Superintendent 's Letter
Dear Capac Schools Residents:
My second year as your interim superintendent brought both significant accomplishments as well as challenges. One challenge that was unexpected was the weather. The record winter we encountered caused the district to extend both each school day as well as extend the school year. I want to thank the teachers association for teaming with administrators to develop an end of year calendar that assures that your child receives a quality education.
Also noteworthy is the behind the scenes work that has been done to prepare for building improvements. The improvements are the result of the 2013 bond. Roof replacement will begin shortly as well as ground breaking for the addition to the elementary of a cafeteria/performing arts room. Many improvements will not be noticeable, such as windows, heating units, or technology infrastructure but others will be such as new buses and equipment.
The Capac community has a great school district but often times we do not pause and take stock of all the wonderful things happening here. I would like to take this opportunity to list some of the many things occurring in our school buildings.
Capac Elementary School
• Advanced Academic Achievement (A3) program with a STEM focus is a new program for gifted and talented students.• Elementary building security is enhanced with entrance doors locked allowing students, parents, and visitors buzz in.
• A new rain garden is starting to bloom in the bus loop.
• Focus, a therapy dog, works with our students daily!
• We host several community events each year, such as Schoolapalooza, Trunk-Or-Treat, and Yuletide Jubilee.
Capac Middle School
• Our MEAP scores are at or above state and county average for all grades, except 7th grade reading.
• The 8th grade science MEAP scores are the highest in the county!
• Student Council raises $381.15 for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society with "Pennies for Patients".
• 71% of the 8th grade class take Algebra I and can earn high school credit.
• We will enhance curriculum this fall with foreign language classes, French and Spanish, available to 8th graders.
Capac High School
• Mock Trial competed in the state tournament and won the St. Clair County tournament.
• BPA students earned awards at regional and state competitions.
• The Robotics team won the Chairman's Award at districts.
• Two students competed at the state level in wrestling.
• Blue Water Middle College students have a new recognition board in the activity area.
• Students and staff organized an Autism Awareness Day on April 15, 2014.
Crossroads Alternative High School
• Students volunteered in the community at the Capac food drive and local rummage sale.
• With the abundant snow this winter, students helped community members shovel snow.
• Crossroads draws students from outside district boundaries.
• Students worked on bullying and conflict resolution with team building events.
• Crossroads is preparing to celebrate its twentieth anniversary with the commencement of the 2014-2015 school year.
As we approach the end of the 2013-2014 school year, know that your children are receiving an enriched education because of your support of the 2013 bond. With the combination of improved facilities, teachers and staff that care, and a community that values education Capac Community Schools gets better and better every day.
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