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Chargers have strong showing at state meet


The Creative Technologies Academy Boys and Girls Cross Country teams headed into the Class D State Championship meet with a lot of confidence, and rightfully so. Many of their runners had recently completed either their season or career best run times in the previous two weeks. For the boys team, it also meant that Junior captain Ethan Lehman was going to be able to compete after having to sit out the previous few meets with a stress fracture in his right leg.

The Charger boys finished with their best showing ever at the Class D meet, finishing in 13th out of over 30 teams. They were once again led by Sophomore Les Miner, who finished 2nd overall with a time of 16:50. Lehman finished with a season personal record in his first race back with a time of 18:51. James Hofstra (19:58), Dawson Ingersoll (21:07), and Dawson Armstrong (21:28) rounded out the top 5 for the Chargers. With no seniors on the roster but plenty of experience, expect to see even better things out of this team next year.

The CTA Lady Chargers also had an impressive race led by Freshman Brianne Calkins with a personal career best time of 24:35. Not far behind her was Junior Tatyanna Lawson (25:00). Rounding out the varsity runners was Senior Kaleigh Keech. Kaleigh was running on a sprained ankle, but still fought through her final race to finish with a time of 38:30.

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Fall Fun and Festivities

Mrs. Bialkowski’s First grade Halloween party

Mrs. Bialkowski’s First grade Halloween party

What a ghoulish and ghostly October for Creative Technologies Academy! CTA celebrated another great Halloween season with our annual Halloween parade and Halloween parties.  The elementary students paraded around the campus in their costumes for the whole school to see. Upon their return, mothers and fathers put on great parties for their youngsters. Thank you to everyone who made the Halloween parties a success!

Mrs. Krombeen’s Second grade Halloween party

Mrs. Krombeen’s Second grade Halloween party

Our school community also wants to give a HUGE shout out to the parents and guardians of CTA Elementary because you helped us make our goal of having 100 percent attendance at Student-Led Conferences this Fall. Thank you all for coming and supporting your child’s education; your support is extremely important and valued! There will be a second set of student led conferences in the spring, but all the teachers are free to hear your questions and or concerns anytime of the year!

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Pumpkins Explode for Science

CTA 8th grade students put rubber bands on pumpkin in “Pumpkin Time Bomb” experiment

CTA 8th grade students put rubber bands on pumpkin in “Pumpkin Time Bomb” experiment

Students (L to R) Collin Bishop and Mason Dood with their split pumpkin and 700+ rubber band ball.

Students (L to R) Collin Bishop and Mason Dood with their split pumpkin and 700+ rubber band ball.

For many, Halloween is about candy and costumes, but for the 8th grade students at CTA it was about pumpkins and explosions. Students participated in the Pumpkin Time Bomb 2015.

Students worked in groups to test how many rubber bands it would take before the pumpkins were cut in half from the pressure. In the process of performing the tests, students were expected to make a hypothesis, record results, and draw conclusions about how many rubber bands would be needed for explosion.

Aside from learning science, the students had a fun and memorable day.  “It was something that was fun and we were still learning,” commented a student when asked about the event. “I liked how we did not know when the pumpkin would explode, It was kind of scary,” another student was heard saying. All in all, it was a great way to incorporate fun with an educational component.

For a video of the event go to the following link.

Video link: http://bit.ly/pumpkinbomb

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CTA Basketball Preview


The boys and girls basketball teams of Creative Technologies Academy are poised for big seasons this upcoming year due to talent, experience, and late season success from last season.

The Charger boys are led by head coach Scott Bultman, who is in his third year with the program. Bultman lost a few key players off of last year’s team, but there returns a lot of talent this year, including previous starters Junior, Brandon Beck, and Sophomores, Dawson Armstrong and James Hofstra. A couple of important reserves are back as well for the Chargers: Junior, Bailey Hawkins and Freshman, Charles Wortz. There are other returners as well, such as Juniors, Jackson Bowes and Jarod Bouma, and 8th graders, Collin Bishop and Luke Hubbard. Two new players are expected to add some depth to the team as well in Junior, Isaiah Piskun and 7th grader, Casen Armstrong.

The ladies of CTA have a new head coach for the 2015-16 season: Mr. Steve Washington. Coach Washington has spent the past few years coaching West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science, but is looking forward to taking over the reins for the Lady Chargers this year. CTA is led by seniors, Aubrey Slocum, Kaleigh Keech, Annalise VanEnk, as well as, junior Holly Fahling. Each of these four players have had at least three years of varsity experience, which will help with an otherwise young team. Other notable returnees are senior, Cassie Sager, freshman, Brianne Calkins, and 8th graders, Hannah Hofstra and Faith Watson. Adding depth to the roster are newcomers: Junior, Shauna Russell, Sophomore, Autumn Watson, and 7th graders, Tori Weirda and Devin Slocum.

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CTA Calendar



20 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)

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

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

20 Picture Retake Day

Popcorn Friday

20-24 High School Exams

24 End of First Trimester

25-27 No School – Thanksgiving Break


1 NHS Meeting

2-9 Schoolwide Toys for Tots and Change Wars

3 Girl Talk

4 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)

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

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

4 Hearing and Vision Re-Screening K-9

8 Girls & Boys Basketball vs. Wellspring at 5:00 p.m.

17 Girl Talk

17 Boys & Girls Basketball vs. Grattan at 5:30

18 Student Early Release – (2 hours early)

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

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

Popcorn Friday

21- Jan. 3 Winter Break

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From the Superintendent’s Desk

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Dear Cedar Springs Public Schools Families:

There is nothing more rewarding to me than being a servant leader – here to serve students, staff, parents and this great community.  To that end, I am pleased to share that we, the CSPS educators and support staff, focus our work each day on serving our nearly 3500 students.

