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Tag Archive | "Creative Technologies Academy"

CTA response to governor suspending face to face learning for the rest of the year


From Dan George, Superintendent, Creative Technologies Academy

With the governor’s formal announcement this morning of the closing of school for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, I understand we are moving into unexplored territory. The decision to close our buildings is highly disappointing, but understandable and necessary.  The governor had no choice. If this decision saves only one life, it is worth it.

Our entire nation is facing a challenge perhaps unlike anything since World War II, certainly unlike anything I’ve seen in my lifetime. But hope springs eternal for Americans and our community. We know how to pull together. And we will! And we are! Even though our campus is closed, teaching and learning will continue through the end of May. I have been so encouraged by the spirit of the educators in this community, those on my own staff and those at CSPS. I am blessed by the partnership of CSPS Superintendent Scott Smith to feed the children of CSPS and CTA. My administrators and teachers have been collaborating with educators from other districts, sharing ideas for distance learning. My staff has been sharing resources with parents and students for three weeks, having Zoom meetings, and preparing for this announcement. 

We continue the development of our plan for continuity of learning to meet the emotional and academic needs of all our students, and we will implement it as soon as possible. We will especially reach out to our seniors and collaborate on some innovative ways to celebrate their achievements. 

We also want you to know this:

  • Our staff is not surprised by this and we have been preparing for this event. We believe we are ahead of the curve in our preparation. We are experienced in innovation and personal instruction.
  • Our target date for implementing our plan is April 20. This date could change depending on factors for approval. We will keep you posted.
  • Spring Break (April 6-10) will be honored for our students.

We are extremely proud of our families and staff for their flexibility, patience, and understanding during this crisis. We also know this situation presents unique challenges to each family. We want our CTA families and the Cedar Springs community to know you are our family. We are in this together. Please reach out if you are in need of help.

Lastly, please take the appropriate measures to keep your family healthy.

Sincerely,

Dan George
Superintendent
Creative Technologies Academy
350 Pine Street
Cedar Springs, MI 49319
Office: (616) 696-4905
Mobile: (616) 893-1507

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CTA names elementary principal for 2020-21


Creative Technologies Academy completed its search for a new elementary principal to take effect July 1, 2020. Current principal Autumn Mattson will become the Academy’s superintendent/school leader on that date, creating the need to hire a new principal. CTA is pleased to name Kate Bialkowski as the school’s elementary principal effective July 1.

Bialkowski is no stranger to CTA. She has served the Academy for five years—first as a teacher and currently she is an Instructional Coach at the Academy. 

Bialkowski received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Michigan State University in 2006 and her Master’s Degree in Education from Montreat College in 2011. She and her husband, Steve, live in Cedar Springs with their two children.

Current Superintendent Dan George said this: “Ms. Bialkowski brings a wealth of experience and accomplishments to this position. She has approached each assignment at CTA with enthusiasm and she has been a key initiator in many of them. Her experience in compliance, interventions, academic support, student success teams, leading PLC groups, our WIN (Whatever I Need) program, and supporting teachers with her coaching will launch her into success as a principal. Most importantly, she loves kids, and they know it.”

Autumn Mattson, current Elementary Principal, commented: “Mrs. Bialkowski has played an important role in enriching and developing key instructional components at Creative Technologies Academy. She is a mentor to many, a leader of multiple teams, and a facilitator of growth for several diverse groups. Her charismatic leadership style allows for all voices to be heard while at the same time continually moving forward with a vision of success. She has a natural way of supporting and encouraging, reflecting, and growing others. She is continuously seeking ways to improve herself and the school experience for students and staff. The staff and student learning needs are at the core of all that she does and her broad experience brings the type of credibility that will make her asset to continuing to support the growth of our CTA World Changers!”

