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Tag Archive | "cedar springs public schools"

Kindergarten Registration


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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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Inclement weather


The safety of our students is our number one priority.  In the event of inclement weather, Cedar Springs Public Schools will follow the National Weather Service warnings and watches to determine both current and likely future conditions.
Occasionally adverse weather conditions or other emergency situations may make it necessary to cancel school, delay the start of school, or send students home early.  When these situations occur, notice will be communicated to WOOD TV 8, WZZM Channel 13, and WXMI TV 17 through the Grand Rapids Area Information Line (GRAIL).
In a 2-hour delay students will be picked up by the bus approximately 2 hours later than their routine pick-up time. Morning ECSE and Preschool classes will be cancelled. With a 2-hour delay in effect, parents, students and staff should monitor the announcements in the event of the delay changing to a cancellation.  The buses will not transport students to the first session at the Kent ISD Skill Center when a school delay or cancellation is issued.

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CAMPUS KIDS CHILD CARE SUMMER FUN CAMP


A state-licensed child care service Located on the Campus of Cedar Spring Public Schools

AGES: Preschool age through 6th grade

DATES:  June 8th – September 1st, 2011 (Closed July 4th – July 8th)

TIME:  Monday through Friday 6:00AM to 6:00PM
INCLUDES:  Breakfast, Lunch & Afternoon Snack

WEEKLY & DAILY RATES AVAILABLE

For more information call 1-616-696-1716

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Summer Food Service Program


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Cedar Springs schools receives Chairman award


By Judy Reed

John Willette receives Chairman award.

Cedar Springs Public Schools received the Kent County Board of Commissioner’s Chairman Award at the 4th annual Green Schools Awards Ceremony on April 19, 2011, at the Caledonia Fine Arts Center. The award recognizes district-level energy projects, and this is the third time Cedar Springs has received the award.
The ceremony, hosted by Kent County and the Kent Intermediate School district, honored individual schools and five districts with 82 awards. Green certificates were given to individual schools for their green efforts, including Cedar Trails Elementary, Beach Elementary, Red Hawk Elementary, and Cedar Springs Middle School.
“Districts are working hard to save energy and taxpayer dollars and have long taught environmental awareness in their classrooms.  This new program helps us recognize their efforts,” said Kent ISD Superintendent Kevin A. Konarska.
Some of the environmental activities Kent ISD schools are doing to earn their certificates include holding a recycled fashion show for the community and tending a school garden that grows vegetables for the school’s lunch room.
The Cedar Springs district-wide energy program began in 2004 and has saved the district $1.25 million, or 26 percent in projected energy costs. For the 2009-2010 school year, it saved $240,000, or 33 percent.
According teacher and energy manager John Willette, the environmental impact of the program is carbon reduction of more than 7900 metric tons of carbon dioxide; carbon dioxide reduction is equal to approximately 10 years of growth of over 200,000 tree seedlings, or removing 1,400 cars from the road.
Willette says that 100 percent of the money saved able to be used for the important work of educating students.  “In this challenging fiscal environment these efforts have saved jobs and programs while helping to keep class sizes smaller.”
Cedar Springs was one of only five districts to receive the Chairman Award. The others were Caledonia, Lowell, Rockford, and Thornapple Kellog.

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Excellence and Innovation at Cedar Springs Public Schools


