Zeeland Quest News

November 6, 2020

CONGRATULATIONS to our OCTOBER Students of the Month!

Kindergarten~ Amos Koedyker

1st Grade~ Cora Arens & Walter Smead

2nd Grade~ Averie Henkel & Ellis Carpenter

3rd Grade~ Lucille Smead

4th Grade~ Jordan Prins

5th Grade~ Emrey Carpenter & Alice Smead

6th Grade~ Kai Bouathong

7th/8th Grade~ Aydan Herrera

2020/2021 Calendar

The 2020-2021 calendar is published and available by clicking HERE, visiting www.zps.org or www.zquestparents.com. Due to COVID-19, we will be following the traditional ZPS calendar. We will return to our year round, balanced calendar for the 2021/2022 school year!

Conferences (Virtual): Nov. 10 and 11 (3p-6p-MS & 4p-7p-ELE)

Remote Half Day: Nov. 12

7:35a-10:45am, middle school & 8:40a-12p, elementary

Conferences (Virtual): Nov. 12, 1p-7p

NO SCHOOL: Nov. 13

Thanksgiving Break Week: Nov. 25-27

Holiday Break Week: Dec. 21-Jan. 1

Mid-Winter Break: February 8-9

Spring Break Week: April 2-9

Last Day of School: June 10, 2021


Conferences are coming up on November 10, 11, and 12

November 10: REGULAR school day & Conferences 4pm-7pm

November 11: REGULAR school day & Conferences 4pm-7pm

November 12: REMOTE HALF DAY for students & Conferences 1pm-7pm

November 13: NO SCHOOL!

Kindergarten-4th Grade DIRECTIONS:

  • Please sign up online through our Fall Conference Sign Up Genius.
  • Each conference block is 20 minutes and they will be done via Zoom
  • Zoom links will be shared out from your child's teacher as we get closer to conferences
  • Report cards will be sent home on Monday, Nov. 9

5th Grade-8th Grade DIRECTIONS

  • Students will share a Presentation of Learning with their family between Friday, Nov. 6 and Monday, Nov. 9
  • Parents will then fill out the Google Form (emailed by teachers directly to parents) NO LATER than Monday, Nov. 9. This form will give you the scheduling options of conferencing (zoom, phone call, email) with your child's teacher.
  • Teachers will reference the Google Form to arrange conferences with parents.
  • Report Cards will go home with students on Monday, Nov. 9.

If you have any questions about how to sign up for a conference, please reach out to your child's teacher!

Report Card Information

As we head into report card season, please use this as a reference to how report cards are being used and what parents can expect to understand from them!
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STAR Assessments

*As part of our Road Map to Returning to Learning, we have been asked by the state to share students' STAR assessments. STAR is our district-wide reading and math assessment that we take three times during the year (fall, winter and spring). This assessment helps guide our instructional plans and also supports us in intervening with students who may struggle in certain core areas.

*We are sharing STAR scores with ELEMENTARY families at conferences. Please watch What does STAR data tell me? which was created by our Curriculum Director, Dr. Brandi Mendham, and a few elementary school teachers in the district. This video will give you an idea of how we use the data and what you can find by looking at the report sent home.

*There is a signature line, however we are NOT requiring signatures; these are given as informative data.

*As always, please let us know what questions you might have!

2nd Semester ZPS Planning

ZPS is preparing for the second semester, which runs January 25 through June 10, 2021.

In response to COVID-19, all students will continue with two learning options:

In-Person at ZPS or via Z-Connect Online Learning from home

ALL families are being asked to participate in a short survey by November 20 to inform ZPS of your selection. All families are asked to participate. Families are reminded the selection is for an entire semester.

For our families who are considering a switch from Z-Connect Online to ZPS In-Person, please be aware ZPS will do their best to place students at their original / home building. However, due to COVID-19, ZPS is maintaining smaller class sizes and may need to adjust assigned buildings for the duration of the academic year to ensure we meet the safety measures outlined in the ZPS Preparedness Plan.

If you have questions before making a selection, please contact your building principal. Please take the survey by November 20:

English version

Spanish version

Parent Portal

Please use this PDF in order to get instructions and a code to set up your Parent Portal (access to grades, bussing information, etc.)!

Mask Up Reminder

We have been so fortunate so far to keep COVID-19 out of our school building. It is human nature to fall back on old habits as we get more comfortable in this new school year. It is so important to be reminded to wear masks consistently, keep our distance, and wash our hands frequently. Honestly, we need to do this now more than ever before. In a matrix that Ottawa County Health Department uses, on a scale of A-E with the number of COVID cases in the county, we are at a low D. We are as little as 3 cases away from closing down our school, and just one case of COVID can cause a classroom to go remote for 14-28 days. We have to be just as diligent when we are sitting together as colleagues--mask up and be careful to not be within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more. Remember, that 15 minutes is not consecutive--it is 15 minutes total throughout the day. If you are going to be within six feet of students for an extended period of time, use the plexiglass barrier or a shield on top of your mask. While we cannot completely prevent COVID-19, we can do our very best to mitigate it.

