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Six back-to-school tips for parents of kids with allergies

 (BPT) – For kids who live with allergies and asthma, back-to-school can spell trouble with symptoms.

Late summer/early fall is the height of ragweed season. When you add in exposure to environmental factors found in school classrooms, playing fields and eating areas, you have the perfect recipe to jump start your child’s otherwise-under-control allergy and asthma symptoms.

These six steps from the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) can help get your child off on the right foot for the school year. Feeling as good as possible means being able to stay focused on learning.

1. Schedule an appointment with your child’s allergist 

Before the first bell rings, make an appointment with a board-certified allergist. Allergists have the best training and medical expertise to offer the most effective treatments for your child’s allergies and asthma. Your allergist can work with you to create an allergy action plan to help your child’s teacher understand your child’s triggers, as well as how to control allergy flares. According to ACAAI, children who see an allergist have fewer missed school days! Use the ACAAI Find an Allergist tool to locate an allergist in your area.

2. Be aware of potential problems in the school building

As anyone who lives with allergies can attest, a school building can be a minefield of allergens. New carpeting can release volatile organic compounds, open windows let in pollen, classroom pets can release dander and bathrooms can harbor mold. It can be helpful to take a tour of the school ahead of time and discuss your child’s triggers with their teacher or school administrators. They can work with you to minimize the impact on your child.

3. Make sure ragweed doesn’t cut your child’s game short

Even with allergies or asthma, your child should be able to enjoy the activities they love – on the playground, in the gym and on the playing field. The key is to follow your allergist’s advice. For seasonal allergens like ragweed, it’s especially important to think ahead to avoidance and treatment, so if your child has a reaction, your child’s coaches and teachers know what to do.

4. Know how the school responds to allergy emergencies 

Knowing how the school handles allergy and asthma emergencies can bring peace of mind. What happens if your child can’t find their rescue inhaler? Does the school keep extra supplies of asthma medications? Which teachers are trained to respond to a severe allergic reaction like anaphylaxis from a food allergy or bee sting? Who calls 911 and when? Review your district’s policy and, if needed, set up a meeting with the school nurse. Who knows? You may be the one to call attention to a critical missing step!

5. Consider long-term treatments like allergy immunotherapy 

Many kids with moderate to severe allergies can benefit from allergy immunotherapy – regular treatments delivered through shots and under-the-tongue tablets. These treatments gradually “train” the body’s immune system to become less sensitive and reactive to the things that make your child wheeze and sneeze. Talk to your child’s allergist to learn more and find out if it’s a good option for your child.

6. Don’t have an allergist for your child? Find one! 

A board-certified allergist can set your child on the right track, for the long term, to handle their allergies or asthma in school and at home. To find one, visit the ACAAI allergist locator. For more information and to find relief, visit AllergyandAsthmaRelief.org.

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Students Attend the Metro Police Academy

From Left to Right:  CSPS School Resource Officer Tom McCutcheon, Thomas Reed, Carter DeMott and Emily Whilden

Three Cedar Springs High School students attended the 2019 Metro High School Police Academy.  The High School students are pictured here at graduation with Cedar Springs Public Schools School Resource Officer Tom McCutcheon is Thomas Reed, Carter DeMott and Emily Whilden.   Emily’s leadership stood out among her peers and was voted Class President.    

The goal of the local law enforcement agencies providing instruction during the Police Academy is to create partnerships for the future.  It was a great experience for these three High School students.

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, FeaturedComments (0)

CSPS school news


We hope you are ready to welcome in the 2019/20 school year with the same enthusiasm that we are. People often refer to June, July, and August as “summer vacation”. The team at Cedar Springs Public Schools has used this time to prepare for the new school year. The new school year promises to provide our District with landmark opportunities to better serve the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students. When realized, these enhancements will leave lasting impressions on our community.  

In July, our Board of Education passed a resolution to place a bond question on the ballot for the general election on November 5, 2019. Residents of the Cedar Springs Public School community will have the opportunity to weigh-in on the first significant investment in our school facilities in nearly 20 years. Voters will be asked to approve a tax levy of 7.9 mils over the next eighteen years. If approved, the owner of a home with a market value of $150,000 would receive a tax increase of approximately $70 per year. Our facilities need significant capital investments in response to steady increases in enrollment and normal depreciation over time.  