Superintendent Ron McDermed

From Ron McDermed, Superintendent

It is hard to believe that our school year is two-thirds over and we are already entering the final stretch of the 2010-11 school year. It has been a great year for Cedar Springs Public Schools.
We had a great fall highlighted by our October NCA Accreditation visit. A team of six educators from around the county visited our district from November 7th through the 10th.  They reviewed all 7 buildings in the district and interviewed 229 stakeholders in the district including Students, Parents, Teachers, Administrators, Support Staff, Community Members, Business Partners and Board Members.
As a result of the visit, all seven buildings have been recommended for accreditation by the North Central Association Commission. Additionally, the district received the “highly functional” or “operational” in all categories. The two highest ratings possible on all seven standards reviewed.
Standard One. Vision and Purpose
*  Exemplary high impact early childhood programming
*  Collaborative “can do” culture
*  District resources aligned to vision
*  Clear understanding of vision by district stakeholders
Standard Two. Governance and Leadership
* Real partnerships between the school and community
* Data Analysis sessions (PLC’s) throughout the year
* A warm and welcoming environment throughout the district
* Research based Teacher evaluation system
* Maximization of expertise and leadership skills
* True commitment for the instructional process
Standard Three. Teaching and Learning
*  An emphasis on opportunity for all students
*  Passionate, supportive and flexible teachers
*  Individual attention for advanced, average and at risk students
*  Cognitive Coaching modeled and practiced at all levels
*  Data discussions at the center of PLC meetings
*  Successful transitions of students from one building to the next
*  Strong focus on district instructional model to improve student achievement
*  Exemplary supportive programs beginning at birth
Standard Four.  Documenting and Using Results
*  Established and Implemented comprehensive assessment system
*  Timely communication of information to students and parents
*  Regularly scheduled time to collaborate around student achievement
*  System of quality information that supports effective teaching and learning
*  Polices and practices that foster and sustain improvement throughout the system
*  Continuing development of formative assessments aligned to curriculum objectives
Standard Five. Resource and Support Systems
*  Low teacher attrition because teachers feel valued, appreciated and supported
*  At all levels students feel very safe within their schools
*  Sound financial practices resulting in a 15 % fund balance in difficult economic times
*  collaborative culture supported by internal and external support systems designed to educate the whole child
*  Core focus on professional growth
*  Welcoming safe and positive environment conducive to learning
Standard Six. Stakeholder Communications & Relationships
*  Parents share in the district vision
*  Community support of the schools and their numerous partnerships
*  Special recognition for partners:  KSSN, Rotary, En Gedi, Ministerial Association Spectrum Health, Red Hawks Kids Club, Independent Bank and Amway partners
Standard Seven.  Commitment to Continuous Improvement
*  Successful allocation of time to focus on school improvement
*  Collaborative Culture that furthers improvement efforts.
*  Successful implementation of Coaching Model to support continuous improvement
* Numerous forms of data collection to monitor progress.
This is an outstanding report.  It represents the efforts and accomplishments that are possible when school and community come together in the common goal of quality education for all kids.
Additional highlights this year include:
*Two National Merit Semi-Finalists: Charles Hyde and Brittany Bellamy have been named semi-finalists in the National Merit Scholarship competition.
*The Red hawk Kids Club was implemented by High School Athletes to help build a stronger school community. High School students model and mentor elementary students.
*The Freshman Project Based learning Academy was implemented to provide alterative programming at the High school level.
*We implemented a Middle School Jazz Band Program.
*School community Partnerships were expanded with the Kent School Services Network, En-Gedi, the Red Flannel Festival, and the Amway Cooperation.
All of these things would not be possible without the outstanding support we receive daily from parents and community.  We are grateful for these strong partnerships and need your continued support as we face the challenges ahead.
We need your support to continue our work too ensure that all of our children have a world class education.  Two critical financial challenges are facing our district. The tough financial times have forced cuts in the district for the past six years. The current budget proposal at the State level would cut Cedar Springs Public Schools an additional 2.5 million dollars the 2011-12 school year.  These cuts are drastic and include a transfer of almost 900 million dollars from the School Aide Fund to Community Colleges and Universities. Many of you were instrumental in the passage of Proposal A, including our own Sue Wolfe. Proposal A was designed to properly and more equitably fund K-12 education. Please write or email you legislators to let them know how you feel about these issues.
Representative Peter MacGregor
P.O. Box 30014, Lansing, MI  48909
Phone:  Toll Free: (855) 347-8073
Email:  petermacgregor@house.mi.gov
Senator Mark Jansen
P.O. Box 30036, Lansing, MI 48909-7536
Phone:  (517) 373-0797
Email:  senmjansen@senate.mi.gov
Together, we can ensure our children receive the best education possible in a safe and secure learning environment.  Thank you for your continued support.

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Voters asked to approve sinking fund levy


