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Tag Archive | "cedar springs public schools"

Cedar Springs back to school plan

By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs Public Schools recently announced their back to school safe start plan, and it includes two options for families to choose from: full in-person instruction or virtual online learning. 

They have asked parents to let them know by this Friday, August 14, which plan they will choose for their children. “It’s mostly for planning,” explained Cedar Springs Superintendent Scott Smith. “We need to make staffing decisions.”

The district plans to reopen for in-person instruction on Tuesday, September 8. They have tried to make in-person instruction as safe as possible. “We are working with community partners including Kent Intermediate School District and Spectrum Health to ensure decisions are being carefully considered and recommendations vetted,” Smith said in the document given to parents and approved by the Board of Education. “We relied on current medical best practices released by the CDC, national guidance, and support from other organizations to build the most comprehensive and safe plan possible. The plan was also vetted and approved by the CSPS Board of Education. In addition, our legal counsel has reviewed and advised the material contained in the plan.”

The plan varies according to which phase we are in. For phase 4/5, all students K-12, will have the option of either in-person instruction with safeguards (such as social distancing, masks, handwashing, etc.) or virtual learning. They are asking for a commitment of one semester to whichever plan they choose. “The pacing is slightly different on the two plans and not seamless,” explained Smith. 

Masks will be required for all students K-12 and staff, except when eating, and mask breaks will be given to elementary children. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up in classrooms, and desks disinfected at the end of each class period. Lunch will take place in various places besides the cafeteria and food will be pre-plated.

Parents will be asked to monitor their child’s symptoms at home.

For children who have health issues or for those parents who feel uncomfortable sending children back to school, they can choose the fully online learning. It will consist of at-home learning with CSPS teachers or mentors and online content and will be a semester commitment. It will be graded. It is recommended more for those children who are highly motivated or have a strong support system at home. 

So far, about 85 percent have chosen in-person instruction and 15 percent online instruction.

The Post asked Smith if virtual learning might remain an option even after masks and other safeguards are no longer needed. “There are going to be things we learn from this that make us stronger in the future,” he remarked. “I could see us moving forward with that as long as there is a demand. It could be looked on as a very positive thing; it has the flexibility of doing any work anywhere at any time. The downside is the student is not as actively engaged as in person. It depends on the drive of the learner. Our goal is to provide a robust experience with both online and in-person instruction.”

Smith said feedback from parents has been positive. “Parents just want information. There have been a lot of questions. Many have experienced appreciation as well as frustration, and we understand that because we don’t have all the answers ourselves.”

For those who want to read the full plan approved by the board, click the link below:

School Covid Preparedness Plan CSPS– Fall 2020.pdf

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Cedar Springs Public Schools responds to school closure

April 2, 2020               

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Moments ago, Governor Whitmer ordered schools to close for the remainder of the school year. This drastic measure is intended to help ensure the health and well being of students and their families.  The Governor also asked that each school district and its staff provide a remote learning plan for students to continue to make reasonable academic gains throughout the remainder of the 2019/20 school year.  

Cedar Springs Public Schools will continue to foster our dynamic community of learners, who inspire and support one another, to exceed their potential. As you can imagine, this is complex work.  It will take time. An opportunity of this magnitude has never been faced before in the history of our great country. Students, parents, and CSPS staff are all going to need to be “learners” to accomplish our mission. Specific details around these plans will be shared as soon as possible. 

Our remote learning plan will support our students emotionally and academically.  How our students are feeling during these challenging times is as important, if not more important than what they are learning.  Cedar Springs Public Schools is working with the other 19 districts within Kent ISD to provide engaging materials to support academic growth and the social/emotional welfare for each of our students.

We know you may have other questions regarding your students’ education. Here is a list of responses to common questions that have been raised by parents so far:

Retrieving Personal Items/Medication from desks/lockers:

If there are essential medications that must be recovered immediately, please send an email to cspstogether@csredhawks.org or call 616-696-0464.  We will be sharing our plan for students to collect other personal items in the near future.

Food Distribution: 

Cedar Springs Public Schools, Creative Technologies Academy, KISD Regional Program locations, and several local agencies will continue to partner to support our students by providing them with breakfast and lunch while schools are closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The only requirement to receive a free breakfast and lunch is that students must be age 18 or younger (26 or younger with an active IEP). Please visit our website csredhawks.org to sign up for meals.

Graduation:  We expect all students who were on track to meet all state and district requirements to graduate successfully. We are going to do everything possible to ensure that our seniors experience graduation. For those who are not on track to graduate, we will provide further information when it becomes available.

