Superintendent ‘s Letter
Dear Capac Schools Residents:
This is my second opportunity as your Interim Superintendent to welcome students, parents, staff and community back to our new school year. While the challenges facing all public school districts continue to grow, I can assure you that the Capac Community Schools continue to improve in all areas.
I would like to list just a few examples of these accomplishments:
• There were 69 students enrolled in advanced placement classes this past year.
• A growing number of juniors and seniors are enrolling in the Middle College Program. This is an opportunity to receive up to two years of free post-graduation area college courses.
• The senior class of 2013 was awarded over $50,000 in local scholarships.
• Our graduation rate last year was 95.6%.
• Our Robotics Team competed in a world championship. NASA paid their $5,000 registration fee for this event.
• In addition to competing for state honors in wrestling, our wrestling team received team academic All-State Honors.
• More than 100 Capac student athletes per sport season made the BWAC All-Academic Team.
• The Capac Mock Trial Team won 12 of 16 individual county awards.
• Our band earned a top State Festival rating this year from all judges in all categories.
• Capac High Schools' Adam Hoock, representing St. Clair Tec, took second place in Collision Repair Technology in Skills USA National Competition.
• Capac Middle School test scores are in the top 25% in Michigan. Nearly 70% of our elementary students are above or at their grade level in reading. Our 6-7 grade students led the county on last year's statewide test. All 8th graders are taking Algebra this school year.
• Capac began a Virtual School primarily for home schooled students. Over 30 students participated.
• Nearly every classroom uses technology for instruction, research, work completion, recording data and sharing information on a daily basis.
• All classrooms, K-12, are now equipped with multimedia projectors and interactive white boards.
• Capac returned to a traditional 2 semester schedule to enhance learning.
• Our libraries were opened for the first time this summer to encourage summer reading.
These are just some of the things happening and I'm sure I've missed others. In short, in my first year at Capac schools I have been very impressed with the people and programs. You truly have a school to be proud of. Challenges remain such as improving academics, state requirements, finances, and building maintenance and improvements. However, I want to assure you that Capac Community Schools are getting better every day and it's exciting that you have let me be a part of it. Thank you.
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