Ms. Bialkowski shared this statement: “It is with great excitement and honor that I accept the CTA Elementary Principal position! My family and I are thrilled to continue serving CTA and growing with this great community. My passion for education has always aligned with the mission, vision, and values of this district and it is a privilege to continue to grow professionally alongside such a strong and inspiring staff. I am grateful for the growth and leadership Mr. George and Mrs. Mattson have provided for me over the last 5 years and I hope to continue the great work they have done for the Elementary. I care deeply for the elementary students at CTA; I care for their academic growth, individual needs, and overall well-being as future world changers. Because of this, I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve as the next Elementary Principal!”

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CTA boys and girls basketball teams conference champs



The CTA Varsity Lady Chargers Basketball team celebrated their championship after the game by cutting the net.

Creative Technologies Academy had two teams win conference championships this past week. Both the CTA women’s varsity basketball team and the CTA boys varsity basketball team earned the Great Lakes 6 League Conference Championship title.

The girls finished 7-1 in the league and hope to bring home the district title next week. The team swept the series 2-0 versus West Michigan Lutheran, Libertas Christian, and West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science. The girls split the series with Algoma Christian giving them their only loss. “The Lady Chargers have developed into a strong team led by returning captains, seniors Faith Watson and Hannah Hofstra,” shared Coach Lisa Perry. “Both girls have been leaders both on and off the court and will be missed next season.”

The boys finished 8-2 in league play and look forward to their district tournament. The boys are being led by senior caption Luke Hubbard who averaged 25.7 points per game and sophomore Ivan Winters who averaged 21.1 points per game. The conference came down to the last game where the Chargers defeated Barry County Christian by a score of 59-56. The Chargers swept the series 2-0 versus Algoma Christian, West Michigan Lutheran, and Hudsonville Libertas Christian. The boys split the series with West Michigan Academy of Environmental Sciences and Barry County Christian. Good luck to the Chargers as they look to bring home a district title next week.

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CTA celebrates 20 years



From Left to right: Autumn Mattson – CTA Elementary Principal; Jen Colin – CTA Secondary Principal; Dan George – CTA Superintendent/School Leader;  Art Willick – CSO Field Representative; Dr. Ron Rizzo – FSU Director of the Charter School Office;  Dr. Paul Blake – Vice President-Provost Ferris State University, Michigan’s Charter Schools, Ferris State Charter Schools.

Creative Technologies Academy was recognized this week for over 20 years of continuous operation as a Michigan Public School Academy authorized by Ferris State Charter Schools. 

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CTA names replacement for retiring Superintendent



CTA elementary principal Autumn Mattson has been chosen to replace retiring Superintendent Dan George. Courtesy photo.

A familiar face will be leading the charge for Creative Technologies Academy after current Superintendent Dan George retires on June 30. 

The charter school, located at 350 Pine Street, in Cedar Springs, announced at its regular board meeting on Wednesday, February 19, 2020, that they had chosen Autumn Mattson, current Elementary Principal of the Academy, to replace George effective July 1, 2020. 

Cindy Patin, President of the Board of Directors, announced the selection of Mrs. Mattson with this statement: “For twenty-one years, Creative Technologies Academy has provided a unique learning opportunity for children within our community andsurrounding area, led by great leaders who have a genuine desire to see children succeed in all areas of their lives. We are thankful for the next phase of our history to be led by another individual as equally committed to that vision and mission, Mrs. Autumn Mattson. Her energy, enthusiasm, and passion for continual growth for her students, for her staff, and for CTA, made her the ideal candidate for the search committee and for the Board of Directors. We look forward to continuingour work of developing world changers with Mrs. Mattson as our school leader.”

Dan George has served as the Academy’s school leader for more than a decade and approved wholeheartedly of the decision of the Board of Directors. “I look forward to working with Mrs. Mattson over the next four months on this transition. Autumn Mattson has proven her value to CTA over the last four years as the Elementary Principal. She combines academic qualifications, leadership skills, vision, a growth mindset, knowledge of the community, and high energy and work ethic that will be invaluable to the Academy in her role as Superintendent/School Leader,” said George. “Most of all, she has a sincere heart for kids. I consider that her most important quality.”

Before joining CTA in 2016 as Dean of Students/athletic director, Mattson served as athletic director at Cedar Springs Public Schools for almost 10 years and was both dean of students and athletic director there for almost 3 years. She also held several other positions within the school district prior to that.