Standardized Assessments:  MSTEP, PSAT, and SAT tests were waived as a result of the crisis and school closings across our state and the nation.  College Board will provide guidance for AP students regarding test-at-home options.  

Athletics/Extracurricular Activities:  All of these activities will be suspended for the remainder of the school year as requested by the Governor in her executive order. We would encourage you to support your student to maintain their interest and preparedness for these activities when they resume.  


If you have further questions regarding school-related issues, please visit our website at csredhawks.org, send an email to cspstogether@csredhawks.org or call 616-696-0464. If you have further questions regarding COVID-19, please visit our web page for links to local, state and national guidance.

Please know our staff has been working nonstop to develop remote learning plans designed to engage students and our families in learning activities. Working together, teachers, support staff and parents will continue our students with engaging learning experiences during these unprecedented times.  

Thank you in advance for your time. We could not do this vital work without your willingness to partner with us. 

We can. We will. We are. Together.

With respect and appreciation,

Scott Smith, Superintendent of Schools

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Corona virus in Michigan: where we stand as of Wednesday, March 18

These empty shelves at the Cedar Springs Meijer are typical of what grocery stores are experiencing across the state due to shoppers stocking up in case of a total shutdown.

Things changed fast and furiously in Michigan from Friday, March 13 to Monday, March 16. And they continued to change quickly this week.

Michigan went from 12 cases of confirmed COVID-19 on Friday to 53 on Monday. As of Wednesday, there were 80, with five of those cases in Kent County and one in Montcalm.

On Friday, Governor Whitmer announced the closing of all Michigan schools for three weeks, from March 16 to April 5. Some districts then have spring break, bringing it to a total of four weeks. The Post asked Cedar Springs Public Schools Superintendent Scott Smith if the teachers were sending home work for students.

“While we have pushed pause on formal instruction, we are providing families with resources they can use to continue to engage in the learning process,” he explained. “We recognize that parents and caregivers are not teachers. It would not be reasonable to expect that formal instruction can continue during this statewide suspension.”

The school (along with many in Kent County) is also offering free meal pickup and in some cases delivery for students. See page 2 for more info.

Meanwhile, people began raiding the grocery stores for food and supplies to hold them over in case of a total shutdown or quarantine. Things like milk, meat, hand sanitizer and toilet paper have been in short supply due to people buying extreme quantities.

The Kent County Health Department issued an emergency order on Sunday, March 15, 2020, reducing occupancy loads – or limits – for all licensed food service establishments, entertainment venues and physical fitness centers in Kent County by 50 percent, which went into effect Monday at 10 a.m.

But that quickly changed when on Monday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an order to take effect at 3 p.m. temporarily shutting down restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos. This order does not restrict a place of business from offering food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service. Restaurants may allow five people inside at a time to pick-up orders, so long as they stay six feet apart from each other. This order remains in effect until 11:59 p.m. on March 30, 2020.

Many restaurants are offering take out or delivery. Contact them or visit their Facebook page to see what options they are offering and help them stay afloat.

The state of Michigan also came out this week with some options on relief for those out of work due to the COVID-19 virus (see page 7) and some resources to support small businesses during this time (see our business pages on pages 14-15)

Also, the CDC issued new guidelines Sunday night advising against gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks. “We support the CDC in this recommendation, and we encourage individuals to minimize the size of public gatherings,” said Dr. Adam London, Chief Health Officer with the Kent County Health Department.

The Governor then signed an executive order this week limiting gatherings to 50 people or less.

Many businesses and municipalities are closing to the general public or restricting their available hours. The City of Cedar Springs is closed to the general public as of Tuesday, but can still be reached by phone and email. Face to face meetings will be by appointment only. 

The Post is also closed to the general public, but can be reached by phone and email. We also have a mailbox outside our front door for submissions.

We suggest you contact any business before visiting to see whether they have open business hours.

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Bond proposal forums postponed

Last week we told you about a new bond proposal from Cedar Springs Public Schools that will be on the ballot in May. Several community forums were scheduled to answer voter’s questions, including two this week. The forums scheduled for March 18, 19, and 25 are being postponed. We will announce it when they are rescheduled.

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Get questions answered on school bond proposal

Do you have questions you’d like answered or points you’d like clarified on the Cedar Springs Public School bond proposal? You will be voting on it on November 5, so now is a good time to get some answers!

They will be holding public forums Tuesday, October 15 and Thursday, October 17. There will be held both days at 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the 3rd floor boardroom at District Office (Hilltop), and at Beach Elementary in the evening, with a building tour at 6:30 p.m. and a meeting in the cafeteria at 7 p.m.

