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Watch for school buses

From the Kent County Sheriff’s Office

With many schools starting please remember to watch out for school buses. School bus safety is everyone’s responsibility. Please help keep our community’s kids safe.

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Drivers admit to speeding and cell phone use in school zones

School Traffic is Back! Tips for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists

DEARBORN, Mich., (August 22, 2022) — Michigan roads are about to get more crowded – and hazardous – as millions of students and teachers return to school. This time of year is particularly dangerous due to the combination of young inexperienced drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists who will all share the road in the early morning and afternoon hours.

“Drivers should have a heightened sense of awareness from the moment they leave the driveway,” said Adrienne Woodland, spokeswoman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Expect more foot traffic in neighborhoods and along city streets. Since children can move quickly and cross the road unexpectedly, it’s important to constantly scan the road for people while driving and be ready to stop at a moment’s notice. You can reduce risk of injury by slowing down and avoiding distractions like using your cell phone or eating while driving.”

A new survey from AAA reveals that many drivers admit to risky behaviors like speeding and using their handheld mobile phone while driving through a school zone.

According to a new survey of Michigan drivers:

37% admitted to speeding in an active school zone.

27% admitted to using their hand-held cell phone while driving in active school zones.

“When driving through a school zone, it’s extremely important that you lower your speed and raise your awareness to ensure you can respond to any potential hazards on the roadway,” Woodland continued.

Top Safety Tips for Drivers

AAA – The Auto Club Group, through its School’s Open Drive Carefully campaign reminds motorists to:

Slow down. Speed limits in school zones are reduced for a reason. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling at 25 mph is nearly two-thirds less likely to be killed compared to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle traveling just 10 mph faster.

Come to a complete stop. Research shows that more than one-third of drivers roll through stop signs in school zones or neighborhoods. Always come to a complete stop, checking carefully for children on sidewalks and in crosswalks before proceeding.

Eliminate distractions. Research shows that taking your eyes off the road for just two seconds doubles your chances of crashing.

Share the road with bicyclists. Children on bicycles are often inexperienced, unsteady and unpredictable. Slow down and allow at least three feet of passing distance between your vehicle and a bicyclist.

Talk to your teen. Car crashes are one of the leading causes of death for teens in the United States, and nearly one in four fatal crashes involving teen drivers occurs during the after-school hours of 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Get evidence-based guidance and tips at TeenDriving.AAA.com.

Top AAA Safety Tips for Students

For Pedestrians

  • Pay attention at all times. Avoid texting or wearing headphones, so you can detect nearby traffic.  
  • Use sidewalks where available. If not, walk against the direction of traffic so you can see oncoming vehicles.
  • Make yourself easier to be seen by wearing reflective, bright colored clothing.

For Bicyclists

  • Wear a helmet and neon or bright colored clothes.
  • Ride in the same direction as traffic and stay as far to the right as possible. Use bike lanes when you can.
  • Do not wear headphones so you can detect approaching traffic.
  • Cross the street at intersections. Do not pull into the roadway from between parked cars.

For Students at the Bus Stop

  • Arrive at least 5 minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
  • Stay five steps away from the curb.
  • Be alert and remove headphones so you can hear oncoming traffic.
  • Wait until the bus comes to a complete stop and the bus driver signals for you to board.

 School Bus Traffic Laws Explained

Motorists are required to stop when approaching a school bus that is stopped with its red lights flashing and STOP arms extended. The only exception is on a divided highway with a raised divider. Here is an explanation of the laws:

Two Lane Street – All drivers moving in either direction on a two-way street must stop for a school bus displaying overhead flashing red lights and a stop arm extended, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children, the overhead red lights are turned off AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.

Multi-Lane Paved Median – All drivers approaching in either direction must stop for a school bus displaying overhead flashing red lights and a stop arm extended, and must remain stopped until the road is clear of children, the overhead red lights are turned off AND the school bus stop arm is withdrawn.