When residents in the Cedar Springs Public Schools district go to the polls May 3, they will be asked to approve a one mill sinking fund levy to help fund maintenance and repairs on the school campus.
“There is no extra money in the general fund at this time,” said Board President Joe Marckini. “We’ve been putting things off, that’s why we are asking for a sinking fund.” He explained that with shrinking revenue, they follow board procedures and keep funds spent as close to the students as possible—which means cutting back in other areas, such as maintenance.
But with additional cuts and costs for schools this upcoming school year, they could be facing a $2.4 million deficit. And that could mean cutting education programs that affect kids.
A committee of parents, community members and staff began looking at the needs in October 2010, and brought the recommendation to ask for a sinking fund levy to help fund maintenance and operations early this year.
The levy, which would be for a period of 10 years, would cost a person with a $100,000 property value $50 per year. It saves taxpayers money over a general bond, which runs 30 years, because there are no interest payments or borrowing costs. “It’s not practical to extend a payment for repairs over 30 years when we’ll have to make repairs multiple times during that period,” noted Marckini. “This is a ‘pay as we go,’ which shows the transparency of the board.”
The sinking fund levy can only be used for infrastructure. While they are identifying the true needs in each building, some of the priorities are parking, roads, and student drop offs; safety and security needs; technology and energy upgrades; and replacement of the synthetic turf on the athletic field.
The board says they’ve worked hard to be good financial stewards, increasing their fund balance from 5.7 percent to 14.99 percent, which allows them to make payroll during the summer months without borrowing, before the state payments come in; and decreasing dollars spent on payroll from 85 percent to 75 percent. They said teachers, administrators and support staff have all taken freezes and benefit cuts to help support student needs.
The Board of Education will have a booth at Community Night tonight (Thursday) with information on the sinking fund. To print out a flier, click link: Sinking Fund Flyer

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Pre-K program saved from drastic cuts


These children in Mrs. Dault’s Great Start pre-k classrooms at Cedar Springs are having fun while they learn.

While many state programs face funding cuts, Michigan’s pre-k program is getting some help this year. After seeing its funding cut by 7 percent last year, the Great Start Readiness Program is slated for an increase of 5 percent, for a total budget of almost $99 million. That’s good news for Cedar Springs Public Schools, who offers the grant-funded program to residents of the school district who meet eligibility requirements.
Cedar Springs is eligible for $163,000 to cover the costs of the program, which has enabled more four-year-olds to participate. “We were able to up the number of seats available from 24 to 48,” explained Superintendent Ron McDermed, at the Board of Education meeting Monday evening.
Cedar Trails Elementary has two Great Start pre-k classes, with one that meets all day on Mondays and Wednesdays, and another class that meets all day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Both are taught by a certified teacher and teacher assistant. The program is designed to provide four-year-old children with the skills they will need to be successful in school when they enter kindergarten.
According to a new study by Pew Center on the States, Michigan is one of 15 states to increase funding for the coming year. Marci Young, Pre-K Now campaign director for Pew, says legislators are listening to research showing that pre-k programs make a big difference, especially for children most at risk of being behind when starting school. She used Detroit Public Schools as an example.
“A study that was done in Detroit preschool programs in 2004-2005 showed achievement growth in cognitive and behavioral skills that was demonstrated by all students who were enrolled in Detroit Public Schools through their pre-k program,” she explained.
Michigan also changed its eligibility criteria for the Great Start Readiness Program to include children from households that are up to 300 percent above poverty level—that’s the highest in the country. Young applauds the state legislature, and says restoring some of last year’s cut is a good investment.
“To ensure a prosperous economic future, states are going to have to make sure that they invest in successful, evidence-based programs that are proven to yield the strongest return on the investment. And pre-k is one of those smart investments,” noted Young.
The additional funding also includes a provision that stops school districts from diverting pre-k money for general education expenses. Twenty-six states managed to either protect or increase their pre-k funding, no matter which political party was in power. Pew calls that a clear message that early learning is seen as a valued strategy for education reform.
The report is available at www.preknow.org/votescount/.

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Mother-son fun night this Friday


Do you ever wish that there was a neat event for mothers and sons to share together, the same way fathers and daughters share the daddy-daughter dance? There is and it is being held this Friday, April 30, at the Cedar Springs Middle School from 6-9pm. This Mother-Son event is special because it’s held one week before Mothers Day. The event allows the moms to share an evening of fun while playing games, watching the movie “Cloudy with a chance of Meatballs.” snacking on pizza and popcorn, and having the son make a card and gift special for Mothers Day .

This is the third year of the event and it is continuing to see growth. We hope that that this event will provide moms a chance to spend some quality time with their sons and start the Mother’s Day celebration a little earlier. The event was created because Amanda Gerhardt, Director of Cedar Springs Parks and Recreation has sons and thought it would be special to share a night with them like what she sees in the eyes of the girls and fathers that attend the Daddy-Daughter Dance each year.

Tickets are on sale now during normal daytime office hours at Hilltop and at the Middle School and on Thursday evening from 6-9pm.  Tickets in advance are $12 for two people, or $15 for three or more. Tickets can be purchased at the door for an additional fee, $15 for two people, or $20 for three or more.

For more information call 696-7320 or email director@csaparksandrec.com.

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