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Tag Archive | "Board of Education"

School elections to be held in November

Board members’ terms extended to 6 years

The Cedar Springs Board of Education approved changes in their board policy last week that brings them in compliance with a new state law regarding when elections are held. They also extended the number of years board members will serve to six years.

Under the new Michigan state law, school districts must hold elections during the general elections in November of even-numbered years beginning January 1, 2012. Board elections have previously been held in May of each of year.

“Utilizing a standard election cycle will cut administrative costs and help schools maintain focus on educating students,” said Governor Rick Snyder. “This change allows for more consolidated elections so voters have the best opportunity to make their voices heard.”

It will also be a cost savings for districts. In the past, school districts were billed by the municipalities for holding the election. But, according to Cedar Springs City Clerk Linda Branyan, that should no longer be the case. “It’s my understanding that if an election is already being held (in this case a general election), then the municipality absorbs the cost,” she explained. “The only exception would be if something special had to be purchased for the election.”

Since 2004, districts have had the option of conducting school board elections during the odd-year general election, the odd-year May regular election, the November regular election in odd and even years, or the May regular election in even and odd years.

Under the new law, a board member’s term would begin January 1 following the election. To make that happen, Cedar Springs needed to vote to extend current members’ terms from June 30 to December 31. And because elections will only be held every two years, some board members will receive an extension of six months and others a year and a half. Tim Avery and Brook Nichols terms will now expire Dec. 31, 2012 instead of June 30; Matt Shoffner, Shannon Vanderhyde and Todd Hanson’s terms will expire Dec. 31, 2014. Hanson’s was set to expire in 2013.  Jeff Gust and Joseph Marckini’s terms were set to expire in June 2015, but will now expire December 31, 2016.

Besides amending their policy to change election dates, Cedar Springs Board of Education also voted to change future board members’ terms to 6 years, to avoid a 4-3 member rotation schedule. If they kept it at 4 years, 4 people would be up for reelection in 2016 and 3 people in 2018. A six-year schedule means only 2 or 3 people would be up for reelection at a time.

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Protecting Our Investment…Securing Our Future

Cedar Springs Public Schools has implemented millions of dollars in budget cuts over the last decade.

State funding for education has forced continued spending cuts and is forcing choice between quality education and maintaining roads and facilities. The district placed priority on keeping cuts as far from the classroom as possible.  As a result, school infrastructure needs were deferred.  Without an alternative source of funding, the Board of Education would be forced to divert funding from classrooms to cover school infrastructure needs.  Additional budget cuts, increased class size, and/or depletion of fund balance may be necessary.

An Advisory Committee consisting of parents, staff, and community members worked together to determine a long range plan for facilities and infrastructure of Cedar Springs Public Schools by identifying the needs of the district.   The priorities included: security modifications, technology infrastructure, repaving parking lots and roads, increased parking at Cedar Trails, Beach, and High School, replacement of Gym Floors at Beach and Cedar View Elementary, energy efficient boilers, and many others.

Identified facility needs can not be met within current general fund expenditures without significant budget adjustments.  The Advisory Committee recommended the pursuit of a one mill sinking fund to support infrastructure needs.  The February 28, 2012 election will include a ballot proposal to secure a short-term, dedicated stream of funding for basic school improvement projects for Cedar Springs Public Schools.

Sinking funds, unlike traditional tax bonds, generate a fixed amount of funds over the period of the tax and incur no interest.  A one mill assessment for an owner of a $100,000 home would be fifty (50) dollars a year.  Sinking funds can be used for remodeling or repairing facilities, improving sites, structures, athletic facilities, playgrounds, or other facilities; and technology infrastructure.  School districts are not allowed to use funds from a sinking fund for operating expenses such as teacher, administrator or employee salaries.

The Sinking Fund would ensure funding remains in classrooms for learning, teaching, books, and technology, provide students with basic necessity of a warm, safe and dry learning environment, create efficiencies and long-term financial savings, create jobs and support of local businesses.  The Sinking Fund is the means by which the District can protect the community’s investment used by our students, staff, parents, and community.




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Welcome to the 2011-12 School Year

As a school district, we are eager to begin a new year. Our district is known throughout the Region and State for our excellence and innovation. We have garnered this attention and success through clear focus on a single goal and vision of “improving student achievement through exemplary teaching.”
As a district, our Board of Education and community realize our work must always place kids first.  Learning happens in the classroom and we have worked hard to develop systems and standards that support teachers to become the very best they can be for kids.
Thank you for your continued support of our efforts. Working together parents, students, teachers, staff and community, we are making a difference in the lives of our students.  We appreciate your support and look forward to a great school year.

Ron McDermed, Superintendent
Cedar Springs Public Schools

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2011-12 CSPS Board of Education

MEETING DATES: Board of Education meetings are open to the public and will be held at 6:45 p.m. in the Board Room of the Hilltop Community Resource Center (third floor) unless otherwise specified.


July 11
August 8
*August 22  Work Session
September 12
September 26
October 10
*October 24 Work Session
November 14
November 28
December 12


January 9

January 23

February 13

*February 27  Work Session

March 12

March 26

April 9

*April 23 Work Session

May 14

May 28

June 11

June 25

July 9

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Board of Ed votes on officers

Re-elected trustee, Jeff Gust, being sworn in.

17th Circuit Court Judge Christopher Yates swore in Vice-president Joe Marckini

The Cedar Springs Board of Education started their new school year Monday, July 11, by swearing in the recently elected board members and selecting this year’s officers.

