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Tag Archive | "Creative Technologies Academy"

Cedar Springs schools makes adjustments for snow days


Snow and ice have made driving on back roads dangerous for school buses this winter. 
Photo by Evelyn Avery.

By Judy Reed

Icy, snowy and dangerous winter weather, including sub-zero temperatures and power outages, caused both Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to close 14 times this year. That’s eight more times than the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) allows without the days being made up. And winter isn’t over yet.

The MDE also allows schools to apply for a waiver for three extra closings, above the six. Both Cedar Springs Public and CTA applied for the waiver. CTA was approved, but Cedar Springs Public was denied. Meaning CTA will make up five days, while Cedar Springs will make up eight. Why the disparity?

According to Cedar Springs Superintendent Scott Smith, it’s because Cedar Springs is currently in session less than 180 days, the amount currently required by state law, though they are in session the 1,098 required hours. The school has only been in session 172 days a year since the 2013-2014 school year, because of an eight-year bargaining agreement with staff signed in June 2013.

“The time requirement, a minimum of 1098 hours per year, was first applied to the 2010/11 school year,” explained Smith. “The rules changed again beginning with the 2014/15 school year, when districts were required to provide at least 1098 hours of instruction and have at least 175 days of instruction. Beginning in the 2016/17 school year districts were required to provide at least 1098 hours of instruction and have at least 180 days of instruction.  There is a provision in the law that honors collective bargaining agreements that were effectively in place on July 1, 2013. Cedar Springs Public Schools signed an eight-year collective bargaining agreement with the Cedar Springs Education Association in June of 2013.  

“We are in compliance with the minimum of 1098 hours of instruction but we meet that standard with 172 days of school,” he added. “Our school day is slightly longer, a minimum of six hours and 23 minutes, than districts that have 180 days of instruction on their calendar. A district like Sparta would have a minimum of six hours and six minutes of instruction per day.”

The bottom line is that they are in class the same number of hours per year as those that go 180 days. And yet, they were denied the extra three days.

There may, however, be some help from the legislature, as a couple of bills have been introduced to forgive days missed during a state emergency, as happened earlier this year. The Post contacted Senate Majority Floor Leader Peter MacGregor, R-Rockford, about the issue.

“Legislation has been introduced in both the state Senate and House of Representatives that seeks to forgive school districts for cancelling school due to a declared state emergency,” he said. “I think that there is sufficient interest amongst my colleagues for the bills to be taken up for consideration. The Legislature will need to find the balance between offering relief for a declared emergency and the amount of time students are spending in the classroom.”  

In the meantime, Cedar Springs has made a few changes to their schedule because of the many school closings. All early release days left on the calendar will become full days. Not because it would count towards time made up (it wouldn’t) but to help the students get back instructional time they’ve missed. “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,” Smith explained.

Additional days added to their calendar to make up the eight days missed are May 24, June 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.  

See more info from the Superintendent on the Cedar Springs School page on page 11.

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, CTA, Featured, NewsComments (0)

CTA is accepting enrollment for the 2019-20 school year!


To schedule a tour and pick up a registration packet, please contact: Autumn Mattson, Elementary Principal:  amattson@ctachargers.org Jennifer Colin, Secondary Principal:  jcolin@ctachargers.org

Or call: 616-696-4905

Or visit our website:  www.ctachargers.org

CTA Highlights:

● Small class sizes , hands-on learning experiences, individualized small group instruction, and an energetic staff;

● CTA Elementary WIN (Whatever I Need)/Middle School Interventions Time: Strategically organized schedule to better support teachers and students so that our intervention time no longer only applies to just our below grade level learners but to ALL students;

● Great Start Readiness Program  4 year-old preschool;

● The  CTA high school  offers opportunities for community service and leadership, advanced learning, KISD programs, and dual enrollment options;

Advanced Placement®  Offering added to CTA Coursework;

Drama Department  produces two performances each year by students in grades 5-12;

Athletics  available to students in grades 6-12 include: Varsity Soccer, Varsity Basketball, and Varsity Cross Country;

● K-5 Specials:  physical education, music, and technology.

● Middle School Electives  include: physical education, technology, choir, or drama production.

● Field Trips  for all grades to provide real-world experiences.

AP® or Advanced Placement® are trademarks registered by the College Board, which is not affiliated with Creative Technologies Academy.


CTA Students Participate in Honors Choirs

Tobius Potter and James Hazen auditioned for the Regional Honors Choir during first semester. Both were chosen to participate. At that performance, both auditioned for the State Honors Choir. Tobius was selected to proceed onto State. At State Honors Choir, he auditioned for all-state, but unfortunately, he was not selected.

On to the next event! In February, Tobius performed at the District Solo and Ensemble Festival where he sang two art songs (one in Italian and a traditional Scottish song), and he received feedback and a score from a judge. A score of 23 or higher would earn him the right to participate in the State Solo and Ensemble Festival. Tobius scored a 25 and will be participating at State Solo and Ensemble in the end of April.

