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Tag Archive | "Creative Technologies Academy"

Community Night 2017


The Red Flannel Queen and Court visited many of the booths at Community night last week. Courtesy photo.

The Red Flannel Queen and Court visited many of the booths at Community night last week. Courtesy photo.

By Tom Noreen

The Community Action Network held their 31st Annual Community Night on April 20. Over 80 booths were reserved from a wide range of vendors. Businesses had their products on display and some had items for sale. Practical help was available from dentists, physical therapists and chiropractors.  You could plan a cruise and get investment advice, too. Local churches and camps had their summer programs on display. The Lions collected pennies for their Cedar Springs Library Project and Rotary club painted “pinkies” purple to raise funds for ending polio in the three countries where it is still endemic.

Martial Arts demonstrations were conducted throughout the evening and in the auditorium local dance companies and other performers put on shows. The high school corral and drama programs reprised numbers from Disney’s High School Musical. Creative Technologies Academy had student art on display. The Cedar Springs High School Industrial Arts Program showcased their students’ award winning project and the high school’s Robotics Team had their award-winning robot on display.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department had their firetruck on display, and the Red Flannel Queen and Court could be seen throughout the event.

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating 20 Years of First Grade Readers


CSPS-Library-Event

CSPS-Library-night-teachers-CTDonna Clark, Cedar Springs Library

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre, to celebrate “March is Reading Month.”  The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Lego Batman.”   Invitations were for March 6 and 7 at 6pm.   The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 81 over the two evenings.  Family members, who shared the fun, numbered in at 258.

2017 marked “20 years of celebrating first grade readers”  since the inception of the program in 1997, when Library Board Member, Mike Metzger, put his idea in motion.  As a part of this year’s celebration, Mike, at the request of Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark,  sponsored a free book giveaway for all first graders.  Students had the choice between “Pirate’s Treasure,” “The Great Gumshoe,” and “Medieval Quest”, all by Cedar Springs Children’s Author, Amanda Litz.  Amanda and her two teens, Sierra and Jacob, were there both nights to celebrate.  Kent District Youth Librarian from Nelson Township, Sara Magnuson, and Mary Shallman, Youth Paraprofessional from Spencer Township brought several items for first graders to take home, as well.

Cedar Springs first grade teachers Mrs. Doncis, Mrs. Brussow, Mr. Avink, Mrs. Sendler, Mrs. Holtrop, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Boggiano, Mrs. Upham, Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Tiffany, and Mrs. Schmidutz, welcomed their students with hugs, while keeping track of attendance for the libraries.

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CTA Campaigns to stomp out the R-word 


Second grade students rocking their socks on World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.

Second grade students rocking their socks on World Down Syndrome Awareness Day.

Creative Technologies Academy, a K-12 Charter School in Cedar Springs, takes pride in character education in their 300 students, which is why they saw the great importance of promoting the Spread The Word To End The Word (STW) Campaign.

The STW campaign is a youth-driven campaign that was founded in 2009. It was created to build awareness for society to stop and think about its use of the R-word. Use of that R-word—retard or retarded—can be hurtful and painful, and whether intended or not, is a form of bullying. The STW campaign is an ongoing effort to inspire respect and acceptance through raising the consciousness of society about the R-word and how hurtful words and disrespect can be toward people with intellectual disabilities.

Special Education Administrator Lori Dulak made a to CTA Middle School and High School Students on March 20. Dulak believes, “Language affects attitudes and attitudes affect actions.” She shared two brief videos about the wide spread effect of the R-word and invited students to sign to take the pledge to not use the word—but only when they were ready to make that commitment. The poster was put up in the high school building and many students have signed. The campaign had such a profound impact on students that the National Honor Society at CTA is planning on expanding the school-wide campaign and will be planning additional activities throughout the remainder of the school year.

The Kindness Hearts are displayed in the elementary building as a visual reminder to use kind words.

The Kindness Hearts are displayed in the elementary building as a visual reminder to use kind words.

Similarly, Sarah Classen, Elementary Special Education Teacher, presented to Kindergarten through 5th grade students. She kept the 4th and 5th grade students a bit longer to have a more candid conversation with them. At the end of the presentation, the elementary students received a large heart, to which they were either to write kind words on them or sign their name pledging to use kind words – regardless of differences. They also received smaller hearts so they could write a kind word about a classmate and share it with them to wear for the day.