This month, our Board of Education approved a strategic plan that will set the course for the work of the District for the next three years. The plan, called FLIGHT Plan 1.0 (Focused Learners Imagining Greater Heights Together), was developed with the input of over 2,000 students, parents, staff, and community members. Increasing student achievement is at the center of each aspect of the FLIGHT Plan 1.0. 

Upon your return to campus, you will see evidence of the progress our team has made in preparation for September 3, 2019. Paving repairs on our driveways and parking lots are visible throughout the entire campus. Our hallways and classrooms were cleaned from top to bottom and are ready to welcome our students and staff when they arrive. We have spent the summer selecting the “perfect” people to fill vacant positions. Classroom materials have been ordered and distributed to make the first day of school a successful day for all. Our team is ready and can’t wait to greet students and parents at building open houses next week.

Finally, please accept my heartfelt thank you to each member of the Cedar Springs Public School community who contributes to making our school district an incredible place to learn, work, and play.

WE are Cedar Springs!

With warm regards and respect,

Scott B. Smith, Superintendent

2019-2020 School Year Cedar Springs Public Schools Orientation & Open House Schedule

Monday , August 26

High School – Orientation

9th Grade – 12:00 pm

10th Grade – 8:00 am

11th Grade – 9:15 am

12th Grade – 10:30 am

New Beginnings Students – 1:00 pm

Middle School – Open House

7th & 8th Grades – 6:00 – 7:30 pm


Tuesday, August 27 – Open Houses

Beach Elementary – 2nd & 3rd Grades– 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Cedar Trails Elementary – ASD & ECSE Programs ONLY– 5:00 – 6:00 pm

New Beginnings Parents – 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Red Hawk Elementary – 6th Grade

Team A:  5:30 pm

Team B:  6:45 pm


Wednesday, August 28 – Open Houses

Cedar Trails Elementary – Y5, K & 1st Grades– 5:00 – 6:00 pm

Cedar View Elementary – 4th & 5th Grades– 6:30 – 7:30 pm

First Day of School – September 3, 2019

2019-2020 School Calendar available at www.csredhawks.org

Enroll TODAY!  

2019—2020 Kindergarten Class Enrollment 

Your child must be 5 years old by September 1, 2019 to register for Kindergarten. Visit www.csredhawks.org select K-12 Enrollment. Contact the Registrar at 616.696.7317 with any questions.


School buses are like traffic signals 

When overhead lights are flashing yellow—PREPARE TO STOP!

When overhead lights are flashing red—STOP

When the hazard warning lights are flashing—PROCEED WITH CAUTION

2019 – 2020 Food Service Information

Elementary Breakfast—$1.40

Elementary Lunch—$2.35

Secondary Breakfast – $1.50

Secondary Lunch—$2.85 – $3.00


Online deposits are available through www.sendmoneytoschool.com where you will have the convenience of checking meal account balances, making deposits into those accounts and eventually depositing money into other department accounts.

We also offer the convenience of applying for the USDA Meal Program at www.lunchapp.com.  Forms are also available in the building offices.  If you have any questions, please contact Holly Haywood @ 616-696-0372 or e-mail Holly.Haywood@csredhawks.org.

Cedar Springs Health Center 

8 am – 3:30 pm Monday through Friday

For students ages 3 – 21

Located in the Red Hawk Elementary building – south entrance

616.696.3470 or visit www.cherryhehalth.org.

Cedar Springs School Health Center is a program coordinated by Cherry Health in partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Department of Education.  The health center’s professional staff includes a medical provider, registered nurse, social worker and support staff.

Campus Kids – Before and After School Care

Campus Kids is a State Licensed Day Care program and we are preparing for school start.  We offer Before and After School Care throughout the school year.  Campus Kids opens at 6:00 a.m.   We do activities throughout the morning, and then serve a light breakfast.  We dismiss the students in time to get to their class at either Cedar Trails, Beach, or Cedar View.   In the afternoons, Campus Kids opens at 3:30 p.m. for students.  A healthy snack is served and homework help and fun activities are offered until 6:00 p.m.  To enroll, please complete and return a registration packet before September 1, 2019 to reserve your spot.  Packets may be picked up at Cedar Trails, or they can be found online at csredhawks.org.  