There will be major renovations at Beach Elementary, with plans for a new academic wing that will tie into the current cafeteria and gymnasium. The original academic wing was constructed in 1964.

There are plans for upgrades and repairs at all the elementary and secondary buildings, along with construction of a new 8th/9th grade building on the high school campus, which Supt. Scott Smith said would eliminate the need to build additional classrooms and to increase the size of the food service area at the High School. It also provides needed space to add new career/college readiness programs for students in grades 8 through 12.”  

Voters will be asked to approve a tax levy of 7.9 mills over the next 18 years. If the bond proposal is approved by voters, it will provide $81,150,000 for district-wide improvements. The owner of a home with a market value of $150,000 would receive a tax increase of approximately $70 per year. 

The bond proposal was put together with input from parents, community, and staff.

To read up on all the details, go to csredhawks.org and click on bond information. Then attend one of the public forums next week to get your questions answered.

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Cedar Springs Public Schools

School Bond Vote

Scott B. Smith, Superintendent

On November 5, 2019, Cedar Springs Public Schools is asking the community to vote on a school bond proposal that would provide significant benefits for our students and programs by improving our facilities.  This bond is the first substantial investment in our school facilities in over 15 years. We need to address normal depreciation in our facilities and respond to a steady increase in enrollment, which is projected to continue into the future as our community grows. 

In order to give community members the opportunity to ask questions about the bond proposal and hear more about the proposed improvements, we are inviting the public to attend one of six community forums October 15 and October 17.   According to Scott Smith, Superintendent of Schools, “The purpose of this campaign is to provide members of our community with the information needed in order to make an informed decision for their families when they go to the polls on November 5.” 

The bond proposal is part of a long-term plan for district facilities. In 2016, the District partnered with GMB Architecture and Engineering to assess each of our schools. Their findings were used to determine and prioritize a list of facility needs throughout the District. What is most exciting for our community are the enhancements this proposal will bring to the learning environment for all students in all our schools.  From increased capacity to serve our students at young-fives through high school, to appropriately-sized gathering spaces and teaching environments for our elementary and middle-school students, this bond proposal addresses the needs now and well into the future.

Superintendent Smith will be available to meet with community members at 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on October 15th and 17th at Hilltop Administration Building. He will also be available at Beach Elementary on both days starting at 6:30 p.m. If these dates and times do not work for you, please call Superintendent Smith at 616-696-1204 to set up a time for a meeting. He is happy to meet with individuals or groups of people in their homes, neighborhoods, or any location convenient to share the details of the bond proposal. “We are willing to do whatever it takes to help our community make an informed decision on November 5,” said Smith.

Red Hawk Visits Cedar Trails Elementary to welcome the kindergarten class to Cedar Springs Public Schools.

Bond Closing

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019, Cedar Springs Public Schools successfully closed on their bond refunding which will save District taxpayers over $500,000. The closing of the bond sale signifies that all the money from the bond sale has been sent to pay off the remaining balance of the district’s School Bond Loan Fund (SBLF) balance.  

This refunding was made possible by the Board of Education and Administration diligently seeking out ways to save money for its taxpayers. Cedar Springs Public Schools was one of the first districts in the state to act on incredible market conditions. The Board of Education recognized the opportunity to save taxpayer dollars and took advantage of a great bond climate for issuers.  

“Many other districts throughout the state are now following our lead and taking advantage of the great rate climate and are refunding their SLRF balances.  Our goal is to be good stewards of the dollars provided to us by local taxes.  The Community and School District should be very pleased with the results of the bond sale” said Scott Smith, Superintendent. “The School District was able to save over $504,000 in interest payments for our taxpayers with a new true interest rate of 2.18%.  The SBLF current variable rate is 3.40% and has a minimum 3.00% interest rate for the fund.  The difference between the SBLF rate and the new fixed true interest rate of 2.18% is the recognized savings”.

As the district faces an upcoming bond proposal, it is important to note that Cedar Springs Public Schools is an attractive partner for investors.  The continued financial stewardship of the Board and Administration will continue to be valuable as the district looks at its capital needs and invests in the facilities utilized by our students and community.  If you have any additional questions related to the 2019 refunding, please contact Scott Smith, Superintendent, at 616-696-1204 ext. 1004 or via email at scott.smith@csredhawks.org. 

Mark Your Calendar!