The very heart and soul of our work and desire to serve is teaching and learning.  Although I am in school buildings all the time, the last 3 weeks provided an extra special time at our schools as we conducted “instructional rounds.”  Our district office administrators collaborate with building administrators, teachers and instructional coaches to visit classrooms and observe excellent teaching and learning.

Instructional rounds are explained by educational researcher Robert J. Marzano as “…the most valuable tools that a school or district can use to enhance teachers’ pedagogical skills and develop a culture of collaboration.”  We, at CSPS, couldn’t agree more!

I can share with certainty that our fine educators value the instructional rounds as we collaborate around focused data collection, dialogue and self-reflection.  That leads our staffs to setting goals for continued student success.

It has been an absolute joy to be in each of the classrooms we visited.  Our teachers teach with clear intention, consistency in standards and solid strategies to engage students.  Our students are actively engaged in learning and collaboration as they demonstrate skills and concepts they are learning.  Teachers and students alike focus on assessment of learning, which is impressive to witness!

In addition to our educators focusing all work on students, there are countless examples of how our support staff truly supports teaching and learning.  The hard work and dedication they demonstrate in their day-to-day work is clear.  What is not as well-known is the compassion and commitment they give behind the scenes to ensure educators and students are supported in their work of teaching and learning.  At CSPS, we appreciate the collaborative spirit of our highly valued educators and support staff.

I’ll say it again and again, it is an honor to serve as your CSPS superintendent.  Please know I maintain an open door to any and all who would like to talk.  A hallmark of my career has been being approachable to all students, staff, parents and community members.  It’s that servant leadership philosophy that I hold dear in all aspects of my life.  Please do call, write 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 about any topic, such as instructional rounds!


Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

Office:  616-696-1204 ext. 1001    Cell: 925-899-3111

Email: laura.vanduyn@csredhawks.org

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School cancellations and delays


Occasionally, adverse weather conditions or other emergency situations may make it necessary to cancel school, delay the start of school, cancel evening activities or run buses on main/paved roads only. When these situations occur, notice will be communicated to WOOD TV 8, WXMI Fox 17, and WZZM TV 13 through the Grand Rapids Area Information Line (GRAIL) to all subscribing area media.

In the event of a 2-hour delay, students will be picked up by the bus approximately 2 hours later than their routine pick-up time. Morning Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) and morning preschool classes will be cancelled.

Campus Kids will be open on days that school is closed and / or delayed unless otherwise noted in school closing announcements.

Buses will not transport students to Kent Career and Technical Center for 1st session when a school delay or cancellation is issued. Students will be given a weather-related absence at KCTC when we are officially not transporting them. Students who choose to drive personal vehicles to KCTC on school delays or cancellations assume responsibility for their decision.

When school evening activities are cancelled, this cancellation also includes all clubs, organizations and extra-curricular events held on campus and scheduled for that evening.

For more information, please visit www.csredhawks.org/Parents/Emergency-Notification/index.html or call 616-696-1204.

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Stay Healthy this season


Become a Red Hawk Walker 11/2/15—3/31/15 

CSPS-IndoorWalkingThe cold air is settling in, but you don’t have to give up your workout. Cedar Springs Public Schools supports your effort to stay healthy this season. Red Hawk Elementary will open their doors to all community members who would like to walk the halls from 4:00-8:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday when school is in session. If Cedar Springs Public Schools is closed due to inclement weather, holiday or no school scheduled, walking is canceled that day.

Scheduled days closed… November 25 & 26, & 30, December 21 – January 3, February  15 & 16.  For inclement weather school closings, please stay tuned to your local TV Station listings.

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Cold and Flu Season Ahead.  


When To Keep Your Child Home From School: 

A temperature of more than 100.5 degrees orally

Nausea or vomiting

Stomach ache or abdominal cramps or pains

Diarrhea (more than 3 stools in 24 hours)

Pale or flushed face


Persistent cough

Ear ache

Thick yellowish discharge from nose

Sore throat

Rash or infection of the skin*

Red or pink eyes

Loss of energy or decrease in activity

Shortness of breath or wheezing

Stiff back or neck


*Note—if your child has a sore/wound that is not draining and can be covered with band-aid/clothing, he/she may return to school. Pl

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2015 Board of Education Meetings


The Cedar Springs Public Schools Board of Education welcomes attendance of the public and school staff at its meetings.

A school board meeting is the only means by which a school board can carry out its legal duties or exercise its legal powers.  As such, the primary purpose of a school board meeting is to transact business.  Secondarily, school board meetings provide opportunities for creative and constructive decision-making by members of the board while attempting to reach consensus on strategic issues.  In addition, school board meetings offer an opportunity for the public and staff to address the Board of Education.

Location:  Hilltop Community Building

Board Room – 3rd Floor @ 6:45 PM

November 9 – regular meeting

November 23  – work session

December 14 – regular meeting

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