Zeeland Quest News


March 3, 2023


Early release for all ZPS students today!

  • Middle School dismissed at 10:45am
  • Elementary dismissed at 12:00pm

Character Matters II Musical Performance, 1st-5th Grade

It's Nearly SHOWTIME!

On Thursday, March 16, 2023 students present Character Matters II -- The Return of the Fairy Tale Advice Council. Let Rapunzel, Cinderella, and Humpty Dumpty lead you through this witty mini-musical, featuring 26 character actors and the Grades 1-5 Fairy Tale Advice Chorus, who give advice about how to handle life's tough situations.

Join us for this free, 30-minute performance on March 16 at DeWitt Auditorium, ZEHS, at 7:30 p.m. Students are to report to the band / choir rooms at 7:15 to line up; students wear jeans, a solid black shirt, and any closed-toe shoes. Questions? Contact Mrs. Balcer at hbalcer@zps.org. See YOU at the show!

2022/2023 ZQuest Calendar & Highlights

Elementary (only) Early Release: March 2, dismissal 12pm

Early Release (all of ZPS): March 3, dismissal 10:45am (6-8) & 12pm (K-5)

Teacher Scheduled Conferences & Teacher PD: March 3, 1p-3p

Champion Martial Arts Enrichment: March 7

General PTO Meeting: March 8

8th grade HS Course Selection Day: March 9

5th Grade Parent/Student Middle School Information Night: March 13, 6pm

Champion Martial Arts Enrichment: March 14

Elementary Spring Music Concert: March 16

Early Release (all grades): March 24

5th Grade Growing Up Presentation: March 30

SPRING BREAK: March 31-April 7

Creekside Late Nighter (ZQ is welcome to attend): April 14

Popcorn Fridays

Help is needed on a few of our last popcorn Fridays! If you are able and willing, please use THIS sign up genius to put yourself on the schedule!

Students of the Month & Character Traits of the Month

Students of the Month of February

Sawyer Dekoekkoek - Kindergarten

Isaiah Lichtenwalner - 1st Grade

Natalie Lisa - 2nd Grade

Elise Geerlings - 3rd Grade

Deklan Thoreson - 4th Grade

Kuyper Thoreson - 5th Grade

Xander Redinger - Middle School

Mayven Shirley - Middle School

Character Traits of the Month of February

Elena Jordan - Kindergarten

Jayix Guyton - 1st Grade

Edolie Geer - 2nd Grade

Annie VanDort - 3rd Grade

Averie Henkel - 4th Grade

Emersen Kroll - 5th Grade

Brody Koppenol - Middle School

March Is Reading Month: GR Gold Ticket Drawing!

Dear Zeeland Elementary Families,

March is Reading Month is already underway in ZPS! We are excited about the partnership with Grand Rapids GOLD and GENTEX who are encouraging our students to “Read Like a STAR”!

In addition to the fun weekly prizes that students will be earning by completing their daily reading minutes, the Grand Rapids Gold is offering 500 free tickets to their home game at Van Andel Arena on Sunday, March 12 at 3pm!

If your family is interested in entering the drawing for tickets, please complete this short google form (bit.ly/grgoldtickets) by Friday, March 3. Winners will be drawn on Monday, March 6 and contacted with ticket information via email.

Thanks for supporting your STAR reader!

March Is Reading Month Calendar of Events

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23/24 Transportation form


It's time to set up TRANSPORTATION for the 23/24 school year. Remember, transportation is available ONLY when all of ZPS is in session (not our summer weeks) and is also only for in-district families. There are some considerations for out-of-district families if you have an in-district stop that is close to your home. In this case, you would need to contact the transportation department and talk through that option with them.

Please take a few minutes to fill out the TRANSPORTATION google form BEFORE spring break (the sooner the better)! I do not receive notifications on this being done, so please put this on your IMPORTANT TO-DO list so that it doesn't get lost!



Save the Date!!!

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Middle School Information Night

This is heavily geared toward our 5th graders moving into middle school, however 4th grade families are welcome to attend to learn more about what ZQ middle school looks like!
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PTO Information

ZQuest Parent In-the-Know

ZQuest Parent Website

Our next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 8 from 6:30p-7:30p at ZQuest!

Drop Off and Pick Up Procedures!


When you dropping off or picking up and you know your son or daughter will need assistance either getting out of the car or into the car, please plan to find a parking spot in a designated area as to not slow the flow of traffic AND the keep all students safe when unloading or loading cars.

Thank you for your attention to this!

Drop Off

Drop off will remain the same! Please enter the EAST parking LOT, drive through the loop, have kids get out and head toward the ZQuest EAST hallway doors!

Middle School drop off: Students should enter the building and remain in the commons area until 7:25am (doors WILL NOT open until 7:10am for bus riders). At 7:25am they are able to head to their 1st hour classes. Please do not drop your middle school student off before 7:20am. There is no supervision and they will need to stand outside.

Elementary drop off: Mrs. Hartman and Mrs. Hyma will always be there beginning at 8:25am. Doors will not open until 8:30am!