“I enjoyed hearing students around the school and in the hallways complimenting and encouraging one another throughout the week,” shared Classen.

STW events typically take place on March 1, but CTA took the opportunity to promote World Down Syndrome Awareness Day  on 3/21 (for three copies of the 21st chromosome) in conjunction with the Spread the Word to End the Word, as CTA has two elementary students with Down syndrome. World Down Syndrome Awareness Day uses a “Rock Your Socks” theme as an opportunity for conversation starters throughout the day about the abilities of those with Down syndrome. Many students and staff participated by rocking bright, mismatched, knee-high or other fun socks.

“Respectful and inclusive language is essential to the movement for the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities,” it said in a press release from CTA. “However, much of society does not recognize the hurtful, dehumanizing and exclusive effects of the R-word. The STW campaign is intended to engage schools, organizations and communities to rally and pledge their support at www.r-word.org and to promote the inclusion and acceptance of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

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First grade library card celebration


Mike Metzger, who founded the First Grade Library Card drive 20-plus years ago, is shown here with two of the attendees of the March is Reading month celebration at the Kent last week. Courtesy photo.

Mike Metzger, who founded the First Grade Library Card drive 20-plus years ago, is shown here with two of the attendees of the March is Reading month celebration at the Kent last week. Courtesy photo.

The First Grade Library Card Roundup ended with a Grand Party at the Kent Theatre last week to celebrate “March is Reading Month.” The Cedar Springs Public Library and Kent District Library Branches from Nelson and Spencer Townships each sponsored a free ticket for all first graders from the Cedar Springs Public Schools and Creative Technologies Academy to see “Lego Batman.” Invitations were for Monday and Tuesday nights,  6 pm on March 6 and 7. The Kent Theatre offered free popcorn to all first graders with a library card, counting 81 over the two evenings. Family members, who shared the fun, numbered in at 258.

(L to R): Sara Magnuson (Youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake branch of KDL); Mary Shallman (Youth Paraprofessional at Spencer Township branch of KDL); teen Sierra and her mom, CS author Amanda Litz; CS Librarian Donna Clark; and Mike Metzger, found of the First Grade Library Card roundup. Courtesy photo.

(L to R): Sara Magnuson (Youth librarian at Nelson Township/Sand Lake branch of KDL); Mary Shallman (Youth Paraprofessional at Spencer Township branch of KDL); teen Sierra and her mom, CS author Amanda Litz; CS Librarian Donna Clark; and Mike Metzger, found of the First Grade Library Card roundup. Courtesy photo.

This year marked 20 years of celebrating first grade readers since the inception of the program in 1997, when Library Board Member, Mike Metzger, put his idea in motion.  As a part of this year’s celebration, Mike, at the request of Cedar Springs Library Director Donna Clark, sponsored a free book giveaway for all first graders.  Students had the choice between “Pirate’s Treasure,” “The Great Gumshoe,” and “Medieval Quest,” all by Cedar Springs Children’s Author, Amanda Litz.  Amanda and her two teens, Sierra and Jacob, were on hand both nights to celebrate.  Kent District Youth Librarian from Nelson Township/Sand Lake, Sara Magnuson, and Mary Shallman, Youth Paraprofessional from Spencer Township, brought several items for first graders to take home as well.

First grade teachers Mrs. Doncis, Mrs. Brussow, Mr. Avink, Mrs. Sendler, Mrs. Holtrop, Mrs. Graf, Mrs. Shepard, Mrs. Boggiano, Mrs. Upham, Mrs. Benham, Mrs. Tiffany, and Mrs. Schmidutz all welcomed their students with hugs, while keeping track of attendance for the libraries.

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Rotary Club honors 5th grade essay winners


Pictured are the Cedar Springs Rotary 4-Way Test essay winners. From L to R: Sally Odren, Makenna Nichols, Jack Cairy, Analiese Van Harten, and Josh Trendt. Courtesy photo.

Pictured are the Cedar Springs Rotary 4-Way Test essay winners. From L to R: Sally Odren, Makenna Nichols, Jack Cairy, Analiese Van Harten, and Josh Trendt. Courtesy photo.