“Tobius and James have challenged themselves both individually and within their choirs this year,” shared choir director, Jeremy Holtrop. “They have put in a lot of extra work to compete with and against other area students. It has been great to see their growth.”


Tribute to Martin Luther King

Mrs. Marsman’s 7th grade class pays tribute to Martin Luther King by creating a collaborative collage. 
Saige Montambo shared her piece of the collage.

From the Desk of the Superintendent

Dear CTA Staff and Families,

State law requires CTA to hold school for a minimum of 180 days in 2018-19. Even if we meet or exceed the required hours, we must account for 180 school days. The Michigan Department of Education allows us to close school when weather conditions adversely affect the ability to hold school safely, and MDE provides for forgiveness of up to six days under these conditions. This has been an unusually harsh winter with severe cold and ice forcing an unusual amount of closings. To date, we have cancelled school thirteen times due to severe winter weather conditions, exceeding our forgiveable number by seven days.

MDE allows districts to apply for a waiver for an additional three closings. We will be applying for our waiver in the next few days. If our waiver request is approved, we will be required to make up four days at the end of the school year. If our waiver request is not approved, we will be required to make up at least seven days at the end of the school year.

At a regular meeting of the Board of Directors on Wednesday, February 20, 2019, the Board approved a revision of the school calendar to add the following days:

● June 3 – Regular full day of school

● June 4 – Regular full day of school

● June 5 – Early Release for Students and Staff

● June 6 – Early Release for Students and Staff

● June 7 – Early Release for Students and Staff

This gives us a one day cushion to get through the rest of February and March if our waiver is approved. If we have no additional cancellations before April 1, and our waiver request is approved, I will ask the board to revise the calendar to delete June 7 and the last day of school would then be June 6, 2019. Additional days have identified beyond June 7 if our waiver is not approved or if we have further cancellations this year. As of now, we anticipate no changes to the last day for seniors or the date of graduation. Changes in those dates could be forthcoming if we have further cancellations. The full revised calendar will be posted on our website.

As always, I very much appreciate your support and cooperation.

Sincerely,

Dan George Superintendent


CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES ACADEMY SCHOOL CALENDAR

SCHOOL HOURS

Grades K-5: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Grades 6-12: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.

February 28 Varsity Boys & Girls Basketball Game @ Home @5:30 p.m.

March 8 Early Release Day School Bank

11 PA Meeting

15 Mobile Dentist

18 Parent/Superintendent Town Hall Meeting 

18-21 Student-Led Conferences (K-12)

Book Fair

22 Early Release Day School Bank

29 No School – Spring Break Begins

April 1-5 Spring Break

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

● K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

● 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.

Posted in CTA, SchoolsComments (0)

Creative Technologies Academy reauthorized by Ferris State University


Academy to Receive Longest Contract Issued by FSU

In anticipation of the expiration of CTA’s current contract with Ferris State University in June of 2019, the Academy met with a team from the FSU Charter Schools Office in early November for a rigorous reauthorization review and evaluation of the Academy. 

The results of that review and evaluation were very positive for the Academy and the Charter Schools Office recommended reauthorization to the Ferris State University Board of Trustees.

The FSU Board of Trustees met on Friday, December 14, and unanimously concurred with the Charter Schools office and approved the reauthorization of Creative Technologies Academy with a seven year contract beginning July 1, 2019. Dr. Ronald Rizzo, Director of the FSU Charter Schools Office, said this about the Academy: “Ferris State University is proud of the efforts and achievement of Creative Technologies Academy. The seven-year reauthorization by the FSU Board of Trustees represents our confidence in the continued growth and development of the academy. FSU looks forward to our ongoing partnership with the Board and administration of CTA.”

During the evaluation process, the FSU Charter Schools Office looked at CTA’s school improvement process, initiatives, and results; facilities; school culture; mission accomplishment; website; student outcomes; governance and leadership; resources and support systems; contract performance; and curriculum. 

Dan George, CTA Superintendent, expressed gratitude for the staff and families that make up the CTA community. “We’ve tried to create a no excuses culture at CTA that focuses on growth and continuous improvement and our staff and families have bought into those goals,” said George.

“Many people don’t understand the accountability process for schools like ours. We have the same accountability requirements as any other public school for the state, and we have the additional rigorous reauthorization process with Ferris State University. Seven-year contracts are given sparingly by FSU. Most contracts are 3-5 years and some schools don’t make it through the reauthorization process and are closed. We are grateful for this expression of confidence and trust by Ferris State University and the Charter Schools Office. When people believe in what you’re doing it is extremely gratifying.”


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CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES ACADEMY SCHOOL CALENDAR



SCHOOL HOURS | Grades K-5: 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Grades 6-12: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.


