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Creative Technologies Academy

Dads and Daughters 80’s Skate Night

Dads and daughters rocked to 80’s music, did the limbo, and kicked their skates off for some dance time.

The annual daddy daughter event hosted by the Creative Technology Academy Parent Association was a great night for young girls and their fathers to spend a special evening together. The event took on a new look this year as the fathers and daughters took to the floor with roller skates. Girls and their fathers came dressed up in 80’s rockstar attire.

They arrived at Skate Estate in Howard city to be ushered down a “red carpet” aisle to get their pictures taken. Then, the girls were given backstage passes and sent to get their skates.

The evening was filled with food, fun, dancing, and laughter as the guests took the floor to skate, dance, and play games. It was a night to remember.

Basketball Wraps Up and Soccer Kicks Off

The 2018-2019 basketball seasons came to a close with many highlights for CTA. The Lady Chargers ended their season with a record of 7-9 and third in the Great Lakes 6 Conference. Junior Faith Watson was selected as First Team All-Conference. Senior Brin Calkins and Junior Hannah Hofstra were selected as Second Team All-Conference. On the boys’ side, the middle school team finished 6-5 in their first season. The Varsity team finished 15-3, including an undefeated conference schedule. As conference champions, Senior Charles Wortz, Junior Collin Bishop, and Junior Luke Hubbard were named as First Team All-Conference. Freshman Ivan Winters was named as Second Team All-Conference.

The Lady Chargers soccer has started its conditioning sessions in anticipation for its upcoming inaugural season. The Lady Chargers soccer team will open up play after spring break, on April 9, at Barry County Christian, and the first home game on April 11 vs. West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science.

Elementary Showcase Night Partners Parents and Teachers

Parents gathered in different workshops during the showcase, which allowed them to learn a few best practices aligned with the curriculum and to assist their children with homework.

On March 12, we provided a workshop-style event for our elementary curriculum night. Our hope was to connect with families and to provide insight on the different strategies of teaching and learning of their child’s classroom experiences at CTA.

We provided three 20-minutes sessions on the following topics:

Student Talk: Academically, student talk is proven to increase critical thinking, problem solving, and student ownership of their learning. We demonstrated how we provided this practice in K-5 classrooms and ways to practice at home!

Close Reading:  We learned about the K-12 reading strategy that we teach all students for digging deeper into all types of text,

Foundations of Early Literacy: We demonstrated how the K-3 Fundations program looks like in the classroom and provided take-home resources and strategies.

Word Study:  We shared the  why  and  how  behind a new approach to reading and spelling.

Music:  We learned a variety of songs from around the world and practiced rhythm exercises that can be duplicated at home.

Technology:  We provided resources for our parents to navigate through the instructional program MobyMax.

We were excited to give our families choice, flexibility, and a customized night of partnership. We had a great time learning together and provided some great techniques to make the most of our families’ time with their children at home!

PA Rolls in the Dough with Pie Sales
The Parent Association (PA) recently hosted their spring fundraiser. They chose to do a pie sale through Great Lakes Fundraising Company. All Students in grades K-12 were encouraged to sell pies to raise funds for field trips and other needs for the school.

They sold Michigan Apple and Michigan Cherry pies. After the sale of the pies, the PA rounded-up volunteers to make the pies that were sold. This was a great experience for both kids and adults. The students sold a total of 335 pies. The PA was very proud of the students’ hard work selling, and they are very grateful for the hard work and involvement of everyone who helped make this sale a success!



Grades K-5: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.  Grades 6-12: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

March 22 Early Release Day | School Bank

25 PA Meeting

26 Students vs. Staff Basketball Game 

28 Early Release Day | Popcorn Day

29 No School – Spring Break Begins

April 1-5 Spring Break

9 Jostens Cap & Gown and Ring Delivery 12 Early Release Day

12-13 Charger Voices Field Trip to Gaylord

16 PA Meeting

19 School Bank

26 Early Release Day | Popcorn Day | Prom

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

● K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

● 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

Posted in CTA, Featured, SchoolsComments (0)

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.

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, CTA, Featured, NewsComments (0)

CTA is accepting enrollment for the 2019-20 school year!