Divided Highway – Traffic approaching a stopped school bus from the opposite direction do not need to stop if there is a raised barrier such as a concrete divider or at least five feet of unpaved space separating the lanes of traffic. However, these motorists should slow down and watch for students loading or unloading from the bus. 

About the AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey                        

The AAA Consumer Pulse™ Survey was conducted online among residents living in Michigan from July 8 – 15, 2022.  A total of 400 residents completed the survey.  Survey results have a maximum margin of error of ± 4.9% points.  Responses are weighted by age and gender to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the adult population (18+) in Michigan.

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MHSAA rule changes 

The beginning of a school year always is accompanied by at least a handful of notable playing rules changes or adjustments regarding MHSAA Tournament competition. Among the most noteworthy this fall will be the addition of a “third half” rule in soccer, which will allow an athlete to play in a combined three halves across two matches and multiple levels (varsity, junior varsity, freshman) on the same day, any day of the week. This is similar to the fifth-quarter rules in football and basketball approved in recent years to help programs with low athlete numbers still have enough to continue fielding teams at multiple levels – generally with underclassmen playing on multiple teams to keep rosters filled.

There is also an enhanced penalty beginning this fall for violating the fifth-quarter or third-half rules: Violators must forfeit the contest during which the violation took place (either varsity or subvarsity), and that head coach in violation will be ineligible for the next day of competition.

The change to a playing rule most likely to be noticed by spectators comes in football, where intentional grounding has been adjusted to allow for a passer to throw an incomplete forward pass to conserve yardage – in essence, to throw the ball away to avoid being tackled for a loss, even when a receiver isn’t present near the pass’s destination – if the passer is outside the free-blocking zone, or “pocket,” and as long as the pass reaches the line of scrimmage or extension of the neutral zone beyond the sideline. This change makes the high school intentional grounding rule mirror those at the collegiate and professional levels and was made to conserve the amount of contact by defensive players with passers.

A second football rule change also was made with safety in mind, as the chop block – which is illegal – was redefined to include any combination block by multiple teammates against the same opponent where one of the blocks is above the waist and the other is below the waist. Previously, the knee (instead of the waist) was the determining factor on a chop block. This change also is expected to assist officials in enforcing the rule because deciding if blocks occur above and below the waste is more straightforward than using the knee to decide if an infraction occurred.

Another football rule change will be noticeable during the MHSAA 11-Player Finals, as head coaches for the first time will be allowed one challenge per game, with the play in question then reviewed with video replay. The challenge will cost that team a timeout if the original outcome is confirmed. Coaches will be allowed to challenge the following: complete/incomplete passes, if a runner/receiver was in/out of bounds, a runner who is ruled not down, the forward progress spot as it relates to the yard to gain, which player first touched a kick, the recovery of a ball in/out of bounds, if a pass was forward or backward, and penalties for illegal forward pass, targeting or illegal helmet contact, and pass interference only as it relates to the pass being previously tipped. All potential scores and turnovers will remain automatically reviewed by replay booth officials.

Three more notable rules changes for fall sports also affect MHSAA Tournament competition.

There is a new qualification process for divers seeking to advance to Lower Peninsula Finals. In each of the three divisions, each Regional will be guaranteed 10 qualifiers for the Finals, with si x more “floating” qualifier entries to be distributed to the Regionals that have one of the previous year’s top six returning Finals divers in their fields. If a team changes division from the previous season, any floating top-six spots are added to the six already allowed in the school’s new division.

In golf, the maximum number of strokes allowed per hole during MHSAA Tournament play has been reduced from 12 to 10. Also, teams will be allowed two school-approved coaches to be present and actively coaching during postseason rounds.

In tennis, the number of players who may be seeded at No. 1 singles was increased to seven if there are between 21-23 players in the field, and eight if the field includes 24 or more players at that flight. The No. 1 singles flight is the only flight that allows for individual qualifiers from Regional play, often making it larger than the other seven flights at the Finals.

