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Archive | Cedar Springs Public Schools

Band receives top scores at District

Last Thursday, March 7, 2019, both the Cedar Springs High School Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble received straight 1’s at MSBOA District Band and Orchestra Festival, which was held at Greenville High School. Congratulations, Red Hawks!

You can see them perform on Sunday, April 28, at the Collage Concert (grades 6th-12th) at 2 p.m. in the High School Gym.

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Cedar Springs schools makes adjustments for snow days

Snow and ice have made driving on back roads dangerous for school buses this winter. 
Photo by Evelyn Avery.

By Judy Reed

Icy, snowy and dangerous winter weather, including sub-zero temperatures and power outages, caused both Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to close 14 times this year. That’s eight more times than the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) allows without the days being made up. And winter isn’t over yet.

The MDE also allows schools to apply for a waiver for three extra closings, above the six. Both Cedar Springs Public and CTA applied for the waiver. CTA was approved, but Cedar Springs Public was denied. Meaning CTA will make up five days, while Cedar Springs will make up eight. Why the disparity?

According to Cedar Springs Superintendent Scott Smith, it’s because Cedar Springs is currently in session less than 180 days, the amount currently required by state law, though they are in session the 1,098 required hours. The school has only been in session 172 days a year since the 2013-2014 school year, because of an eight-year bargaining agreement with staff signed in June 2013.

“The time requirement, a minimum of 1098 hours per year, was first applied to the 2010/11 school year,” explained Smith. “The rules changed again beginning with the 2014/15 school year, when districts were required to provide at least 1098 hours of instruction and have at least 175 days of instruction. Beginning in the 2016/17 school year districts were required to provide at least 1098 hours of instruction and have at least 180 days of instruction.  There is a provision in the law that honors collective bargaining agreements that were effectively in place on July 1, 2013. Cedar Springs Public Schools signed an eight-year collective bargaining agreement with the Cedar Springs Education Association in June of 2013.  

“We are in compliance with the minimum of 1098 hours of instruction but we meet that standard with 172 days of school,” he added. “Our school day is slightly longer, a minimum of six hours and 23 minutes, than districts that have 180 days of instruction on their calendar. A district like Sparta would have a minimum of six hours and six minutes of instruction per day.”

The bottom line is that they are in class the same number of hours per year as those that go 180 days. And yet, they were denied the extra three days.

There may, however, be some help from the legislature, as a couple of bills have been introduced to forgive days missed during a state emergency, as happened earlier this year. The Post contacted Senate Majority Floor Leader Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, about the issue.

“Legislation has been introduced in both the state Senate and House of Representatives that seeks to forgive school districts for cancelling school due to a declared state emergency,” he said. “I think that there is sufficient interest amongst my colleagues for the bills to be taken up for consideration. The Legislature will need to find the balance between offering relief for a declared emergency and the amount of time students are spending in the classroom.”  

In the meantime, Cedar Springs has made a few changes to their schedule because of the many school closings. All early release days left on the calendar will become full days. Not because it would count towards time made up (it wouldn’t) but to help the students get back instructional time they’ve missed. “This change will allow our students and teachers to recapture over 10 hours of instructional time before the upcoming State and Advanced Placement testing cycles begin in April and May,” Smith explained.

Additional days added to their calendar to make up the eight days missed are May 24, June 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.  

See more info from the Superintendent on the Cedar Springs School page on page 11.

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Cedar Springs Public Schools

Important School Calendar Update

Dear Cedar Springs Parents and Families,

Cedar Springs Public Schools will be in session for a full day on the five days currently listed in our calendar as early release days.  Students will follow their regular daily schedule on the following five days:

Scott B. Smith, Superintendent

March 8 and 22

April 12 and 26

May 10

We are making this change to recoup a portion of the nearly 100 hours of instructional time lost due to the 14 weather-related closings we have had so far this year.  This change will allow our students and teachers to recapture over 10 hours of instructional time before the upcoming State and Advanced Placement testing cycles begin in April and May.