To schedule a tour and pick up a registration packet, please contact: Autumn Mattson, Elementary Principal:  amattson@ctachargers.org Jennifer Colin, Secondary Principal:  jcolin@ctachargers.org

Or call: 616-696-4905

Or visit our website:  www.ctachargers.org

CTA Highlights:

● Small class sizes , hands-on learning experiences, individualized small group instruction, and an energetic staff;

● CTA Elementary WIN (Whatever I Need)/Middle School Interventions Time: Strategically organized schedule to better support teachers and students so that our intervention time no longer only applies to just our below grade level learners but to ALL students;

● Great Start Readiness Program  4 year-old preschool;

● The  CTA high school  offers opportunities for community service and leadership, advanced learning, KISD programs, and dual enrollment options;

Advanced Placement®  Offering added to CTA Coursework;

Drama Department  produces two performances each year by students in grades 5-12;

Athletics  available to students in grades 6-12 include: Varsity Soccer, Varsity Basketball, and Varsity Cross Country;

● K-5 Specials:  physical education, music, and technology.

● Middle School Electives  include: physical education, technology, choir, or drama production.

● Field Trips  for all grades to provide real-world experiences.

AP® or Advanced Placement® are trademarks registered by the College Board, which is not affiliated with Creative Technologies Academy.

CTA Students Participate in Honors Choirs

Tobius Potter and James Hazen auditioned for the Regional Honors Choir during first semester. Both were chosen to participate. At that performance, both auditioned for the State Honors Choir. Tobius was selected to proceed onto State. At State Honors Choir, he auditioned for all-state, but unfortunately, he was not selected.

On to the next event! In February, Tobius performed at the District Solo and Ensemble Festival where he sang two art songs (one in Italian and a traditional Scottish song), and he received feedback and a score from a judge. A score of 23 or higher would earn him the right to participate in the State Solo and Ensemble Festival. Tobius scored a 25 and will be participating at State Solo and Ensemble in the end of April.

“Tobius and James have challenged themselves both individually and within their choirs this year,” shared choir director, Jeremy Holtrop. “They have put in a lot of extra work to compete with and against other area students. It has been great to see their growth.”

Tribute to Martin Luther King

Mrs. Marsman’s 7th grade class pays tribute to Martin Luther King by creating a collaborative collage. 
Saige Montambo shared her piece of the collage.

From the Desk of the Superintendent

Dear CTA Staff and Families,

State law requires CTA to hold school for a minimum of 180 days in 2018-19. Even if we meet or exceed the required hours, we must account for 180 school days. The Michigan Department of Education allows us to close school when weather conditions adversely affect the ability to hold school safely, and MDE provides for forgiveness of up to six days under these conditions. This has been an unusually harsh winter with severe cold and ice forcing an unusual amount of closings. To date, we have cancelled school thirteen times due to severe winter weather conditions, exceeding our forgiveable number by seven days.

MDE allows districts to apply for a waiver for an additional three closings. We will be applying for our waiver in the next few days. If our waiver request is approved, we will be required to make up four days at the end of the school year. If our waiver request is not approved, we will be required to make up at least seven days at the end of the school year.

At a regular meeting of the Board of Directors on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, the Board approved a revision of the school calendar to add the following days:

● June 3 – Regular full day of school

● June 4 – Regular full day of school

● June 5 – Early Release for Students and Staff

● June 6 – Early Release for Students and Staff

● June 7 – Early Release for Students and Staff

This gives us a one day cushion to get through the rest of February and March if our waiver is approved. If we have no additional cancellations before April 1, and our waiver request is approved, I will ask the board to revise the calendar to delete June 7 and the last day of school would then be June 6, 2019. Additional days have identified beyond June 7 if our waiver is not approved or if we have further cancellations this year. As of now, we anticipate no changes to the last day for seniors or the date of graduation. Changes in those dates could be forthcoming if we have further cancellations. The full revised calendar will be posted on our website.

As always, I very much appreciate your support and cooperation.


