By Brian Freiberger
The Schoolcraft Board of Education at its June meeting renewed the superintendent’s contract for another three years and approved schools of choice for the 2017-2018 school year.
Rusty Stitt has been superintendent for six years. The new contract will be active through the 2019-2020 school year. The new contract will provide pay of $121,516 annually.
The schools of choice renewal means all students who are residents of the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency other school districts – Climax-Scotts, Comstock, Gull Lake, Galesburg-Augusta, Kalamazoo, Parchment, Portage and Vicksburg – will be allowed to enroll at Schoolcraft for the 2017-18 school year. This decision is reviewed annually by the board.
Applications for children from other districts are being accepted for all grades except for sixth grade. Kindergarten, third and fifth grade have limited seats available, according to the Student to Teacher Ratio Guideline Proposal from Schoolcraft.
Schoolcraft decides if a grade is open or closed depending on projected student-teacher ratios.
High School Principal Ric Seagar at the meeting presented results of the class of 2017 Exit Survey. Students judge the school based on their experiences and what they are doing after high school.
The class of 2017 graduated 88 students that will explore many different career paths.
Seven percent of students are employed full-time and are not enrolled in further education currently. Three percent enlisted in the military. Another three percent are furthering their education at a trade, technical, or business training program. Of the remaining, 33 percent are enrolled in a two-year technical or business training program and 54 percent are attending a four-year college or university.
Now that the students know where they are going, what do they plan to study?
The most popular selection was health and science at 34.2 percent followed by business and economics at 20.8 percent, creative and performing arts at 16.7 percent, social sciences and education at 11.1 percent, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at 11.1 percent, communications at 8.3 percent, construction at 6.9 percent, computer and networks at 4.2 percent, environmental and natural resources at 1.4 percent. The remaining 13.9 percent of the 88 students are undecided.
During the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school year Schoolcraft increased its number of students taking four or more courses for college credit from 46.6 percent to 55.6 percent. Schoolcraft also saw a slight increase of students taking zero college credit from 16.4 percent in 2016 to 19.4 percent in 2017, according to the survey.
While at Schoolcraft High, 85 percent of students said they felt comfortable talking to teachers, principals, counselors or other adults in the school when needed.
According to the survey, 72 out of 88 seniors said that Schoolcraft High School was a positive experience, and 74 percent of them said that they are satisfied with their high school experience.
The survey also asked what students would change to better Schoolcraft. The most popular answers were improved lunches, less technology, more rigor and more arts.