For an additional charge, we also offer care on early release days and on snow days for pre-registered children.   Please call (616) 696-1716 or email mailto:campus.kids@csredhawks.org for additional information.

Senior All Night Party

A part of tradition for the Seniors at CSHS is attending the Senior All Night Party (SANP).  

Parent-organized and sponsored, the SANP provides a safe, chaperoned way for our graduates to celebrate this milestone with their classmates.  The details and locations of the evening are kept a surprise until the night of the event.

Visit www.csredhawks.org Backpack eFlyer page for upcoming fundraiser information. 

All proceeds raised from these events will be used to fund the CSHS Class of 2020 Senior All Night Party. 

Building/Department Telephone Numbers

Administration Building  616-696-1204

Superintendent Smith

Business & Finance Director Malloch

Human & Community Services Director Blood

Academic Service Director Haberling


Campus Kids 616-696-1716

Food Service 616-696-0372

Facilities/Maintenance 616-696-0464

Pre-School/Early Childhood 616-696-9884

Special Services 616-696-0580

Transportation 616-696-1450

2019—2020 Student Insurance

Accidents happen! When they happen to your child, someone must pay the bills. If you have other insurance, these plans can help offset the deductibles and coinsurance for those plans.   If you have no other insurance, these plans will provide basic coverage. Any benefits payable by the Policy as a result of medical, surgical, dental, Hospital or nursing service will be paid directly to the Hospital or person rendering such service unless proof of payment in full is provided. 

For more information, please visit www.csredhawks.org/Parents/Student-Insurance/index.html.

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/index.html or stop by the Cedar Springs District Office.

2019 Board of Education Meetings

Hilltop Community Building

Board Room – 3rd Floor

6:45 PM

August 12, 26*, September 9, 23*, October 14, 28*, November 11, 25*, December 9

*denotes work session, begins at 6:00 PM

Attention Red Hawks: 

We are excited to report that the Board of Education approved a three year CSPS Comprehensive Strategic Plan known as the FLIGHT Plan 1.0 at the August 12th, 2019 Board of Education meeting. We thank the community, staff and students that contributed time in focus groups and surveys to help shapethis plan to guide our district.

This summer administration and staff have been focused and working hard to prepare the launch of FLIGHT Plan 1.0. Student achievement is center on the radar!

Thank you for joining us in our mission as “we foster a dynamic community of learners who inspire and support one another to exceed their potential!” We welcome our students and all FLIGHT 1.0 passengers to the 2019-2020 school year!

Best Wishes for a great school year from the Board of Education Team:

Heidi Reed, President

Matt Shoffner, Vice President

Traci Slager, Secretary

Trent Gilmore, Treasurer

Shannon Vanderhyde, Trustee

Jeff Rivard, Trustee

Mistie Bowser, Trustee

New Varsity Cross Country Coach

We are proud to announce that Justin Jones, Cedar Springs Alumni, has been named the new Varsity Boys’ Cross Country Coach. Justin had a successful career running here at Cedar Springs, and  at Alma College where he was a three year captain. “I am excited to come back home. This program has a rich history and a successful tradition. I am hopeful to build good people, good runners and to continue our running success!”

New Varsity Basketball Coach

James Tellman has been hired as the new Varsity Boys’ Basketball Coach. James is currently a Kindergarten teacher here at Cedar Springs, and he served as a Varsity Assistant Coach last year under Coach Wood. Prior to that, James was the JV Basketball Coach at Forest Hills Central, and he played collegiately at Aquinas College. “There is so much basketball tradition at this school, and it is my hope to help build on that tradition as we move forward into a new chapter,” said Coach Tellman.

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Personal Curriculum

Annual Notice of the Right to Request a Personal Curriculum Modifying Michigan Merit Curriculum Requirements (MMC) for Graduation with a Regular High School Diploma.The personal curriculum (PC) is a process to modify specific MMC high school credit requirements and/or content expectations based on the individual learning needs of a student. It is designed to serve students who want to accelerate or go beyond the MMC requirements and students who need to individualize learning requirements to meet the MMC requirements. Visit http://www.ctachargers.org/personal-curriculum–2​ to learn more.

