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Cedar Springs Public Schools

Cedar Springs Public School Information for October

Need to update your child’s information? 

Visit the Cedar Springs Student Information Update site www.csredhawks.org

Select Parents at the top of the page

Select Student Information Update

For user name & password information, contact your child’s school.

For Central Enrollment questions:

Ph:  616-696-7317

Fax:  616-696-3755


Central Enrollment office is located on the 2nd Floor of the Hilltop Community Building.

Fall Parent Teacher Conference Schedule

10/26 & 10/29: Cedar Trails Elementary as scheduled appointment with the teacher

10/19 &

10/22: Beach Elementary 3:45 – 7:15

10/12: Cedar View Elementary 3:45 – 7:15

10/15: Cedar View Elementary 3:45 – 6:15

11/09: Red Hawk Elementary 4:00 – 7:00

11/11: Red Hawk Elementary 3:00 – 6:00

11/17 &

11/19: Middle School 4:00 – 7:00

11/10 High School 5:00 – 7:30

11/11:   High School 3:00 – 5:30

Cedar Springs Education Foundation

The Cedar Springs Education Foundation was established in 1986, and has provided over 2 million dollars to support the quality education and learning in our Cedar Springs Public Schools.  The board members are volunteers and have a passion for our public schools and the education of our young people.   We see an increasing need for the CS Education Foundation to support the learning activities.  Tax deductible donations can be mailed to:

Cedar Springs Education Foundation

204 E Muskegon Street

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

2015- 2016 Cedar Springs High School Student Council

Executive Board

President:  Anna Behrenwald

VP:  Alec Falicki

Secretary:  Erika Cardinal

Treasurer:  Nicole Kukla 

Stu-Fac Liaison:  Tatum Oxford

Public Relations:  Kali Alcumbrack & Leslie Hansen

Spirit & Rally Comm’r:  Anthony Topolski

Executive Spirit Squad: D’Amonte Brown & Autumn Hinton

Class Representatives


Junior:  Kayla VanAssen

Sophomore:  Darius Barnett

Freshman:  Sarah Galloway


Senior Class

President/VP: Sarah Uhall

President/VP: Da’Marcus Barnett

Secretary/Treasurer: Brooke Bennett


Junior Class

President:  Kaitlyn Coons

VP:  Sarah Kiander

Secretary:  Kaylee Tennant



Sophomore Class

President/VP: McKenna Williea

President/VP: Jacob Outwin

Secretary: Madelyn McConnon

Treasurer: Thomas Metiva 


Freshman Class

President:  Josh Allen

VP:  Alexandra Thompson 

Secretary:  Katie Levandowski

Treasurer:  Maximus DeBack

Indoor Walking at Red Hawk Elementary


Monday through Thursday 4:00pm—8:00pm

Red Hawk Elementary will open their doors to all community members who would like to walk the halls.

The cold air is settling in, but you don’t have to give up your workout.  If Cedar Springs Public Schools is closed due to inclement weather, holiday or no school scheduled, walking is canceled that day.  Stay tuned to your local TV Station listings.

Golden Age Pass

If you are 60 years of age or older and are a resident of the Cedar Springs School District, you could be eligible for a Lifetime Golden Age Pass.    This pass entitles you to admission to school sponsored activities and athletic events offered by member schools.  Some restrictions apply.  Certain athletic contests may require a fee (conference, regional and state tournaments).

For an application, visit www.csredhawks.org/athletics or stop by the Cedar Springs District Office located in the Hilltop Community Building on school campus.    Return completed applications to the District Office and receive your Golden Age Pass.

Upcoming Events

October 3—Red Flannel Day

October 7—Count Day

October 9—Student Early Release

October 12—Board of Ed Meeting

October 23—Student Early Release

October 26—Board of Ed work session

October 31—Halloween

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From the Superintendent’s desk…

Dear Cedar Springs Public Schools Families:

It’s been a wonderful start to the school year.  In fact, several principals and teachers have shared, “It’s the best start to the school year I’ve ever had!”  That speaks volumes for the fine staff, students and families of Cedar Springs.  Thank you for your contributions to get us off to such a smooth beginning.  As I begin my second year as superintendent I thought it important to highlight some of the many accomplishments we made last year at CSPS and to share where we’re heading this year.

To begin with I thank our students, staff, parents and community for such a warm Cedar Springs welcome to me and my family.  The most important accomplishment of my first year as superintendent was getting to know and building relationships with the fine people of Cedar Springs.  In so doing, being in our schools with our students and staffs has been a highlight for me.  Our kids are the heartbeat of our school district, they are the reason we are here and our schools illustrate the very good things our staffs are doing for kids.  Having “meet and greet” meetings with staff, parents, students as well as members of the community has been invaluable for me as I learned about our district and community.  Joining Rotary, joining Girl Scouts, attending school and community events, riding on top of a bus in the Red Flannel Festival parade, attending the FFA convention with Larry Reyburn and our students, attending the Life Leadership conference with our seniors and planning powerful opening and closing ceremonies have been such an enjoyable part of my role as superintendent.  Thank you for the terrific year!  Following are some other accomplishments we made at CSPS in the 2014-15 school year.