While adding these ten hours of instruction does not impact the number of school days we need to make up at the end of the year; it is in our student’s best interest to make the adjustment.  We are making this change to provide our students and teachers with five additional “normal” days of school in a winter that has been very abnormal.  It is clear when talking to students and staff from each grade level that they desperately want to be back in class.

As you know, Cedar Springs Public Schools is required by law to have at least 172 days of instruction for the 2018/19 school year.  As weather conditions can impact our ability to transport students safely, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) allows districts to close school up to six (6) times per year for conditions affecting student safety.  As of today, we have canceled school fourteen (14) times due to weather-related conditions.  

We have now exceeded our allotted number of closings by eight (8) days.  The State allows districts to apply for a waiver for an additional three (3) closings.  We applied for the waiver in February.  We learned earlier this week that our waiver application was denied.  As of today, we will be adding eight (8) days to our calendar.

Please note Cedar Springs Public Schools will be in session on:

May 24, June 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14

Additional days will be identified beyond June 14 if we have further cancellations this year.

There is talk of legislative action in Lansing which may further impact our calendar.  Please know if any upcoming changes to the law affect our District, I will notify you immediately.

With respect and appreciation,

Scott B. Smith, Superintendent of Schools, From the School Operations Desk


School Facility Update

Subzero temperature and wind chills with driving snow are enough to keep the Cedar Springs School’s maintenance and grounds crew busy on a regular day.  Add in ice and a major power outage and the story gets interesting.  What a weekend we had in February.

As the Director of Operations I cannot say thank you enough to my team for the time and effort they put into making sure our schools held up during that time.  From Thursday after the power failed until Sunday night they worked many, many hours to protect our facilities and to make sure school was ready to open on Monday.  It was a group effort that I will never forget. WE ARE READY FOR SPRING!  

Our team was expanded to include Northwest Kent Mechanical and Hillard Electric.  Temporary building generators and frozen pipe repairs that required contractor’s attention were completed by these to great partners.  They worked side by side with Cedar Springs staff to keep our schools from sustaining even more damages.  Thank you to both.

Over the winter break the maintenance team installed new LED lighting in the high school gym and wrestling room.  This not only brightened up the areas but will bring savings to our electric bills.   We are continuing with our Michigan State Police safety grant work to be completed by Sept 1, 2019.  This includes new exterior doors on Cedar View, district wide installation of a Blue Point Alert System, new intercoms, and added electronic card reader locks.  We have just applied for another Michigan State Police Safety grant to expand on the Blue Point Alert System.  

Ken Simon, Director of Operations


2019-20 School Year Schools of Choice

Cedar Springs Public Schools participates in both the Kent Intermediate School District Schools of Choice Plan and the Section 105c State plan. All students residing within the Kent Intermediate School District may apply for enrollment in any Kent ISD school that has available openings during the advertised timeframe (usually open during the spring). Students who reside in a district that is within a different ISD that borders the Kent ISD, may also apply under the Section 105c plan depending on available openings. Students who have been suspended or expelled may be excluded. Applications are available at our administration building.

Schools of Choice will open in April.  If you would like to be placed on the list to receive a 2019-2020 Schools of Choice application for your child, please contact the registrar, Krissi Brott at Kristina.Brott@csredhawks.org or (616) 696-1204 x1919.  


Kindergarten Information Night

The Cedar Springs Kindergarten Team welcomes the parents and guardians of the 2019-2020 Kindergarten Class for an Information night.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Cedar Trails Elementary

​Parents and guardians will meet in the multi-purpose room where our kindergarten teaching staff will present an outline of the typical day, share curriculum expectations and give some helpful tips on selecting a backpack and other frequently used items. In August, after teacher assignments have been finalized, we will welcome the students to Cedar Trails’ Open House to visit their classroom and meet their teacher.