Breakfast and Lunch Information

All meals (breakfast and lunch) are served at NO COST to all ZPS students until Dec 2020, or until USDA funds run out. You can find your schools menu at https://www.zps.org/parents/food-service/. Only complete meals are free. A complete breakfast or lunch has to have 3 items, one item must be a fruit or vegetable. An entree is usually considered two items (protein/grain). A complete meal is an entree, fruit and/ or vegetable, milk.


ZPS Device Filters information from Technology Director, Mark Washington

We hope the following explanation offers insights as to how device security is managed and how our content filter works to keep your student protected.

As a district we believe that there is a significant amount of internet learning resources that benefit our students. We take the responsibility of providing supervised access to these resources very seriously. Our goal is always to better prepare students to become lifelong learners.

As a general practice, the district protects all of the devices assigned to students with a variety of security layers. We contract with a company called iBoss to utilize their content filtering services. Staff is constantly adding items that they run across that should be added to our filter. We also subscribe to several current security publications that recommend updates to our student protection package.

Even with all of this, it may not meet the specific needs of the 6500+ students/families within the district. Some families want to have more access to internet sites that we currently block while others think we are not tight enough. Know that in all cases the base layer of items such as porn, gambling, hate speech, etc... is always blocked whether students are on and off campus. It is a constant challenge to maintain the balance of access, security and appropriateness within the wide variety of opinions and personal values that come from our stakeholders. We rely on parents to take an active interest as to what their children may see online. Having a continuous connection with your child's teacher about iPad concerns is the ultimate tool that we have to make things work for the best.

As a district we believe that the resources available on sites like YouTube (when combined with the current content filter) has solid instructional value for our students. However, sometimes things may not be rated as we all think they should. If you find something that you feel should be added to the content filter, please let us know and we will get back to you.

Regarding why we lock down the machines to prevent configuration changes.
We have seen some of our students attempt to disable some of those protocols to gain access to items that may not be in their educational best interest. No solution is perfect, however, we must take significant steps to ensure that students can't disable the security. It is a constant struggle to make sure that kids can't get around the security system with enough access to allow them to make the device their own. Our current solution does not permit parental customization of our security/content filter applications. If we were to allow parents/students to change the setups, it would impact learning in the classroom. There is a level of consistency that the teachers need to have when knowing what to expect with the daily use of the devices in the classroom.

Our current educational environment demands that the same level of care and flexibility be applied with the use of Technology. We will continue to try to improve how we apply both.

Please NOTE:

Elementary students DO NOT set up an Apple ID, Student Portal or HS Email (this is all part of the insurance/ipad set up flyer linked below)

With this change, we are requiring iPad Insurance for all students. Information on how to get insurance and cost breakdowns can be found HERE and information on setting up your insurance can be found HERE.

Each ZConnect student should have a ZPS issued device. If you still have not picked up your child's iPad, please email Leslie at lrindfli@zps.org to get office hours and days for next week!

Please NOTE:

Elementary students DO NOT set up an Apple ID, Student Portal or HS Email (this is all part of the insurance/ipad set up flyer linked below)

iPad Insurance for all students is highly suggested. If you chose not to pay for insurance, you are responsible for the replacement of a lost device or the full repair of a damaged device. Information on how to get insurance and cost breakdowns can be found HERE and information on setting up your insurance can be found HERE.

Battery Life

Please be aware that Zoom is a battery sucker, and we have not found a way around this. General tips such as reducing screen brightness and reducing volume/using headphones are good ideas in any case, but the major consumption is due to the Zoom meeting. Our suggestion is to zoom while the device is plugged in, which will make a huge difference if possible.

Preparing for Remote Learning...

Troubleshooting Directions

Downloading Apps

ZOOM Instructions


We currently have 52 ZQuest parents/guardians connected to our REMIND app! If you are willing, this is a great way to get FAST updates and reminders. We'd love to have you join!

  • NEW this year, due to the uncertainty of how things will settle with COVID-19, we are going to try communication through REMIND. This will primarily be for reminders and should school be cancelled in-person due to COVID or should we have a fog delay or snow day (I can’t believe I’m talking about snow!). Your child’s teachers may set up a classroom REMIND as well. They will come to you in the same way and will tell you who the REMIND message is from.

  • Parent Website at http://www.zquestparents.com/. This site is our MAIN place of information and should become a habit to look at for reminders and answers. If we need to point out something specific, Leslie will send it in an email with attachments and teachers will do so as well in their classrooms!

  • You can also find information on our Parent’s Facebook page located at ZQuest Parents if you search for us on Facebook. This is ONLY a place for reminders and parent engagement and sharing. This is NOT where we store information or publish information that must get to parents.

Secondary BLOCK Schedule Help

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Zeeland Return to Learning Parent Information

Medical Forms

If your child will need ANY medications given to them during the school year, the correct MEDICAL FORM must be FILLED OUT AND SIGNED by your child's doctor BEFORE we can begin to give meds.

Medication Distribution Form

Seizure Plan

Asthma Management

Diabetes Management Plan