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This school year, prioritize your child’s whole health – physical and mental


As back-to-school season gets underway, it’s important to ensure that your child is ready for the school year, both physically and emotionally, by scheduling a well-child visit.

Annual well-child visits are doctor appointments for preventive health services which are essential for ensuring a child’s growth and tracking developmental milestones. The well-child visit is also the time for routine immunizations to prevent diseases like measles, polio, hepatitis B, chickenpox, whooping cough and other serious diseases.

“Like vaccines, which prevent physical health conditions, speaking with your child’s primary care physician regularly about mental health concerns is also an essential part of overall preventive care,” said Rhonda L. Randall, D.O. and chief medical officer at UnitedHealthcare. “Your annual well-child visit is also an opportunity to have a conversation with your child’s physician. It’s best to have these conversations when problems or warning signs first appear, so your physician can take the appropriate steps to best treat them.”

If you’re not sure what questions to ask your child’s primary care physician during an annual well-child visit, consider the following:

Ask what vaccines are appropriate for your child’s age – and how to make up any that have been missed. You can refer to the list of child and adolescent vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at CDC.gov/vaccines. In addition to other childhood vaccines, both flu and COVID-19 vaccines are recommended by the CDC for everyone 6 months of age and older. If you are concerned about childhood vaccines, ask the pediatrician about common side effects, which are typically very mild, such as pain or swelling at the injection site, and can include low-grade fever or rash.

Discuss changes in your child’s behavior. Some common warning signs that your child’s mental well-being isn’t where it needs to be include persistent sadness, withdrawing from or avoiding social interactions, displaying outbursts of extreme irritability, drastic changes in mood, behavior or personality, changes in eating habits, difficulty sleeping, frequent headaches or stomachaches, difficulty concentrating, changes in academic performance or avoiding or missing school.

Ask for guidance on how best to support your child. Whether you have concerns about your child’s nutrition, exercise, sleeping patterns or behavioral changes, your child’s primary care physician is a great place to start. With so many young children experiencing mental and emotional health challenges, it’s important to create opportunities for them to share how they are really doing. Remember that these can be sensitive topics for your child to discuss. Empathy and patience go a long way to help children and adolescents feel listened to and comfortable.

Don’t forget to bring your sports physical forms. It’s great if your child participates in school sports. The wellness visit is an opportune time to make sure your physician is aware that your child is a student-athlete and address any concerns like nutrition, prior injuries and family history.

Ask for recommendations for other health care professionals, if needed. For example, if your child hasn’t seen the dentist in a while, if their vision screening indicated that they need to see an eye doctor, or their mental health screening has raised concerns, ask which health care professionals in your plan’s network they would recommend.

“If you haven’t already, now is the time to schedule an appointment with their pediatrician, to give your child a healthy start to the school year,” added Randall. “Regular well-child visits are essential in making sure your child is up to date on immunizations and that their developmental milestones are on track – including their mental well-being.”

To learn more about recommended preventive care for your child, visit UHC.com.

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5 Ways to Support Teachers this Year

(Family Features) 

Throughout the pandemic, teachers have gone above and beyond for their students, becoming not just educators, but also counselors, role models and friends to their students by supporting their overall well-being.

Even so, only 52% of teachers feel valued by their communities, according to PDK International, a professional association for educators. What’s more, teachers are more burnt out than ever, with 81% reporting their workloads have increased and 55% sharing they have less time for planning than before, according to a State of Teaching survey conducted by Adopt a Classroom.

A successful school year means ensuring your student has the appropriate supplies, wardrobe and routines. This year, make an effort to also support your children’s teachers with ideas like these: 

Volunteer in the Classroom

With the extra roles and responsibilities many teachers have taken on in recent years, there aren’t enough hours in the day to complete special projects or keep up with certain tasks. Ask teachers how you can lend a hand. That might mean spending some time physically in the classroom, or there may be ways you can support your children’s classes from home, such as assembling instructional packets or researching field trip ideas.