Spring Break – No School

March 29 – April 5; students return to school on April 8

2019 Board of Education Meetings

March 11, 25*

April 22

May 13

June 10, 24

*work session



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School snow days

By Scott B. Smith, Superintendent Cedar Springs Public Schools

Recent snow days forced district to add May 24 as a make up day

Photo by Evelyn Avery

Michigan is indeed living up to its reputation of being a winter wonderland. The weather last week put a significant damper on virtually all aspects of our District’s programming. Thank you for your patience and flexibility as decisions to close school and cancel after-school programs were made.  Please know that decisions to close or delay the start of school are taken very seriously. 

Our primary consideration when making the decision to close, or delay the start of, school is for the safety of our students and staff. We are also mindful of the timing of the decision and want to make the call as early as possible for two reasons. First, we have students who leave the house as early as 5:30 a.m. to make connections with busses that take them to the Kent County Technical Center. Second, we want to give our families as much time as possible to make alternate arrangements for childcare. The challenge we face on some mornings is that conditions can change dramatically from 4:00 a.m., when we start checking roads, and 5:30 a.m. when we hope to have a decision made. To be clear, our decision-making process regarding school closings or delays is driven by three guiding principles: 

• We put the safety of our students and staff above all else

• We want to have school if at all possible

• We want to make the decision as early as possible

Cedar Springs Public Schools is required by law to have at least 172 days for the 2018-19 school year. Recognizing that at times the weather impacts our ability to safely have school, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) allows districts to close school up to six times per year for conditions that affect student safety. As of February 1, we had canceled school 9 times due to weather-related conditions and exceeded our allotted number of closings by three days. The State allows districts to apply for a waiver for an additional three closings. We submitted the application for our waiver early last week. Assuming that our request is approved, we will have exhausted our allotment of permissible days for the 2018/19 school year as of last week.

When future closings occur, as happened Wednesday, we will make adjustments to our calendar to meet the State’s days and hours requirements. Our options include having school on the following days:

May 24, June 7, June 10, June 11, June 12, and June 13

To make up for closing on February 6, we will have school on May 24.

Please know that regardless of the number of excused days we do or do not have available to use, decisions to delay or close our schools will always be based on the safety of students, staff, and our community.

If at any time you feel it is unsafe to send your child or children to school, you may call in an excused absence.

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Cedar Spring Public Schools

Greetings!

Scott B. Smith, Superintendent

When asked why they serve, each member of the Cedar Springs Board of Education will include “to make a difference in the lives of students” at some point in their response to the question.  While individual members may have other reasons why they answered the call to serve, the act of helping students is common to each of our Board of Education members.  This focus on students is a core belief that makes our Board of Education so special at what they do for the Cedar Springs community. 
Members of our Board of Education have two primary responsibilities.  Collectively they work to employ the superintendent, and they provide oversight on policies, curriculum, and district finances.  To accomplish this daunting task, they invest an average of eight to ten hours of their time each month in attending meetings, reading key documents, and taking classes offered through the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB).  They take this responsibility very seriously.  A focus on the needs of our students is vital to the members of the Board when they make decisions that impact Cedar Springs Public Schools.  “What is best for our students?” is a typical question that is heard during a discussion before they vote on an item on the meeting agenda.  
Quoting Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”  For the seven members of our Board of Education, the answer to Dr. King’s question is making a difference in the lives of the students who attend Cedar Springs Public Schools.  For that, please join me in recognizing and celebrating our Board of Education for their ongoing commitment to making a positive difference in our community: 

Heidi Reed, President – First elected term of service
Matt Shoffner, Vice President – Second elected term of service
Trent Gilmore, Treasurer – First elected term of service
Traci Slager, Secretary – First elected term of service
Mistie Bowser, Trustee – First elected term of service
Jeff Rivard, Trustee – First elected term of service
Shannon Vanderhyde, Trustee – Second elected term of service

With respect and appreciation,
Scott B. Smith, Superintendent


Mid Winter Break

Mid Winter Break – No School Feb 15 – Feb 19

Students return to school on Feb 20


Wild Game Dinner

ATHLETIC BOOSTERS – 7th Annual 

Wild Game Dinner

2/15/2019 Doors open at 5:30 pm; Games start at 6:00 pm; Dinner at 7:00 pm

English Hills Terrace

5179 W River Drive NE

Comstock Park, MI


School Board election results

Ms. Mistie Bowser

Congratulations to Ms. Mistie Bowser and Mr.Jeff Rivard as they were elected to our school board in the November election! Both newly elected members will serve us well as they bring their individual experiences and perspectives to a collective team of seven board members. The Board of Education members and Superintendent Smith look forward to working collaboratively with Ms.