• Established a new CSPS website to better serve staff, parents, community and students.

• Researched and selected a new math curriculum for grades 6-12 in order to serve students, staff and parents…we hope you like it!

• Implemented a school administrator evaluation system.

• Opened the CSPS Health Clinic in order to serve all district students and siblings.

• Purchased new buses to replace our aging fleet in order to better serve kids and parents.

• Implemented a comprehensive reform of Board policy that will soon be adopted.

• Implemented a new teacher evaluation system for all teachers K – 12.

• Implemented the M-STEP, the new Michigan standardized test.

• Established a Human Resource Department to serve our staff and administrators.

• Provided academic interventionists and full-time GATOR reading interventionists.

• Restored some positions for our employees to full time by reducing contracting out for services.

• Upgraded existing and added new technology to serve our students and teachers.

Clearly, 2014-15 was a joyful and productive school year!  The 2015-16 school year proves to be just as good, if not better.  We are working toward putting more structures in place to serve our students, staff, parents and community.  One of the major endeavors of this year will be entering into the strategic planning process.  Strategic planning is an organization’s process of defining direction for the organization in order to accomplish goals.  In that process the vision, mission and core values of the organization are defined.  The vision is where we are trying to go; the mission is why we are doing what we’re doing; the core values are how we are going to go about it.  The process is one that involves all stakeholders.  That is where our staff, students, administrators, parents and community members come in.  We’ll reach out to all groups to provide input into that process.  Look for that opportunity…it’s an exciting time in CSPS!  In addition to the “big picture” of strategic planning the following are focal points for the 2015-16 school year:

• Lower class sizes in response to feedback from our teachers and parents.  I am pleased to share that by adding 2 additional classes (2nd and 5th) all K-8 classrooms are now at 30 and below, except 7th grade.  We will continue to work toward lower class sizes and will do so with the intention of long-term sustainability. 

• Provide Responsive Classroom® training to build school culture and community as well as embed school-wide expectations and management.  This is in response to teacher and administrator requests, which help set direction for professional development. 

• Continue to budget for technology replacements and upgrades to provide 21st century learning.

• Purchase buses to continue to bring our fleet where it needs to be to serve our kids and parents.

• Continue best teaching practices with Adaptive Schools®, Cognitive Coaching®, professional learning communities and workshop models of instruction with aligned assessment and reporting.

• Begin an Interact Rotary Club for our high school students in order to do service learning for our schools and community.

• Establish operating procedures that will align with new Board policies.

• Research and select new math curriculum for K-5 to serve our students, teachers and parents.

• Restore some positions for our employees to full time in order to serve our students better and to ensure local jobs for our citizens are provided as much as possible.

• Continue providing academic interventions by ensuring financial allocations are in place to serve students of all levels as well as to explore the best structures for interventions to occur (RtI).

• Continue to grow our Human Resource Department to serve staff and administrators.

• Research positive behavior support systems for K-12.

• Ensure all staff are properly and thoroughly trained in Title IX and other legal mandates.

• Administer the SAT for the first time as it replaced the ACT.

• Provide training and supports for master scheduling.

• Provide professional development on the topic of poverty and on technology in response to our teachers’ desires.

• Continue to grow Campus Kids to support kids and families in before and after care.

• Install fencing around Beach Elementary School to provide for safety and security of our kids.

In addition to all we are doing internally at CSPS to continue to grow our wonderful district, this year is the year we will undergo our external AdvancED® accreditation process (formerly NCA).  During the year we’ll work with advisors and representatives who will review many facets of our schools during visits and through extensive documentation reviews.  We look forward to the process, albeit a time intensive and technical one, as we hope to learn what is going well and ways in which we can become even better at what we do for students.

In closing, I want to thank you, Cedar Springs parent and community member voters for our sinking fund.  By voting for our sinking fund, you ensure that our schools have the upkeep they need in order to provide for our students.  Our Sinking Fund committee and administration worked together to identify facility improvements for this year.  Thanks to you, we have a new gym floor at Beach and at Cedar View.  We also will have a new boiler at Cedar View.  We truly appreciate your support!  Priorities for next year include safety and security of our school entrances.  We’ll keep you posted on those plans.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your CSPS superintendent.  I take great pleasure in knowing that at CSPS, students come first.  In addition to being superintendent, I am a parent of 2 children in the district so I well know how important it is that all of our kids come first!  On behalf of the CSPS Board of Education, administration, teachers and support staff, thank you for partnering with us to provide the very best education for our students.  Please know I enjoy meeting and getting to know our students and families so call or drop by for a visit at any time.  I would love an opportunity to get to know you and learn how I might support your wishes or to answer any questions you may have.


Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

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A red carpet kick-off to the school year

The school-wide Hula Hoop Challenge paired each leadership group together to stand hand-in-hand and pass the hula hoop down the line without releasing their partner’s hand. Photo credit: Aspire Photo and Design

The school-wide Hula Hoop Challenge paired each leadership group together to stand hand-in-hand and pass the hula hoop down the line without releasing their partner’s hand. Photo credit: Aspire Photo and Design

Students stroll the red carpet heading to their first day of class.

Students stroll the red carpet heading to their first day of class.

Hoots, hollers, high-fives, and “paparazzi” were awaiting the CTA elementary students as they strolled the red carpet to their classrooms on the first day back after summer break.  Superintendent, Dan George, and Dean of Students, David Oldebekking, treated the students to granola bars to make sure they were well-fueled for for the full day of education and activities.

Leadership is a school-wide area of focus for the 2015-2016 school year. In order to emphasize this character trait, the elementary created small groups by mixing grades together with the plan to empower the older elementary students to serve as mentors to the younger students. Within the groups, the students will participate in teambuilding activities, have discussions on leaderships and the “WE ARE CHARGERS” initiative.

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CTA Cross Country Teams Charging Ahead 

The Charger Girls’ Cross Country team works together at the Independent Conference Meet.

The Charger Girls’ Cross Country team works together at the Independent Conference Meet.

The 2015 Creative Technologies Academy Cross Country Team has already participated in their first two races: Kent City Long Lake Invitational and their first  Independent Conference Meet. Running for this year’s varsity girls’ team is senior Kaleigh Keech and freshman Brianne Calkins. This year’s boys’ varsity team consists of junior, Ethan Lehman; sophomores Les Miner, James Hofstra, Dawson Armstrong, and Jonathan LeTourneau; freshman, Dawson Ingersoll. The current school team has strong and seasoned runners who are serving as mentors to the newer and younger middle school runners. There are eight runners in grades 6-8 participating in cross country this season. And while the current high school team is going strong, CTA is also excited for the future with a strong and growing middle school team. With eleven meets left in the season, both the high school and the middle school teams are continuing to work hard and press on for a great 2015 cross country season!

Junior Ethan Lehman uses the knowledge of his years of racing as he mentors the Middle School CTA Cross Country Team.

Junior Ethan Lehman uses the knowledge of his years of racing as he mentors the Middle School CTA Cross Country Team.

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New Staff


CTA-New-Staff-2015Creative Technologies Academy welcomes new teaching staff for the 2015-2016 school year. L to R: Mr. James Fredenburg, high school science; Mrs. Kate Bialkowski, first grade; Mr. Jeremy Holtrop, K-12 music and drama; and Carolynn Davidson, high school mathematics.

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Chargers Kid’s Club


CTA has an exciting new after school program where we encourage kids to explore their world using their creativity in all the activities we offer to them. Chargers Kid’s Club is for students in Kindergarten through 6th grade and runs Monday through Friday from 3 – 5:00 p.m. The fee is $4 per day per child to attend. The program is also available on early release days from 1 – 5 p.m.

In September, the group will spend time getting to know one another through story time, group games, craft time, and educational activities. They will enjoy a lot of hands-on fun and each child will be encouraged to bring a unique perspective to the activities. In October, they will begin working on creating short stories, painting works of art, investigating through experiments, and other fun.

If you would like more information about the Charger Kid’s Club or are ready to join in on the adventures, you can contact the Chargers Kid’s Club leader, Amanda Brinks at abrinks@ctachargers.org or call CTA at 616-696-4905.

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CTA Calendar



17 Girl Talk (Middle School and High School) – 3:00 p.m.

18 Cross Country – Spartan Invitational – 12:00 p.m.

19 Le Tour de Donut – NHS Volunteer Work

24 Cross Country – Fremont Invitational – 4:00 p.m.

25 Picture Day – ALL grades

25 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)

K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

30 Cross Country – Conference Meet – 4:00 p.m.


1 Girl Talk (Middle School and High School) – 3:00 p.m.

2 School Walk-A-Thon

2 Student vs. Staff Football Game at Skinner Field – 4:00 p.m.

3 Cross Country – Allendale Falcons Invitational – 8:30 a.m.

9 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)

K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

10 Cross Country – Portage Invitational – 8:30 a.m.

13 Cross Country – Conference Championship – 4:00 p.m.

16 Cross Country – Montabella Invitational – 4:00 p.m.

19 Parent/Superintendent Town Hall Meeting – 6:00 PM

19-22 Student-Led Parent Teacher Conferences

(required of all students and parents)

23 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)

K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

24 Cross Country – Michigan Class “D” State Championship – 11:30 a.m.

26-30 Spirit Week – All Grades

31 Cross Country – Mich. Independent Schools State Championship – 8:30 a.m.

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Student with Autism breaks barriers at Cedar Springs Middle School, with the help of peers

Staff at Cedar Springs Middle school opened professional minds to an initiative of peer mentoring and inclusion for a student with autism this 2014-2015 school year.

