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Boys track runs well after spring break 

 

The Red Hawks began spring break where they left off, with a 91.5-45.5 victory over Wyoming. The Hawks came out of the field events scoring 42 of the possible 45 points. The distance, mid-distance and hurdling crew dominated the races while the Hawks were no match for Wyoming’s top sprinter. A rare disqualification by Cedar in the 4x200m relay allowed the Wolves to take 10 of the 40 points in the relays.

“Coming back from break, we did a great job of performing. So many guys set personal bests in the field events as well as our sprints, hurdles and distance guys,” stated Coach Myers.

On April 18, the Hawks went to the annual Bronco Classic in Coopersville. The three leveled division meet saw the middle school group finish second; the junior varsity group took home a first place trophy; and the varsity group finished third. Overall, the boys finished second in the 5-team invite.

Winning gold medals were senior Austin Sargent (1600m and 800m runs), MavRick Cotten (long jump and 110m hurdles), Jaron Spencer in the junior varsity division discus, Remington Sawade in the pole vault, Isaiah Schatz in the junior varsity pole vault, and Nikc Jackson in the junior varsity high jump.

“It was a great day to perform with temperatures near 70. Most of the athletes took advantage of the great weather and set personal bests again for the team,” said Coach Myers. “We just have to keep pushing ourselves to be better each day. We can never be satisfied about our performances for any longer than a day.”

The Hawks continue on the road as they are headed to rival Forest Hills Northern (conference meet), Chippewa Hills (April 25), and Greenville (April 27), before returning May 2 to host the annual Red Hawk Invitational.

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Girls track wins conference opener

 

The Varsity Girls Track Team had a very successful week of competition. They defeated Wyoming 89 to 42 in the OK conference opener on Wednesday, April 15 and ran their dual record to 3 and 0. On Saturday, April 18, they went to Sparta for the Tri Level Classic. The 9-10 grade team won 8 of the 16 events and took first place with 120 points. In the 11-12 grade division, the team scored 78 points and placed 4th. Combining their scores with the Middle School, who took first place, the overall place in the meet for the teams was second—the highest place they have ever finished at this meet.

Earning first place medals at the Spartan Tri-Level Classic in the 11-12 division was Kenzie Weiler (1600 and 3200 meter runs), and Ellie Ovokaitys (800 meter run). Earning first place in the 9-10 division was Rachel Crystal (long jump), Tara Tepin (100 and 300 hurdles), Faith Peacock (100 and 200 meter dashes), Hannah Heintzelman (800 meter run), the 400-relay team of Kaley Louck, Rachel Bowers, Rachel Crystal, and Faith Peacock, and the 1600 meter relay team of Hannah Heintzelman, Mackenzie Rugg, Rachel Bowers, and Tara Tepin.

Placing second in the 11-12 division was Allyson Marvel (Pole Vault and 100 meter hurdles); and in the 9-10 division was Rachel Bowers (long jump).

Placing third in the 11-12 division was Ellie Ovokaitys (1600 meter run), Mathilda Stocke (200 meter dash), the 400-meter relay team of Emily Shaft, Allyson Marvel, Kaylee Mihlethaler, and Mathilda Stocke, and the 1600-meter relay team of Kaley Louck, Allyson Marvel, Mathilda Stocke, and Emily Shaft. Finishing third in the 9-10 division was Jenna Zoeman (100 meter dash), Hannah Heintzelman (1600 meter run), and Mackenzie Rugg (400 meter dash).

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K-5 News: Reading Month Wrap Up

Mrs. Atkins reads to 2nd graders

Mrs. Atkins reads to 2nd graders

March was Reading Month and it is a favorite of ours at CTA! We Chargers really get into the friendly competition of reading. This past March was no different. Our theme was “Isle of the Reading Chargers.” Each grade had its own pirate ship that moved every week depending on the number of hours read. In order to reach the first island, “Port of Poems”, classes had to read 50 hours. The second island, “Port of Fairy Tales”, the class had to read 150 hours. When classes reached each port, the teacher would read texts from those specific genres to his or her class. When classes reached 400 hours, Mystery Readers arrived to their rooms. Pictured below: Mystery Reader, Mrs. Kelly Atkins, is reading to our lucky second grade class.

