Superintendent’s Message

SUPERINTENDENT’S MESSAGE

David Patterson

David Patterson

I think we make a difference together. We are a freer people than if we hadn’t fought this good fight.” ~ Charlton Heston

Dear Charlton Heston Academy Community Members:

Sharing in the successes thus far at Charlton Heston Academy (CHA) has been nothing short of awesome!  Each and every day it becomes more and more apparent that CHA has broken the mold of traditional education.

As we move forward together I am constantly reminded of a community that is uncompromising in the pursuit of high quality education for all students, leading to college and career readiness.  This quest began nearly six years ago with the closure of the St. Helen Elementary School.  The journey to reopen a school in the town of St. Helen meant putting aside popular opinion in order to do what is right for kids.  The closure of St. Helen Elementary School was initially thought of as a disaster by local residents.  However, the closure actually proved to be an opportunity for the community to reunite stronger than ever, educate themselves on everything public education, and open a community school that provides parents with another quality educational option for their children.

Please join me in applauding the following feats of the CHA this far:

  • Purchasing and renovating the former St. Helen Elementary School building
  • The 5-classroom school addition, and the addition of the new cafeteria
  • Building a team of passionate educators willing to do whatever it takes for students to succeed
  • Expanding grade levels from K-4 to pre-k through grade 11
  • Increasing enrollment from 140 students in August 2012 to 525 in 2016
  • Reopening a Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) pre-k program with three classrooms
  • Providing education to students from the St. Helen, Roscommon, Prudenville, Houghton Lake, Merritt, West Branch, Rose City, Alger, Lupton, Crawford County, and beyond
  • Partnering with Lake Superior State University on board governance training, policy development, and experiential opportunities for students
  • Creating a student-focused atmosphere with an 11:1 student to instructional staff ratio, constantly focused on academic achievement and ongoing opportunities for student leadership
  • CHA stakeholders having a direct influence on state and local education policy development
  • Creating partnerships with local and regional organizations, including the Central Michigan District Health Department, Michigan State University Extension Office, Roscommon County Road Commission, Regional Chamber of Commerce and many others
  • The addition of varsity sports including Football, Bowling, Cheer, Cross Country, Basketball; and with Wrestling, Track and Field, Volleyball, Soccer and Golf in the planning stages
  • Partnership with LSSU and Jackson College to offer on-site college classes to grades 8-12
  • Created an extended school day and year round school seeking to eliminates summer knowledge and learning loss

I look forward to sharing details in the near future of the free on-site daycare to begin in September 2016 as well as the new high school addition that includes 14 classrooms, a new kitchen and cafeteria, locker rooms, a weight room, and a regulation gymnasium.  In addition, CHA has expanded pupil transportation to include 7 buses, with plans to add more buses as needed.  All buses are 2016 models and are equipped with three security cameras for additional safety.

As we continue to excel I ask that we all be reminded we are in this together and we’ll need to be supportive and forgiving to one another from time to time.  This can be simply put in the words of CHA co-founder Mr. Richard Wood, “We are all just people being people.”

I am excited of what lies ahead of us.  Thank you for your continued commitment to the lives of students.

Best wishes in 2016!