Mattson received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lake Superior State University in 2001, her Masters in Education from Aquinas College in 2010, and her Michigan School Administrator Certificate in 2017.

She has been an Executive Mentor/Coach with the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals since 2018. Among her many leadership accomplishments, she is responsible for initiating and implementing the “WIN” (Whatever I Need) program in CTA’s elementary grades, elevating student success. Mrs. Mattson is married to husband, Scott, and they have two sons, Drew and Evan. She expressed her appreciation with this statement: “My family and I are extremely excited and grateful for this opportunity to continue to serve the CTA students, staff, families, and community as the new CTA Superintendent/School Leader. Since the minute I stepped onto the CTA campus, this has been a place that has supported, inspired, and challenged me to grow professionally and personally. I am filled with gratitude for the leadership that Mr. Dan George has provided for me and so many others during his time at CTA. He will be greatly missed by CTA students, staff, and families. We will continue to honor his legacy by always remembering what he has taught us: We are Chargers! We are World Changers!!”

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Enrollment Tours


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CTA teacher named WGVU’s Cool Teacher


Mr. Justin Harding with student Kirstin Willis, who nominated him for the Cool Teacher Award.

Creative Technologies Academy’s middle school teacher Justin Harding was recently recognized with WGVU’s Cool Teacher Award. Mr. Harding was nominated by CTA student Kirstin Willis. 

The Cool Teacher Award is bestowed on dedicated, creative, and resourceful teachers who work hard to have a positive impact in the lives of their students and within their communities.

WGVU visited Mr. Harding’s classroom to film him in action with his students, where he makes everyday learning an adventure. This feature aired on WGVU and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQws5GyxBTE&feature=youtu.be. When Harding was asked by WGVU what advice he would give to fellow teachers, his response was, “My teaching tip is to build relationships. It’s the most important part about teaching.”

Congratulations to Justin Harding on winning the Cool Teacher award!

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It’s time to celebrate!


Congratulations Class of 2019

Hundreds of students stepped out into a brand new world over the last couple of weeks as they graduated high school and now celebrate what lies ahead. Here in our area, students graduated from Cedar Springs High School, New Beginnings High School, Creative Technologies Academy, Algoma Christian School, and Tri County High School.

To see photos of top honors students in our area and class photos, click here to download

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Students Showcased Iconic Charlie Brown Moments In Spring Musical


Lucy (Audrey VanDyke) gazes at her love interest, Schroeder (Nolan Patin), as he plays piano.

The CTA Drama Department brought the beloved comic strip ​Peanuts​ to life in their spring musical, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” On Fri., May 3 and Sat., May 4. This was CTA’s first full-length musical and the students did an amazing job. The show consists of several iconic Charlie Brown moments such as Charlie trying to get a kite to fly, Snoopy reenacting the World War I flying ace “Red Baron,” Lucy’s infatuation with Schroeder and many others. Meant to be a series of vignettes versus an overarching plot, this show was fun for all ages. Thirteen students participated and the show was either sold out or very close in both performances. “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” was also the final performance for three seniors. Tobius Potter (Charlie Brown), Logan Winters (Peppermint Patty), and Elizabeth Jahns (Marcie). Logan and Elizabeth were in all of CTA’s productions during their high school career.

Snoopy (Willow Sidlauskas) rests atop her red doghouse.


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CTA Charger Voices broadens performance background with Collaborative Festival


On Friday, April 12, high school students in Charger Voices traveled up to Gaylord, Michigan for the first ever “Northern Michigan Choral Collaboration Festival.” This festival was created by Mr. Holtrop and Mr. Reed (the Gaylord High School Choir Director) as an opportunity for both schools to learn and grow from each other. Students rehearsed on Friday and Saturday, and then completed a closing performance on Saturday, April 13. During this event, both groups got the amazing experience of working with Ms. Xioasha Lin, doctoral student at Michigan State University. She worked with each choir for an hour and even taught the groups a new piece for the performance. This collaborative effort between the two schools really helped our students grow and experience music in a new and exciting way.

