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Tag Archive | "Cedar Springs Public School District"

Days of fear and intimidation are over


Dear CSPS Board of Education and Community,

Be Nice.

We embrace this anti-bullying initiative in our district. It’s on t-shirts, posters, and banners throughout our schools. The Mental Health Foundation website states that this campaign was designed to spread awareness surrounding the issue of bullying. The ‘Be Nice’ campaign strives to educate students and community members about how simply being nice is an effective way to promote a safe and civil environment within the school and community.

I’ve worn my Be Nice shirt to board meetings and the superintendent interviews. While we’ve expected our students to adopt this philosophy, some of our staff and administrators have not. Since we’ve had a change of superintendent, I have not felt the need to wear this shirt to board meetings.

Dr. Van Duyn IS nice. She is an example of what we should see in a person living out this philosophy. I feel safe, respected and valued. I do not fear unfair and unwarranted attacks any more. Any questions I have are quickly and completely answered. The days of fear, intimidation, disrespect, lies and corruption are over. That’s how it USED to be, especially at Cedar Trails.

I’ve been reading letters in the Post about a lack of leadership by the current administration, and I am confused. You could have said those things two years ago, but not any more.

The changes we’ve been experiencing are all for good. I feel listened to and supported. We have counseling back. Our professional development is relevant and helping us to better understand and meet the needs of the children that we serve in this community.

Now I am confident that this district is headed in the right direction. Our current leadership is skilled, competent and highly qualified.

Great things are happening here. Please keep up the good work!

Sincerely,

Karen Gebhardt

First Grade Teacher

Posted in Post Scripts, Voices and ViewsComments (1)

From the Superintendent’s Desk


Dear Cedar Springs Public Schools Families:

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Teaching and learning…it’s why we exist at Cedar Springs Public Schools (CSPS) and it’s why we work hard to be the best school district we can be. Our focus is on students, clear and simple. In order to focus on students, our administration, faculty and staff support each other in a collaborative manner to continue our practice of professional learning and interaction. We are engaged in an abundance of support for each other throughout our district…all in an effort to support our most cherished students.

As you know, great things are happening every day at CSPS! We are engaged with our parents, community, students and staff to provide the Board of Education with feedback for a new strategic plan. We are assessing our facilities and transportation operations to plan for the most effective and efficient practices. We are implementing a formal budget process that involves our administrators (they report how much they are enjoying the process and we’re proud of them for taking it on!). We are putting effective human resource processes and systems in place. We are continually updating our newly adopted Board policies that are now on our website. We are reforming and enhancing our business practices to plan for a bright future. We are adding a dental clinic to our medical clinic (at no cost to our district!). We are communicating with our parents and community more than ever before through our website, the Red Hawk Review, The CS Post. All this and much more is providing the “infrastructure” upon which we will continue to build this fantastic district.

All things we do, such as the aforementioned “infrastructure,” are to support teaching and learning. Let me highlight some of the fantastic things we are excited about as we support our most amazing teachers who in turn support our incredible students.

We are excited to highlight our teachers and administrators in the work they do each day for students during our on-site AdvancED accreditation review by an external team of evaluators in May! We are proud of the hard work, high expectations and outcomes we see in our classrooms and we want to share that in this rigorous process we choose to engage in every 5 years.

We are excited to witness the effective practices of Responsive Classroom® at our schools as the entire teaching and support staffs of Beach and Cedar Trails engaged in professional learning together and are establishing effective school wide practices. We are proud of our staffs for their commitment to professional learning and collaboration around Responsive Classroom®.

We are excited to see the hard work our K-5 teachers and administrators will do to select math curriculum to support our teachers and students for years to come. We look forward to the thorough process of curriculum review we have put in place to engage with publishers and to provide for high-level academic discourse between our teachers and administrators as they collaborate to select the curriculum (just as our 6-12 math teachers did last year).