Donate School Supplies

Often, teachers dip into their own income to create fun, engaging learning experiences and supplement student supplies when they run low. In fact, the average teacher spends $745 on supplies for their classrooms that are not covered by school budgets. According to Adopt a Classroom’s State of Teaching survey, 71% of teachers spent more of their own money on classroom materials in 2022 than during the previous year. 

You can ask teachers what supplies they need, or you can give back to teachers through Staples’ Classroom Rewards program. Join for free and earn at least 5% back on every qualifying purchase for both you and to donate to local teachers. The program helps reduce teachers’ out of pocket costs for their classrooms by allowing them to earn up to $2,000 a year.

Recognize Teachers Who Go Above and Beyond

Chances are good you know at least a few educators who have gone beyond the call of duty and made an exceptional impact on their students. Honoring their contributions shows appreciation for all they do. To demonstrate your gratitude, consider sending an email to your child’s teacher – and copy the principal – expressing your appreciation for his or her efforts, coordinating a fundraiser to raise money for classroom necessities, sending in a gift card for coffee or a favorite restaurant or working with other families to create a poster or book highlighting students’ favorite things about the teacher or classroom. 

Be a Partner in Your Child’s Learning at Home

Supporting teachers isn’t just about the classroom and supplies; you can also provide a helping hand by creating good habits and modeling the importance of education at home. Actions like creating routines that keep students on a comfortable, familiar schedule help teachers manage classrooms more effectively. You can also make communication with your children’s teachers a priority so you’re aware of concerns and can help address them early.

Attend School Board Meetings and Voice Support

Keeping tabs on the issues affecting your school district and teachers is an important part of monitoring and advocating for your children’s education, but it’s also a way for you to lend your support on topics affecting teachers. Stay informed about issues that matter to your children’s teachers and support school board policies and actions that serve teachers’ best interests.

Find more ways to give back to educators at staplesconnect.com/classroomrewards.

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Beware of deals that seem too good to be true 

From the Better Business Bureau

August 3, 2022 — School will soon be in session, and the rush to buy supplies has already begun. According to the National Retail Federation, higher prices and an increase in product shortages will have consumers looking at more cost-effective, unfamiliar brands to fill their back to school lists. The Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan (BBB®), warns shoppers to be careful of online deals that may be too good to be true.

According to the 2021 BBB Scam Tracker Risk Report, Online Purchase Scams were the riskiest for consumers, and continue to cost shoppers in 2022s

“Scammers are finding opportunities by enticing shoppers with discounted products,” said Lisa Frohnapfel, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan. “Each year scammers take advantage of shoppers who don’t do their research, and instead look only for the lowest price.”

BBB Tips for back to school shopping: 

Beware of too good to be true deals. Scammers may offer free or very low prices on hard to find items. With many products being hard to find this back to school season, scammers will be looking to take advantage of consumers desperate for certain supplies. 

Do your homework. Learn more about the seller by looking them up on bbb.org. Do not rely on reviews from the company’s website. 

Think before you click. Be especially cautious about email solicitations and online ads on social media sites. Many sketchy retailers advertise great deals or trendy clothing that don’t measure up to the promotional hype.

Finish your shopping early. With supply shortages and high prices, there will be a large number of shoppers all looking for the same products. Start early and finish early so you are not in a hurry, allowing you to avoid higher prices or being enticed by a bad deal.

Research big ticket items. Before purchasing any major item, research the brand and check the product’s warranties. Only shop with businesses you know and trust to ensure you’re getting a quality product and good customer service. 

Check the site’s security. If the site is secure, its URL should start with “https://” and include a lock icon on the purchase page. Only enter payment information on secure sites.