President of the 2011-12 board is Brooke Nichols; Vice-president is Joe Marckini; Secretary is Tim Avery; and Treasurer is Todd Hanson.

17th Circuit Court Judge Christopher Yates swore in Joe Marckini and Jeff Gust, both incumbents who were reelected in May. Marckini, formerly board president, invited him to do the honors.

The board also had further discussion on athletics and the drop in participants. They clarified that athletics supervisor Autumn Mattson did not make the decision on her own about which sports would not receive funding, but that it was made jointly by Mattson, Superintendent Ron McDermed and Assistant Superintendent David Cairy. They also noted that a lot of parents called letting them know they had their support. They said they would be looking into things they could do to bolster participation.

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Superintendent receives high marks

Superintendent Ron McDerm

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Board of Education gave Superintendent Ron McDermed a favorable evaluation Monday evening, April 18, giving him an “exceeds goals” grade in all five categories they reviewed.
The board evaluates the superintendent each year based on board goals. McDermed, who is in his second full year as superintendent, was graded on the following goals:
•    Increasing student achievement through exemplary teaching
•    Builds a shared partnership with parents and community to build shared ownership in our district
•    Oversees and ensures sound fiscal management of the district’s resources
•    Superintendent/Board relations
•    General performance
The process included a closed meeting of the Cedar Springs Board of Education for its own evaluation, and an open Superintendent advisory committee that included board members, Cedar Springs Public Schools staff, the Cedar Springs City Manager, a representative from KSSN, a community member, and a representative from the Cedar Springs Ministerial Association.
Some comments from those who participated included in the evaluation noted that McDermed is a forward looking individual, keeps the bar high, is open and transparent, has a passion for the students and community, and has a distributive leadership that lets people do their jobs.
“The Cedar Springs Board of Education is grateful to Superintendent Ron McDermed for his commitment to our district…His leadership has allowed us to expand our student achievement…We believe the students and community of the Cedar Springs Public Schools District are well-served under his leadership,” the board noted in the summary of its evaluation.
For a complete copy of the evaluation, click on link: Superintendent Ron McDermed Evaluation 2010-2011.

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Protecting Our Investment…Securing Our Future

The Cedar Springs Public Schools Board of Education is requesting a one (1) mill sinking fund levy for a period of ten (10) years at the May 3, 2011 election.
• One mill would cost a homeowner with a $100,000 property value fifty dollars per year, less than one dollar per week.
• A sinking fund is a “pay as you go plan” with no interest or finance charges incurred by taxpayers.
• Stagnant or declining state funding has forced budget cuts for the last six years.
• Additional cuts and increased costs from the State are currently proposed at 2.4 million for the 2011-12 school year. In order to continue to support our infrastructure needs without additional funding we will be forced to cut programs for kids.

The Board of Education has worked hard to be good financial stewards.

Since 2003, the Board of Education has increased the district fund balance from a low of 5.7 percent to a current level of 14.99 percent. This fund balance allows us

to meet July, August, and September payrolls without the need to borrow. The Board has also decreased the percent of dollars spent on payroll from 85% to 75%.

Teachers, administrators, and support staff have taken freezes and benefits cuts to support our student needs first.

The Sinking Fund is the means by which the District can protect the community’s investment used by our students, staff, parents, and community.

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Board adopts proposal for sinking fund

The Cedar Springs Board of Education adopted a proposal on February 14, 2011 to go for a one mill sinking fund for the Cedar Springs Schools for a ten year period. The election will be held on May 3, 2011.
The Board acted on the recommendation of a District Advisory Committee composed of parents, staff and community members that have been working on the issue since October of 2010.
Additional information will be coming.  Community forums are planned for:
Tuesday, April 12 – Cedar Trails at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 14 – Community Night
Wednesday, April 20 – Red Hawk at 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, April 26 – High School at 7:00 p.m.

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Board of Education Recognition Month

As citizen leaders, individual school board members face complex and demanding challenges. They are alternately described as having the most important volunteer jobs in the country and facing the toughest challenge in elected American government. Yet school board members are just ordinary citizens with extraordinary dedication to our nation’s public schools.
Their job is to establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, ensure schools are accountable to the community and strongly advocate continuous improvement in student learning. Yet local trustees sometimes tackle an often thankless job devoid of any glory. Too often we are quick to criticize school board members without really knowing all the details that went into a given decision. Now is the time to thank them for their untiring efforts.
Although they wear many hats in the workday world, school board members put on a collective hat when they get down to the business of leading their school districts. Board members must pull together as a team toward a common goal—helping students achieve.
Too often we forget about the personal sacrifices school board members routinely make. Board members contribute hundreds and hundreds of hours each year leading their districts. The time spent in board meetings represents just a small fraction of the hours school board members spend leading in their districts. They also work hard at seminars and training sessions to keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership, are deeply involved in community activities and spend many hours in the schools and at extracurricular events. Their love for learning, and concern and caring for students, staff and community, drives board members’ desire to lead so students can achieve.
In recognition of the dedicated service, January is designated School Board Recognition Month. This is a time to show our appreciation and begin to better understand how local trustees work together to provide a better future for our children. In January, join with others from throughout our district and state to salute our Board of Education.

Joe Marckini, President

Jeff Gust, Trustee

Brook Nichols, Vice President

Matt Shoffner, Trustee

Todd Hanson, Treasurer

Shannon Vanderhyde, Trustee

Tim Avery, Secretary

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