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Bullying Policy

The Board believes that a safe and nurturing educational environment in school is necessary for students to learn and achieve high academic standards. Therefore, it is the policy of the school to provide a safe and nurturing environment for all of its students. Appropriate behavior, treating others civility and respect, and refusing to tolerate harassment or bullying is expected of students, as well as administrators, faculty, staff, visitors, and volunteers.

Please read the complete Bullying Policy online at


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Anti-Discrimination Statement

CTA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including sexual orientation and transgender identity), disability/handicap, age, religion, marital/parental/family status, military status, ancestry, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic in its programs, activities, or employment opportunities. The Academy complies with all applicable law with respect to equitable treatment of students, employees, and applicants for employment opportunities.

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CTA Mission

Creative Technologies Academy is a Preschool through Grade 12 community of learners committed to changing our world by developing students in character, scholarship, and leadership.

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Grades K-5: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm

Grades 6-12: 7:45 am – 2:45 pm

FlexTrac Grades 9-12: (7:45 am – 2:45 pm including 2 self-scheduled hours)

August 23 Early Release

August 29 Early Release

August 30 No School for Students and Staff – Labor Day Break

September 02 No School for Students and Staff – Labor Day Break

September 10 Picture Day

September 13 Student Early Release 27 Student Early Release

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

• K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

• 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

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Creative Technologies Academy Annual Public Notices


The Creative Technologies Academy’s Board Policy Manual contains the following policy which is applicable to all Title I schools:

In accordance with the requirement of Section 1111 of Title I, for each school receiving Title I funds, the School Leader shall make sure that all parents of students in that school are notified that they may request, and the Academy will provide the following information on the student’s classroom teachers:

A. whether the teacher(s) have met the State qualification and licensing criteria for the grade level and subject areas they are teaching;

B. whether the teacher(s) is teaching under any emergency or provisional status in which the State requirements have been waived;

C. the undergraduate major of the teacher(s) and the area of study and any certificates for any graduate degrees earned;

D. the qualifications of any paraprofessionals providing services to their child(ren);

In addition, the parents shall be provided:

E. information on the level of achievement of their child(ren) on the required State academic assessments;

F. timely notice if the student is assigned to a teacher who is not “highly qualified” as required, or if the student is taught for more than four (4) weeks by a teacher who is not highly qualified.

The notices and information shall be provided in an understandable format, and to the extent possible, in a language the parent(s) understand.


Parents have the right to inspect any instructional materials used as part of the educational curriculum for their student. Instructional material means instructional content, regardless of format, that is provided to the student, including printed or representational materials, audiovisual materials, and materials available in electronic or digital formats (such as materials accessible through the Internet.) Instructional material does not include academic tests or academic assessments.

Approved by the Board of Directors, August 21, 2019

Integrated Pest Management Policy and Plan

In accordance with Michigan Law, the following policy and plan has been adopted at:

Creative Technologies Academy 350 Pine Street

Cedar Springs, Michigan 49319

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) requires that the Academy use the least hazardous methods first (fly swatters, vacuuming, housekeeping practices, elimination of insect/rodent food, harborage of entry points, etc.) to remove pests from the school environment before resorting to chemical treatment.

Only professional licenses individuals shall be allowed to apply commercial grade pesticides or herbicides and proper advance notification of application(s) shall be given. No area(s) shall be treated while occupied by staff or students

Notice of this service shall be published to all parents, guardians or students, and staff. In case of emergency, limited use of pesticides or herbicides is permitted without advance notice. This universal sign shall be posted for 48 hours after commercial application of pesticides or herbicides is made, or for an appropriate period of time as recommended by the licensed professional.

In accordance with HB 5154, Section 8316(2) which requires annual notice to parents and guardians that they will receive advance notice of pesticide application, the advance notice will:

(a) Be in writing.

(b) The following methods will be used for advance notice of the application of a pesticide and they will be given at least 48 hours before the application.

● The first method shall be by posting at the entrances to the school or day care center.

● The second method shall be posting in a public, common area of the school (the school cafeteria), other than an entrance.

● Additionally, though not required, the Academy will post the notice on its website and app as well as social media.

(c) Parents or guardians are entitled to receive the notice by first-class United States mail postmarked at least 3 days before the application, if they so request, by request to the Superintendent by email at ​dgeorge@ctachargers.org​ or by postal mail at the above address for the Academy.

