New Groningen News
September 8, 2023
We made it to a Friday school day and we have a full 4 consecutive days under our belts! Your learners are continuing to revisit the expectations of the classroom, playground, hallway, bathrooms, kitchen, arrival and dismissal and they are doing GREAT work! With a great foundation of what it expected, kids rise to the challenge and the real work of learning can take place with the greatest successes! As teachers begin to work content into their days, you may begin to see/hear excitement about learning buzzing at the dinner table!
AT HOME CONNECTION:
I encourage you to continue talking to your learner(s) about how expectations will be a part of their life, even into upper elementary, middle school, high school and beyond! The connection will help them to see the real life application! In addition, talk about the learning they are embarking on; showing an interest in the classroom content will help keep the excitement alive! We want all of our students to grow in excellence to the best of their ability!
We are still perfecting our dismissal routine! Things are moving faster than they have, with all cars off of Chicago Dr by 3:44pm (latest data collected)! I'm super happy with that. I know that it's tough to see your kids lined up and them not coming to your car right away, however we really need to let the system work. When kids start leaving the lines before names are called it throws the entire line off and makes things slower. A few tips to keep in mind:
- If you are walking up to pick up from the line, PLEASE stay as close to the fence as possible to the left of the holding area opening. When we start to send families to their cars at pink or green, our smaller kids are confused because there are so many "big" people. I prefer you get into the car line and I respect your decision to come up and pick up your learners as well, knowing some of you walk from neighboring homes. We are asking that you stick to a line against the fence to make a clear and visible path for those who are walking to their car.
- In addition, you should NOT be crossing from the parking lot to the pick up area unless you are at the crosswalk. The crosswalk is clearly marked with two bright yellow crosswalk signs. We want to make sure everyone is safe and those leaving the pick up line can do so without worry about families crossing in unsafe places.
- Those families picking up from the car line, PLEASE listen to the color your family is being sent to. Stay within a close and safe range to the car in front of you to keep the line moving. Drive up to the color your child(ren) were sent to. They will load quickly and you can move into the left lane to get out of the line and exit the lot. Please refrain from waving your kids to you when they haven't been called and from picking them up from a different location in the line when they've been sent to a specific color spot.
Thank you for your patience as we all learn a new dismissal process! The kids are learning as well! Our 3rd-5th graders are just ending recess at dismissal and have been practicing getting equipment put away quickly, grabbing their things from the wall and getting to their lines for pick up. We are working on staff getting to those spots as quickly as possible as well. Dismissal is 3:35pm and we will start calling names at that time!
We appreciate all of you!
Anchored in Excellence STARS at NG!
Grace, Asher & Ellie
Grace, Harrison, Cam & Malchiah
Kyo, Morgan, Caleb & Adalyn
Leya, Ellie H, Sebastian & Archer
Lelyn, Madison G, Lilyana & Elsie
Landon H, Jayden N, Braylon B & Hadley S
2022/2023 Important Upcoming Dates
Panda Express Restaurant Fundraiser: September 12
Early Release (staff pd): Friday, September 15 (dismissal 12pm)
Bird Bowl (ZW vs. ZE): Friday, September 22
*Empowered Game kick-off, 5pm; ZW v. ZE kick-off 7pm*
Dux Gear Orders Due: September 24
Early Release (staff pd): Friday, September 29 (dismissal 12pm)
Spirit Week (to celebrate ZW Homecoming): October 2-6
*daily themes to be announced soon*
Homecoming Football Game kickoff, 7pm: Friday, October 6
Early Release (staff pd): Friday, October 27
No School (staff pd): Monday, October 30
HELP WANTED! TTQ Coaches NEEDED!
We are looking for a few TTQ coaches to lead our boys in this amazing fall club! It starts really soon and we'd love to be able to have a team! If you are interested in coaching, please email Lisa Boeve at email@example.com and she will get the information to you!
Mark Your Calendars for these EVENTS!
**We will be opening up another order in late-October or early-November if you are interested in potential Christmas gifts. This will again be Dux gear, but will be different items!
New Groningen Family Associaton
Welcome Back from NGFA!
The NGFA is excited for another school year. I just wanted to share a little about the NGFA since there are so many new families that have recently joined our group.
The NGFA is proud to help support our school, many fun activities, field trips and events for New Groningen Elementary free of charge for our families. We hold many meetings throughout the year that will be announced in the upcoming weeks, have many fun events and activities planned, fundraisers and there will be many volunteer opportunities as well.
You can join our Facebook group “New Groningen Family Association - NGFA” to stay up to date with NG happenings.
We hope you all had a fun, safe long weekend and look forward to working with you all this year! If you have questions throughout the year you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martha Menerick, President
Nicole Orazem, VP
Amy Nash, Treasurer
Leslie Rindfliesch, NG Principal
What will general communication look like at New Groningen?
School-wide: Mrs. Rindfliesch will send New Groningen News to all families via email on Fridays (sometimes earlier depending on holiday breaks)!
Classroom: Each classroom has their own classroom communication site or newsletter and that will be communicated to each family by your child's teacher!