Pick Up

Pick up for non-bus riders will go back to the way we did it on our 1st day of school! There are some small changes, so PLEASE read thoroughly and make sure any and all adults who pick up your child know these procedures! We completely understand that some of these expectations could be an inconvenience, however they are in place to keep everyone safe, keep traffic moving and get all of our kids picked up in a timely manner!

  • We will use the EAST LOT for dismissal ONLY
  • Cars will enter the lot from Roosevelt coming in from the EAST only (you will always turn right into the parking lot)! DO NOT come down Roosevelt from the west. You will be asked to NOT turn left into the east lot!
  • We are asking that if there is a back up on Roosevelt (and there will be) that you not let the backup go past Michigan St. If traffic is, at that point, please use the side roads (N. Colonial or Michigan and wait for openings) to zipper into the line on Roosevelt and then into the east lot. **SEE MAP for help BELOW!!!
  • We are also asking that you are mindful of the driveways on Roosevelt. The biggest complaint is that the homeowners driveways are blocked and they don't like that they cannot get in or out as needed.
  • DO NOT get out of your car to help your child get into the car or get buckled. If your child needs this assistance, please plan to park down Woodward or Jefferson or park at Creekside and walk over (using the crosswalk with the crossing guard) to get your child. We do not have the parking capacity to have a spot for all of our families who drive students to and from school, so this is the fastest and easiest way!
  • When you EXIT the east lot, after picking up your student, you will TURN RIGHT ONLY! Please DO NOT try to turn left onto Roosevelt!

If everyone does their best to follow these protocols, we should have a pretty quick and seamless pick up! Thank you, in advance, for helping us create a safe dismissal plan!

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Hi families,

Today, we are officially launching a public Facebook & Instagram page for ZQuest! We will still continue to use the private ZQuest Parents page as well, but each of them will have different purposes:

Parents Private Page

  • Post updates that only parents and or staff need to know
  • Give parents and other volunteers the ability to ask questions about upcoming events
  • Give parents and staff a platform to organize social opportunities

ZQuest Public Page

  • Post pictures of our students creating/presenting projects, collaborating with each other, going on field trips, PODs, working in the community, interacting in special events/parties, etc.
  • Post pictures of our staff interacting with our students, the community, and to recognize them
  • Post about upcoming school/community events, volunteer opportunities, enrollment information, and to promote our school

I know we do a lot of amazing things with our students on a daily basis and now we have the opportunity to highlight them for other members in the community to see. With the page being public, we also have the ability to share the posts on our individual Facebook accounts, so all of our friends can see it, which will promote our school even more.


1. I have created a Google form that teachers, staff members, parents, etc. can fill out at any time when they capture pictures or videos of something that fits the criteria listed above

2. The form should take you 5 minutes or less to fill out as it just asks you to upload the pictures you took, type a little about what it is for, and select the classes of any students that are in it. From there, I will then post the pictures or videos and captions onto Facebook for you.

3. That's it! There's nothing else you need to do!

I have the list of students that are non-consent, so I will make sure to blur out their faces if any of them are in the photos. I am hoping it is a very easy process for everyone and I have tested it and you can complete the Google form on your phone as well (bookmark the link on your phone so you always have it!)


1. Like the page. Share the page with your friends. Ask them to "Like it". The more people we have exposed to the page, the more people that will become familiar with ZQuest

2. When your students are working on a project, collaborating together, on a field trip, working in the community, doing something cute, etc., start getting in the habit of taking photos. Pictures and videos of students are the most powerful thing to post because they hit on people's emotions and represent what ZQuest is all about. DO NOT feel like you need to take pictures of everything and have your phone out constantly. It is important for us to be present with our kids and not always have phones in their faces. Just please capture what you can and then add it to the Google Form so I can post it.

Like I said in the beginning, I want this process to be simple, efficient, and easy for everyone so there is not one more thing added to your plate. ZQuest has the potential to grow and reach so many more people in our community. I hope all of you are excited to be a part of this great opportunity for our school and students. Please let me know if you have any questions at all!

Independent Reading, letter from our Assistant Superintendents of Curriculum

In ZPS, we believe that reading is foundational to the success of our students. Throughout each week, students are provided with opportunities to read independently. District media specialists and teachers work to curate collections of books that are high quality, engaging, and relevant to students. We respect each parent’s right to provide input on what books would be appropriate for their own child. For more information on this topic, please read this letter to the community.

Hand 2 Hand Program

Dear Parent/Guardian:

We would like to offer your student the opportunity to participate in a program at ZQuest called “Hand2Hand”. This program helps provide a student with food for the weekends and is intended for families who currently may be experiencing a financial burden. The first backpack is set to be delivered on August 11.

Here’s how Hand2Hand will work: At the end of the week students who are signed up for the program will receive a minimum of 10 food items in a black school logo drawstring bag that will be provided at the first week of participation. These food items will be a combination of breakfast, snacks, lunch and/or dinner items. While the food items are meant for the student, they can be shared among the family as well. (Please note: if your student or another family member has food allergies it will be the responsibility of the parent/guardian to check the contents of the backpack each week to ensure the food doesn’t contain ingredients which could cause an allergic reaction).

