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Tag Archive | "school district"

From the Superintendent’s Desk


Laura VanDuyn

Laura VanDuyn

Dear Cedar Springs Public Schools Families:

Exciting School District News: 2017 Refunding Bonds! The Board of Education Cedar Springs Public Schools is proud to announce the successful sale of its 2017 Refunding Bonds in the amount of $7,060,000.  The Bonds are being issued for the purpose of currently refunding a portion of the School District’s outstanding 2007 Refunding Bonds and to pay the costs of issuing the Bonds. The 2017 Refunding Bonds reduce the School District interest expense over $679,873 for the taxpayers and will occur through lower debt payments over the next 12 years.

In preparing to sell the 2017 Refunding Bonds the School District, working with their financial advisor, PFM Financial Advisors LLC, requested that S&P Global Ratings, acting through Standard and Poor’s Financial Services LLC (“S&P”) evaluate the School District’s credit quality.  S&P assigned the School District the outstanding underlying rating of “A+”.  The rating agency cited the School District’s stable economy with good incomes, strong market value per capita, stable enrollment, strong reserves and moderate debt burden in their rational for rating of the School District at this level.

I’m extremely pleased with the results of the refunding and thrilled that we’re able to save the taxpayers of Cedar Springs almost $700,000 over the next 12 years!   When you add that to the $2.5 million saved from last years’ refunding, that’s significant.

The School District’s financing was conducted by the Michigan investment banking office of the brokerage firm, Stifel, the financial advising firm, PFM Financial Advisors LLC and the law firm serving as bond counsel, Thrun Law Firm, P.C.  The School District’s 2017 Refunding Bonds were sold at a true interest rate of 2.85% with a final maturity of 2029 (a repayment term of approximately 12 years). Jeffrey Zylstra, Managing Director with Stifel states, “Cedar Springs Public Schools’ Bonds were well received by the bond market.  We were able to take advantage of current interest rates that met the goals of the District and resulted in a nice savings that will be passed on to the District’s Taxpayers.”

Please feel free to contact me should you have questions about this exciting news.

Warmly,

Laura VanDuyn, Ed.D., Superintendent of Schools

Office:  616-696-1204 ext. 1001    Cell: 925-899-3111    Email: laura.vanduyn@csredhawks.org

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An Advocate that puts kids first


NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

An Advocate that puts kids first

The quality of a child’s education will have a lasting and powerful impact on their future and the future of their community. Working as a licensed social worker with families and children, I have seen the evidence of this firsthand.

As an alumna of Cedar Springs High School, my hope is that every child in the Cedar Springs Public School District receives an education that serves as a solid foundation for success. In order for that hope to be a reality, the children of Cedar Springs need a school board member who will put their needs first.  Our children deserve an advocate who will ask the tough questions and who recognizes the complexity of today’s educational environment.

When I first met Heidi Reed years ago she was raising three young boys, working full time, and still finding a way to strongly support a group of CSHS Varsity softball players. She was an avid supporter of extracurricular activities, recognizing that learning happens both inside and outside the classroom.

In the years since, Heidi Reed has only deepened her commitment to the children of CSPS and the community.

As the wife of a current CSPS teacher and the mother of three young gentlemen, including two current CSPS students, she has firsthand knowledge of the current successes and challenges of Cedar Springs Public School District.

As an active member of our community, she supports local organizations that have a direct, positive impact on our children. She already has a proven record of putting the kids of CSPS first by regularly attending school board meetings, serving on the Sinking Fund Committee since 2010, and working on the 2016 District Improvement Team.

The children of CSPS deserve a school board member who will put them first. They deserve an advocate who knows the current needs of CSPS students firsthand. Heidi Reed will be that advocate.

On election day, please consider putting the children of CSPS first by voting for Heidi Reed.

Heather DeLine, MSW, LSW, Nelson Township

CSHS Class of 2007

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Let your voice be heard on November 8


NOTICE: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

* We only print positive letters about candidates one week prior to the election.


 

 

Let your voice be heard on November 8

Our nation is extremely divided. Cedar Springs is, too. We all want what’s best for our nation and our school district. As a nation our national debt is a big concern. As a school district, it is important to retain a balanced budget while being transparent to our taxpayers.

As a nation, we must remember that all lives matter including the unborn. As a school district, we need to continue putting our kids first by offering intervention for the at-risk population and job training skills along with continuing the progress we have made by offering middle college and dual enrollment to the students who need to be challenged.

