Zeeland Quest News

December 18, 2020

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

Return from Holiday Break: January 4, 2021

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

Jolabokaflod from ZQuest PTO

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Christmas break is almost here!


Between now and Friday, teachers will be sending your child(ren) home with their Christmas presents from the PTO.

We wanted to make things special because of all of the upheaval, uncertainty and difficulty of the year. Having said that, we are completely amazed at the resilience and positive attitude of the ZQuest students. We have some incredible kids!


The kids have been given instructions NOT to open their presents until Christmas Eve in order to celebrate Jolabokaflod, the Icelandic tradition of books on Christmas Eve. (There is an explanation in the bag for those that didn't get to experience this the last time that we did Celebrations Around the World).

  • If your child does not receive a gift before school ends, it is due to shipping delays of their chosen book. We will contact you to make arrangements to deliver the gift to you before Christmas Eve.
  • If your child is virtual learning through ZConnect OR is not in school this week, please pick up your gift(s) in the office at Roosevelt.
  • If you are unable to pick up the gift(s), please respond to this email and we will make arrangements to have it delivered to you.

Quick list of what is in the bag:

  • Reminder about how Jolabokaflod is celebrated
  • One or two brand new books of their choice
  • An assortment of age appropriate and/or their preferred reading used books
  • National Geographic magazine/flyer (age appropriate)
  • Michigan History Magazines
  • Hot Chocolate packet
  • Candy
  • Trinkets
  • Inspirational message
  • Ink Pen/iPad Stylus combo
  • Lots of Love from the ZQuest Parent Group

We wish you and your family the happiest of holidays and look forward to seeing you in 2021.

ZOOM CHAT...it's a thing!

It's been brought to my attention from some of our very sweet students that they are using the Zoom Chat feature in Zoom to have conversations with with their friends. It's not a bad thing, they aren't using it inappropriately or being sneaky, they were very honest, in fact, however we have asked them to not use this feature in class! Cellular phones are not permitted in classes and this feature in Zoom serves similarly to cellular services.


I'm giving our families the information because it does look like they are using the Zoom Chat feature at home and I feel that it's something that I should draw your attention to. The Zoom Chat feature is an extra. They need to create a Zoom Account, which they have done if they are using this feature. This then allows them to sign into Zoom and invite friends to chat (text) with them.


Again, from those that I've looked at, they are not using the tool inappropriately, however I worry that they are maybe doing this without parents being in the know and supervising. Currently, I'm seeing this at the 4th grade level, however it very well could be others, too.


Please know that we are asking that they not use this feature at school, however we cannot control what happens at home (even if we say, please don't use it without parent permission).

December Students of the Month

Kindergarten: Annabel Hamstra

1st Grade: Wyatt Hamstra & Liliette Boekhoven

2nd Grade: Deklan Thoreson

3rd Grade: Luca Ghiardi

4th Grade: Erin Bredeweg

5th Grade: Caleb Levandoski

6th Grade: Riley Russell

7th Grade: Carter Thoreson

ZQuest 2021/2022 Planning

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


Planning Survey

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.

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