For the third year, Cedar Springs Public Schools has continued their partnership with Kent School Services Network in an effort to develop what are called “community schools”. The idea is to bring resources and programs into the schools with an overarching goal of increasing student attendance, focusing on the importance of academic achievement, and increasing family involvement.
At the end of last school year, Cedar View Elementary formed a committee consisting of Principal Andy Secor, teachers, Sue Smith, Laurie VanDam, Miranda Latimer, Kim Farrey, Sadie Gallagher, and KSSN Community School Coordinator, Ivy Kowalski. The idea was to plan different family events with an end goal of the school becoming a more welcoming place and hub for parents to feel comfortable in.
In the fall, the committee organized “Movie Night”. They used the gym and families brought lawn chairs and sleeping bags and watched a movie with popcorn and snacks. There were 250 people in attendance!
In January, 260 people attended “Math Curriculum Night”, which focused on different ways to support parents when working with their student in math. Discussions included how to help with homework, the main concepts of Everyday Math, and how using technology can support math learning.
On May 28th, the committee, along with some great volunteers, hosted “The Challenge” which resembled the TV show, “The Amazing Race.” It was a combination of mental and physical challenges that families participated in together. There were 10 different stations surrounding Cedar View with activities including family hula-hooping, an egg toss, math problem solving, a states and capitals quiz, push-ups, and many more. The Parent-Teacher Organization provided funds for a photo booth at the finish line. There were a total of 305 participants!
The committee did an amazing job teaming together to help welcome families into Cedar View in high numbers and the hours of commitment directly impacted the school culture. Combine these activities with the Cedar View Choir, after school Math and Reading Clubs, as well as Girls on the Run, and Cedar View is truly working towards that vision of a community school!