(d) Parents and guardians may review the school’s integrated pest management program, if any, and records on any pesticide applications.

(e) The persons responsible for pesticide application procedures at the Academy is Dan Clark, Facilities Director, telephone (616) 696-4905, email ​dclark@ctachargers.org​.

An advance notice of application of a pesticide, other than a bait or gel formulation, will contain all of the following information:

(a) A statement that a pesticide is expected to be applied.

(b) The target pest or pests.

(c) The approximate location of the application. (d) The date of the application.

Pesticides In Use

Rodent or pest sightings shall be reported to the school office and shall be recorded in the IPM Log Book. The licensed person providing the pest control service shall review this list prior to providing treatment within or outside the building.

Approved by the Board of Directors, August 21, 2019

Asbestos Management Plan

The Asbestos Emergency Response Act (AHERA) requires all schools to have an “Asbestos Management Plan” and to make that plan available to all concerned parties. Creative Technologies Academy, an ​asbestos free school​, hereby notifies all parents, building occupants, and the parent association that the Asbestos Management Plan for all buildings under the jurisdiction of this local education agency is available in the principal’s office of Creative Technologies Academy located at 350 Pine Street in Cedar Springs Michigan.

This notification is to advise all concerned parties that the Asbestos Management Plan required under the AHERA is available for review upon request. The plans can be viewed by any person during normal business hours. Those interested in reviewing the Asbestos Management Plan can inquire about the hours and times that the plans are available by contacting Mr. Dan Clark, Director of Energy and Maintenance, or the School Leader at 616-696-4905.

Creative Technologies Academy has followed all of the laws pertaining to asbestos in schools for the state of Michigan. Based on the findings, there is no asbestos on the CTA campus. Steps have been taken for a permanent exemption because there is no asbestos to monitor or remove.

Affirmed by the Board of Directors, August 21, 2019

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The Test every kid needs before going back to school

Remember, vision and learning are directly connected, as approximately 80 percent of what a child learns is presented visually. For success in the classroom, the sports field and more, start the school year right with a comprehensive eye exam. PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Valerii Honcharuk / stock.Adobe.com

(StatePoint) Before schedules get too hectic, experts say that parents should prioritize a visit to the eye doctor this back-to-school season.

 “An annual comprehensive eye exam is essential for optimal wellness, as well as ensuring your child reaches his or her full academic potential,” says Dr. Jennifer Wademan, VSP network eye doctor.

The incidence of visual impairment in preschool children is expected to increase 26 percent over the next 45 years, affecting almost 220,000 children, according to a recent study by the USC Gayle and Edward Roski Eye Institute. What’s more, kids have more demand on their eyes and vision than ever before due to the increased use of digital devices.

To help ensure a smooth transition back-to-school, consider the following tips and insights:

Get a Comprehensive Eye Exam

While 76 percent of parents said sight is the most important sense, only 50 percent take their kids for an annual eye exam, according to a recent survey conducted by YouGov and VSP Vision Care, with many parents under the incorrect impression that the vision screening conducted by the school nurse or at the pediatrician’s office is sufficient. Although many schools offer abbreviated vision screenings throughout the year, they can miss up to 80 percent of vision problems, including serious conditions like amblyopia (lazy eye), which can lead to vision loss if not treated. An annual comprehensive eye exam is the best way to detect vision problems, as well as other conditions related to the eyes that can affect overall health and wellness.

 “How a child’s brain processes visual information is complex, and a screening alone isn’t a substitute for a comprehensive exam, nor is it the most reliable way to track a child’s eye health,” says Dr. Wademan. “A comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor however, evaluates multiple aspects of vision, including the close-up skills essential for reading, tracking and focusing.”

Don’t Wait for Complaints 

Among those parents who do not bring their children to the eye doctor annually, 72 percent of moms and 48 percent of dads said they would be motivated to do so if their child complains of discomfort or changes in vision. Don’t wait for that first complaint! Certain changes to eyesight can happen gradually, and children may not realize that their vision is impaired.

Dr. Wademan points out that catching problems early is important:

 “When a child’s visual system is not given a clear and focused image, and if his or her eyes are not working together, the child could fail to ever achieve normal visual acuity,” she says. “These patients end up struggling to see well in adulthood, even with contacts or glasses.”

To find an eye doctor near you, visit VSP.com.

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