As I write this, it is August 15th. I noticed a bit more of a chill in the air this morning compared to some of our mornings as of late. The days are beginning to shorten a bit too. These are all telltale signs that summer is slipping away and school is just about ready to kick off!
It's been a busy summer here in Benzie Central. I often have people ask me if I'm "back to work" this time of year. I generally smile and remind them that I never left! Our dedicated operations and CBO staff work year round, with summer serving as a time for "resetting" the district and preparing for the next year. Indeed, many of our staff have been engaged in other preparatory work this summer. We use this time to engage in training, take courses for certification, and otherwise think about and work on how we can improve upon our practice for next year. We are grateful for our dedicated employees that work hard in the "off season" to improve their craft!
As we get ready for back to school, we're also in the midst of gearing up for a new bond campaign. As you may recall, voters in Benzie Central narrowly rejected our last bond proposal in May by just over a hundred votes. We've since taken stock of that loss and worked to gather feedback from our community. We've taken that feedback and re-tooled our proposal for placement on the ballot in November. Some of the changes we've made to the plan include:
- Shortened term of the bond (25 years down from original 30 years)
- Reduced interest costs over the life of the bond (savings of nearly 8 million dollars)
- Lower millage rate (2.98 mills down from original 3.00 mills)
- Inclusion of early childhood classroom addition at Lake Ann Elementary
The Benzie Central Board of Education and Michigan Department of Treasury have both approved the changed plan and we look forward to engaging our community in dialogue surrounding the ideas therein. Election Day is November 5th!
On behalf of the entire staff of Benzie Central, we look forward to welcoming our kids back on our first day of school - Tuesday September 3rd! Don't forget, you are also invited to attend our open house evening on Wednesday, August 28th. Elementary buildings are scheduled from 5:30 to 6:30 and our middle / high school is scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30. Following our High School Open House, the community is invited to a presentation and forum regarding the bond proposal in our Auditorium from 7:30 to 8:30PM.