By Judy Reed

The Cedar Springs Rotary handed out awards to students last week in their annual Rotary 4-way test essay contest. They invited fifth grade students from Cedar View and Creative Technologies Academy to participate. All essays were written in 200 words or less. Teachers chose the 2 best essays from their class and submitted them to the committee, which included Julie Wheeler, Carolyn Davis, Donna Clark and Bea Hesley.

Clark and Rotary president Tom Noreen spoke with each of the classes ahead of time, and gave them some background on Rotary. “We talked about having integrity and the 4 way formula (is it the truth, is it fair, will it build goodwill, will it be beneficial) and how it ties in with habits of mind,” explained Clark. “People who live by these have integrity and impact their community in a positive way. We told them to think about one of these that they practiced in their own lives—a real life situation that would touch us, and told them to write about it.”

The students were then on their own to write the essays. And the students who won had a good grasp of what the committee was looking for. Out of 14 essays, they chose five. There were ties for second and third place.

“We feel like these essays were the best ever,” said Clark.

The two second place essays were about volunteering to feed hungry families. The third place winners wrote stories about how a community can work together to benefit one another, such as the fundraisers for the Rickers.

The first place winner spoke about how things people say can be cruel, but we can choose to be inspired rather than let their words have a bad effect on us.

The first place winner was Sally Odren, of Mr. Moleski’s class at Cedar View. She won $50.

Second place winners were Jack Cairy, of Mrs. Kahler’s class, and Makenna Nichols, of Mrs. Miller’s class, both at Cedar View. They each won $25.

Third place winners were Josh Trendt, of Mr. Moleski’s class at Cedar View, and Analiese Van Harten, of Mrs. Norman’s class at CTA. They each won $10.

“We as Rotarians are aware of the example we set as individuals and as a Club in our community,” said Noreen. “As community leaders and partners, we are mindful of what we think, say and do.”

The 4-Way Test was adopted by Rotary in 1943 and is a code of ethics each Rotarian aspires to live by both in their business and personal lives. It says: “Of the things we think, say or do: 1. Is it the TRUTH? 2. Is it FAIR to all concerned? 3. Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? 4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?”

This is the ninth year that the Rotary has partnered with local schools on this project.

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March Reading Madness


Senator Peter MacGregor read to young students.

Senator Peter MacGregor read to young students.

Senator Peter MacGregor stopped by Creative Technologies Academy for a visit the morning of March 13 and read to the kindergarten, first, and second grade students. He read Bobby Bramble Loses His Brain by Dave Keane. Senator MacGregor discussed the difference between fiction and nonfiction books with the young students and encouraged them to read with their peers, siblings, and adults. He made sure to allow time to answer the many questions the students had, such as: How did you get elected? Who’s your boss? What do you like to read? What’s your favorite color?

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team take time to pose with third grade student, Aiden Dood, after reading with his class.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team take time to pose with third grade student, Aiden Dood, after reading with his class.

Ferris State University’s women’s basketball Coach, Kendra Faustin, and Assistant Coach, Sharonda Hurd, brought a few of their players to the CTA elementary in order to spend time reading with students during March is Reading Month. The coaches and players also visited with the middle and high school students in an assembly to share powerful lessons about the importance of personal responsibility and accountability in everyday life.

CTA’s middle school students were visited by the Grace Bible College Tigers basketball team. The students watched a video, produced by MAPSA and Buddy Morehouse, about the story of Curtis Jones. Jones was widely considered the greatest basketball talent ever to come out of the city of Detroit, but his dreams died and his life spiraled downward because he couldn’t read and write. After viewing the video, team members led small group discussions with CTA students about lessons to be learned from Curtis Jones, specifically, about the importance of getting the best education possible.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team pose with several middle school students.

Players from the Ferris State University Girls Basketball team pose with several middle school students.

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Putting the “Fun” in Fundraiser


Drama Teacher Jeremy Holtrop (back left) gets into the singing groove with CTA students.

Drama Teacher Jeremy Holtrop (back left) gets into the singing groove with CTA students.

On Saturday, February 18, the choir students of Creative Technologies Academy held a karaoke fundraiser to help raise money for their upcoming performance at District Choral Festival. Many fundraisers can be tedious and time-consuming, so the choir students came up with the idea to do a fundraiser that was more fun! Students in grade 6-12 came out for an evening of karaoke, dancing, games, and food. The evening started off with a few well-known belting karaoke songs, and then continued with student requests. Midway through, students participated in a “Singing Bee” style competition in which they had to complete the lyrics to well known songs for a prize. Also included in the event were a few group dance numbers like “Cha Cha Slide” and “The Chicken Dance.”