Dan George Superintendent



Grades K-5: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Grades 6-12: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

February 28 Varsity Boys & Girls Basketball Game @ Home @5:30 p.m.

March 8 Early Release Day School Bank

11 PA Meeting

15 Mobile Dentist

18 Parent/Superintendent Town Hall Meeting 

18-21 Student-Led Conferences (K-12)

Book Fair

22 Early Release Day School Bank

29 No School – Spring Break Begins

April 1-5 Spring Break

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

● K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

● 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

Posted in CTA, SchoolsComments (0)

CTA Basketball

Varsity Girls Basketball: Front row (L to R): Hannah Hofstra, Faith Watson, Brin Calkins. Middle Row (L to R): Alyssa Shelagowski, Ruby Tompkins, Alison Fisk, Jayda Schreiber, Nadelynn Brinley, Vicky Wu, Tori Wierda. Back Row (L to R): Assistant Coach Holly Fahling, Molly Wortz, Alyssa Bishop, Elizabeth Jahns, Kaela Bucholz, Head Coach Lisa Perry, Gabi Fahling.

Varsity Boys Basketball: Front Row (L to R): Ivan Winters, Jordan Brown, Tobius Potter, Ethan Watson, Binh Nguyen. Back Row (L to R): Coach Todd Bowmar, Mikey Lemson, Collin Bishop, Luke Hubbard, Charles Wortz, John Wortz, Assistant Coach Dawson Armstrong.

Middle School Boys Basketball: Front Row (L to R): Head Coach Todd Bowmar, Jacob Perry, Parker Tompkins, Landon Beiter, Landon Winters, Avery Bishop, Zach Gibbs, Kaden Winters, Assistant Coach Dawson Armstrong.

Posted in CTA, SportsComments (0)


Congratulations to the following 4th and 5th grade students for making the 1st Semester 2018/2019 HONOR ROLL!