Mr. Oldebekking gets sprayed with silly string

Mr. Oldebekking gets sprayed with silly string

The K-8 staff set a goal of 4000 hours throughout the whole month of March. After the first week, students in grades K-8 read almost 1000 hours! Each week of March, we met altogether and unveiled the leading class. It was a tight race between three grades throughout the month; first, fourth, and a surprise appearance by the sixth grade class. In the end, the first grade pulled out the win; they read over 720 hours during the month! Since they were the highest reading class, the students were able to pick a staff member to spray silly string. Of course they chose our much-beloved Mr. Oldebekking! During our Student Showcase, the first graders were able to silly string him in front of the whole school! This year’s March is Reading Month was quite the success! Thank you everyone for your support of this initiative!

CTA K-8 during the Month of March read 4339 hours! WAY TO GO CHARGERS!!!!

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CTA Calendar

 

April 23 Daddy/Daughter Dance (grades K-6): 5-7 pm

27 HIV/AIDS Health Curriculum Meeting for 5th grade Parents: 4-4:30 pm

Family Night: 4:30-6 pm

Parent/Superintendent Town Hall Meeting: 6-7 pm

May 1 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)

K-5 Dismissal at 12:55 pm

6-12 Dismissal at 1:06 pm

HS Prom @ Boulder Creek – 7 pm

4-8 Teacher Appreciation Week

5  New/Prospective Family Open House: 5:30-7 pm

6 NHS Induction Ceremony: 1:30 pm

7  Mother/Son Game Night for grades K-6: 4-6 pm

8 Mobile Dentist: 8:30 am

12 Wall of Honor Celebration: 2 pm

15  Student Early Release – (2 hours early)

K-5 Dismissal at 12:55 pm

6-12 Dismissal at 1:06 pm

Carnival/Art Gallery Night: 5-8 pm

18 Girls Charging Ahead 5K – 3:15 pm

21 Literacy Night: 3:15-5:15 pm

21-22 Senior Trip to Cedar Point

22 No School for Students and Staff

25 No School for Students and Staff – Memorial Recess

29 Graduation @ Cedar Springs High School – 7 pm

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Parent/Superintendent Town Hall Meeting

Creative Technologies Academy

350 Pine Street | Cedar Springs, MI  49319

9th Semi-Annual

Parent/Superintendent Town Hall Meeting

Monday, April 27, 2015

6:00 – 7:00 PM

 “How to Change the World (continued)”

(Child care provided through grade 5)

  • All parents in attendance will receive a free CTA t-shirt
  • All parents in attendance are eligible for a $100 gas card drawing

*CTA Administrators and Teachers will be available to answer any questions about the topics discussed, address any concerns of a general nature, and welcome any positive feedback on the school year to date.

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Employment Opportunities

 

There are no position openings at CTA at this time. However, the administration invites interested parties to submit a letter of interest and resume for the following positions that may become available during the 2015-16 school year:

• Certified teachers at all grade levels and subject areas (please include letter of interest, resume, and copy of teacher certification)

• Online learning teacher (please include letter of interest, resume, and copy of teacher certification)

• Administrative Assistant (four year degree preferred)

• Food preparation and custodial staff

Please submit letters of interest, resumes, and appropriate credentials by email to Dan George, Superintendent/School Leader, at dgeorge@ctachargers.org.

Submitted letters of interest and resumes will be kept on file. If a position becomes available that aligns with a letter, resume, and credentials, CTA will notify the prospective applicant with an email including the job posting, application deadline, and job description.

CTA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, religion or any other legally protected characteristic in its programs, activities, or employment opportunities.

Our Mission

Creative Technologies Academy is a K-12 learning community committed to strengthening character and promoting a safe, scholarly, and supportive environment that develops life-long learners.

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New study analyzes impact of Proposal 1 on taxpayers

 

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy published a new analysis of Proposal 1, which voters will be asked to approve or reject on May 5. The proposal increases taxes by $2 billion and aims to dedicate most of that revenue for future road construction and maintenance. In addition to reviewing the proposed constitutional and legislative changes, this new study estimates how Proposal 1 would impact the typical Michigan household.

James Hohman, author of the study and assistant director of fiscal policy at the Mackinac Center, used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, U.S. Department of Transportation and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to estimate that Proposal 1 would increase the tax burden of the typical Michigan household by about $500 in 2016.

