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Student with Autism breaks barriers at Cedar Springs Middle School, with the help of peers

Staff at Cedar Springs Middle school opened professional minds to an initiative of peer mentoring and inclusion for a student with autism this 2014-2015 school year.

Staff at Cedar Springs Middle school opened professional minds to an initiative of peer mentoring and inclusion for a student with autism this 2014-2015 school year.

By  Heidi  Schuitema

Staff at Cedar Springs Middle school opened professional minds to an initiative of peer mentoring and inclusion for a student with autism this 2014-2015 school year.  Launch has been successful and a 13-year old robotics/botany/technology-minded boy has found his way back to general education.

A series of stretching, least restrictive environments worked their wonders to support him and educators in his district through a disability exploratory that has him back in business.

Staff employed, best practice approaches to autism are in place as Gavin gradually pushes back his social and self-regulation barriers with the help of typical peers, reaching out, and staff aiming to fade their guidance as peers step in.

Choir Concert: Gavin faces stage fright, and with the encouragement of Ms. Janik & classmates, sings every word, does every movement, and gives a perfect performance!

Choir Concert: Gavin faces stage fright, and with the encouragement of Ms. Janik & classmates, sings every word, does every movement, and gives a perfect performance!

Peers have aligned themselves with Gavin’s goals and invest in communication with Gavin that supports his orientation for success.  They help point him in the right direction. Each day Gavin spends amid his typical, grade-level peer group reveals steady, improved capacity for new “firsts” for him, socially and academically.  Every new first helps him realize that he    CAN DO!

7th grade, green house teacher team Blauw, Metiva, Martens and Burns have invested mightily and collaborated with special education staff in support of Gavin. This has undergirded Gavin’s successful inclusion in ELA, science, and social studies (pending) so far this year.

Gavin’s staff team meets and plans, then general education teachers equip general education students with broadened understanding of Gavin’s trials with autism.  The flow of leadership from these teachers and through their students in support of Gavin has been life-changing for him. Peers are the expert teachers in this scenario and it is a very purposeful role for them to play.  Leadership qualities in empathy, understanding, motivation, initiation, team building, observational awareness, positive influence, encouragement, respect for others and putting others before self, are evident.  Everyone is invested and growing!

Gavin works on his interactive notebook, in science class.

Gavin works on his interactive notebook, in science class.

Before Gavin can balk at a transition into group work, students eagerly invite him into theirs. Tablemates offer to share their illustrations or copies of notes, in support, when Gavin feels intimidated by tasks.  Science lab partners request his input if he is not offering it and encourage his turns at trying demos or trials of an experiment.  If he hedges about moving forward in a task, there is no lack of “cheerleaders”.  Day after day, sweet nudges come from same-aged peers that help Gavin realize his place amongst them.  Day after day, his capacity for his post-secondary vision is expanded, and a new friend is made.  Gavin’s tendency to avoid people who might not understand him and steer clear of academic and social risk taking is being gradually quelled by caring staff, and classmates (his peers).

Many have helped Gavin down “his road” and his needs have called natural leaders to identify themselves and invest in another student.  What he has been able to do and what his peers have been moved to do has had escalating momentum.  It has been eye-opening to watch!  As this effort has emerged, staff have coached peer-mentoring, which is beginning to happen naturally now, all much to Gavin’s benefit.

Gavin has the self-determined life goal to get a diploma and attend college to prepare for a high-interest career.  With the help of flexible, understanding staff and just-right peers, Gavin is well on his way.

 

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New Staff meets with Superintendent VanDuyn

CSPS-New-Staff-with-Laura-1-web

Front Row (LtoR): Ryan Miller, Jerry Dent

Back Row (LtoR): Jessica Jones, My Lien, Superintendent VanDuyn

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Student Early Release Days

 

School districts dedicated to creating Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) provide opportunities for faculty and staff to work together as a team. Teams review curriculum, discuss instructional strategies, review and create common assessments, analyze data and review individual student progress to determine if any additional support is necessary.  Student Early Release days were designed to support student learning:

  • By providing time for teachers to review student data on a regular basis.
  • To make adjustments to teaching in order to increase student achievements.
  • By allowing teachers to provide best practice teaching everyday in every classroom.
  • To improve the delivery to students through reviewing teaching research.

Students will release two (2) hours early.  Times will vary by building.

