Zeeland Quest News

January 8, 2021

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!

IN-PERSON Half Day: January 22 (6-8 dismissal @ 10:45am & K-5 @ 12pm)

3rd Term (MS) & 2nd Semester Begins (MS/HS): January 25

Mid-Winter Break: February 8-9

6th-8th grade Progress Reports // Virtual Conferences (K-12): Feb. 25

K-5 Virtual Conferences: Feb. 26

Spring Break Week: April 2-9

Spring Break Week: April 2-9

Last Day of School: June 10, 2021

ZQuest Picture Orders

If you were a family who needed picture retakes today (Friday, Jan. 8), you can use the following link to order pictures and a yearbook!


ZQuest 2021/2022 Planning

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

Planning Survey

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Reporting Absences

After initial contact with our office staff letting them know the status of your child(ren) in quarantine, there is no need to call the attendance line daily to report absences during the quarantine period.

What should be your first step in continuing to make academic progress?

What does learning look like during quarantine? We wish we could replicate the classroom experience while your student is at home, but there are so many aspects of instruction that we cannot do remotely. Our staff is committed to providing your child(ren) with opportunities that are as consistent as possible with what is happening in the classroom.

We know that learning during quarantine will not be the same as it would be if your student were in the classroom. Our teachers will work with your family, and especially your student, to keep them on track, but also provide modifications to assignments when necessary.

PLEASE reach out to your child’s teacher regularly. They want to know what your student is struggling with or what additional information your student needs.

Student/Family Expectations

  • Families are expected to communicate with their teachers regarding any questions they may have when they are out of school.

  • Get your technology device(s) ready. Update your iPad IOS and any apps that you may use. Contact the tech office if you have issues that you can not resolve (cbussche@zps.org).

  • Organize time during the day: Students will need to stick to a regular school schedule. Being away from school is very unstructured. Also, find time to exercise, read a book, listen to music, or watch a favorite tv show in addition to doing school work.

  • Follow the set daily schedule provided by your teacher on Google Classroom, See-Saw or Email.

    • Check Google Classroom or See-Saw and email daily.

    • Keep on pace as much as possible.

    • Email the teacher for clarification if needed.

    • Keep in mind that teachers are teaching full time so that they will need time to post work and respond to questions.

  • This situation is not easy and there are lots of feelings to manage. Students should not try to handle it alone, they will need adult support.

Teacher Expectations

  • Teachers will communicate with students/families who are out, support them as much as possible, and let them know the best way to stay on track. If a student typically receives additional services/supports, those service providers (reading interventionists, special education/EL teachers) should communicate with the student/family as well.

  • Post assignments/lessons/expectations to Google Classroom or SeeSaw.

  • Respond to student/family emails as soon as possible.

  • Keep online resources up to date.

  • Consider exempting students from non-essential activities/assignments when appropriate

  • Contact the family if there is a concern.

Parent Expectations

  • Acknowledge with your student that this is hard for everyone.

  • Contact your child's teacher, principal or front office with concerns regarding your child's well being. We have a Wellness Team at school that can offer support to you and your child and also suggest additional resources.

  • Help your student navigate through the student expectations.

  • Encourage your student to follow the school day schedule, taking breaks from the screen to engage in physical activity too.

  • Communicate with teachers about specific questions related to their work if the student hasn’t been successful.

  • Contact other resources for support as needed:

    • Family

    • Peers

    • Counselors

    • Administrators

    • Free Tutoring from GVSU - K-12 Connect

What about food service for students who are quarantined?

We offer meal pick ups on Tuesday at The Bridge Youth Center from 2-5pm. Parents can connect with the ZPS Food Service office to sign up at 748-3128 or email foodservice@zps.org. If students are quarantined after a Tuesday and need food before the next pick up, they can contact the Food Service office about possibly picking up meals at Zeeland East HS.

Questions regarding COVID-19:

For questions regarding your COVID-19 monitoring call the Ottawa County Department of Public Health at 616-396-5266 or email covid19@miottawa.org.

Mental Health Resources

If you are struggling or need support, tell someone. You are not alone.

  • OK2SAY - Anyone can report tips on criminal activities or potential harm directed at students, school employees, or schools. Tips can be submitted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Click HERE to submit a tip.

  • Crisis Counselor Text Line - Text HOME to 741741 & Michigan Mental Health Warmline - (888) 733-7753

Suicide Prevention Online Chat - https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/ & National Suicide Prevention Lifeline - 1-800-273-8255

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).

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.)!

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.


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


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