We are excited to see our new Advanced Placement (AP) classes, like AP Economics, evolve due to the interest and commitment of our high school teachers and administrators.
We are excited to complete the School Improvement Plan process that involves our teachers, parents and administrators. Better yet, this year we directly aligned that process to a District Improvement Plan process that involves our parents, teachers and administrators as well. All of the intentional planning in this process helps us focus on goals at each site and as a district.

We are excited to see what our tech-inspired teachers do after attending the MACUL conference in Grand Rapids for solid professional learning and collaboration around all things technology. We were able to send about 25 teachers who will in turn provide professional learning and collaboration for our staffs next fall. We are proud of our innovative teachers!

We are excited to see the outcome of our Leverage Leadership training that all our administrators are enjoying throughout this year and next fall. The training is centered around the most effective way for administrators to engage with teachers in evaluations to help them further develop their craft. We commend our administrators for their continued interest in and growth around teaching and learning.

We are excited to engage in instructional rounds again in the coming weeks as it’s the district office and site collaboration around teaching and learning that is essential and energizing.
We are excited to see the positive results of hiring 4 counselors to support our students, teachers, and administrators. The counselors were funded through grant dollars and we now have support for our students who need counseling, behavior interventions, and other supports to remove barriers so they can focus on academics. This is a critical support to all.

We are excited to see the impact of implementing the Okay2Say program in our schools as students will have access to a confidential process to report acts of school violence, potential suicides, drugs, bullying, etc. The statistics for the program are incredible – we’ll soon take part!

We are excited to continue providing professional learning for our teachers who are asking to know more about Ruby Payne’s work on poverty and how it impacts teaching and learning.
We are excited to reap the benefits of more effective and efficient master scheduling after providing Powerschool® training for our middle and high school administrators, counselors and support staff along with offering district office support during the scheduling process.

We are excited to provide more math and reading interventionists to support our students and teachers. The interventionists are grant funded and offer small group or 1:1 targeted instruction for students in need of more support to meet academic standards.

We are excited that we used TRIG grant funds to provide new computers for our high school teachers and new computer labs for our students. We are making a concerted effort to budget for technology replacements so that all our teachers and students will have the tools they need for teaching and learning.

These are just some of the exciting ways teaching and learning is happening at CSPS. It is clear that our Board of Education, administration and staff have a clear focus on students. We extend our gratitude to our Board of Education for listening, questioning, visiting our schools in order to be well informed in their decision making and support of our efforts to improve teaching and learning for all at CSPS. Additionally, we extend our gratitude to all our parents and volunteers who partner with us in supporting our teachers and students. Together we are united in serving students, clear and simple!

Please know it is a pleasure to serve as your CSPS superintendent. I LOVE the work we do here at CSPS…it’s a passion of mine that is ever so rewarding. As you know, I maintain an open door to any and all who would like to talk. I am happy to answer questions you may have and appreciate the time you might take to seek answers on any variety of topics, such as all we are doing to support teaching and learning…because our Cedar Springs students deserve the very best!
Warmly,
Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.,

Superintendent of Schools
Office: 616-696-1204 ext. 1001
Cell: 925-899-3111
Email: laura.vanduyn@csredhawks.org

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March Students of the Month


Jenna Zoerman

JennaWebJunior Jenna Zoerman has been named the March 2016 Student Athlete of the Month for Competitive Cheer. Jenna is the daughter of Joel & Kate Zoerman. Jenna was named All Conference in 2013 and All Conference Honor Mention in 2014 & 2015. She also does excellent in the classroom with a 3.88 GPA and has been involved in many community volunteer events such as the Alzheimers Walk, Back to School Clinic, Santa Clause Parade, and Rocket Cheer Coach. Coach Olszewski comments: “Jenna takes all advanced placement classes even though she plays more than one sport. She prioritizes her work and maintains an excellent GPA and works hard at practices. She is in all three rounds on the mat, she has a substantial skill set for our sport. She is growing and learning what it takes to be a leader in her sport and life.”