“These estimates rely on assumptions about the average price of gasoline and other factors, but they’re about as close as one can get to figuring out about how much taxpayers would pay if voters approve of this plan to increase funding for roads,” Hohman said.

Proposal 1 would make four changes to the Michigan Constitution: increasing the allowable sales tax rate to 7 percent, exempting fuel purchases from sales and use taxes, prohibiting public universities from receiving revenue from the School Aid Fund and earmarking a portion of use tax revenue for the School Aid Fund.

These changes are “tie-barred” with eight legislative bills that will go into effect if voters approve of Proposal 1. These laws would hike the sales and use tax to 7 percent, create a new wholesale fuel tax of 41.7 cents per gallon and earmark this revenue for roads, increase the state’s earned income tax credit, boost spending on one public school program and create new rules pertaining to road construction projects for the Michigan Department of Transportation.

Regarding the proposed wholesale tax on fuel, it is likely that prices at the pump for gasoline consumers will be higher if Proposal 1 passes. Based on data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the average national gasoline price in 2015 will be $2.39. At this rate, consumers would pay about 10 cents more per gallon in taxes at the pump.

“The difference between the proposed gas tax and the current one depends a lot on the price of gasoline. But only when gasoline prices exceed $4.20 per gallon will consumers start to pay less at the pump under Proposal 1,” Hohman added.

The analysis found that the proposed new wholesale fuel tax will increase at a rate that will outpace inflation. The mechanics of the formula prescribed in the law to adjust the tax rate based on inflation ensures that the rate will grow faster than inflation.

“The way the fuel tax formula is designed, taxpayers can expect to see fuel taxation rates rise faster than inflation,” Hohman said.

Even though the earned income tax credit would be increased under Proposal 1 (from 6 percent of the federal EITC amount to 20 percent), low-income households in Michigan may not experience much of a tax benefit overall.

“The average EITC recipient’s tax burden will likely be reduced slightly if Proposal 1 passes, but there will be EITC recipients whose overall tax burden will still rise,” said Hohman.

The full study can be found online here: www.mackinac.org/21128

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Michigan citizens by promoting sound solutions to state and local policy questions. The Mackinac Center assists policy makers, scholars, business people, the media and the public by providing objective analysis of Michigan issues.

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Five tips to crown your lawn king of spring

DIG-FIVE-Tips-to-crown-your-lawn-king

(BPT) – Those winter chills are finally history and it’s time focus on outdoor fun again. Your lawn is the perfect spot for family gatherings, sports competitions, barbecues and relaxing afternoons, so why not make it the best it can be? Before your calendar fills up, apply these five tips and your lawn will be in great shape for the entire season.

* Clean up. Whether it was packed under the snow or blown in by the wind, the winter season leaves more than its fair share of debris behind. Grab a rake and get started raking up all of this garbage. Once the lawn is clean, apply a thin layer—about a quarter-inch thick—of compost to give your lawn a boost and start it in the right direction.

* Reseed the bare patches. Your travels around your lawn to rake up debris will probably reveal some bare patches. If you do happen upon a patch of barren ground, loosen the top 2-4 inches. Level the soil with your garden rake and cover the area with a mixture of grass seed and fertilizer. You could also replace the fertilizer with compost. Pat the surface with the flat end of the rake when finished to ensure the seed remains in place. Water as necessary.

* Aerate your lawn. Aerating allows oxygen, water and other nutrients to reach your grass’s roots, and it’s one of the best things you can do to support your lawn. Travel across your yard with a manual or gas-powered aerator, punching holes in the ground. Make sure to pass over each area only once. After you’ve finished aerating, spread compost, fertilizer or peat moss over your yard. The fertilizer will be absorbed quickly through the holes created by the aeration.

* It’s time to mow. Optimal grass length is 2.5-3.5 inches, so cut your grass as frequently as needed to achieve this length without cutting more than third of each grass blade. Mowing high and often will produce a heartier lawn that is more adept at keeping weeds away, as well as making it less susceptible to heat and drought. The new Z200 series of residential zero-turn riding mowers from Husqvarna, handles your mowing duties in a snap. The Z200 zero-turn platform features SmartSwitch technology that gives you one-touch steering, real-time feedback and keyless security so you can mow the lawn quickly and enjoyably every time.