Thank you, Cedar Springs Teachers and Faculty

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Annual Education Report

 

The Michigan Department of Education requires all schools to publish an annual report to inform the residents about the status of their schools.  This report provides detailed information on student assessment results, Adequate Yearly Progress results, teacher qualification information, and the state results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress.  You can view Cedar Springs Public Schools Annual Education Report by vising our website at www.csredhawks.org or you may review a copy in the building offices.

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Asbestos Management Plan available for Review by Parents, Teachers and Employees

 

Our school district has conducted an extensive asbestos survey of all of our buildings.  Based on the findings of these inspections, a comprehensive management plan was drafted.  This plan details the response actions that the district will be taking regarding asbestos containing materials found in our buildings.  This plan is available for inspection at our office without cost or restriction during normal business hours.  If you desire to have a personal copy, please notify the main administrative office and it will be supplied to you within five (5) working days at a cost of 30 cents per page.

We have endeavored to make our schools a safe place in which students can learn.  Our procedures for dealing with this problem reflect that concern.  Please let us know if we can answer any questions.

 

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Pesticide Advisory to Parents

 

Advanced notice will be given by posting at the entrance to the school or grounds.  In certain emergencies, pesticides may be applied without prior notice, but you will be provided notice immediately following any such application.  Parents or Guardians requesting prior notification must complete a notification form yearly. The Notification Request form can be  found at www.csredhawks.org.  Forms can be returned to the building offices.  You may also contact Jerry Gavin @ 616-696-0464 with additional questions.

 

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Welcome back

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Dear Cedar Springs Public Schools Families:

Welcome back to school for the 2015-16 school year!  It is my hope you enjoyed the last few months doing the things you love to do during our beautiful Michigan summers.  I can assure you that you have been missed.  Our students and families fill our schools with excitement each school year and you are precisely why we choose to be educators…we love our kids and families!

As you have been away this summer we have been working on preparations for your return.  Our teachers, administrators and support staff have been preparing classrooms and schools for you.  They have been actively engaged in preparing for the academic and extracurricular year to begin.  They are anxious to have you back for another great year of learning adventures.

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your CSPS superintendent.  I take great pleasure in knowing that at CSPS, students come first.  On behalf of the CSPS Board of Education, administration, teachers and support staff, thank you for partnering with us to provide the very best education for our students.  Please know I enjoy meeting and getting to know our students and families so call or drop by for a visit at any time.

Warmly,

Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Superintendent

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Orientation & Open House Schedule

Orientation & Open House Schedule

2015-2016 School Year

August 31, Monday

High School – Orientation

9th Grade – 12:00 pm

10th Grade – 8:00 am

11th Grade – 9:15 am

12th  Grade – 10:30 am

 

September 1,  Tuesday

New Beginnings  – 5:30

 

Red Hawk Elementary 

Team B (VanderLugt, Elenbaas, Gariepy, NEW)  – 5:30 pm

Team A (Banagis, Ludwig, Verwys or Willette)  – 7:00 pm

 

September 2,  Wednesday

Cedar Trails Elementary 1st & Kindergarten 6:00 – 7:00 pm

 

Beach Elementary 2nd Grade 5:30 – 6:30 pm

3rd Grade 6:00 – 7:00 pm

 

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

 

Middle School 7th & 8th 5:00 – 6:30 pm

 

September 10, Thursday

Pre-School @ Cedar Trails – 6:00 pm

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Campus Kids – Before and After School Care

 

We are currently accepting registrations for Before and After School Care.  We are located in Cedar Trails Elementary on the Cedar Springs School campus.  We are open Monday through Friday from 6:00am to 8:30am and 3:30pm to 6:00pm beginning September 8, 2015.

The cost is $8.00 for Before School care and $8.00 for After School care or $15 a day if you need to use both before and after school care. There is a registration fee of $20 for one child or $35 for a family. Breakfast and an afternoon snack are included. The children will enjoy arts and crafts projects, homework assistance, enrichment activities, outdoor play, gym time, peer interaction, etc.  For an additional charge, we also offer care on early release days and on snow days for pre-registered children.   Forms are available online or by visiting Cedar Trails Elementary.

Please call (616) 696-1716 or email campus_kids@csredhawks.org for additional information.

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Food Service Information

 

Milk $.40

Student Breakfast $1.40

Elementary Lunch $2.35

Secondary Lunch $2.85

Free & Reduced Meal Forms are now available

online at www.lunchapp.com

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