Upcoming Dates – For the complete school calendar, visit www.csredhawks.org

October 11 Student Early Release Day (2 hrs) 

October 25 Student Early Release Day (2 hrs)

November 1 Student Early Release Day (2 hrs)

November 15 Student Early Release Day (2 hrs)

2019-2020 Cedar Springs High School Student Council

Athletic Golden Age Pass

If you are 60 years of age or older and are a resident of the Cedar Springs School District, you could be eligible for a Lifetime Golden Age Pass.    This pass entitles you to admission to school sponsored activities and athletic events offered by member schools.  Some restrictions apply.  Certain athletic contests may require a fee (conference, regional and state tournaments).  For an application, visit www.csredhawks.org Athletics or stop by the Cedar Springs District Office.


Mornings can be really crazy…the alarm doesn’t go off…the kids don’t want to get up…there is no time to eat breakfast before the bus comes…or they’re just not ready to eat!  Or maybe your teenager grabs a soda and a candy bar on the way to school.  If this sounds like your house in the morning, we can help.  Breakfast is served at school every day school is in session! 

Why choose School Breakfast?  

School breakfast will give your child a healthy start to the day.  Students who eat breakfast have better attention and memory, and studies show that eating breakfast at school results in higher test scores. 

Breakfast at school is affordable!

If your student qualifies for a free or reduced price lunch, he/she also qualifies for a free or reduced price breakfast, with no additional paperwork.  A reduced price breakfast is $.30 cents and a full price breakfast is only $1.40 for elementary students and $1.50 for middle and high school students.  Breakfast selections include whole grain rich items, fresh or canned fruit, 100% fruit juice and low fat or fat free dairy products.  You can’t find a healthy breakfast at such a low cost anywhere else.

For the October Food Service Newsletter, visit www.csredhawks.org.

Calling All Red Hawks Home

2019 Homecoming Football Game 

Friday, October 18, 2019 @ 7pm vs Ottawa Hills High School 

Red Hawk Stadium

CSHS and H Productions present

A full evening of the horrors and hardships that befall those who feel the call of the stage. In a series of hilarious examples, this play proves that drama can be a very dangerous thing and it must be avoided at all costs.

November 6 – 9  

CSHS Auditorium


Superintendent Smith at the Red Flannel Parade

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Superintendent receives “highly effective” rating

by Judy Reed

When Scott Smith was hired last summer to be the new Superintendent of Cedar Springs Public Schools, he had his work cut out for him. He walked into a district where the former superintendent had been asked to resign, and board members were being recalled. Would Smith, together with the board, be able to guide the district toward a path of unity and healing?

Superintendent Scott Smith

The Board of Education completed a comprehensive evaluation of Smith’s first year as Superintendent on Monday, June 24, and announced that he earned a rating of “highly effective.” The vote was unanimous, 7-0.

Board members used an evaluation system provided by the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB) to rate Smith’s effectiveness on 57 indicators. The seven members of the Board reviewed nearly 400 pages of artifacts representing Smith’s body of work for the 2018-19 school year.

Members of the Board cited several strengths in Smith’s work throughout the year, noting his student focus, his use of effective systems, his capacity to develop others, his transparency, leadership style and details in the required artifacts for evaluation. 

While the District is in the process of developing a three-year strategic plan, Smith cites improving student achievement as his top priority for the foreseeable future.

The Post asked Board President Heidi Reed if Smith’s leadership helped bring unity at a difficult time. “We did experience tension, which was the result of conflicting visions for what was best for the students, families, and staff who call Cedar Springs home,” she acknowledged, referring to what took place last year. “We have used this year to develop a unified vision for our District. Our new strategic plan, developed with input from over 2,000 Red Hawks, will be ready to guide our work in August.” 

According to a press release from the Board, the District Wide Strategic Plan, complete with data input from stakeholders will be presented to the BOE in the July meeting. “Progress made on the District strategic plan as well as on the District’s facility plan are both essential to Mr. Smith’s success in year two,” it said.

While it’s common business practice at the time of the superintendent evaluation to review the superintendent contract, Smith recommended that the BOE leave the contract as it currently stands. 

The Post asked Smith what his biggest challenge has been this year. “The biggest challenge for our team in my first year as the superintendent was finding the ‘right prioritization and pace’ for our work,” he said. “We strive to meet each student where she/he is and help them get the most out of each minute of each school day. We realize in some cases, we don’t have the systems or programs in place yet to accomplish that lofty goal for each one of our students. We invested a great deal of time this year listening to our students, parents, staff, and community members to develop the strategic plan that will guide the work of the District for the next three years. Over 2,000 people who call Cedar Springs Public Schools home contributed to the development of our plan. At times, we found ourselves ‘going slow’ this year to help us ‘go fast’ in the future. Our strategic plan, once approved by of Board of Education, will provide our team with a prioritized set focal points in the areas of Academic and Student Services, Engagement, and Operations. This plan will clarify our priorities and the pace of our work for the next three years.”