Charger Voices at Festival: Choir students from both CTA and Gaylord High School combined their voices for a performance together.


Lady Chargers soccer team kicks off season

CTA is proud to announce that the girls soccer program is up and running for its inaugural year. The team is coached by one of our middle school teachers, Justin Harding. Fifteen Lady Chargers in grades 6-12 make up a strong team for the first-ever girls soccer season at CTA. The team had their first game on April 9 against an experienced Barry County Christian team. For many of the Lady Chargers, this was their first taste of soccer at a varsity level, and they fought hard and gave their best effort. Even though the team did come up short and lose their first game, they have not lost hope. Coach Harding and the team look forward to playing against them again later in the season as the girls look to keep growing and pushing themselves to improve each day. Coach Harding had this to say about the team, “We have a very smart team, and these girls are learning the game very quickly; I look forward to seeing their potential continue to grow.” The Lady Chargers are looking forward to playing at Algoma Christian on May 2 at 5:30 p.m.


“You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown” Musical is coming to a stage near you

Tickets are on sale now for Creative Technologies Academy’s spring musical, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” You will not want to miss this show on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 at 7:30 p.m.! CTA drama students have been working hard to bring this beloved comic strip classic to the stage! This show features some of the most iconic scenes from the comics including Charlie Brown’s battle with a kite, Schroeder’s love of all things Beethoven, Snoopy’s Suppertime celebration, Sally’s unfortunate coat hanger sculpture grade, and many more! This show is sure to make you laugh and relieve the nostalgia of the Sunday Funnies. Advance tickets are on sale now for $6 by calling 616-696-4905 or by going to the CTA office. Tickets are $7 at the show and seating is limited. Concessions will be available for purchase at the show, and the funds raised will be used to continue to support the Drama Club and future productions. Hope to see you at the show!


Harmonic Chargers perform National Anthem at the West Michigan Whitecaps game

Harmonic Chargers at Whitecaps

On Tuesday, April 16, CTA’s middle school choir, “Harmonic Chargers,” performed the National Anthem at the West Michigan Whitecaps game against rival The Lansing Lugnuts. The students represented CTA well and had a great time at the game!


March is Reading Month 2019

Crash made a visit to some of the classrooms after the assembly, including the 2nd grade class

March is an extra special month as it marks a whole month dedicated to promoting the enjoyment and importance of reading both in school and at home. Creative Technologies Academy placed special emphasis on activities that promote reading during the month of March with the theme of “Grand Slam Readers.”

Crash spent time dancing with elementary students during their Reading Month closing ceremonies and even had time for photo opps with a few students!

Each week, students were given a new reading log to shade in the required amount of “outside of school” reading minutes given by each grade. Whole school and classroom activities were abundant throughout the month including: a giant baseball bulletin board keeping track of their reading as a whole school, mystery readers, reading buddies, library visits, Scholastic Book Fair, and more.

We also had a special surprise guest visit from Whitecaps mascot, CRASH, during our final student assembly. As a final celebration, there will be a school-wide outing to a Whitecaps game on May 23rd.


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.

April 26 Early Release Day 

Popcorn Day 

Prom

27 Mother/Son Event

30 Kindergarten Round Up

May 3 School Bank

Spring Musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”

4 Spring Musical “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”

7 Charter Day at the Capitol Elementary Spring Concert

9 Student vs. Staff Softball Game

Middle School/High School Choir Concert

10 Early Release Day

11 Family Trivia Night – CTA Disney Trip Fundraiser

17 Graduation 21 PA Meeting

23 Elementary Trip to Whitecaps Game

24 Early Release Day

27 No School – Memorial Day

28 Talent Show

8th Grade Promotion Ceremony

29 Field Day

31 End of Year Family Picnic w/PA Carnival

June 7 Last Day of School

*Early Release Dismissal Schedule

● K-5 Dismissal at 1:00 p.m.

● 6-12 Dismissal at 12:45 p.m.


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