Pay with a credit card. Credit card companies give you an extra layer of protection, offering you the opportunity to dispute any charges if the transaction goes bad. 

Read the fine print. Look for the return policy; although many online orders can be returned for a full refund, others have restocking fees. Some items cannot be returned; know before you buy.

Report scams. Report any suspicious websites or advertisements to bbb.org/ScamTracker.

For more information visit https://www.bbb.org/all/back-to-school.

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3 tips to make back-to-school easy for kids and parents

(BPT) – The back-to-school season can be overwhelming for the whole family. While there’s excitement about reuniting with friends and starting a new school year, it can be challenging for parents and kids to get back into a solid routine.

To help busy parents prepare their children mentally and physically to return to the classroom, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Dalina Soto has provided the following three simple tips that you can easily incorporate into your fall routine.

1. Reestablish a sleep routine

Summers often consist of late nights and mornings, so it can be tough for parents and children to adjust to weekday school hours. Before school begins, establish firm sleep and wake times for yourself and the kids.

You don’t have to do it all at once. Ease into it by adjusting bedtime and the morning alarm to a half-hour earlier than your current routine. Once a week or every few days, keep moving it earlier until you have reestablished the school year sleep routine. Your family will still get to enjoy the summer and not be completely shocked by the switch come September.

2. Double down on hydration

During the hot summer months at home, you can keep a close eye on your kids and ensure they drink plenty of water as they play outside. However, during the school year, you aren’t able to remind them in between classes to grab a drink. Staying hydrated has its benefits. In addition to helping your child stay healthy, regular hydration can boost your child’s mood, memory and attention, according to HealthyChildren.org.

To encourage your kids to hydrate during the school week, add a reusable water bottle to your back-to-school shopping list. As you shop, help your child pick out a fun water bottle they can fill up at home and at school.

3. Start the day with a nutritious meal

One way to make your life easier and alleviate stress as you head into the busyness of the fall season is to have some simple, nutritious meals and snacks you can make in a pinch. Eggs are an easy, delicious and nourishing ingredient you can incorporate into any meal at any time of the day.

To start your child’s school day off right, cook up a meal with Eggland’s Best eggs. Compared to ordinary eggs, they contain more than double the Vitamin B12, which naturally boosts energy to keep your child physically active. Eggland’s Best eggs also have 25% less saturated fat, six times more Vitamin D and more than double the Omega-3s, to help improve your child’s concentration and brain function in the classroom.

Make breakfast fun with these delicious Robot Egg and Cheese Roll Ups inspired by Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear. They’re packed with superior nutrition and are easy for parents to make, fun for kids to enjoy and provide lasting benefits for their school day!

Robot Egg and Cheese Roll Ups

Prep Time: 10 minutes; Cook Time: 5 minutes; Serves: 2


4 large Eggland’s Best eggs (2 whole eggs, 2 egg whites)

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup diced red bell pepper

1 tablespoon chopped chives

2 6-inch whole wheat tortillas

1/8 cup low-fat shredded mozzarella cheese

2 black olives


1. Spray large pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium-low.

2. In a small bowl, whisk Eggland’s Best eggs and egg whites with onion, peppers and chives. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Pour egg mixture into pan and cook on medium-low heat, stirring frequently until cooked through about 4 minutes. Add cheese and allow to melt slightly.

4. Immediately transfer eggs to tortillas and roll up tightly. Garnish with olives for the eyes, chives and bell pepper to create robot antennas.

To find this and more easy and quick recipes that you can make this school year, visit egglandsbest.com.

