Alward Action

April 1, 2021

Music Notes

We’ve been having fun in music class as we head into spring break!

You may have heard about our song projects! At some point in the school year, each class is coming up with a topic, writing their own rap, creating their own background track in garageband and then recording the song! When a song is finished, I have been posting them on my grade-specific google classrooms. Happy listening!

5th Grade - These students have been preparing for middle school music by watching videos about instruments and ensembles and have been given the opportunity to ask lots of questions. They are also in the middle of writing their own song.

4th Grade - Weather permitting, these kids have sometimes been going outside to play the recorder. During the last few music classes, they have also been playing boomwhackers, which are tuned plastic percussion tubes (see the picture).

3rd Grade - Third graders recently finished their long unit on instruments and their families. They are now in the process of recording their own class songs.

2nd Grade - These kids have been playing lots of boomwhackers! They are getting very proficient at playing some of our boomwhacker songs. These pitched percussion instruments also help foster a keen sense of rhythm.

1st Grade - First grade students have been playing lots of various percussion instruments, such as rhythm sticks, shakers, tambourines and sound shape drums. They have been loving exploring rhythm using instruments!

Kindergarten and PreK - As we have all year, we almost always start music class by reading a music book. Recently, we read and sang two Pete the Cat books. They have also been doing movement activities along with writing and recording their own class song.

Please don’t hesitate to email with any questions!

Mr. Scott Barry

Alward Elementary
Music Teacher

News from STEAM!

We have been busy in STEAM grades 3-5. The kids have been working to solve problem, innovate, and persevere in their endeavors.

3rd Grade

Third grade students have been learning about the forces involved in flight. They have built a glider and tested the forces of weight, drag, thrust, and lift to try to get their glider to fly as far as possible. The furthest distance was 22 feet. The shortest distance was -12 inches due to the glider doing a loop de loop and heading back in the direction it came from. The kids also made rotocopters and had to make changes to try to get their copters to get as much air time as possible when dropping from a higher elevation. They made three rotocopters that varied in size and weight to test how the forces affect the flight.

4th Grade

Students in 4th grade learned about Newton's Laws of Motion and built cars out of recycled materials. They had to create a vehicle that would roll straight down a ramp, have tires that rolled, and carry an egg safely down a ramp into a wall. It was so interesting to see the various designs of their vehicles and how they created a safe place for the egg to ride.

We continue to work on our keyboarding skills, and the kids are earning "brag tags" as they complete various lessons in They can do this at home if they log into their Clever account.

5th Grade

The 5th graders have started the robotics unit. We started out this using our VEX IQ kits to create toys. They created a toy with their partners to help themselves get used to using the VEX IQ materials. They have moved onto building their robots. The end goal is to have their robot remove hazzard waste (represented by blocks) from various areas around a course and move them through the course to a safe disposal location with a 2 minute time frame. This will be taking place after Spring Break. It is fun to see the kids building this robot successfully and also observing them having to start a step over because it wasn't done correctly. They are figuring much of this in their groups and I am there as a facilitator to guide them if they have questions. We have quite a few engineering minded kiddos in the 5th grade.

Spring Break - No School

Friday, April 2nd, 8am to Sunday, April 11th, 11:45am

This is an online event.

Annual Operating Millage Renewal Proposal

Tuesday, May 4th, 8am

This is an online event.

On May 4, Hudsonville School parents and community members will have the chance to vote on our annual Non-Homestead Millage renewal. This is an annual renewal request that voters have approved for the past 26 years and would generate approximately $5.5 million dollars of operating revenue for our school district. As a reminder, this is not a tax on primary residences and is not a new tax. Please take the time to vote.

Link to Ballot Language

Ottawa County Clerk’s Office Absentee Voting Information

PTC Corner

PTC BOARD for 2021/22 - The PTC is looking for a Vice President for next year. Please contact Andi Butler at if you are interested in some more information.

March 16, 2021 PTC Meeting - The minutes from the March 16 meeting are posted on the website! Check it out here.

Amazon Smile
- Use this link to do all of your Amazon shopping and our school will earn money!

Family Fare Receipts - Turn in your Family Fare receipts and our school will earn $1,000 for every $150,000 in receipts that we collect. We just earned a $1,000 check for our school and are on our way to the next $1,000! Keep sending those receipts in!

BoxTops - Collecting Box Tops is another way we earn money for our school! We collect Box Tops all year!

5th Grade Information!

Following Spring Break, there will be a lot of dates and information to keep track of for our 5th graders! We will keep you up to date with all of the information in this section of the newsletter!

5TH GRADE CAMP - We are excited that we will be taking students to camp this year! We will be going to Cran Hill on Thursday, May 20. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, parents will not be allowed to attend. The cost for camp is $59.