District-wide: ZPS sends emails in the form of Z For Me, uses Facebook (ZPS: Learning for Life), Instagram and Twitter. In addition, you can opt into our district-wide School Messenger, which delivers a text message to your phone to notify you of school closings, safety alerts and more! All you need to do is TEXT "Y" to 67587 to opt in (see flyer below for more information).
Other NG Resources:
- Facebook: You can also find information from the NG Family Association on our NGFA Facebook page located at New Groningen Family Association - NFGA if you search for us on Facebook. This is ONLY a place parent engagement and sharing. This is NOT where we store information or publish information that must get to parents.
IMPORTANT FREE/REDUCED breakfast & lunch INFORMATION!
ZPS is excited to offer free breakfast and lunch to all students this school year! However, if your family’s income falls within the guidelines, we strongly encourage you to still fill out an application. This confidential and protected form gives access to other services like Summer EBT, discounted school fees, discounted class materials, and even utilities support. (view the
income guidelines here to see if you qualify). Fill out the application for Summer EBT and Education Benefits with Michigan School Meals Program by visiting the link below today. Thank you! A qualifying complete meal must meet state requirements to be free. There are five components offered to make up a “complete meal” - protein, grain, fruits, vegetables, and milk. For lunch, three of the five components are necessary for it to qualify as a
complete meal (one of them MUST be ½ cup of fruit or vegetable). Breakfast also requires students to take three of the four components offered (one needing to be a ½ cup fruit).
If your child takes milk ONLY, they will be charged the full price of 60 cents (as this is not considered a complete meal).
To fill out the food service application (please fill this out regardless of economic status and/or the new budget approval):
Click on the FOOD SERVICE link HERE!
CLICK REGISTER to go to the food portal (if you did not register for the 22/23 year) OR sign in!
Once you are registered in the new system, you can click on the BENEFITS button and will be walked through what to do to determine if you qualify for free or reduced meals!
Please feel free to email Food Service with any questions you might have; they are more than happy to help!
Safety: The safety of all of the kids is our number one priority. If you need to come for any reason, you MUST at all times have a sticker from the volunteer computer that permits you into the building. You may NOT just come in (this includes just dropping your child off to their classroom). We really enjoy our parents being so involved and want to schedule those needs, but we also have to follow the safety procedures that are put in place district wide. All volunteer opportunities will be set up with the classroom teacher or NG staff. If you are hoping to observe your student or be with them at any point of their day, teachers need 24 hours notice. PLEASE be sure to enter the office, sign in using the volunteer computer system, put your name identification on your shirt (clearly visible) and then you can head down to fulfill your volunteer duties. If you do not have your identification clearly visible you will be stopped and asked to return to the office. Remember, this is not to make it hard for you, as the parent, to help in the classroom or visit/drop your child off, but to keep all of the kids in the building safe!
Volunteering: Be prepared to re-submit or submit your information for a background check in August by going to the following website: https://v2ms.zps.org/Login.aspx or stopping in the office and resubmitting your fingerprints and information through our volunteer computer in the main office.
At any time in the building, you do not have a visible green name tag on your clothes, you will be stopped and asked to return to the office. If your name tag is yellow, it indicates that your background check has not been fulfilled yet and you will be asked to return to the office. If your name tag is red, you are NOT permitted into the building past the main office (but please know that if you receive a letter in the mail from our Volunteer and Background Coordinator, you may appeal your denial through a letter format, and that is good for the remainder of your children’s schooling in Zeeland). This is for the safety of all of our kids. We are not trying to make entrance difficult, however it is our number one priority to make sure that all of our students are safe from the time they enter our building until they leave our building. We do everything in our power to make sure their education is the best!
Personal Devices: Many kids, especially our upper elementary students are carrying cell phones and we can appreciate the convenience of having a phone. While in school, all phones are kept turned off and in backpacks during the school day. Our classrooms and main office have a phone that can be used for students in case of an emergency or illness. It becomes extremely hard to keep track of kids’ needs when they are making calls at their lockers or in the bathroom when they don't feel well. Teachers often don’t know that a student may have called not feeling well and our secretaries aren’t sure when parents call back wondering why their child called them; leaving our staff in situations that are tricky to figure out. If students are using their personal device during school, it will be taken and parents can pick them up in the main office at their convenience. There may be instances that a teacher allows students to use their own device, however this is very rare.
Positive Behavior Intervention Support System
We have created a system of supports that revolve around behaviors, very similar to our system of supports for academics. We want all of our learners to feel safe, valued and loved in order to learn in the very best environment possible. A little information for you!
What is MTSS-B?
Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Behavior (aligns with our district’s MTSS-Academics) is an umbrella framework that includes RTI and PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports) frameworks. Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior (MTSS-B) is not a specific model but a compilation of effective practices, interventions, and systems change strategies that are designed to prevent student behavior problems and promote student achievement.
Why MTSS-B in Zeeland?