Eggland’s Best has teamed up once again with Disney and Pixar’s Lightyear to give families the chance to win Lightyear DVDs and more, Eggland’s Best swag, and the Grand Prize of $5,000 to plus up their at-home movie watching experience. Enter daily now through September 24 for a chance to win. For recipes and more information, visit www.EBFamilySweeps.com. Add Lightyear to your Pixar collection. Now on Digital and own it on Blu-rayTM‚ September 13th.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN IN THE EGGLAND’S BEST “SUPERIOR HERO” SWEEPSTAKES. Open to legal residents of the 50 US & DC, 18 or older. Void where prohibited. Sweepstakes starts 8/3/22 at 9:00 AM ET and ends 9/24/22 at 4:59 PM ET. For Official Rules, which govern, click here. Sponsor: Eggland’s Best, LLC.

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New Cedar Springs High School Administration

Todd Simmons and family.

Todd Simmons – Cedar Springs High School Principal Todd Simmons has accepted the administrative position of Cedar Springs High School principal. Mr. Simmons has been the principal of Pewamo-Westphalia Middle School and High School, where he helped drive Pewamo-Westphalia to be named one of the top 20 high schools in Michigan by BEST High Schools U.S. News Ranking. He has a passion for helping students succeed. Mr. Simmons is excited to give his best and inspire and encourage everyone to do the same. He is ready to get to know students, staff, and our community and grow authentic relationships throughout our district. He also enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. 

Eddie Johns family.

Eddie Johns – High School Assistant Principal Eddie Johns has been the interim assistant principal at the high school since January, and we are excited to announce he has accepted this role long term. This past year was Mr. Johns’s 12th year teaching science, and eighth year teaching in our school district. Mr. Johns and his wife have three young boys, a dog, and a baby due in July. He loves outdoor activities and nature, with cycling being his biggest hobby. Mr. Johns says, “I have enjoyed working with staff, students, and community members during my time as interim administrator and look forward to continuing this work.” Mr. Johns graduated from Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in education and a biology major and chemistry minor. He received his master’s degrees from Central Michigan University in educational leadership and American College of Education in education business administration.

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Bond Update

School may be out, but the work on campus is just getting started. Cedar Springs High School projects continue on track and will start to see completion before school starts. Crews will start painting classrooms, along with rooms getting new flooring.

Cedar View Elementary is closed for the summer as crews create a new secure entrance and office space, along with converting old locker rooms into a new art and music room. The building will be getting a refreshed look with new lighting, paint, flooring, and HVAC equipment.

Red Hawk Intermediate (formally Red Hawk Elementary), has the most outdoor projects taking place. If you have visited campus, you will see the outside lots being reconstructed and will soon have a safer and new pick-up/drop-off location, parking lot, bus loop, new playground equipment, sidewalks, and landscaping. Projects will continue to take place into the fall and second half of the school year.

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Enrollment is Now Open for Fall of ‘22!

Enrollment is open for Preschool – 12th grade for Fall of ‘22. 

If you have questions about the preschool program, contact the office at Cedar Trails Elementary at 616-696-9884 with your questions.

If you have enrollment-specific questions, you can contact our enrollment office at 616-696-1204 x1919.

Visit http://ow.ly/H90Q50I8kbJ to start the enrollment process!

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Calendar Information:

June 27: Board of Education Meeting at 6:15 p.m.

July 11: Board of Education Meeting at 6:45 p.m.

August 8: Board of Education Meeting at 6:45 p.m.

August 22: Board of Education Meeting at 6:15 p.m.

August 24: First Day of School


Academic Calendar

The 2022-2023 academic calendar for Cedar Springs Public Schools is now available. Visit the calendar page on our district website to download or view a copy.

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Cedar Springs Athletic Information

Strength and condition training for all Red Hawk athletes will be taking place at Cedar Springs Red Hawk Stadium this summer.

June 6 – July 29 (Monday-Friday)

7 – 8:30 a.m. Varsity Football

8:30 – 10 a.m. Boys Sports

10 -11:30 a.m. Girls Sports

11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Middle School

Tryouts for fall athletics will start on Monday, August 8. All athletes must create an account using FinalForms, and have an updated physical for the year.Check our website for details https://www.csredhawks.org/Athletics/index.html. 

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