Patrick Fliearman

BoyWebJunior Patrick Fliearman has been named March 2016 Student Athlete of the Month for Wrestling. Patrick is the son of Jim & Renee Fliearman. He is a three year varsity wrestler and won 15 matches this season. Patrick is also a black belt in Karate. He does great in the classroom with a 4.0 GPA and is on the National Honor Society. Coach Emery comments: “ The Spectacular aspect about Patrick is his dedication to the sport. He has a great work ethic, participates in all team functions and is a phenomenal teammate who puts the team first.”

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Exciting School District News: Bond Refunding, Series A and Series B


The Board of Education is committed to providing an excellent education for every child in the district. The Board of Education is committed to high expectations for excellence in all we do as a district. We hold ourselves and all others accountable and expect every person to work with integrity in all positions. To that end this Board of Education is providing transparency in all they do. This Board is proud of the forward motion of the school district and a list of many accomplishments in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

An example of a recent accomplishment that will serve our district and community well is the refunding of Bonds, Series A and Series B. The Superintendent, Board of Education, Director of Business and Finance, CSPS Accountant, financial advisors to the District, banks and legal counsel worked through a lengthy process to make the bond refunding possible. A summary of the bond refunding process is illustrated as follows:

December 14, 2015: Board of Education adopted a delegating resolution at a regular board meeting. This authorized the superintendent to accept and execute a Bond Purchase Agreement with the Underwriter.

February 1, 2016: Conference call with all parties to review POS
February 8, 2016 (week of): Conference call with rating agency
February 18, 2016: Pricing of bonds (subject to market conditions)
February 19, 2016: Superintendent executes bond purchase agreement
March 14, 2016: Board of Education adopts a “ratification resolution” at a regular board meeting. This is an additional, but not mandatory step, to add a great depth of transparency and support to the process. Signatures from the superintendent, Board President and Board Secretary were required to adopt the resolution.
March 23, 2016: Closing

This Board of Education and leadership team are excited to have worked through this long and involved process to save our tax payers approximately 2.5 million dollars over the next several years. Please see our website www.csredhawks.org where all documents related to the bond refunding are available for your review. Please feel free to contact Dr. Laura VanDuyn, Superintendent, at 696-1204 ext. 1001, should you have any questions or would like to meet to discuss this exciting news.

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From the Superintendent’s Desk (March 2016)


Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Superintendent Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Dear Cedar Springs Public Schools Staff and Families,

On behalf of the Board of Education, thank you for participating in the Strategic Planning Process. At Cedar Springs Public Schools we commend the Board of Education for entering into this important process. A strategic plan provides for a district shared vision, mission and set of core values in order to plan forward for the continued success in serving the nearly 3,500 students of Cedar Springs Public Schools.

As promised, feedback groups met with the Board of Education’s strategic planning facilitator. Administrators, teachers, support staff, students, parents and community members provided invaluable input into creating a district shared vision, mission and set of core values. The facilitator will now combine the information gathered from all constituent groups and circle back to ensure he captured what was shared. The facilitator will then work with the Board of Education to utilize constituent input to articulate the vision, mission and core values for the district.

The collaboration of so many has made this inclusive process possible. Again, thank you to all who spent their days and evenings with the steering committee and in feedback groups. Hard work and great progress is taking place every day at Cedar Springs Public Schools in order to serve our students – because our Cedar Springs Public Schools students deserve the very best!

In appreciation,

Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Office: 616-696-1204 ext. 1001 Cell: 925-899-3111

Email: laura.vanduyn@csredhawks.org

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Snow Day make up


CSPS-snow-daysThe snow day from Thursday, February 27 has put Cedar Springs Public School District over the allotted snow days for the 2013-2014 school year.   Friday, May 23 was built in school calendar as a snow day make-up.    Mark your calendar, Friday, May 23 will be a full instructional day.

Hopefully Mother Nature will loosen up her grip just a bit in the remaining days between now and June!

For the updated school calendar, please visit www.csredhawks.org.

 

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