Has anything surprised Smith about Cedar Springs? “I knew the staff, parents, and community of Cedar Springs Public Schools loved their students. [But] it quickly became apparent the staff, parents, and community of Cedar Springs LOVEour students,” he remarked. “True love means putting the needs of others before self. Webster’s dictionary defines love as ‘unselfish, loyal, and benevolent concern for the good of another.’ The committed partnership between Cedar Springs Public Schools, our parents, and our community will result in transformational growth for our students. I am both grateful and excited to be a part of this work.”

One thing Smith has really enjoyed this year is reading to students. “The favorite part of my year was easily sharing a good book with our students. I quickly realized that my library of children’s books was limited. I received a healthy assortment of new storybooks for Christmas and my birthday from my family. I am ready for next fall!” he said. 

The Post asked Smith if there was anything he’d like to say to the community. “Thank you! Thank you for entrusting Cedar Springs Public Schools with the responsibility of educating the children of our community. Thank you for partnering with us as we engage in this complex work. Thank you for sharing your ideas and concerns with us when you experience something that isn’t working. Our feet hit the floor each morning, knowing that we have to be better than we were the day before. We aspire to get better at what we do each day for each student. Together, the investment we make in our students will result in a brighter future for the entire community of Cedar Springs,” he said.

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Cedar Springs Public Schools

Spring Art Show

Thursday, May 16 at 6:00 p.m.

High School Cafeteria

Come see the students display their work in the annual Spring Art Show.

Light refreshments will be available to enjoy.

Cedar Springs High School Graduation Ceremony

May 30, 2019     7:00 p.m.

Red Hawk Stadium (weather permitting)

New Beginnings High School Graduation Ceremony

May 22, 2019    7:00 p.m.

Cedar Springs High School Auditorium

Reception immediately following in the cafeteria

Class of 2019 Red Hawk Parade

Class of 2019 graduating seniors are invited to parade through the Cedar Springs campus on May 28 at 2:00 p.m. 

Students and staff from Cedar Trails, Beach, Cedar View and Red Hawk will line the parade route congratulating the graduates.

2019—2020 School Year Schools of Choice IS NOW OPEN

If you would like additional information please contact the registrar, Krissi Brott at Kristina.Brott@csredhawks.org or (616) 696-1204 x1919. 

Forms available at www.csredhawks.org 

MASB Presents Awards of Merit

MASB (Michigan Association of School Boards)was pleased to present awards to board members across the county for professional board development courses completed during the past year.  

Congratulations to CSPS Board President Heidi Reed for earning the MASB Award of Merit. 

From the Superintendent

The provision of constructive feedback is critical to improving performance.  Plants grow faster and stronger when provided with the right fertilizers, in the proper amounts, and following the prescribed schedule.  Similarly, school districts grow faster and stronger when they use feedback as fertilizer. Cedar Springs Public Schools is in the middle of what is playing out to be a very exciting season of gathering feedback from multiple fronts.  We are thankful for the investment of our stakeholders; including students, parents, community members, and staff are making in our work.

Scott B. Smith, Superintendent

Our feedback season started strong in January with the launch of our community based, three-year strategic planning cycle. Nearly 2,000 people with a direct connection to our district participated in a focus group, a community forum, or submitted an online survey to help develop a strategic plan that will guide the work of Cedar Springs Public Schools for the next three years.  

Since early April, students at each grade level have been putting their best effort forward on a variety of assessments including the SAT, PSAT, M-Step, iReady, and local assessments. Teachers will use the results from these assessments to drive instruction for the rest of this year as well as make adjustments for the 2019/20 school year. The district is currently collecting feedback on our facilities as we look to develop a facility plan that will set us up for success through the 2030/31 school year.  Lastly, we will be providing staff with performance feedback in May to help us grow in our professional practice for next year.

Cedar Springs Public Schools is getting stronger each day as a result of the willingness of our students, parents, community members, and staff to put their ideas on the table for consideration.  Our stakeholders are providing us with a rich collection of feedback that is making a difference in our work throughout the district. You are sharing your perspectives, and we are listening.

With respect and appreciation,

Scott B. Smith, Superintendent

Cedar Springs Public Schools Facilities Vision Questionnaire

In 2016, CSPS conducted an assessment of our existing facilities. The report identified a number of areas in need of our attention including safety and security upgrades, roofing, paving, mechanical systems, flooring, playgrounds, and electrical system upgrades throughout the district. In addition to areas of need associated with our current schools, we are in need of additional learning spaces to accommodate student growth. 