When students weren’t singing or dancing they could have their picture taken at the photo booth or grab some snacks. All of the funds raised at the event went right back to the choir who is preparing to go to the District Choral Festival on Thursday, March 16.

For the CTA choir, Charger Voices, this will be the first time attending the festival and the group has worked hard to be able to go. At the festival, the choir will be singing two prepared songs and then will sight read for a group of judges. Jeremy Holtrop, the director of the group, said, “The students show a lot of pride and dedication to this choir. It has become a family, and we are so excited to challenge ourselves to go to the next level!”

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Positions Available


Substitute Positions Available

Teachers and Classroom Aides

$90-110/day – Temporary Teachers

Creative Technologies Academy is seeking interested individuals that could work as substitute teachers for the Academy. We have daily substitute teaching opportunities for this school year. To qualify to substitute teach in our school, applicants must have a transcript indicating completion of 90 credit hours from a four year college or university with a minimum 2.0 GPA or hold a valid or expired Michigan Teaching Certificate. All interested individuals should contact Dan George, Superintendent/School Leader at dgeorge@ctachargers.org.

$10.00/hour – Temporary Classroom Aides

For additional information regarding classroom aide requirements and position details, contact dgeorge@ctachargers.org .

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CTA From the Eyes of an 8th Grader


Tori Lynn Wierda

Tori Lynn Wierda

My name is Tori Lynn Wierda. I am thirteen years old, and I am in the eighth grade. My school of choice is Creative Technologies Academy. I have been going here for eight years now. I love going to CTA; they treat you like family most of the time. The teachers and staff love you and all your flaws. I remember when I was younger that the principal at the time had to carry me up to the office when I got in trouble because I refused to walk up there. Yet, they forgave me and I am still welcomed here today.

Also, I love how we have all these fun programs such as Women’s/Men’s Choir (which gives students the chance to sing at outside venues), basketball (which gives us the chance to play a sport that a lot of us love), Drama Club (because some of us just need to let-it-out somewhere), and cross country (where we get to run and have fun and compete in races). I love all the reading, writing, cheer, music, and basketball they offer here. Also, I love that they have activities here that I personally love to do. I love reading because it makes me feel like I’m separated from the world once in awhile. I love writing because it is a way for me to express my feelings on paper. I love singing because it calms me and makes me happy when I’m mad or depressed. I love Cheerleading because I get to have fun with my friends and perform for people. I love basketball because I love the feeling of competition. I also love dancing because it’s a way to express your feelings through one of the many ways of art.

Speaking further of things I enjoy, I really love going to CTA because I have friends here that I never would have thought I could ever make. My friend/sister Maddie is one of them. She is my best friend and without the love and care CTA provides and encourages, I probably would have never met her in third grade. She is to this day still my best friend and we share everything with each other. There is not one thing she doesn’t know about me and vice versa.

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HS Hands On Hatching Lesson


Biochemistry students Sierra Medwayosh, John Foss and Caleb Cook show the three chickens that were hatched during their hands-on mitosis and meiosis project.

Biochemistry students Sierra Medwayosh, John Foss and Caleb Cook show the three chickens that were hatched during their hands-on mitosis and meiosis project.

How can there be 8 billion people on earth, yet not a single person is genetically the same?

Such questions can be answered from Biochemistry students at Creative Technologies Academy. Over the course of 3 weeks, students learned about mitosis and meiosis. The class incubated chicken eggs to demonstrate how cells can reproduce and be identical (mitosis) or different (meiosis). Biochemistry students were responsible for the viable living conditions for the chicken eggs. The incubation period for chicken eggs was 21 days. Each day, students were responsible for maintaining a constant temperature of 99.5 degrees fahrenheit and carefully flipping the eggs three times a day, both conditions are essential to the development of the chicken embryo.Through the process, students also learned responsibility. If students neglected the eggs, the chance a healthy chicken would hatch decreases. “I am proud of the students and their handling of the eggs,” commented high school science teacher Ben Fredrickson. “Out of a small batch of eggs, we had three chicks hatch due to the dedication and responsibility of the students.”

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