Mr. Jeff Rivard

Bowser and Mr. Rivard to continue the forward motion of our fantastic school district.


SPOTLIGHT ATHLETIC EVENTS

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2019

Varsity Boys/Girls Basketball “JERSEY NIGHT” 5:30/7 PM

Football/Cross Country and Fall All-Conference Recognition

Special National Anthem Performance

Students admitted Free with Student ID

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019

Varsity Boys/Girls Basketball 5:30/7PM

“DRESS-IN-YOUR-FAVORITE-THEME-OF-THE-WHOLE-SCHOOL-YEAR-NIGHT”

After the Boys’ Basketball Game – World Record Attempt

Special Dance Team Performances – Both Games!

Halftime of the Girls Game – Traditional Passing of the Drumstick for the

Viking Clap!

Students admitted Free with Student ID

February 19 – Dance Team Performance at Boys’ BB Game and Bowler Recognition


Cedar Springs Education Foundation

The Cedar Springs Education Foundation was established in 1986, and has provided over $2 million 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. The Foundation has 501(c)(3) non-profit status. Please consider a donation as a way to honor a teacher, staff member or community member. A note will be sent to the honoree informing them of your donation.

Tax deductible donations can be mailed to: Cedar Springs Education Foundation 204 E Muskegon Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319


BECOME A RED HAWK WALKERSTAY HEALTHY THIS SEASON BECOME A RED HAWK WALKER

Going on NOW through March 28, 2019

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.

For inclement weather school closings, please stay tuned to your local TV Station listings.


Golden Age Athletic 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 csredhawks.org Athletics or stop by the Cedar Springs District Office.


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Little Shop of Horrors at Cedar Springs High School

Sophomore Martin Yakes and Junior Rylie Tate play Seymour and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors. 


Cedar Springs High School is very proud to present its next musical production Little Shop of Horrors February 6-9, at 7 p.m.

“We are very excited to show off our amazing talent, set, and…man-eating plant,” said Rebecca Casavant, Musical Theater Director.

Sophomore Martin Yakes and Junior Rylie Tate play Seymour and Audrey, two odd-natured residents of Skid Row, who work at Mushnik’s Flower Shop (Mushnik played by Senior Austin Kibby). They run into some trouble, mostly related to sociopathic dentists and stoop-bearing urchins. 

“The entire cast has been working tirelessly to make this show as perfect as it can be,” said Casavant. “Bring your families, friends, or houseplants…You’ll see.”

Tickets are $10 at Cedar Springs High School or buy them online at https://hprodcshs.ludus.com/index.php

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Middle school honors band


Last week we ran photos of both the Cedar Springs High School and Cedar Springs Middle School students that were part of honors bands that performed at Orchard View January 9. The names of the middle school students were not available at press time, but we now have them.


Back row L to R: Maddy Radebach, Rayne Evans, Ivy Collins, Madison Shields

Front row L to R: Judy Visser, Juliana Bolinger, Kiylee Hall

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SPOTLIGHT ATHLETIC EVENTS


JANUARY/FEBRUARY – 2019

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 23, 2019

Home Cheerleading – SENIOR NIGHT, 6:00 PM

Senior recognition, Students admitted Free with Student ID

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25, 2019 Special CSHS Musical Preview and Student Section “NEON NIGHT.”

Neon Dance after the Game

Wild Game Tickets for Sale! RIVALRY GAME: Students admitted Free TO THE GAME with Student ID

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 30, 2019 MAKE-UP GAME – Varsity Boys/Girls Basketball  “RED OUT”  5:30/7PM.

