The Appleseed

December/January 2022

Update from the Superintendent

It is so hard to believe that 2022 is coming to an end, and we are embarking on yet another calendar year. This is certainly a time for giving and caring for others, and I wish you and your loved ones nothing but the best during the holiday season. We also want to celebrate all that has occurred throughout the current year. There were so many powerful personal stories among our students, staff, and community. Thank you for sharing your incredible children with us.

After three years of planning and construction, several of our bond projects are nearing completion. The gymnasium at Forest Grove is progressing nicely and should be ready for students in just a few short months. The fieldhouse at the high school is nearly enclosed and will begin to cement its presence on that campus for years to come. While the fieldhouse will not be completed until late 2023, the connector between the high school and freshman campus is nearly finished. Students have already begun using the internal hallway, and the offices and classrooms will be completed in January. The new 5/6 building at Georgetown is enclosed, and interior work is continuing at a pace that should allow this building to be open for the next school year. We will be planning times this spring for community members to walk through these wonderful facilities. Planning is well underway for new gymnasiums and classroom additions (Bauer) and upgrades (Park) at two of our elementary schools. Additional information can be found on our blog ( Thank you again for your generosity and support of the bond work that provides the students in Hudsonville Public Schools with some of the best learning environments in the area.

With our mid-November snow blast (and our first snow day), it appears mother nature wants to wait a bit for our typical Michigan snowfall. With little snow on the ground at this time, the days for skiing, sledding, and making snowmen have been sparse. However, we all know that winter is about to return. Please know that student and staff safety is our top priority, and we will do our best to make school closing/delay decisions by 5:45 a.m. at the latest. In addition to our phone/email notifications, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@dvanderjagt70) for closing updates.

One more important initiative for this winter will be to build a new three-year strategic plan for Hudsonville Public Schools. The current plan, known as SOAR IV, is set to expire at the conclusion of the calendar year, so we will begin gathering stakeholder feedback to generate a new plan (SOAR V) for the district. With new families and a growing student base, master planning is necessary. In February, we will establish focus groups to ensure an understanding of the various needs of our district in 2023 and beyond. These groups will represent various members in the Hudsonville community, including parents of students attending Hudsonville Public Schools, staff members, senior citizens, booster members, and business representatives. We will use the information from the focus groups to generate a survey that will be administered to our entire school community. This survey will include a multitude of subjects ranging from thoughts on building size, financial responsibilities, and program opportunities. Later in the spring, this community survey will be available on our website, and we ask for your feedback to help drive the future planning of our district. The results of this survey will be the key component in providing the Board of Education with information to determine the best course of action to address our district’s needs.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and a great start to 2023. Thank you for making Hudsonville a fantastic place to live, grow, and learn.

Dr. VanderJagt


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Academic Data Celebrations

While the COVID-19 Pandemic led to some learning loss for students across the country, Hudsonville Public Schools has been working hard to close those gaps.

M-Step scores for 3rd to 8th-grade students are rebounding nicely. We are happy to report that our 11th-grade SAT scores are back up to pre-pandemic levels. We will continue to strive for growth and academic excellence. Our district is very proud that the hard work of our students, teachers, administrators, parents, and support staff has earned HPS the number one ranking in Ottawa County for 11th-grade SAT scores.

*Please note in the following graphs LEAs stand for local education agencies (public schools) in Michigan, while PSAs stand for private school agencies (private schools) in Michigan.

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5/6 Building @ Georgetown Update from Ms. McClure

I am so excited to provide you with updates on the decisions that have been made thus far for the 5/6 Building @ Georgetown. Since my last communication, I have been having many collaborative conversations with teachers, staff, parents, and administration to continue planning and preparing for next fall. I truly appreciate all of the work and support that everyone has put in to helping us get to where we are with our plans for a successful opening in 2023!

Start and End Times: School will run on a secondary schedule.

Before and After School Care: Eagles Nest will be available for fifth grade students only. The location of Eagles Nest for the fifth grade students will be determined based on numbers and available space.

Fifth Grade Specifics:

  • Core Teachers: Students will have two teachers and switch classes between these two teachers for ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Students will be scheduled with other students from Alward, Bauer, Georgetown, and Park (i.e. An Alward student will have classes with students from Alward, Bauer, Georgetown and Park).

  • Specials: Students will go to Music, PE, STEAM or Art daily, similar to what they do in the elementary buildings.

  • Academic Support/Enrichment: Students will participate in an intervention/enrichment block that meets their individual academic needs.

  • Report Cards: Students will continue to receive standards based report cards.

  • Recess: Students will get two recess opportunities: one during their lunch block and one scheduled at another time during the school day.

  • Special Events: Fifth grade students will continue to participate in a holiday music program and attend fifth grade camp in the spring.

Sixth Grade Specifics:

  • Core Teachers: Students will have four core teachers for ELA, Math, Science and Social Studies. Students will be scheduled with other students from Alward, Bauer, Georgetown, and Park. (i.e. An Alward student will have classes with students from Alward, Bauer, Georgetown and Park.)

  • Electives: Students will have two elective periods. During one elective period, students will choose one year long performing arts class (Band, Choir, Orchestra, or Creative Arts). For the second elective period, students will choose four additional electives from a menu of options that will be a quarter long each.

