NEW GRONINGEN NEWS
September 22, 2023
Happy Friday, Families!
WE DID IT! FIVE WHOLE DAYS OF SCHOOL happened this week! What a great week of learning at New Groningen!
Last reminder that fall field trips are starting, and many of our grade levels have trips schedule for the upcoming weeks into late-October. This is your reminder to get your volunteer background check completed! It takes 24-48 hours for the check to be completed. Please see the information below titled "Safety/ Security/Volunteers" for how to initiate that check! We will not be able to allow you to volunteer in the building or outside of the building without a completed background check. Please make sure you have taken care of this (even if you are an employee of ZPS)!
BIRD BOWL is TONIGHT! The Empower Game kickoff is at 4:45pm, with gates opening at 4:15! Tickets are $5 and all proceeds benefit ZLinks and Unified Sports in Zeeland. The Varsity kickoff between hometown "rivals" Zeeland West and Zeeland East is at 7pm. I hope to see you there!
MARK YOUR CALENDARS
2023/2024 Important Dates At-a-Glance
Bird Bowl (ZW vs. ZE): Friday, September 22
*Empowered Game kick-off, 5pm; ZW v. ZE kick-off 7pm*
Popcorn Friday (on a Wednesday): Wednesday, Sept. 27
4th Grade Art Prize Trip: September 28
Early Release (staff pd): Friday, September 29 (dismissal 12pm)
Spirit Week (to celebrate ZW Homecoming): October 2-6
*daily themes to be announced soon*
Dux Gear Orders Due: October 2
Homecoming Football Game kickoff, 7pm: Friday, October 6
Early Release (staff pd): Friday, October 27
No School (staff pd): Monday, October 30
be nice. t-shirt sale! Due September 29!
The goal of be nice. is to promote a positive school environment and encourage good mental health by teaching students to notice, invite, challenge, and empower. Students and staff are welcome to wear their be nice. shirts any time of the year and we have a district-wide be nice. day on the 1st Wednesday of every month! Ordering is not mandatory, however we like to offer the opportunity each year!
Dux Spirit Wear: Orders Due October 2!
Zeeland West High School is preparing for Homecoming Week! The Student Senate sent options that are available to all students if families are interested in getting Dux gear or getting some updated Dux gear! Feel free to place an order before the store closes on October 2, 2023!
Click on the Dux Spirit Shop link to place your order online today!
Miles of Smiles
Our Miles of Smiles (MOS) mobile dental unit is scheduled to be in Ottawa County Schools during the 2023-2024 school year. Our mobile dental unit provides no cost, preventive and restorative dental services for financially-qualifying children. Unfortunately, MOS will not be visiting your school this year. However, we want parents to know that they can schedule their child to be seen on our mobile unit when we locate at another Ottawa County School.
POPCORN FRIDAY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!
New Groningen Fall Donation Ask
New Groningen Families,
Some years ago, New Groningen stopped selling Entertainment Books and moved to strictly a donation request in order to attain added support for classroom needs for our staff and students. This fund has been mainly used for a variety of extras that come up throughout the school year including needed supplies to support a classroom project or activity, allowing teachers to treat their students for achieving a goal they set, refilling smaller classroom supply requests. This year, I’d love to add that this fund will also support our Anchored in Excellence team in purchasing tangible items as rewards for earning weekly tickets and monthly Golden Anchors, monthly Popcorn Fridays, staff awards (our staff is amazing and awarding them for all of the magnificent things they do will be so much fun!), fun morale boosters and also some new learning programs that are research-based and offer amazing support for all students! This fund is set up to be a quick way to support our school throughout the year for those immediate requests. This donation is not mandatory; if you wish to not participate, no need to do anything.
If you wish to donate, you may do so in the following ways:
Cash Donations (in any dollar increment) can be sent to the main office (checks are welcome; please make them out to New Groningen Elementary)
Use QR Code (above) to donate online!
We are so appreciative of our New Groningen families and thank you in advance for your constant support and generosity!
Anchored in Excellence STARS
Each week our learners are earning tickets for showing excellent understanding of our expectations at New Groningen. They show us by following expectation in the hallway, bathrooms, classrooms, specials classes, on the playground, etc.. They earn individual tickets from ANY adult in the building, place them in a "ticket" tub in their classroom and each week those tickets are turned into the office. We draw a ticket from each class to come down to pick out a prize and have their picture taken! Students can be drawn multiple times in a year, we had three students this week who have been AiE STARS in past weeks! The more tickets you earn, weekly (students are not to keep them week to week), the better chances of having your name drawn!
Congratulations to the following AiE STARS!
Young 5's - 2nd Grade STARS
Young 5's and Kindergarten
3rd - 5th Grade STARS
New Groningen Family Association
The NGFA is proud to help support our school, many fun activities, field trips and events for New Groningen Elementary free of charge for our families. We hold many meetings throughout the year that will be announced in the upcoming weeks, have many fun events and activities planned, fundraisers and there will be many volunteer opportunities as well.