* Add color and contrast. Landscaping adds immediate scenic interest to your space and allows you to showcase your creativity as well. If you choose to add annuals or perennials to your space, plant them in odd numbers and in tiny pockets around the yard – this produces a more natural appearance. You can also add a centerpiece to your yard, such as a sculpture, fountain, fire pit or horseshoe pit. Any of these focal points provides a gathering place and an excuse to enjoy relaxing afternoons on your beautiful lawn all season long.

To learn more about Husqvarna and the Z200 series of zero-turn mowers, visit Husqvarna on Facebook or Twitter.

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How to plant your garden from scratch

For true green thumb bragging rights, grow your garden from scratch. Just be sure you know the tricks of the trade.

For true green thumb bragging rights, grow your garden from scratch. Just be sure you know the tricks of the trade.

(StatePoint) Planting a garden from scratch can sound like a daunting task, especially for those who are new to the hobby. But with the right knowledge, you can plan a successful, fruitful green space and expect to have a great harvest.

One way to get a head start on your garden is to start your seedlings indoors and then transplant them later into an outdoor garden. This time-tested technique can save you hundreds of dollars annually, as young plants at a nursery can be pricey. Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of this method:

• Don’t start your indoor plants too soon. They can grow in about four weeks or less if you use a high-quality garden starter. Check seed packages to learn when to plant outdoors in your area, and then start them indoors one month earlier to your transplanting date outdoors.

• Consider using a seed-starting system that takes some of the gardening guesswork out of the equation. For example, the Aerogarden Seed Starting system allows you to start up to 66 seedlings indoors with no dirt or mess, nurturing seeds with optimal amounts of water and nutrients for reliable germination and healthy growth.

• Add new nutrients to the seedlings every two weeks and keep the water at full level. Feeding your plants more than the recommended amount will not make them grow faster. In fact, it could hurt the plants.

• Before transplanting, seedlings need to be hardened off. Skipping this step will almost certainly result in some or all of your plants dying. Hardening off seedlings eases their transition to the outdoors, where they will be exposed to the elements. The process involves gradually exposing plants to the outdoors, protecting them from full sunlight, temperature variations and wind.

• Don’t let sprouts get too big before transplanting them outdoors. Ideally they should be about 4-6 inches tall. If possible, wait to plant your seedlings on a cool, cloudy day. If your seedlings get too large before weather will allow transplanting outdoors, transplant them into small pots with high quality potting soil. Keep fully watered in a sunny space until weather permits transplanting outdoors.

• After transplanting seedlings outdoors, be sure to water them daily for the first two weeks, especially if the weather is dry and sunny.

• Save and reuse your seed starter tray for the next season. Once the spring plants have been transplanted outdoors, you will be free to get a head start on your summer crop.

More tips to start your own seedlings can be found at www.Aerogarden.com.

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Is your yard wildlife-friendly?

DIG-Is-your-yard-wildlife-friendly-Bluebirds

(StatePoint) Being a good neighbor means more than being friendly to the humans across the street, it also means being friendly to the animals in your yard. Making your yard a safe place for local wildlife should be a top lawn care priority.

With that in mind, here are some tips for creating a healthy habitat for local critters.

Be a Valuable Rest Stop

Stock your garden with small native species of trees, shrubs and flowers to give wildlife needed nourishment, as well as cover from predators.

A source of water can also be a great resource for visiting fauna. Whether it’s a pond or a bird bath, be sure this zone is well-maintained so you don’t inadvertently create a haven for unwanted species. In the warmer months when mosquitoes are most active, you should change the bird bath water even more often.

Promote Safety

A bird feeder in your backyard, full of water and seeds, will be the perfect invitation for beautiful migrating and local birds to stop by.

Just be sure your property is safe for birds. Unfortunately, birds don’t see clear glass. As a result, millions of birds die every year by striking glass. Don’t let your sliding glass doors or other windows become a death trap for birds.

To protect birds, apply special decals that reflect ultraviolet sunlight. For example, those from WindowAlert have the appearance of frosted glass, but glow like a stoplight for birds, so you don’t have to compromise your own view out your window. The brand also makes a high-tech liquid called WindowAlert UV Liquid, which should be applied between decals.

“Wildlife can beautify your garden and be a sign that your yard is healthy” says Spencer Schock, founder of WindowAlert. “But birds and other wildlife need food, shelter, and safety.”

Get out the binoculars! With a few small actions, you can make your yard or garden a wildlife refuge.

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