“A” Honor Roll

Colren Bailey 

Tripp Freyling 

Isaac Gitchel 

Kendal Proctor 

Penelope Rose 

Zander Spielmaker 

Natalie Haan

“A/B” Honor Roll

Melody Atwood 

Addison Brinks 

Jayden Danks 

Jama Dillon

Max McCall 

Bryce Petersen 

Madelyn Reichelt 

Olivia Starr

Jax Stebelton 

Ryan Dykstra 

Gideon Fleeger

Léda Gitchel

Kaiya Imhoff 

Keaton Kindy 

Sarah VandenBerg 

Seth VanKampen

Creative Technologies Academy

1st Semester Honor roll 2018-2019

Middle School Honor Roll

Grade Name & GPA

06 Byl, Hailey 4.0 

06 Christie, Katherine 3.9 

06 de la Rosa, Jacob 3.9 

06 Fisk, Ethan 3.5 

06 Fisk, Karly 4.0 

06 Freyling, Owen 4.0 

06 Gibbs, Zachary 3.6 

06 Haan, Cameron 3.8 

06 Hazen, Shawn 3.1 

06 Klunder, Kaila 3.4 

06 Lopez, Adalynn 3.4 

06 Mason, Shawney 3.3 

06 McKinney, Meghan 3.5

06 Rainwater, Matthew 3.7 

06 Shafer, Estella 3.4 

06 Sidlauskas, Sage 4.0

06 VandenBoss, Logan 4.0

07 Atwood, Shadrach 3.8

07 Besmer, Trinity 3.9 

07 Brinley, Nadelynn 4.0

07 Christie, Gabrielle 4.0

07 Creveling, Jaxson 3.9 

07 Dillon, Jacob 4.0

07 Fulkerson, Jack 3.8 

07 Harvey, Tylor 3.8 

07 Hoops, Thomas 4.0 

07 Jaggers, Jacob 3.9 

07 McSorley, Caden 3.2 

07 Montambo, Saige 4.0 

07 Perry, Jacob 4.0 

07 Petersen, Tru 4.0 

07 Piskun, Danielle 3.6 

07 Rypma, Ryan 4.0 

07 Schreiber, Jayda 4.0 

07 Sullivan, Mason 4.0 

07 VanHarten, Analiese 4.0 

07 Vogler, Morgan 3.0 

07 Warner, Conner 3.4 

07 Willis, Kirsten 3.9 

07 Willis, Sierra 3.7

07 Winters, Kaden 4.0

08 Beiter, Landon 3.8

08 Covell, Remington 3.7 

08 Davenport, Haydn 4.0

08 Fessenden, Joshua 4 

08 Hanes, Joel 3.4

08 Harvey, Laila 3.3 

08 Jibson, Brenna 3.9 

08 Slock, Ethan 3.8 

08 Tate, Logan 3.3 

08 Tompkins, Parker 3.5 

08 Walker, Malikia 3.7 

08 Winn, Emily 3.8 

08 Winters, Landon 3.2

High School Honor Roll 

Grade Name & GPA

10 Alverson, McKenzie 4.2 

12 August, Danielle 4.3 

09 Benson, Jesse 3.3 

12 Bowers, Ayden 3.0

11 Bucholtz, Kaela 3.3

12 alkins, Brianne 3.9

10 Campbell, Ethan 3.2 

12 Davison, Matthew 4.4 

12 Dillon, Joshua 4.0 

12 Dillon, Justin 3.9 

12 Dotson, Arianna 3.3 

12 Evink, Jillian 4.0 

11 Fahling, Gabriela 3.7 

09 Fisk, Alison 3.8

11 Hackbardt, Kiana 3.7

12 Hawley, Hailey 3.6

11 Hirsch, Travis 3.7 

11 Hofstra, Hannah 3.9 

10 Hoogerhyde, Grayce 3.8 

10 Hutchins, Nathan 3.6 

10 Hutchins, Steven 3.7 

12 Jahns, Elizabeth 4.1 

09 Knowlton, Elizabeth 3.4 

12 Lovett, Nathan 3.2 

10 Marek, Jeff 3.6 

10 McSorley, Carson 3.6 

12 Nguyen, Binh 4.0 

11 Nguyen, Truc 3.7

10 Parker, Dezeree 3.4

11 Patin, Nolan 3.7

09 Petersen, Sydney 3.2 

12 Roebuck, Isaac 3.3 

09 Romancky, Lydia 3.9 

12 Sanchez, Amber 3.3 

09 Shelagowski, Alyssa 3.5 

11 Shelagowski, Ashley 3.7 

10 Sidlauskas, Willow 4.3 

12 Slock, Keegan 4.1 

12 Starr, Marjorie 4.1 

11 Stevens, Hunter 3.5 

10 Tompkins, Ruby 3.0

10 VanDyke, Audrey 3.1

11 Watson, Faith 3.9

10 Wierda, Tori 3.5 

09 Winters, Ivan 3.4 

12 Winters, Logan 3.8

12 Wortz, Charles 3.6 

09 Wortz, Molly 3.9 

11 Wright, Aaron 3.5

Posted in CTA, FeaturedComments (0)

The Fourth Annual CTA Spelling Bee 2019

Isaac Bucholtz and Logan Magoon
Isaac Bucholtz and Logan Magoon

In January, 20 students in grades third through eighth competed in the fourth annual CTA School Spelling Bee! For several weeks prior to the Bee, participants practiced, practiced, and practiced lists of spelling words in preparation for the School Bee. These same participants also attended the weekly CTA Chargers Spelling Club hosted by sixth grade teacher, Mrs. Jenny Bangma; it was here that participants gained strategies for spelling words, remembering letter patterns, and the etiquette for participating in the actual Bee. Lots of hard work was put in by our Charger Spellers over the last few months in preparation for this event!

The CTA School Spelling Bee went fifteen rounds, resulting in a Champion and a Runner-up. The CTA School Spelling Bee Champion is third grade student, Logan Magoon; the Runner-up is fifth grade student, Isaac Bucholtz. The winners will head to the regional spelling bee competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Thursday, Feb. 12th. Our entire school community is so proud and excited for our Chargers!

Posted in CTAComments (0)

Open Enrollment

Creative Technologies Academy

350 Pine Street | Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Open Enrollment Period For the 2019-2020 School Year

January 15, 2019 – February 15, 2019

You may register students for Grades K-5 by calling Mrs. Mattson and Grades 6-12 by calling Mrs. Colin at (616) 696-4905.