 CSPS has utilized its building and site sinking fund and grants to address some of these capital improvements.  District leaders placed an emphasis on projects which enhanced safety and security on our campus. The Board of Education is now considering several options to provide the necessary spaces for our growing student population and address our remaining infrastructure needs. 

 Your thoughts are important to the Board members as we work to clarify the direction for our district’s facility plan.  We are asking parents and residents of our community to complete a short questionnaire in order to help us clarify the district’s next steps regarding our facilities. 

Please share your thoughts through the questionnaire by May 13th. Be assured that your answers will remain completely anonymous.  Responses are only reported in aggregate.

 Please visit www.csredhawks.org and locate the CSPS Facilities Vision Questionnaire link on the homepage.

 Thank you again,

 Scott Smith, Superintendent

Heidi Reed, Board of Education President

2019 Campus Kids Summer Camp

We are currently gearing up for our Summer Camp session. Campus Kids Summer Camp will be held at Cedar Trails. The children are divided by age group – 4 to 7 year olds and 8 to 12 year olds. This way we can plan age appropriate activities and outings. 

Summer Camp starts on June 17, 2019 and runs through August 28, 2019. We are closed the week of the 4th of July. There is a $20 registration fee for one child and a $40 registration fee for a family. If you register for the Summer Camp, your registration fee covers the next school year. Cost for Summer Camp is $30 a day or $140 for 5 days a week. Families can sign up for as many or as few days as needed. A sibling discount is available. Tuition payments are due a month in advance and payment is expected for the number of days registered. No refunds are issued for missed days. Field trip costs are extra. Drop-In rates are available but your child needs to be registered.  Please call in advance to check availability.

Programming for Summer Camp includes many field trips to various fun and educational spots around the area. 

Registration packets are available at Cedar Trails or online at csredhawks.org and Campus Kids is under the Parents tab. Or, you can call Campus Kids at (616) 696-1716 or e-mail questions to campus.kids@csredhawks.org. Please register for Summer Camp by May 25, 2019.

2019 – 2020 school calendar is available at www.csredhawks.org

2019—2020 Kindergarten Class Enrollment OPEN NOW

Your child must be 5 years old by September 1, 2019 to register for Kindergarten.   Visit www.csredhawks.org and select K-12 Enrollment.  Contact the Registrar at 616.696.7317 with any questions.

Hearing and Vision Screening

Kindergarten entrants will need documentation of Hearing and Vision Screening through the Kent County Health Department (KCHD). The KCHD will be at Cedar Trails Elementary on the following date: 

June 4, 2019 & August 27, 2019

Please call Cedar Trails Elementary at 616.696.9884 to schedule an appointment.  

Additional appointment times can be scheduled by calling the KCHD at 616.632.7047.

Preschool Open Enrollment OPEN NOW

Classes will be forming for students who are 3 or 4 years old by September 1, 2019.  Information is available for families that are interested in tuition assistance for preschool.  

Contact Cedar Trails Elementary main office 616.696.9884.

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Cedar Springs Public Schools

Important School Calendar Update

Dear Cedar Springs Parents and Families,

Cedar Springs Public Schools will be in session for a full day on the five days currently listed in our calendar as early release days.  Students will follow their regular daily schedule on the following five days:

Scott B. Smith, Superintendent

March 8 and 22

April 12 and 26

May 10

We are making this change to recoup a portion of the nearly 100 hours of instructional time lost due to the 14 weather-related closings we have had so far this year.  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.

While adding these ten hours of instruction does not impact the number of school days we need to make up at the end of the year; it is in our student’s best interest to make the adjustment.  We are making this change to provide our students and teachers with five additional “normal” days of school in a winter that has been very abnormal.  It is clear when talking to students and staff from each grade level that they desperately want to be back in class.

As you know, Cedar Springs Public Schools is required by law to have at least 172 days of instruction for the 2018/19 school year.  As weather conditions can impact our ability to transport students safely, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) allows districts to close school up to six (6) times per year for conditions affecting student safety.  As of today, we have canceled school fourteen (14) times due to weather-related conditions.  

We have now exceeded our allotted number of closings by eight (8) days.  The State allows districts to apply for a waiver for an additional three (3) closings.  We applied for the waiver in February.  We learned earlier this week that our waiver application was denied.  As of today, we will be adding eight (8) days to our calendar.

Please note Cedar Springs Public Schools will be in session on:

May 24, June 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14

Additional days will be identified beyond June 14 if we have further cancellations this year.

There is talk of legislative action in Lansing which may further impact our calendar.  Please know if any upcoming changes to the law affect our District, I will notify you immediately.

