Dear Cedar Springs Public Schools Families:
As we kick off the month of February each year in our district newsletter, the Red Hawk Review, we salute the volunteers of our great district. I’d like to take this opportunity to extend my personal thanks to our volunteers as well. We know the partnership we enjoy with so many parents and community members is something special as Cedar Springs is such a warm and giving community committed to the students and staff of CSPS.
We’ve witnessed the giving of countless hours of volunteerism in our schools. We so appreciate our parents and community members for bringing smiles to the faces of our students and staff. Our volunteers spend time assisting students in small groups, they help teachers in busy classrooms, they raise funds, they shelve books, they serve food, they travel to far-away places to support our kids in a variety of activities, they support our Special Olympics, they bake and cook for our staffs, they organize countless activities, they hold team dinners, they donate thousands and thousands of dollars to support needs and wants otherwise not possible and SO much more. Our volunteers do so with a heart and spirit of giving as they love supporting our RED HAWKS, young and old! Thank you to all who support our schools – we couldn’t do it without you!
Speaking of volunteers, our Cedar Springs Board of Education is a group of 7 people who volunteer all year long. They are committed to serving in many capacities to ensure the very best education for our nearly 3,500 students. Their work goes far beyond a couple of meetings a month. They spend days and nights engaged in the work of the district as their primary role is the “big picture” of the district in order to: set the vision for the district, hire/evaluate the superintendent, and set Board policy. To that end our Board is currently volunteering in the strategic planning process in order to set the vision for the district.
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 Board of Education establishes the vision for the district by gathering input from the stakeholders of the district and community.
We are making great progress in the strategic planning process by involving our stakeholders. A steering committee of staff, parent and community leaders reached out to secure large groups of participants to be in feedback groups during the month of February. It is in those groups where staff, students, parents and community members convene to share with a facilitator their hopes and dreams for the Cedar Springs Public Schools. Our Board of Education will then establish the “big picture” of a vision for a 3-5 year plan for moving our district forward in the very best way to serve students as our Cedar Springs students deserve the very best. Thank you to ALL who are giving of their time in this important process. It’s an exciting time at CSPS!
As always, 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. 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 strategic planning!
Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools
Office: 616-696-1204 ext. 1001