There is no cost to participate! If you sign your student up to receive Hand2Hand, they will continue to receive the weekly bags each week they are at ZQuest. However, if down the road you no longer need the assistance, simply write a note expressing your desire to discontinue receiving Hand2Hand bags and give this note to the school office. This opportunity is being provided by Bethel Church. 515 East Main, Zeeland. To learn more about Hand2Hand, please visit their website: http://h2hkids.org.

If you feel your student would benefit from this opportunity, please complete the response form at the bottom of this letter and return it to your student’s teacher by August 1 and we will make sure that your student’s name is then added to the list. Your response will be kept

Please either email Leslie with the following information OR print the document attached and return to Leslie during the 1st week of school in August!


Student’s Name: _____________________________

Teacher: _______________________________

Student’s Name: _____________________________

Teacher: _______________________________

*Parent/Guardian Email: ________________________

*Phone: ______________________________

Parent/Guardian Signature: ________________________________ Dated: _______________

*Please note: Email or Phone Number will only be used in case of school closures


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.

We will also be using the REMIND app, which has been a great tool for us. This will primarily be for reminders and 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.

  • Directions for signing up to receive REMIND texts:
  • Text @zques to the number 81010 (you will receive a welcome text from Remind)
  • Go to https://www.remind.com/join/zques and follow the directions


The federal monies that gave free breakfast and lunch to all students over the last 2 years has expired, effective June 30, 2022. Beginning July 1, 2022, it will be important that ALL families apply for free or reduced breakfast and lunch (even if you think you won't qualify). By doing this, you support our district and our school!

Click on the FOOD SERVICE link HERE!

CLICK REGISTER as this is a new food portal!

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!


Personal Devices: Many kids, especially middle school kids are carrying cell phones in order to communicate with parents when participating in after school activities, going home and checking in after school, etc.. We can appreciate the convenience of having a phone. While in school, all phones are kept turned off/silenced 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 left school and our secretaries aren’t sure when parents call back wondering why their child called them. If students are using their personal device during class time, 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 rare.

Safety: The safety of all of the kids is our number one priority. During the summer hours there will be someone in the office during our school day. 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 down (this includes just dropping your child off to their classroom). We really enjoy our parents being so involved in our classrooms, but we also have to follow the safety procedures that are put in place district wide. 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. 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!

MTSS-B at ZQuest!

Positive Behavior Intervention Support System (MTSS-B at ZQuest)

Your learner will be hearing some new vocabulary at ZQuest starting in August. 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 ZQuest (supported by ZPS)?

GOAL: 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 a PBL unit. This unit was implemented as the ZQuest MTSS-B model for the 2018/2019 school year. 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 ZQuest. We will be intentional about showing examples of both the negative behavior and the positive behavior, with emphasis on the positive. We have reward points that learners will be earning weekly (as school starts) and then gradually requiring learners to earn tickets in less intentional ways. These points will then turn into a reward that builds a relationship (rather than monetary or food gifts). By teaching positive behavior, learners will come to school knowing the expectations they are being held to and great learning for all can happen.

We are on a QUEST to be a leader, role model & person of character by...



Being SAFE

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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.)!

Zeeland Quest Informational Video

Feel free to share our Informational Video with your friends, family, social media! We are so excited for next year and look forward to welcoming new families!
Virtual Tour ZQuest

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

Attendance Information

Attendance/Tardy/Truancy Policy

Research shows that students learn best and reduce the academic slide when they are in school more often. One of the most attractive things about ZQuest (besides PBL) is the year-round, balanced calendar. This type of calendar allows for a break week in September/October, November, December/January, February, April, May and the entire month of July (it equals out to about one week off every 5-6 weeks). We recognize that it’s not always possible to schedule adult work vacations around the school calendar, however we ask that you try your best to make this happen. It’s extremely hard to make sure that kids are continuing their learning trajectory, especially in PBL groups, when group members are missing or when teachers need to collect work or try to catch kids up due to multiple weeks being gone. Please view the county-wide attendance policy that is in effect currently. It’s important to note that our middle school students WILL NOT be counted absent during our break weeks from Creekside, that is aligned with our calendar and is acceptable, so long as they are not participating in 9th grade PE/Health and/or it is not a performance week for band/choir/orchestra/dance.

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 marks 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:

· 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).

· 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).

· 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).

· 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).

· 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:

  • Student illness/injury

  • Residential treatment (with doctor’s note or verified by parent)

  • Medical appointments (with doctor’s note)

  • Religious holidays

  • 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 (5 days with school official approval)

Unexcused absence is any absence not accounted for above, examples of unexcused absences include, but not limited to:

  • Staying home to baby-sit

  • Overslept

  • Travel (more than 5 days in school calendar or any travel days without prior approval)

  • Needed at home

  • Weather

  • Missed bus

  • 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