Frandale Sub Fundraiser - Subs orders are due April 12. Pick up will be April 27, 3pm-4:30pm.

Hudsonville Athletic Boosters Fundraisers

SPRING FLOWER SALE - Order your spring flowers and help the athletic boosters at the same time! Orders can be placed online here. Order deadline is April 19th and pickup is May 5th.

30 SECOND TIMEOUT BOOK SALE - Each year the Hudsonville Athletic Boosters awards ten $1,000 scholarships to our very own senior student-athletes that have demonstrated their ability to perform in their respective sport but also in the classroom and in the community. Over the past several years, we have awarded over $100,000 in scholarships that go to support our student-athletes in college. This year we are happy to announce that once again we will be providing $10,000 to assist, those student-athletes fulfill their dream of attending college. Hudsonville Athletic Director Kevin Wolma would like to assist the Athletic Boosters in raising some of the scholarship money by donating 100 copies of his book - 30 SECOND TIMEOUT. Kevin has written a helpful guide for parents as they navigate through the challenges of youth sports. This book is full of practical down to earth and accessible guidance. It is something you will certainly revisit throughout the years. Coaches of youth sports would be well served to recommend this book to the families they work with, kids would be well served if the adults in their lives truly lived out the principles of the book.

Cost of book is $10 - 100% goes directly to the the Athletic Boosters Scholarships

You can either purchase a book by sending us an email at or you can purchase a book at any of the school offices in Hudsonville.

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Register for Volleyball Camp here!

This clinic, supervised by HHS volleyball coaches and players, is a great opportunity for beginners and experienced players. Learn basic volleyball skills such as correct passing techniques, overhand passing, approach, attacking skills, and serving.

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2021/22 PK/K Enrollment

Online registration for pre-kindergarten and kindergarten for the 2021-2022 school year is now available. To be eligible, children must be five years of age on or before December 1, 2021.

Please check out the HPS website for complete instructions on enrollment.

Hudsonville Public Schools Annual Education Report

The Annual Education Report (AER) is designed to meet state and federal requirements for reporting to parents and communities. The report provides detailed data on state administered student assessment results, accountability results, teacher qualification information, and the state results for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Parents and the community can access AER information for the district and individual schools by clicking on the Annual Education Report tab on our website. If you have any questions regarding the AER information, please contact your child’s building principal.

Vacation Forms

It's that time of year when a lot of families take vacation! If you are planning to be gone for more than three days, we need a vacation request form to be completed. The form can be printed below, or call the office and we will send one home with your student. Please send completed forms back to school with your student or email them to


Yearbooks were sent home with students this week! If you forgot to order, you can place an order online with Geskus. It will be shipped directly to your house!

FREE Breakfast and Lunch

  • On Friday, October 9, the USDA announced that they would be extending the Summer Food Service Program’s free meals for all students at all schools through June 30, 2021. The SFSP is a continuation of the operating rules in place during the spring/summer school closure from March-August 2020.

    All complete meals (breakfast and lunch) will be served at NO COST to children 18 and under (or up through age 26 for individuals with special needs).

    What comes with lunch? Lunches include protein (meat/meat alternatives), whole grains, fruit, vegetable, and milk. Students can select 3, 4, or all 5 items. The meal must contain a fruit or vegetable to qualify as a complete meal. Students will still be charged for any other purchases like: milk only, bottled water/juices, additional entrees, etc.

    Families do NOT have to fill out additional paperwork to receive meals for free. Free/Reduced Meal Applications will still be collected for the purposes of Math/Reading Title I programs, as well as for discounts on athletic fees, testing fees, college application fees, etc. You can apply for meals at

    For our remote learners, the Remote Meal pickup dates, times, and procedures will remain the same but all meals will be free. Remote Learner families will continue to receive a weekly email for ordering.

    Visit our website at for menus and more! If you have additional questions, you can email Food Service at or call (616) 457-2400.

    Thank you,

    Mary Darnton, Food Service Director

UPDATED COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

The Ottawa County Health Department continues to make changes and update the COVID-19 Policies and Procedures. Please see below for the most updated information. This is what we as a school are required to follow. We will continue to keep the most update information in this newsletter. The complete guidelines for schools can be found here. As always, feel free to call the office with any questions.
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  • Visit Our Website: Our school website will be updated on a regular basis as it will be the main source of information for our parents and community members. We will no longer have an Alward Blog as we are looking to consolidate and simply communication to our families.
  • School Messenger: Regular communication from school messenger will be sent out via email, phone calls, or text messages to keep you in the loop on what is taking place at Alward!

  • Social Media: Follow our story by liking us on...

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    • Twitter: Like us on Twitter @AlwardElem

  • Google Classrooms: We will no longer have individual blogs for teachers. Teachers will be updating their Google Classroom Sites on a weekly basis.