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Archive | Cedar Springs Public Schools

Student Presentation – Costa Rica: A Touch of the Tropics

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November 7, 2016 Board Meeting 

csps-boe-student-presentationTeacher Amy Holmes and her students presented to the Board of Education an outstanding presentation of their adventures on their Costa Rica Trip. The Costa Rica trip took place June 23, 2016 – July 2, 2016. These students detailed their wonderful daily experiences with the local culture. Students commented that the trip was truly an experience; to be able to use the native language and communicate was incredible.  These students also commented on how the trip has positively influenced their lives and broadened their understanding of the world and other cultures. The Costa Rica trip was a great experience and filled with memories the students will take with them forever. They concluded the presentation with a big thank you to the Board of Education for approving this Costa Rica trip and encouraging more just like it in the future.

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The District School Improvement Team (DSIT) meeting – Nov. 10

 

csps-dsit-meetingcsps-dsit-meeting-aThe Office of Teaching and Learning has implemented a new supportive school improvement process called “The 60 Day Data Coaching Cycle.” This new supportive process regularly monitors the data from the secondary and elementary schools as it relates to each school’s required School Improvement Plan targets for subject/content areas. Using The 60 Day Data Coaching Cycle allows the DSIT to learn about each building’s student growth while balancing the presentations by having the secondary and elementary schools alternate their presentations every other month. The 60 Day Data Cycle allows each building the time necessary to gather data on student assessments and their growth. The administrators and their school improvement teams track student growth and present their progress to the DSIT during its monthly meetings. Presentations are done using PowerPoint presentations, handouts, or other hands-on materials to demonstrate to the DSIT the types of strategies/programs used to support students and the effectiveness of those strategies/programs.  Each building’s school improvement team tracks their students’ growth in comparison to their end of the year goals, showing how much growth is needed to reach their end of the year goal.  The 60 Day Data Cycle gives building administrators and their school improvement teams the opportunity to support one another in our district’s school improvement process, informing them of where growth is needed while also celebrating their strengths and successes.

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Veteran’s Day Celebrations

 

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csps-sweets-for-soldiersOn Thursday and Friday, 11/10-11/11, the students at Cedar View donated their leftover Halloween candy for Sweets for Soldiers – to fill a requested need from our local Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

In just those two days, we completely filled a maintenance-sized trash can of candy – showing kindness + service to others!   VERY cool.   The candy was sorted, bagged, and weighed by my class last week – and our grand total was 96 pounds of candy!  On Wednesday (11/16), a few students and families were then able to join in the final task of this community service project by driving with me to Grand Rapids and hand-delivering the candy and over 100 Veterans Day Thank You cards to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. Shaking hands with individuals who live there was very powerful! It was a privilege to read the monuments and artwork, as well.  Every student should be proud of their work in serving their community and honoring those who have served!


 

csps-ms-debri-and-ms-bellamy-veterans-dayMrs. Debri’s and Mrs’ Bellamy’s classes created some Veterans Day project pictures. They decorated hearts with tissue paper and glue – great fine motor activity! The papers read, “Thank you for your service! From a Kindergarten student at Cedar Trails Elementary.” They were delivered to the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans on November 11, 2016, Veteran’s Day.

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Red Hawk Elementary’s Mrs. Biondo’s Social Studies students were singing along to “I’m Proud to be an American” while writing. Mrs. Biondo is very proud of her class, as they all wanted to write more than one letter to Veterans!

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Excellence in Education Award Winner Teacher Brett Burns

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Thanksgiving week, the Michigan Lottery recognized outstanding Cedar Springs Middle School teacher, Brett Burns, who is making a significant impact in the lives of Michigan students. Selected educators will receive: $500 cash prize and $500 grant to the educator’s classroom, school or school district.

In addition, all Excellence in Education award winners will be automatically considered for the Michigan Lottery’s Educator of the Year Award and a grand prize of $10,000. The award looks for Michigan public school employees who represent the very best of the Michigan public school system. Congratulations, Mr. Burns! We are proud that you are a Cedar Springs RED HAWK Teacher!!!

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Senior All Night Party (SANP) Fundraiser – Adult Glow Bowling

 

January 28th, 2017 at Sparta Lanes. Parents, come bowl with your friends, try to win prizes, and much, much more. Email: sjmorris2085@gmail.com for details. Space is limited so don’t miss out on this fun event.

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October 2016 Student Athletes of the Month

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csps-athlete-tawneyDilan Sargent, Cross Country AND Machaela Tawney, Girls Golf

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Congratulations to our Fall All-Conference Athletes

 

Hannah Heintzelman – Cross Country

Dallas Mora – Cross Country

Dilan Sargent – Cross Country

Gavin Reichert-Braciak – Cross Country

Paul Bowerman – Soccer

Jaron Spencer – Football

Colin Alvesteffer – Football

Ryan Ringler – Football

Jacob Hooker – Football

Carson Dingman – Tennis

Sydney Plummer – Volleyball

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CSPS Ski and Snowboard Club

 

For 4th grade students and older.  CSPS students have the opportunity to be part of the school ski and snowboarding club at Cannonsburg Ski Area; six Thursdays beginning in January.

