Zeeland Quest News

December 4, 2020

RETURNING to F2F LEARNING!

Families,


As we get ready to return face-to-face, after several weeks, we want to take a minute to give you some suggestions on how to best prepare your learner for the big return. While we are returning for 5 days, we feel it's 5 days we get to see our kids' faces and interact with them; sending them off for holiday break with similar Christmas fun and excitement! Please glance over these suggestions as you prepare with your child:



  • sleep & breakfast ... if sleeping and eating patterns have changed, help your child jump back into consistent bedtime and wake up routines
  • water bottle ... remember, drinking fountains are closed ... please send your child with a clean water bottle each day
  • iPad... please make sure to bring your iPad, completely charged, on Monday. The Tech Dept. will be doing an install to help correct some of the issues that we saw the last few days! You won't want to miss this being done!
  • classroom books ... please have your child pack up the books they borrowed from our classroom libraries and Just Right Library and return those to school on Monday (they will be able to come home with more for the break)!
  • math workbooks ... also need to be packed up and ready to return to the classroom on Monday
  • headphones ... did your child bring these home? They need to return to school on Monday.
  • pencil boxes / art supplies ... how about those? Did your child bring them home? Please help your child prepare to return to school with the supplies they may have temporarily brought home.
  • face mask ... your child will need a clean face mask each day
  • distancing ... social distancing will continue to be in effect; we will take extra caution in making sure that we are as safe as possible over the next 5 days to reduce/eliminate any quarantines or positive cases over the holiday.
  • sanitizer and lotion ... we will continue to sanitize or wash our hands frequently, but now that the air is drier, please encourage your child to use lotion before and after school to avoid dry hands that sting when sanitizer or soap is used
  • warm gear ... hats, mittens, boots ... please work with your child to dress for comfort outside
  • Notes from Superintendent DeKuiper's email on Fri., Dec. 4th:
    • We believe a solid week of in-person learning can be met with full rosters and staff prior to the holiday break. That said, we are extremely forthright in asking all parents perform student health assessments daily prior to arriving at ZPS. Please take your child’s temperature daily. Watch for symptoms of COVID-19. Keep your child home if symptoms arise. It is imperative that returning to school on December 14 is done with the utmost care. Please do your part.
    • Above all else, please remember ZPS educators want what is best for kids. Although we are facing many unknowns, we will continue to lead and teach with empathy, perseverance, dignity and grace. We thank you for your support as we face the challenges of COVID-19 together. We live in an amazing community and I thank you for your partnership.




  • COVID Reporting
  • If your child is either in isolation due to testing positive for COVID-19 or in quarantine, please let your school building know ASAP. We would like to have our information accurate upon our return to in-person learning.

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!


Holiday Break Week: Dec. 21-Jan. 1

3rd Term (MS) & 2nd Semester Begins (MS/HS): January 25

Mid-Winter Break: February 8-9

6th-8th grade Progress Reports // Conferences (K-12): Feb. 25

K-5 Conferences: Feb. 26

Spring Break Week: April 2-9

Spring Break Week: April 2-9

Last Day of School: June 10, 2021

ZQuest 2021/2022 Planning

Please complete the survey below to help us in planning for the 2021/2022 school year!


Planning Survey

14 Days 'Til Christmas Break FUN!

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The Pandemic Toolkit Parents Need by Psychology Today

READ the article HERE


Takeaways:


1. Structure your day

2. Have family meals

3. Limit media

4. exercise

5. Reach out

6. Help others

7. Practice good sleep hygiene

8. Stay positive and future focused

ZPS Cares

During our Remote Learning Times, we recognize that there may be needs for support that are harder to communicate when not in-person. We would like to remind our ZPS Community that ZPS Cares is a great way to get the support you may need!


  • ZPS families can call the ZPS Cares Helpline (616-748-4509) or email the ZPS Cares Email (zpscares@zps.org) for assistance related to health, food, and technology needs.

  • ZPS staff and families may use this ZPS Help Request Form to identify student/family needs. A Spanish version is available as well.

  • Spring 2020: Google Help Request, ZPS Cares Helpline and Email will be posted on ZPS website, Z for Me, postcard mailers, and postcards with meal distribution. Link to communication plan from Spring 2020 here.

REMOTE LEARNING: November 30-December 11

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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.

TECHNOLOGY

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

Communication

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