiations so long as we do not short-change our emergency funds or curtail necessary programs for our student body.
Thank you for taking the time to review the reasons for my recent recommendation in regards to the contract situation.
Dr. Charles C. Smith
Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions.
Phone: (810) 395-3700