For more information and club sign up forms, visit https://goo.gl/2xbv2Z or contact

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From the Superintendent’s desk

Laura VanDuyn

Laura VanDuyn

Dear CSPS Families:

It’s hard to believe that November is here. We are so engaged in what we do as educators and students that the time flies…and YES, we are having fun! Our first 2 months of school have brought many fantastic opportunities for our students and staff. I’d like to update you on progress we continue to make as a progressive district serving our kids with passion and collaboration.

  • Strategic Planning: We are moving right along and look forward to completion of the process soon. This important process is one that a school district takes on every 3-5 years. It enables the Board of Education to establish the vision (where we are going as a district), mission (why we are here doing what we are doing) and core values (how we go about doing our work). This process involved approximately 125 people in feedback groups. Those groups were established by leaders from our teachers, parents, students, community members, support staff and administrators. The Board of Education is now using all the feedback from the constituent groups and will eventually vote on approving the strategic plan that will have 4 goals: academic, environment, 21st century learning, finance. This process has been inclusive and engaging!
  • Our new math curriculum implementation is going very well and rave reviews are coming in from our teachers, students and parents. Our principals are working with our teachers on tight alignment of the new K-5 curriculum with the 6-12 curriculum. This is exciting work for all of us. We are so proud of the process we put in place over the last 2 years to have our teachers work in collaborative groups to select the curriculum.
  • We are excited to know that our work on Responsive Classroom® (RC) is now being talked about in other districts. I’ve received phone calls and emails to talk about the great benefits of RC and the possibility of other districts looking at training for their schools. We are excited to be the first district to bring this to our region! Please read the article about our outstanding teachers and principals implementing RC in the School News Network: http://www.schoolnewsnetwork.org
  • We are proud that our band students and directors are leading the way after coming in 3rd in two recent state band competitions. Our band will perform at Ford Field on Saturday. Thank you all for helping Cedar Springs lead the way…you make us proud!
  • Hat’s off to our business department staff under the leadership of Rosemary Zink, CPA, MBA and CFO! There has been a lot of work in the business department over the last year. We are elated to know that we are moving forward with transparency in reporting, collaboration and inclusion in budgeting and in systems development. Last November 1st we had to employ the services of a consultant to provide an overview of our business services after concerns were raised by a community member throughout the summer and into the fall of 2015. The great news is we were able to get a comprehensive look at our business practices in order to plan forward. Additionally, we were able to keep our business department going until we were able to hire Ms. Zink. Our business department employees are so dedicated to making sure we all have what we need to do our jobs. We are excited about what is ahead and purposely put a financial goal in the strategic plan to keep a sharp focus on all the advancements that are being made in the business department.
  • Anne Kostus and our terrific team of teachers and counselors at the high school continue to rally around Early Middle College. We are one of few districts offering this opportunity to our high school students. We are proud of being on the leading edge of this statewide initiative. This is so important for giving our students an advantage in college readiness. Hat’s off to all who are making this happen for our amazing students!
  • The OK2Say program has now been implemented at Red Hawk and with our current 7th and 8th graders at the middle school. We were honored last April when our Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and his team thought enough of Cedar Springs Public Schools to spend his day with us kicking off the OK2Say program. That dedication to our district, being a leader in the OK2Say initiative, is humbling. We attribute that to Jo Spry, our Assistant Superintendent for Teaching and Learning, as she brought the program to Michigan. We love being on the cutting edge of such important work to keep our schools safe.
  • It’s clear by looking around our campus that our maintenance and grounds crew are working hard. In fact, we have data to prove that. Mr. Ken Simon, our new Director of Operations, is tracking data on work orders and setting goals for his department. Thus far his hard-working team has reduced work orders in progress to 8%…and the goal was 10%! We thank Mr. Simon and his team for supporting all we do as a district as their work is foundational to providing a wonderful learning atmosphere for our students.
  • We are proud of the staff we’ve had with us for many years and are proud of the new staff joining us for the first time this year. Last school year we created and continue to develop an excellent Human Resources Department. Leading that is Ms. Carrie Duddles who is doing a stellar job for all staff and for the district. To that end, there are processes that have been put in place that structure hiring and provide streamlining with the technology, payroll and other departments. There is misinformation that 50 or more employees resigned from the district since January, 2016. It can be confusing as there are times when people on the resignation list are those who resign from one position, such as interventionist, who actually earned another position, such as a teacher. Therefore, their names will appear as resignations when in fact, they are still employees of the District. Furthermore, retirements such as the 11 we had last spring along with 2 leaves of absence that were granted appear in the same category as resignations/layoffs. To add to that is the fact that there are some employees who earn what is called a “schedule B” assignment/salary for coaching athletics, etc. Those positions are counted on the resignation list when someone decides they won’t be able to coach anymore. Those may be teachers or support staff employed by CSPS who are only resigning their coaching positions, not their full-time positions … or they may be people who do not work in the district but only coach a sport, etc. As you can see, there is a lot that can make a list appear to be something it is not. The lists contain all support, teaching and administrator positions. Simple lists can be misleading without understanding what all is encompassed in them, but we know as we calculate the numbers of actual resignations that we are well within a general range of what can be expected for any district. It’s always important to gather the facts and we encourage all to seek facts prior to establishing concerns. Thankfully, we are putting these important processes in place to track our hiring, seniority, benefits, payroll, etc. These structures are incredibly important to keeping the District on track in budgeting…we are proud of the work we are doing in this area!
  • It is our honor to have with us, Dr. Barbara Johnson, a National Blue Ribbon School principal, principal of a Top 10 school in the state and a Reading Now Network school. Dr. Johnson is working with our new “Leader in Training” at Beach Elementary School. We are so very fortunate to have Mrs. Miranda Latimer (one of our excellent CSPS teachers who earned a leadership position in the district) as our administrator at Beach Elementary. She is getting the benefit of learning from our outstanding principal team as well as from Dr. Barb Johnson. It is to our benefit to have someone who has been a principal recognized in the state and nation for her terrific contributions in education. Please know that the affordability in this comes from a “Leader in Training” salary that is significantly less than a principal in order to afford the mentor, as agreed upon by the Leader in Training upon accepting the position. Dr. Barb Johnson is being talked about all over Michigan…we are THRILLED to be a district benefiting from her services.
  • NEOLA policy work continues as we are nearing the end of the work to add the Administrative Guidelines to the policies that were adopted this summer. This Board of Education and administration have worked long and hard to do a complete policy overhaul to ensure we are on board with the most state-of-the-art policy that is constantly updated and inclusive of any changed or new legislation. It’s so nice to be a district on the forefront of important reform such as policy as it guides what we do as a district.
  • Our School Resource Officer program is serving our students, staff and families so well. We have seen the countless benefits of the program in such a short time and look forward to continuing to develop the program. We are fortunate to bring this program to CSPS and know that it’s making a difference in our school operations and in our student and staff well being. Thank you, Deputy McCutcheon, for all you are doing to make this innovative program a success!