Staff at Cedar Springs Middle school opened professional minds to an initiative of peer mentoring and inclusion for a student with autism this 2014-2015 school year.

By  Heidi  Schuitema

Staff at Cedar Springs Middle school opened professional minds to an initiative of peer mentoring and inclusion for a student with autism this 2014-2015 school year.  Launch has been successful and a 13-year old robotics/botany/technology-minded boy has found his way back to general education.

A series of stretching, least restrictive environments worked their wonders to support him and educators in his district through a disability exploratory that has him back in business.

Staff employed, best practice approaches to autism are in place as Gavin gradually pushes back his social and self-regulation barriers with the help of typical peers, reaching out, and staff aiming to fade their guidance as peers step in.

Choir Concert: Gavin faces stage fright, and with the encouragement of Ms. Janik & classmates, sings every word, does every movement, and gives a perfect performance!

Choir Concert: Gavin faces stage fright, and with the encouragement of Ms. Janik & classmates, sings every word, does every movement, and gives a perfect performance!

Peers have aligned themselves with Gavin’s goals and invest in communication with Gavin that supports his orientation for success.  They help point him in the right direction. Each day Gavin spends amid his typical, grade-level peer group reveals steady, improved capacity for new “firsts” for him, socially and academically.  Every new first helps him realize that he    CAN DO!

7th grade, green house teacher team Blauw, Metiva, Martens and Burns have invested mightily and collaborated with special education staff in support of Gavin. This has undergirded Gavin’s successful inclusion in ELA, science, and social studies (pending) so far this year.

Gavin’s staff team meets and plans, then general education teachers equip general education students with broadened understanding of Gavin’s trials with autism.  The flow of leadership from these teachers and through their students in support of Gavin has been life-changing for him. Peers are the expert teachers in this scenario and it is a very purposeful role for them to play.  Leadership qualities in empathy, understanding, motivation, initiation, team building, observational awareness, positive influence, encouragement, respect for others and putting others before self, are evident.  Everyone is invested and growing!

Gavin works on his interactive notebook, in science class.

Gavin works on his interactive notebook, in science class.

Before Gavin can balk at a transition into group work, students eagerly invite him into theirs. Tablemates offer to share their illustrations or copies of notes, in support, when Gavin feels intimidated by tasks.  Science lab partners request his input if he is not offering it and encourage his turns at trying demos or trials of an experiment.  If he hedges about moving forward in a task, there is no lack of “cheerleaders”.  Day after day, sweet nudges come from same-aged peers that help Gavin realize his place amongst them.  Day after day, his capacity for his post-secondary vision is expanded, and a new friend is made.  Gavin’s tendency to avoid people who might not understand him and steer clear of academic and social risk taking is being gradually quelled by caring staff, and classmates (his peers).

Many have helped Gavin down “his road” and his needs have called natural leaders to identify themselves and invest in another student.  What he has been able to do and what his peers have been moved to do has had escalating momentum.  It has been eye-opening to watch!  As this effort has emerged, staff have coached peer-mentoring, which is beginning to happen naturally now, all much to Gavin’s benefit.

Gavin has the self-determined life goal to get a diploma and attend college to prepare for a high-interest career.  With the help of flexible, understanding staff and just-right peers, Gavin is well on his way.


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New Staff meets with Superintendent VanDuyn


Front Row (LtoR): Ryan Miller, Jerry Dent

Back Row (LtoR): Jessica Jones, My Lien, Superintendent VanDuyn

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Student Early Release Days


School districts dedicated to creating Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) provide opportunities for faculty and staff to work together as a team. Teams review curriculum, discuss instructional strategies, review and create common assessments, analyze data and review individual student progress to determine if any additional support is necessary.  Student Early Release days were designed to support student learning:

  • By providing time for teachers to review student data on a regular basis.
  • To make adjustments to teaching in order to increase student achievements.
  • By allowing teachers to provide best practice teaching everyday in every classroom.
  • To improve the delivery to students through reviewing teaching research.

Students will release two (2) hours early.  Times will vary by building.

Thank you, Cedar Springs Teachers and Faculty

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