Special performance group throughout the night by the Cheer Team

Students admitted Free with Student ID

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2019 Wrestling AT Sparta – DISTRICTS – “RED OUT”  – 5:30 PM

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2019 Varsity Boys/Girls Basketball  “JERSEY NIGHT” 5:30/7PM

Football/Cross Country and Fall All-Conference 

Recognition, Special National Anthem Performance

Students admitted Free with Student ID

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019 Varsity Boys/Girls Basketball 5:30/7PM

“DRESS-IN-YOUR-FAVORITE-THEME-OF-THE-WHOLE- SCHOOL-YEAR-NIGHT.”  After the Boys’ Basketball Game – World Record Attempt. 

Special Dance Team Performances – Both Games 

Halftime of the Girls Game – Traditional Passing of the drumstick for the Viking Clap!

Students admitted Free with Student ID

LETS GO RED HAWKS!

OTHER HAPPENINGS AT BASKETBALL GAMES

February 5 – Dance Team Performance at Girls’ BB Game

February 19 – Dance Team Performance at Boys’ BB Game and Bowler Recognition

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, SportsComments (0)

Honors band performs

High school band members. Back row: Jadon Grifhost, Tyler St. Amour, Allison White, Cecilia Smith, Gavinn Shields. front row; Katie Levandowski, Alivia Mesler.




On the first week back to school, a select few Cedar Springs Middle and High School students were a part of Honors Band at Orchard View High School in Muskegon, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019. 

High school band member Jenna Alcumbrack.

The kids got to spend the day learning new music and putting on a performance at the end of the night for family and friends.

Middle school band members. Names unavailable at press time.

We would like to say bravo on a great day and the evening performances by both the Middle and High School District 7 Honors Bands!

We are proud of our Cedar Springs Band members who were nominated and selected to participate in these elite groups!

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School seeks input on strategic plan

By Scott Smith, Superintendent, Cedar Springs Public Schools

Cedar Springs Public Schools is excited to share that we are preparing to launch a community-driven strategic planning process. Our ambitious goal is to present the Board of Education with a draft of a comprehensive three-year strategic plan for their review in July. A final version of the plan would then be presented to the Board for their approval in August. We need your help to make this happen.

To create a community-driven strategic plan, we must first identify and engage with the people who call Cedar Springs Public Schools home. For us, community starts with our students and families. It is also essential that we reach out to District staff, community and business leaders, and residents in this process. The Board of Education is committed to listening to the ideas of our community to clarify the focus of our efforts over the next three years.

The gathering of community input will first come in the form of five focus group conversations. These meetings are scheduled to take place in late January. We will have one focus group for students, one for staff, two groups for parents, and one group for community members and business leaders. The focus groups will include 25-30 representatives from each category. In some cases, individuals will be invited to participate in a focus group. In other cases, we will randomly select participants from a pool of individuals who have expressed interest in helping us with this process. The discussion at these meetings will center on two primary topics:

*What do you like the most about Cedar Springs Public Schools?

 *What can Cedar Springs Public Schools do to improve?

The feedback gathered from the focus group conversations will then be used to generate questions for a comprehensive survey that will be sent out in late February. Each student in grades 6-12, all parents of students grades PK-12, and all District staff will receive a survey via email. Community/business leaders and residents of Cedar Springs will be able to submit a survey electronically through a link on our website.

Post photo by J. Reed.

The next step in our process will be to review the District’s current strategic plan relative to the feedback collected from our community. A team of students, parents, staff, and community/business leaders will work together to create a draft of our three-year strategic plan in June. This draft will be presented to our Board of Education for discussion at their meeting in July. Our goal is to present a final version of our strategic plan to the Board for approval in August.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to Cedar Springs Public Schools. We look forward to learning from the ideas you share during these essential steps in our strategic planning process. Together, we will make clear our District’s priorities for the next three years.

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