As we enter into the season for recognizing all we have to be thankful for, know that our staff and Board of Education are thankful that you share your most cherished blessings with us. Thank you for partnering with us to be make a positive impact in your child’s life. We, at CSPS, take very seriously what we do as educators to support your child in developing a successful present and future life. To that end, we hold high expectations and a commitment to accountability for ourselves and for our students. We are thankful that we do this together as we know our purpose is the same…seeing your child reach his/her potential.

It is an honor and privilege to serve as your superintendent. Please contact me at any time, should I be able to support you and your child in educational success.

Warmly,

Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

CSPS Superintendent of Schools

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From the Board of Education

 

Dear CSPS Staff & Families:

Fall:  cooler nights, crisp air, colorful leaves, apples, cider, pumpkins, and a host of other things which hopefully signify fond memories of the season for you.   Your child has settled into a familiar routine of attending school and being involved in related activities.  Just as your child is learning new things in class every day, we as adults should also be learning something new every day.  We have staff members who are learning about Responsive Classrooms, the new math curriculum or attending college classes to further their education.  Education never ends.  Your school board members are also taking classes to increase their knowledge of their job as a member of the school board.

The Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) offers many classes for our Board members.  By taking classes and being involved in certain activities, Board members can receive credits which are applied to seven different levels of Certification/Awards.  Three of our Board members have completed Levels 2 or 3.  Board trustee Joe Marckini has completed Level  6 and is very close to completing the highest achievement of Level  7, the President’s Award of Recognition.  He has also received the Advocacy Skills Specialty Certificate and the Data Specialty Certificate from MASB.   Joe has spent thousands of hours in consistently increasing his knowledge as a school board member.  The education he has received continues to be an asset to the Cedar Springs’ School District.

Joe has served faithfully on the Board since 2007.  He has advocated on the local, state and national level on behalf of all CSPS students to get their educational needs met.  He has continued to push for  free early-childhood education and that a STREAM (Science, Technology, wRiting, Engineering, Arts, Math) education is a necessity for our students.  Joe has gone to Lansing and Washington DC several times to advise our legislators that they are not meeting the needs of the students of Cedar Springs.  We should all thank Joe Marckini for all he has done and will do for the students of Cedar Springs.   Congratulations on your achievements and passion with regards to the students of Cedar Springs Public Schools!

Sincerely, Patricia Eary, 

CSPS Board of Education President

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