CPS 10-Year Plan

As the new Superintendent of Comstock Public Schools, I have been learning much about the district and the community since my arrival in early July. As I’ve engaged Board members, administrators, school staff, community members, families, and students in conversations, it has become abundantly clear that there is a strong affection and affiliation between the community and its school system. Quite honestly, that was one of the major selling points for my interest and application for the position in the first place.

Furthermore, the district is extremely appreciative of the financial support offered from the community to the district over time, and especially in recent years with the vote of support that approved the 2016 Bond. This bond has allowed the district to increase security, improve facilities, and enhance instruction. However, as I became more familiar with the district and its facilities, and more knowledgeable about the bond and its potential long-term impact on the district, I began to ponder and think in new ways.

In this spirit, I am pleased to announce that beginning with the 2019-20 school year there will be a partial reconfiguration of the district which will result in increased programming for students and families, as well as a much more fluid and efficient use of our buildings. While there are many details yet to be planned, we will be opening the Comstock Early Learning Academy next year. This program will house all of our preschool programming, including AM and PM daycare. This brand new program will be located in what is now known as Green Meadow Elementary.

Consequently, Green Meadow and North Elementary Schools – with a combined population of around 620 students –will be joining together to form Comstock Elementary School in the building now known as Northeast Middle School (NEMS). This building holds more than 700 students, so there is sufficient space for growth as needed. Combining our two small elementary schools offers tremendous benefits - balanced sections; greater elective or special offerings; efficiency in service; greater space for band, music, technology and science; as well as a full sized gym and large cafeteria. When construction is complete, Comstock Elementary School will be fully air conditioned.

Finally, North Elementary will transform into Comstock Middle School. This building holds more than 350 students, so the current NEMS population of 260 fits well. With the voter-approved bond money, we will be building a new gymnasium, revamping the cafeteria, enhancing technology rooms, and updating science labs.

We are seeking public input, so I invite the community to give feedback at any upcoming Board meeting.

If you prefer or wish to contact me directly, please feel free to do so at thoenesj@comstockps.org or 269-250-8906.

I look forward to our conversation!
Dr. Jeffrey J. Thoenes
Dr. Jeffrey J. Thoenes, Superintendent

Download this letter as a PDF

View the State of the District slide show as a PDF

Comstock Early Learning Academy
Starting in the 2019-20 school year, Comstock will operate our own early childhood center. In doing this, CPS will be reclaiming ownership of all early childhood programming, and centralizing it in one building. This programming includes: Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP); Head Start; Early Childhood Special Education Program; a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) preschool; and a Chinese language and culture immersion preschool. Taking this step allows us to have more paid slots from the state, which potentially leads to increased enrollment in K-12.

• Before and After School Childcare
• 20% discount for all employees on all CELA-related costs
• Ownership of these programs allows us to promote our district to the community
• Future purchases will include:
– Preschool playground equipment
– Preschool furniture and curriculum needs

Comstock Elementary
Having all the grade levels in one building will help staff forge earlier relationships with students and families, and students with one another. Additionally, a single elementary schooland lends itself to higher efficiency for same-grade staff collaboration and specials scheduling. 

• Principal, Susan Caswell (Current principal at Green Meadow Elementary)
• Assistant Principal will be filled through traditional interview process
• Grades K-5
• Elementary Playground Equipment will be moved to Comstock Elementary Summer 2019
• Comstock Elementary is a Leader in Me® Lighthouse School!
• Centralized services for special education, child study process, interventions, and Title I support
• Balanced Class Sizes
• Co-Teaching Opportunities & Enhanced PLC’s
• Remodel 2020-21 adding AC to whole building and updating floor plans

Comstock Middle School
• Principal, Mark Wilke (Current Principal at North Elementary)
• Grades 6-8
• During the Transition Period:
 Sporting Events will occur at Comstock Elementary
– Science Lab at the High School will be utilized
– Physical Activity will occur in multiple areas
 Breakfast will occur in the classrooms, and lunch will occur in the cafeteria
 Electives have designated classrooms (band, choir, art, technology)
• Future construction will include: gymnasium, cafeteria, science labs, restroom facilities, and full air conditioning

Continue the Conversation
• Board meetings open for public input - 3010 Gull Road