With respect and appreciation,

Scott B. Smith, Superintendent of Schools, From the School Operations Desk

School Facility Update

Subzero temperature and wind chills with driving snow are enough to keep the Cedar Springs School’s maintenance and grounds crew busy on a regular day.  Add in ice and a major power outage and the story gets interesting.  What a weekend we had in February.

As the Director of Operations I cannot say thank you enough to my team for the time and effort they put into making sure our schools held up during that time.  From Thursday after the power failed until Sunday night they worked many, many hours to protect our facilities and to make sure school was ready to open on Monday.  It was a group effort that I will never forget. WE ARE READY FOR SPRING!  

Our team was expanded to include Northwest Kent Mechanical and Hillard Electric.  Temporary building generators and frozen pipe repairs that required contractor’s attention were completed by these to great partners.  They worked side by side with Cedar Springs staff to keep our schools from sustaining even more damages.  Thank you to both.

Over the winter break the maintenance team installed new LED lighting in the high school gym and wrestling room.  This not only brightened up the areas but will bring savings to our electric bills.   We are continuing with our Michigan State Police safety grant work to be completed by Sept 1, 2019.  This includes new exterior doors on Cedar View, district wide installation of a Blue Point Alert System, new intercoms, and added electronic card reader locks.  We have just applied for another Michigan State Police Safety grant to expand on the Blue Point Alert System.  

Ken Simon, Director of Operations

2019-20 School Year Schools of Choice

Cedar Springs Public Schools participates in both the Kent Intermediate School District Schools of Choice Plan and the Section 105c State plan. All students residing within the Kent Intermediate School District may apply for enrollment in any Kent ISD school that has available openings during the advertised timeframe (usually open during the spring). Students who reside in a district that is within a different ISD that borders the Kent ISD, may also apply under the Section 105c plan depending on available openings. Students who have been suspended or expelled may be excluded. Applications are available at our administration building.

Schools of Choice will open in April.  If you would like to be placed on the list to receive a 2019-2020 Schools of Choice application for your child, please contact the registrar, Krissi Brott at Kristina.Brott@csredhawks.org or (616) 696-1204 x1919.  

Kindergarten Information Night

The Cedar Springs Kindergarten Team welcomes the parents and guardians of the 2019-2020 Kindergarten Class for an Information night.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | 6:00 – 7:00 pm | Cedar Trails Elementary

​Parents and guardians will meet in the multi-purpose room where our kindergarten teaching staff will present an outline of the typical day, share curriculum expectations and give some helpful tips on selecting a backpack and other frequently used items. In August, after teacher assignments have been finalized, we will welcome the students to Cedar Trails’ Open House to visit their classroom and meet their teacher.

Spring Break – No School

March 29 – April 5; students return to school on April 8

2019 Board of Education Meetings

March 11, 25*

April 22

May 13

June 10, 24

*work session

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, SchoolsComments Off on Cedar Springs Public Schools

School seeks input on strategic plan

By Scott Smith, Superintendent, Cedar Springs Public Schools

Cedar Springs Public Schools is excited to share that we are preparing to launch a community-driven strategic planning process. Our ambitious goal is to present the Board of Education with a draft of a comprehensive three-year strategic plan for their review in July. A final version of the plan would then be presented to the Board for their approval in August. We need your help to make this happen.

To create a community-driven strategic plan, we must first identify and engage with the people who call Cedar Springs Public Schools home. For us, community starts with our students and families. It is also essential that we reach out to District staff, community and business leaders, and residents in this process. The Board of Education is committed to listening to the ideas of our community to clarify the focus of our efforts over the next three years.

The gathering of community input will first come in the form of five focus group conversations. These meetings are scheduled to take place in late January. We will have one focus group for students, one for staff, two groups for parents, and one group for community members and business leaders. The focus groups will include 25-30 representatives from each category. In some cases, individuals will be invited to participate in a focus group. In other cases, we will randomly select participants from a pool of individuals who have expressed interest in helping us with this process. The discussion at these meetings will center on two primary topics:

*What do you like the most about Cedar Springs Public Schools?

 *What can Cedar Springs Public Schools do to improve?

The feedback gathered from the focus group conversations will then be used to generate questions for a comprehensive survey that will be sent out in late February. Each student in grades 6-12, all parents of students grades PK-12, and all District staff will receive a survey via email. Community/business leaders and residents of Cedar Springs will be able to submit a survey electronically through a link on our website.

Post photo by J. Reed.