You can join our Facebook group “New Groningen Family Association - NGFA” to stay up to date with NG happenings.
If you have questions throughout the year you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Martha Menerick, President
Nicole Orazem, VP
Amy Nash, Treasurer
Leslie Rindfliesch, NG Principal
ATTENDANCE & TRUANCY
Research shows that students learn best and reduce academic slide when they are in school. We recognize that kids get sick, accidents happen and it’s not always possible to schedule adult work vacations around the school calendar, however we ask that you try your best to honor your child's education and have them in school, on time, to the very best of your ability. It’s extremely hard to make sure that kids are continuing their learning trajectory, when they are missing from class and when teachers need to collect work or try to catch kids up due to multiple absences. Please view the county-wide attendance policy that is in effect currently.
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 points 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:
· WARRANTS TEACHER CONTACT - 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).
· WARRANTS 2nd WARNING from OFFICE - 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).
· WARRANTS INVITATION TO MEET WITH ADMIN - 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).
· WARRANTS INVITATION to MEET with admin & Truancy Official - 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).
· WARRANTS being turned over to COUNTY TRUANCY - 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 AND count toward truancy when excessive:
Residential treatment (with doctor’s note or verified by parent)
Medical appointments (with doctor’s note)
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 (up to 5 days with school official approval)
Unexcused absence is any absence not accounted for above, examples of unexcused absences include, but not limited to:
excessive tardiness or excessive early release
Staying home to baby-sit
Travel (more than 5 days in school calendar or any travel days without prior approval)
Needed at home
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
MTSS-B (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support for Behavior)
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 New Groningen (supported by ZPS) is:
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 classroom social-emotional learning and intentional teaching of expectations of how we want to treat each other at school. 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 NG. We will be intentional about showing examples of both the negative behavior and the positive behavior, with emphasis on the positive. We have reward tickets that learners will be earning daily, and then gradually requiring learners to earn tickets in less intentional ways as they learn how we learn and respond to situations at school. These tickets will be turned into a classroom bucket as the week progresses. Teachers will submit all of the tickets in the bucket to the office where one ticket will be selected weekly. That chosen student will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of rewards (that will change monthly). In addition, classrooms will have the opportunity to be awarded Golden Anchors. These Golden Anchors will be given based on what our team is working on with students (i.e. hallway expectations, playground expectations, classroom expectations) and whether students are behaving in such a way that is a positive and expected way. Mrs. Rindfliesch or Mrs. Herbert will go to each room monthly and count each classes Golden Anchors. The lower elementary classroom and the upper elementary classroom with the MOST Golden Anchors will win extra recess! By teaching positive behavior, learners will come to school knowing the expectations they are being held to and great learning for all can happen.
School-wide: Mrs. Rindfliesch will send New Groningen News to all families via email on Fridays (sometimes earlier depending on holiday breaks)!
Classroom: Each classroom has their own classroom communication site or newsletter and that will be communicated to each family by your child's teacher!
District-wide: ZPS sends emails in the form of Z For Me, uses Facebook (ZPS: Learning for Life), Instagram and Twitter. In addition, you can opt into our district-wide School Messenger, which delivers a text message to your phone to notify you of school closings, safety alerts and more! All you need to do is TEXT "Y" to 67587 to opt in (see flyer below for more information).
Other NG Resources:
- Facebook: You can also find information from the NG Family Association on our NGFA Facebook page located at New Groningen Family Association - NFGA if you search for us on Facebook. This is ONLY a place parent engagement and sharing. This is NOT where we store information or publish information that must get to parents.
Safety: The safety of all of the kids is our number one priority. 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 in (this includes just dropping your child off to their classroom). We really enjoy our parents being so involved and want to schedule those needs, but we also have to follow the safety procedures that are put in place district wide. All volunteer opportunities will be set up with the classroom teacher or NG staff. If you are hoping to observe your student or be with them at any point of their day, teachers need 24 hours notice. 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 to fulfill your volunteer duties. 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!
Personal Technology Devices
Personal Devices: Many kids, especially our upper elementary students are carrying cell phones and we can appreciate the convenience of having a phone. While in school, all phones are kept turned off 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 may have called not feeling well and our secretaries aren’t sure when parents call back wondering why their child called them; leaving our staff in situations that are tricky to figure out. If students are using their personal device during school, 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 very rare.
Media Center & Classroom Library
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. Classroom teachers and library staff work hard to provide high-quality, engaging, and relevant texts for 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.
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. Please contact Mrs. Boeve (email@example.com) or Mrs. Keeler(firstname.lastname@example.org) in the main office a week or so prior to the start of school for the forms.