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Tag Archive | "Superintendent Scott Smith"

Cedar Springs High School temporarily shifts to remote learning


High School students will be learning from home November 9 through December 1

Cedar Springs High School students will be learning from home for the next few weeks because of a large number of student absences due to quarantine. The Post asked Superintendent Scott Smith to explain what is happening.

“We continue to see a dramatic increase in the number of students in grades 9-12 absent from class due to COVID-19. The actual number of positive cases for High School students on any given day has remained relatively low.  However, the number of students and staff required to quarantine for 14 days has become significant and currently accounts for nearly 99 percent of the absences we are seeing,” he explained. 

“On Monday, November 9, the High School was expecting three student absences due to a positive COVID-19 test and over 180 students out due to quarantine.  One out of every five desks at the High School was going to be empty on Monday due to COVID-19 related absences.  To stabilize the learning experience for all High School students, we decided to move to our remote learning plan beginning on November 9 and lasting through December 1.”

Smith said that the increase in absences has caused a significant strain on the learning process for students missing class due to COVID-19.  “Teachers were doing their best to deliver the same lesson both in-person and remotely. In comparison, teaching a lesson remotely or in-person requires similar but very different strategies. The shift to remote learning allows our teachers to focus on one delivery method for their lessons, providing equitable instruction for all students. The decision to launch our remote learning model at the High School was clear.”

So far, attendance levels in the other buildings indicate that students in grades PK-8 can continue to learn in-person.  

How will this affect certain high school activities?

Athletics/Co-curricular programs – At this time, we will continue with all scheduled athletic/co-curricular eventsand activities. All current safety measures will remain in place.

KCTC/KTC transportation will continue to be provided. Some minor adjustments to routes and schedules may be necessary. 

Meal availability – Student meals will be available for pick-up between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. at the HS loop (near the office) on the following dates:

Monday – 11/9

Thursday – 11/12

Monday – 11/16

Thursday – 11/19

Monday – 11/23

Students will be given meals for three days. Please reach out to the High School office if you need meals but are not available during the scheduled times.

Mobile Hotspots may be available through CSPS if you do not have an internet connection where you live. These devices are being distributed based on need and availability. 

Personal items The High School will be open during regular school hours. Students can pick up any personal items starting on Monday. 

Early Middle College – A separate communication will be sent to our EMC families outlining specificinformation on this program.

Smith said they would keep parents informed of any future adjustments to their schedule or programs.  

Posted in Cedar Springs Public Schools, NewsComments (0)

Cedar Springs back to school plan


By Judy Reed

Cedar Springs Public Schools recently announced their back to school safe start plan, and it includes two options for families to choose from: full in-person instruction or virtual online learning. 

They have asked parents to let them know by this Friday, August 14, which plan they will choose for their children. “It’s mostly for planning,” explained Cedar Springs Superintendent Scott Smith. “We need to make staffing decisions.”

The district plans to reopen for in-person instruction on Tuesday, September 8. They have tried to make in-person instruction as safe as possible. “We are working with community partners including Kent Intermediate School District and Spectrum Health to ensure decisions are being carefully considered and recommendations vetted,” Smith said in the document given to parents and approved by the Board of Education. “We relied on current medical best practices released by the CDC, national guidance, and support from other organizations to build the most comprehensive and safe plan possible. The plan was also vetted and approved by the CSPS Board of Education. In addition, our legal counsel has reviewed and advised the material contained in the plan.”

The plan varies according to which phase we are in. For phase 4/5, all students K-12, will have the option of either in-person instruction with safeguards (such as social distancing, masks, handwashing, etc.) or virtual learning. They are asking for a commitment of one semester to whichever plan they choose. “The pacing is slightly different on the two plans and not seamless,” explained Smith. 

Masks will be required for all students K-12 and staff, except when eating, and mask breaks will be given to elementary children. Hand sanitizing stations will be set up in classrooms, and desks disinfected at the end of each class period. Lunch will take place in various places besides the cafeteria and food will be pre-plated.

Parents will be asked to monitor their child’s symptoms at home.

For children who have health issues or for those parents who feel uncomfortable sending children back to school, they can choose the fully online learning. It will consist of at-home learning with CSPS teachers or mentors and online content and will be a semester commitment. It will be graded. It is recommended more for those children who are highly motivated or have a strong support system at home. 

So far, about 85 percent have chosen in-person instruction and 15 percent online instruction.

The Post asked Smith if virtual learning might remain an option even after masks and other safeguards are no longer needed. “There are going to be things we learn from this that make us stronger in the future,” he remarked. “I could see us moving forward with that as long as there is a demand. It could be looked on as a very positive thing; it has the flexibility of doing any work anywhere at any time. The downside is the student is not as actively engaged as in person. It depends on the drive of the learner. Our goal is to provide a robust experience with both online and in-person instruction.”

Smith said feedback from parents has been positive. “Parents just want information. There have been a lot of questions. Many have experienced appreciation as well as frustration, and we understand that because we don’t have all the answers ourselves.”

For those who want to read the full plan approved by the board, click the link below:

School Covid Preparedness Plan CSPS– Fall 2020.pdf

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