Posted in CTAComments (0)



Grades K-5: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Grades 6-12: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Jan. 25 Early Release Day

Popcorn Day

School Bank

Varsity Basketball Game @

Grace Christian University @5:30 p.m.

Feb. 1 Early Release Day

Varsity Basketball Game vs. Zion 

Christian School @5:30 p.m.

Feb. 28 Varsity Basketball Game @

Oakfield Baptist Church @5:30 p.m.

Feb. 4 Varsity Basketball Game @ 

Oakfield Baptist Church @5:30 p.m.

Feb. 8 School Bank

Senior Night Basketball Game @

Red Hawk Elementary @5:30 p.m.

Feb. 9 Daddy Daughter Event

Feb. 11 PA Meeting

Feb. 12 Varsity Basketball Game @

Oakfield Baptist Church @5:30 p.m.

Feb. 13 Spring Count Day

Feb. 14 Varsity Basketball Game @

WMAES @5:30 p.m.

Feb. 15 Early Release Day Popcorn Day

Feb. 18-19 Mid-Winter Break

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

● K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

● 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

Posted in CTAComments (0)

Creative Technologies Academy reauthorized by Ferris State University

Academy to Receive Longest Contract Issued by FSU

In anticipation of the expiration of CTA’s current contract with Ferris State University in June of 2019, the Academy met with a team from the FSU Charter Schools Office in early November for a rigorous reauthorization review and evaluation of the Academy. 

The results of that review and evaluation were very positive for the Academy and the Charter Schools Office recommended reauthorization to the Ferris State University Board of Trustees.

The FSU Board of Trustees met on Friday, December 14, and unanimously concurred with the Charter Schools office and approved the reauthorization of Creative Technologies Academy with a seven year contract beginning July 1, 2019. Dr. Ronald Rizzo, Director of the FSU Charter Schools Office, said this about the Academy: “Ferris State University is proud of the efforts and achievement of Creative Technologies Academy. The seven-year reauthorization by the FSU Board of Trustees represents our confidence in the continued growth and development of the academy. FSU looks forward to our ongoing partnership with the Board and administration of CTA.”

During the evaluation process, the FSU Charter Schools Office looked at CTA’s school improvement process, initiatives, and results; facilities; school culture; mission accomplishment; website; student outcomes; governance and leadership; resources and support systems; contract performance; and curriculum. 

Dan George, CTA Superintendent, expressed gratitude for the staff and families that make up the CTA community. “We’ve tried to create a no excuses culture at CTA that focuses on growth and continuous improvement and our staff and families have bought into those goals,” said George.

“Many people don’t understand the accountability process for schools like ours. We have the same accountability requirements as any other public school for the state, and we have the additional rigorous reauthorization process with Ferris State University. Seven-year contracts are given sparingly by FSU. Most contracts are 3-5 years and some schools don’t make it through the reauthorization process and are closed. We are grateful for this expression of confidence and trust by Ferris State University and the Charter Schools Office. When people believe in what you’re doing it is extremely gratifying.”

Posted in CTA, News, SchoolsComments (0)


SCHOOL HOURS | Grades K-5: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Grades 6-12: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Dec. 21 Early Release Day

Popcorn Day

Varsity Basketball Games @Davenport University

Dec. 22-Jan. 6 Winter Break


2-5 Girls Varsity Basketball Tournament 

4 MS/JVBoys Basketball Games @Lighthouse Baptist Academy

7 School Resumes

8 Boys MS/Varsity Basketball Games @Martin Luther High                                 School

Girls Varsity Basketball vs Zion Christian 

Jostens Informational Meeting

11 Early Release Day 

School Bank

Varsity Basketball Game @Libertas Christian School

14 PA Meeting

15 Varsity Boys & Girls Home Basketball Games 

Jostens Orders Due

17 Annual Spelling Bee 

21 Varsity Boys & Girls Basketball Games @Algoma Christian

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

● K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m. | ● 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

Posted in CTA, SchoolsComments (0)

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