  • Academic Support/Enrichment: Students will participate in an intervention/enrichment block that meets their individual academic needs.

  • Report Cards: Students will continue to get letter grades for all courses that they are taking.

  • Outdoor Opportunities: During the lunch block, students will get an opportunity to go outside.

  • Scheduling: Scheduling for sixth grade electives will begin in January 2023.

Upcoming Parent Communication: During the winter months, optional meetings will be scheduled at Alward, Bauer, Georgetown, and Park to discuss more details regarding programming and what a typical day will look like at the 5/6 building. In the spring, we will also have informational parent meetings at BMS with building tours to follow.

Questions about 5/6 Building Programming: If you have any questions in regards to programming at the 5/6 building, please email We will be creating a frequently asked question and answer document based on your inquiries.

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PE CARES Food Drive

Each November, our elementary schools participate in the PE CARES food drive. During their physical education classes, our students bring in non-perishable food items that we redistribute to members of our community who are in need. Much of what we collect is lovingly given away at each of our elementary schools to support our school community. The surplus is then given to many of our local food banks to expand the reach even further.

Altogether our elementary schools collected over 35,000 items this year. During this community service project, our students compete to be the class with the most donated items in their building. Our friends over at Hudsonville Lanes support their efforts by awarding each winning class an afternoon of bowling and fun to celebrate their accomplishments.

Our elementary physical education teachers coordinate the effort and organize the food drives at each school.

The PE teachers are astounded by the students' dedication to helping others in their schools and community every year. Not only do the students learn about nutrition and keeping their bodies healthy, they learn to be caring and compassionate toward others. The students see how the impact of their actions can be amplified when they join together for a worthy cause.

Our Physical Education Program would like to wish you all a healthy, happy, and safe holiday season.

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Early Education Center Programs Open House

HPS Early Childhood Programs Open House for the 2023-2024 School Year and 2023 Summer Program

Registration/Open House Night:

Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at the Early Childhood Center from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.* The Early Childhood Center is located at 5535 School Ave. (main entrance off Madison Ave.)

Programs include: 3 & 4-year-old Preschool, Before/After School Care, and Summer Care.

This is a chance to gather information about the programs, meet staff, and visit the Early Childhood Center. There is no formal presentation, and children are welcome.

Online registration will open Wednesday, February 8, at noon. The registration link can be found at under Early Childhood Center. A $100 fee per child is due ($50 non-refundable registration fee; $50 credit towards future tuition). Please note that enrollment fills quickly.

For more information, please call the Early Childhood office at 616-797-0842, ext. 1

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Food Service Announcement

Free & Reduced-Price Meals: You can apply anytime during the school year for Free or Reduced-price Meal Benefits. The sooner you fill out an application, the sooner we can help your household save time and money! Apply NOW at the Family Portal:
  • Free and Reduced Meal Benefits are based on household size, income amount (gross), and income frequency (how often you are paid). If you are wondering if you would qualify, here are the Income Guidelines.
  • GOOD NEWS: Any family that qualifies for Reduced Price Meal benefits will receive breakfast and lunch at NO COST.
  • Regardless of benefits status, Milk-only purchases remain at $0.50 per carton. Milk is included as part of the whole MEAL benefit. If your child(ren) qualify for free or reduced-price meals and all they want is a carton of milk, their account will be charged 50 cents.
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Veterans Day at Jamestown Lower Elementary

On November 11, 2022, second graders at Jamestown Lower Elementary celebrated Veteran’s Day. Not only did they have the opportunity to learn about the five branches of the military (Marine Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard), but they were able to decorate a card for a veteran. Some chose to bring it home to a family member, while many gave it to our very own veteran, Mr. Leonard. Other holiday cards will be mailed to Hudsonville High School alumni currently serving in the armed forces.

One of the favorite facts the second graders learned was how the Golden Knights practice jumping out of an airplane over 100 times before they get to perform in the air show. How cool! And last, they learned the importance of the yellow ribbon and taking the opportunity to thank a veteran.

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Pie Making Day at Park Elementary

The second graders at Park Elementary hosted a Pie Making Day. It was a great service project that taught them how to bring a smile to someone else. Each student thought of a person or family to whom they wanted to give their pie, made a card, and then assembled the pie to later deliver to their special person. We hope that these pies brought a warm, loving smell to homes as well as some smiles.
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Forest Grove Fashion

These kindergarteners at Forest Grove Elementary celebrated learning their letters in style. They had a safari-themed celebration where they got to show off the letter vests they made at home in a fashion show.
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The Eagle Barkery

Our Links Class at Hudsonville High School rolled up their sleeves and did some baking for our canine companions. These tasty treats were sold for $2 a bag, and the money will be used for community outings to help the students gain life skills through real-world experience.
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The New 5/6 Building T-Shirt Contest Winner

Juliet from Park Elementary was the winner of the t-shirt design contest for the new 5/6 Building. She was subsequently featured on the Eagle Eye News.
New 5th/6th Building T-Shirt Design Contest Winner
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Riley Street Middle School Superfans

Self-designated superfans emerged for the middle school basketball games this year. They picked a theme for each game, complete with pregame and time-out music. They also cheered their hearts out, which delighted the crowd and players alike. Fire up, go Eagles!

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