CARSON CITY — The Carson City-Crystal Area SchoolsBoard of Education is choosing not to participate in an early college program offered by Montcalm Community College.
“We decided to hold off on participating in the early college program,” Superintendent Kevin Murphy said. “With less funding coming from the state level and tightening our budget, it just isn’t financially feasible for us to participate.”
The early college program features a three-year program where students would work completing high school graduation requirements along with earning an associate’s degree. There would be no cost to the family or student, instead it would cost the local district $6,846 per pupil in state funding for each student who joins the program.
“We are being more conservative with our decision,” Murphy said. “We have a great relationship with Montcalm Community College, we are just being conservative with our current funds.”
CC-C will continue with its dual enrollment program.
“We will still offer dual enrollment for our students,” said Board President Tom Wilcox. “For the most part it is a good opportunity for students and we will continue that program for our students at Carson City-Crystal schools.”
Murphy and school board members will revisit the idea of participating in the early college program next school year.
“We would like to see how it works for those schools who have signed on to early college before moving forward on our end,” Murphy said. “Being a smaller district has us concerned about the revenue loss on a program that is just beginning in the county.”
Wilcox supports the idea of the program, but wants to hold off for now.
“We think it is a good program for certain kids who would want to participate, Wilcox said. “But our budget is so tight and we have very little fund equity so we decided to set back a year see how the program goes for those schools participating.”
“We are just not ready to go in the early college program,” Murphy summarized. “We see the benefits to students, but currently dual enrollment works for us right now.”
Also at the March 11 meeting, school board members approved Murphy’s contract, along with other administrative contracts. Murphy’s contract was extended through June 30, 2016.
“We are very pleased with Kevin’s performance,” Wilcox said. “He has done a great job in the district and working with the board about everything our district is doing.”
Middle School Principal Chuck Larkins, High School Principal Devin Pringle and Athletic Director Larry Farmer all had their contracts approved until June 30, 2015.
“We are pleased with all the performances,” Wilcox said. “As administrators, they have been doing a terrific job for the district.”
School board members also accepted a recommendation from Murphy to accept Lower Elementary School Principal Carol Wiles’ resignation letter.
“She has worked for the district for a long time,” Murphy said. “We are looking at options to keep her in the district because she is a great asset.”
Wilcox would like to see Wiles move into a similar role she had in the past.
“Before she was our lower elementary principal she retired as teacher,” Wilcox said. “We had her as a consultant before, so we hope to keep on part-time to work with kids and teachers, a position she is an expert at.”