The next step in our process will be to review the District’s current strategic plan relative to the feedback collected from our community. A team of students, parents, staff, and community/business leaders will work together to create a draft of our three-year strategic plan in June. This draft will be presented to our Board of Education for discussion at their meeting in July. Our goal is to present a final version of our strategic plan to the Board for approval in August.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to Cedar Springs Public Schools. We look forward to learning from the ideas you share during these essential steps in our strategic planning process. Together, we will make clear our District’s priorities for the next three years.

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, Featured, News, SchoolsComments Off on School seeks input on strategic plan

School board needs to fill short-term vacancy

By Judy Reed

Do you want to be on the Cedar Springs Board of Education? Now that certified election results are back, they have an open seat to fill for a term of only 21 days. 

They will be accepting applications for the vacancy until noon on December 10. If it’s decided they need to do interviews, you will be contacted no later than 4 p.m. that day, and the interviews would take place that evening at 6:45 p.m. For more info please click here.

So why is there an opening for only 21 days—December 10 through December 31?

According to Superintendent Scott Smith, it’s because of the way the law is written regarding appointed and elected positions. 

Two seats were up for election this year: seat #5 and seat #6. The people who won those seats will start their terms in January. Mistie Bowser and Jeff Rivard won those four-year terms.

The other two seats voted on were #2 and #7. Those were appointed seats, where someone left this year but their term was not up at the end of this year and the person appointed had to run for the seat again in November. The people who won those seats (Tracie Slager and Trent Gilmore) will start serving immediately since the term was not up.

Traci Slager was appointed in early 2018 to seat #2 to replace Ted Sabinas, and after winning seat #2 in the November election, she will serve out the remaining four years. She will take office immediately since the term was not up.

Mistie Bowser was elected to seat #5. Matt McConnon has been serving in that seat. He was appointed to fill that seat when Patricia Eary resigned. The term was up at the end of this year. McConnon did not run for it because he wanted to run for Courtland Township Supervisor. Mistie Bowser ran for the position and she will serve a four-year term starting in January.

Here is where it gets tricky. Jeff Rivard and Trent Gilmore did not run for the seats they were serving in. They ran for each other’s seats. One was an appointed seat where the term was not up, and the other was one due for election this year.

Jeff Rivard was appointed earlier this year to seat #7 to replace Tim Bauer, who had been appointed to replace Michelle Bayink, whose term was not up until 2020. When Rivard ran for election, however, he ran for seat #6, because the term on that seat was up. He will start serving a four-year term in that seat in January. 

Trent Gilmore was appointed this summer to seat #6 to replace Brook Nichols. Her term was to be over Dec. 31. When Gilmore ran for election, he actually ran for seat #7, the one currently held by Rivard, which is an appointed seat. So, Gilmore will take office immediately, and serve the final two years of the term for seat #7. Which means seat #6, won by Rivard, will be open because Rivard won’t begin to serve until January.

The remaining board members’ seats won’t be up for election until 2020 (Matthew Shoffner and Shannon Vanderhyde) and 2022 (Heidi Reed).

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, NewsComments Off on School board needs to fill short-term vacancy

From the Superintendent’s Office

Superintendent Scott Smith

As we are now in the month of October, it is safe to say that we have successfully reached the point in the journey where we can remove the “new” label when referring to the 2018/19 school year for Cedar Springs Public Schools.  It is no longer necessary to say the “new school year” in our conversations.

The successful establishment of routines, at home, on the bus, at lunch, at recess, and in the classroom, has made this possible.  The incredible efforts of our students, families, and staff have contributed to the establishment of new norms around attending school.  These norms will create the foundation for our success moving forward. Routines at home and school help contribute to stability for students, families, and staff.  

For some, getting up in the morning may not be as easy as it was in previous weeks as the “newness” of the school year wears off.  It is important to recognize the impact that regular school attendance has on the academic growth of students regardless of their age.  Cedar Springs is thankful for the opportunity to partner with other schools in Kent County in our efforts to improve school attendance for our students.  

The initiative, called “Strive for Less than 5”, encourages students to do their best to miss less than five days in any given school year.  Chronic absenteeism is often a factor when students fall behind their peers academically.

Families in Cedar Springs can help support this initiative through the establishment of regular routines at home.  Routines that involve sleep, eating, play, reading, and other homework are essential for our students to be at their very best each day.  Another way families can support students is to help build excitement at home around the things their students are doing at school. Each of our buildings uses multiple channels to communicate with families around what is happening at school.  To continuously improve in the area of communication with families, if we are not meeting your needs as a family in this area, please let us know so we can take steps to assist you in your efforts as you do your best to support our amazing students.

With respect and appreciation,
Scott B. Smith, Superintendent

Posted in Cedar Springs Public SchoolsComments Off on From the Superintendent’s Office



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