When students lack the behavioral and social skills necessary to focus on academics/achieve in school, we see far too many times that they are more at risk of failing or falling behind. Teachers are in need of proper support to eliminate the time being spent on managing student behavior and increase actual teaching time.
Our Goal at New Groningen (supported by ZPS) is:
Our staff and students will explore how to promote a community of inclusiveness and looking out for each other in all areas of our school through classroom social-emotional learning and intentional teaching of expectations of how we want to treat each other at school. In the end, we want to create a positive school climate that fosters positive behaviors and academic successes!
What is our Plan and how does it work?
Each of the following positive behaviors will be taught to all learner’s at NG. We will be intentional about showing examples of both the negative behavior and the positive behavior, with emphasis on the positive. We have reward tickets that learners will be earning daily, and then gradually requiring learners to earn tickets in less intentional ways as they learn how we learn and respond to situations at school. These tickets will be turned into a classroom bucket as the week progresses. Teachers will submit all of the tickets in the bucket to the office where one ticket will be selected weekly. That chosen student will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of rewards (that will change monthly). In addition, classrooms will have the opportunity to be awarded Golden Anchors. These Golden Anchors will be given based on what our team is working on with students (i.e. hallway expectations, playground expectations, classroom expectations) and whether students are behaving in such a way that is a positive and expected way. Mrs. Rindfliesch or Mrs. Herbert will go to each room monthly and count each classes Golden Anchors. The lower elementary classroom and the upper elementary classroom with the MOST Golden Anchors will win extra recess! By teaching positive behavior, learners will come to school knowing the expectations they are being held to and great learning for all can happen.
**Behavior Response Rubric (what to expect when a non-preferred behavior happens) COMING SOON**
Research shows that students learn best and reduce academic slide when they are in school. We recognize that kids get sick, accidents happen and it’s not always possible to schedule adult work vacations around the school calendar, however we ask that you try your best to honor your child's education and have them in school, on time, to the very best of your ability. It’s extremely hard to make sure that kids are continuing their learning trajectory, when they are missing from class and when teachers need to collect work or try to catch kids up due to multiple absences. Please view the county-wide attendance policy that is in effect currently.
Ottawa Area Intermediate School District’s (OAISD) Attendance Policy:
Chronic Absenteeism, 10%-whether excused or unexcused:
At any time during the school year if a student has absences (either excused OR unexcused) that have reached 10% of their school days as being absent, this should initiate the following steps by the district addressing concerns. It is recommended that these check points be made at 30 days of school, 60, 90, 120, 150.
At any time during the school year a student has tardies (late arrivals and early dismissals) that have reached 20% of their school days, or any combination of the above, the following steps should be initiated:
· WARRANTS TEACHER CONTACT - At 5 days absent (or at 10% of their school days being absent) a district identifies a potential attendance problem (both excused and unexcused absences are counted in this percentage).
· WARRANTS 2nd WARNING from OFFICE - At 7 absences (or continued absences after identified attendance issue) district sends out an attendance letter addressing concerns of absences (both excused and unexcused absences are counted in this percentage).
· WARRANTS INVITATION TO MEET WITH ADMIN - At 10 absences (or continued absences after identified attendance issue) district attempts to contact parent/guardian to discuss attendance issues and offer any support as needed. District also attempts to confirm that the parent/guardian received an attendance letter. Tier 1 and Tier 2 supports being reviewed by school (see handout) (both excused and unexcused absences are counted in this percentage).
· WARRANTS INVITATION to MEET with admin & Truancy Official - At 12 absences (or continued absences after identified attendance issue) district attempts to contact parent/guardian and schedules school meeting to complete Truancy Meeting Forms and offer any resources that might be helpful. Tier 1 and Tier 2 supports being reviewed by school (see handout) (both excused and unexcused absences are counted in this percentage).
· WARRANTS being turned over to COUNTY TRUANCY - At 15 absences (or continued absences after identified attendance issue) and the district has exhausted all resources and interventions and attendance has not improved, a referral to the ISD is made via the Truancy Data Manager (TDM). After a referral has been made, all absences must have a doctor’s note in order to be marked excused.
· *Schools can refer a student to truancy prior to 15 absences (especially elementary) as long as the student has missed 10% of the school year and the school has exhausted all efforts and tiered interventions to improve attendance.
Excused absence means the following AND count toward truancy when excessive:
Residential treatment (with doctor’s note or verified by parent)
Medical appointments (with doctor’s note)
Lice (3 days)
Funeral/death in family
Mandated court appearances (documented-only if children are required per subpoena).
Placement by Juvenile Court in detention.
Educational opportunities approved by school officials
Travel (up to 5 days with school official approval)
Unexcused absence is any absence not accounted for above, examples of unexcused absences include, but not limited to:
excessive tardiness or excessive early release
Staying home to baby-sit
Travel (more than 5 days in school calendar or any travel days without prior approval)
Needed at home
Child is not immunized
Sickness (not documented or verified by parent)
Chronic lice (over 5 days, CPS referral may be suggested/should be considered).
Willful truancy (skipping/student refuses to attend school per parent/guardian, or reported as a run-away).
Failure to notify school