Our nation’s borders need to be secure, so we can live in a safe society. As a school district, we need to continue to keep our schools safe. Employing a safety officer is a start. Securing our schools, endorsing programs such as BE NICE and OK2Say, along with professional development for our teachers and staff are just a few of the other ways of maintaining a safe and healthy school environment.

I applaud everyone who wants to make our school district better. Each candidate has their unique gifts and abilities. Based on what I’ve read of each candidate, I feel that Heidi Reed and Joe Marckini have what it takes to sit on the school board. “As you discover what strength you can draw from your community in this world from which it stands apart, look outward as well as inward. Build bridges instead of walls.” Chief Justice Sonia Sotomayer

 

Shelley Bauer, Nelson Township

Employee of Cedar Springs Schools

Parent of student at Cedar Springs Middle School

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Stop using kids to get back at mom


 

I chose to live in Cedar Springs because I believed it was a welcoming community, which offered a family, and had a big heart. I was raised in a much larger town then Cedar, so I had hoped my children would experience a close knit feeling by going to a smaller school district. I wanted them to open up their yearbooks and not question who the majority of the students were like I experienced. I thought by growing up in Cedar that they would always feel safe, because of the community unity and big hearts.

Recently I’ve questioned if I made the right choice. I’ve seen, read and heard things that make me feel that if your opinion is different than theirs it doesn’t matter. I cry myself to sleep because my children have experienced unkind words and believe their friends are shunning them, because their mother has been publicly vocal. I fear everyday that they will be repeatedly punished because I am expressing my difference of opinion and have been working to focus on the positives occurring at CSPS.

I agree there is a broken unity in our community, but I’m having a hard time believing it ever existed from the way my family has been treated. We didn’t grow up in Cedar Springs but our opinion as residents should be just as respected as those who have lived here longer than us. I don’t expect us all to agree similarly, but I do expect us all to be respectful, kind, understanding, and to agree to disagree when we have a different opinion.

So, please stop using my children as a method of attacking me. I don’t mind if you don’t like me or my opinions but I ask that you not use my children as pawns and allow them, as they grow up, to feel they are safe.

Stephanie Morris, Solon Township Resident

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Concerned parent speaks out


 

I am concerned about what is happening in our school district and concerned that only one side of the story is being voiced. There is a group of school staff who seem to be unhappy with some of the changes happening in the district.  This is the voice that was heard at the school board meeting last week (10/26) and in last week’s Post (10/29). There is another voice in this situation, but I feel these voices are probably afraid to speak. I almost didn’t. Why? Because this small group of staff touch my children’s lives every day. If I speak up, how is it going to trickle down to my children? Will they be treated different by this group of staff?

Ultimately, where our district goes from here is what’s important for my children.  Our children are what are important.

The new superintendent was hired to improve the district, make it a better place for our children. That’s what she’s doing. Our district was in need of change and restructure.

It’s important for the parents of Cedar Springs to realize all the positive things that have been accomplished in the last year. To name a few: lower classroom sizes, new district website, new math curriculum (6-12), new health care clinic, new buses, academic interventionists and full time GATOR reading interventionists, upgraded/new technology added. And then, look ahead to what’s planned for the coming year; more new buses, research/selection of new math curriculum (K-5), growth of Campus Kids , fencing around Beach Elementary, responsive classroom training, an interactive Rotary Club for high school students, new board policies and operation procedures, and increased safety/security at our school entrances. These are just a few of the things that have and will be done last year and this. I would encourage community members to visit www.csredhawks.org for a full list.

My hope is that parents and community members will look at the facts and see that Superintendent VanDuyn is working very hard to ensure the best for our students, and is working to move our district forward to bigger and better things.

Jennifer Skelonc, Nelson Township


Post Scripts Notice: The Cedar Springs Post welcomes letters of up to 350 words. The subject should be relevant to local readers, and the editor reserves the right to reject letters or edit for clarity, length, good taste, accuracy, and liability concerns. All submissions MUST be accompanied by full name, mailing address and daytime phone number. We use this information to verify the letter’s authenticity. We do not print anonymous letters, or acknowledge letters we do not use. Writers are limited to one letter per month. Email to news@cedarspringspost.com, or send to PostScripts, Cedar Springs Post, PO Box 370, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.

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