Dear Governor Whitmer,
We are a preschool through grade 12 public school academy and the only charter school serving that range of grades between Big Rapids and Grand Rapids. The majority of our students represent the demographics of the population of northern Kent County, western Montcalm County, and southern Newaygo County. They are rural/suburban and represent a cross section of families who are socio-economically disadvantaged to average incomes. Approximately 12% of our students receive special education services.
All of our teachers live in Kent County within a half-hour drive of our school. In addition to teaching during the regular school day, they are coaches, class advisors, and mentors spending many hours after school or before school building relationships with students that impact their learning and their life choices outside of school. Our staff is engaged in our community with volunteer projects and service organizations.
Families choose CTA because of our culture with an emphasis on character education, small class sizes, and a family atmosphere. Students who have been lost, bullied, under-motivated, or lacked academic success at other schools often thrive and excel at CTA.
We enjoy a collaborative relationship with the administration of the local traditional public school with an approach to serving children that focuses on partnership versus competition, a relationship not often seen between charter schools and traditional public schools. Our shared goal is to just do what is best for kids.
The Academy, as a whole, represents a turnaround school, having quickly moved from being placed on probation by its authorizer in 2011 to being a consistent top performer in the Ferris State University portfolio of charter schools over the past seven years. CTA was recently awarded a seven-year contract following a rigorous reauthorization process, the longest contract awarded by Ferris State, and the Academy has received awards for 100% compliance for 18 consecutive years.
In the Ferris State University Charter Schools Office's most recent evaluation of Key Performance Indicators, Creative Technologies Academy received the highest designation in each category of Academic Progress, Fiscal Solvency, Operations, and Compliance/Governance.
Please restore the funding increase for my CTA Chargers, and all the other charter student across MI.
Dan George, Superintendent @ Creative Technologies Academy