Dec. 21 Early Release Day

Popcorn Day

Varsity Basketball Games @Davenport University

Dec. 22-Jan. 6 Winter Break

January

2-5 Girls Varsity Basketball Tournament 

4 MS/JVBoys Basketball Games @Lighthouse Baptist Academy

7 School Resumes

8 Boys MS/Varsity Basketball Games @Martin Luther High                                 School

Girls Varsity Basketball vs Zion Christian 

Jostens Informational Meeting

11 Early Release Day 

School Bank

Varsity Basketball Game @Libertas Christian School

14 PA Meeting

15 Varsity Boys & Girls Home Basketball Games 

Jostens Orders Due

17 Annual Spelling Bee 

21 Varsity Boys & Girls Basketball Games @Algoma Christian

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

● K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m. | ● 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.


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CTA Drama presents hilarious spoof on Charles Dickens’ classic story with “A Christmas Chaos”


Sydney Petersen and Nolan Patin “accidentally” ended up in each others’ costumes and added much laughter to the performance.

On Friday, December 14 and Saturday, December 15 the CTA Drama department presented their third annual fall play. This unique twist on Charles Dickens famous story follows a group of actors who are forced to put on  A Christmas Carol  after the Royal Shakespeare Company gets lost. The local actors scramble to do their best to bring the story to life, but end up with two Tiny Tims, a narcissistic Scrooge, ghosts in bed sheets, an actor who plays both Bob and Mrs. Cratchit at the same time and much more! The CTA drama department continues to build and expand the program with bigger shows. This show was performed by 22 students in grades 9-12. Because of the unique script writing, students not only got to play classic Christmas carol characters but also got to play themselves trying to put on the show. It was a show within a show! Overall, the play brought some big laughs yet still told the story of “A Christmas Carol”.

Elizabeth Jahns and James Hazen played out the scene between the beggar and Ebenezer Scrooge.

Posted in CTA, Featured, SchoolsComments (1)

Chargers Quest for the Net


The girls and boys basketball programs are off to a great start. This year, the boys program added a middle school team that has kicked off the season and currently with a 2-3 win-loss and are led by captains Avery Bishop and Landon Winters. The boys varsity team is off to a strong start at 4-1 and are led by captains Charles Wortz and Luke Hubbard. Both teams are coached by Todd Bowmar. The girls varsity team is 2-2 on the year so far and are led by captains Brin Calkins, Hannah Hofstra, and Faith Watson and are coached by Lisa Perry. CTA is now a part of the Great Lakes 6 league and both teams are looking like strong contenders. Be sure to come on out to support them and watch them in action at any of their home and away games!

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Holiday Concert Features Three Choirs and Alumni


The Charger Voices were conducted by Mr. Jeremy Holtrop.

On Monday, December 17, the CTA middle school and high school choirs performed their annual holiday concert. This concert featured three different choirs. Our middle school choir, Harmonic Chargers; our high school choir, Charger Voices, and our recently formed a cappella choir, Voices of Lightning. Each group performed 4-6 pieces and then all singers performed together to close the concert on “Christmas Canon Rock” which featured CTA student, James Mauric on electric guitar. James rocked it out mimicking the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Also, CTA alumni choir students came back and performed “Carol of the Bells” as part of a yearly tradition.

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Toys for Tots Campaign Huge Success


Boxes were located in each of the three campus buildings
 for donations to be dropped off.

This year Creative Technologies Academy once again participated in the Toys for Tots toy drive. Over the past two weeks, students and their families have brought in a total of 109 toys. In addition to that, the CTA staff usually pool funds to purchase gifts for the administrators and chose this year to do a donation to Toys for Tots on behalf of the administrators. The staff raised $225 for more gifts. “…it was such a blessing to shop and donate these additional gifts so that children can have a toy under the tree on Christmas day,” shared elementary principal Autumn Mattson. It’s part of the CTA way to believe that it is better to give than to receive.

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CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES ACADEMY SCHOOL CALENDAR


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CTA 2018-19 Basketball Rosters


Middle School Boys

Avery Bishop 

Landon Winters 

Landon Beiter 

Parker Tompkins

 Kaden Winters

Jake Perry

Zach Gibbs

Shad Atwood

Head Coach: Todd Bowmar

High School Boys

Charles Wortz

Collin Bishop

Luke Hubbard

John Wortz

Ivan Winters Jordan Brown

Evan Besmer

Ethan Watson

 Mikey Lemson 

Tobius Potter

Head Coach: Todd Bowmar

Girls Basketball

Brin Calkins

 Elizabeth Jahns

 Vicky Wu

Faith Watson 

Hannah Hofstra

 Kaela Bucholtz

 Ruby Tompkins 

Alison Fisk

Molly Wortz

 Jayda Schreiber

 Nadelynn Brinley

 Alyssa Bishop

 Head Coach: Lisa Perry

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