Zeeland Quest News
April 15, 2022
2021/2022 ZQuest Calendar & Highlights
Championship Martial Arts: April 12, 19, 26, May 3; 3:45p-4:45p
MSTEP: April 19-May 4
See calendar below
Early Release Day (all grades): April 22
Tulip Time Early Dismissal: May 11-13
PTO Meeting: May 19 @ 6:30pm, Howard Miller Library or Zoom
ZQuest Break Week: May 30-June 3
2022/2023 Learning Opportunities
As we continue to really dive into preparing for the 2022/2023 year, our team has been driven by the movement to a new normal. After a few years of COVID protocols, expectations, changes and mind shift, we have evaluated how we can best serve all of our kids at ZQuest. One of the best things about our school, our team & district is that we won't settle for "good enough". We want the best for everyone; all means all. We want the best social-emotional learning AND academic learning.
What we've found is the need for us to have a better progression of learning from Kindergarten to 8th grade, reset and refresh in order to find some solutions to what we have endured over the last several years. Our kids are first and foremost, and the following structure opportunities will gain us the time, flexibility, momentum, resources and organization to help students as we continue to teach the necessary skills and strategies for lifelong learning, limitless learning & challenging them through PBL (collaboration, independence and skills for success).
Kindergarten-3rd Grade will become self-contained classrooms, but with a TWIST! We will continue to teach using PBL, as we have, however there will not be the transition of students mixing in science and social studies in order to allow for a more intentional building of the Skills for Success that are needed in our upper elementary and middle level classrooms. We will focus on the skills of collaboration, critical thinking and independence; intentionally teaching these important skills in appropriate ways at each grade level. The twist is that we will combine our K-3 learners in small multi-age collaborative groups, where our teachers will gradually help the students master these skills through modeling and practice.
Kindergarten, Mrs. Kristy Zimmer
1st Grade, Mrs. Shannon Foerch
2nd Grade, NEW HIRE
3rd Grade, Mrs. Kim Villanueva
Spanish: Lorna Bratton
4th and 5th grade will be the 2nd stage of progression, where we pull together the learning in K-3 and enhance it through more co-teaching & co-learning opportunities, still using PBL, of course! The skills for success that are intentionally introduced and learned will continue at this level and be taken to the next level in order to prepare our kids for middle school and beyond!
Mrs. Amy Funk & Mr. Dan Kornelis
Spanish: Lorna Bratton
**With the change in structure, Mrs. Funk has decided that she is ready for a new challenge and recharge as a teacher! After much discussion and thinking, she has decided to move to teaching at the 4th/5th grade level. We are looking forward to this change and celebrate her in this role!
6th-8th grade will join forces! Having our middle school crew all on the same start and stop schedule without mixing in the elementary schedule will be a tremendous help. Now that we have 3 teachers at this level, we are finding more opportunities and benefits to pairing our 6th graders with our 7th and 8th graders again. What will this look like? Students will continue with mixed levels in all content areas, with math being taught by grade level (keeping honors math at all 3 levels intact). They will move from class to class, as they do now, however with 3 teachers, we are able to offer them more of a variety of learning. PBL IS still the main focus! On of our goals is to continue to over prepare our kids as they transition to high school! The high school teachers and leaders have expressed their gratitude for the leadership, critical thinking and collaborative skills that ZQuest students come with to their classes! It's been so rewarding to hear their feedback and a point of pride for us as we send our best into a new learning environment!
ELA and 6th grade Math: Amy Bultena
Science and 7th grade Math/Geometry: Marcy Hartzler
Social Studies and 8th grade Math: Dustin Neyer
Spanish: Lorna Bratton
Resource: Melanie Shepardson
Intervention Specialist: Krista Schopmeyer
Interventionist: Pat VanderZee
SSC: Jil Hartman
Resource Paraprofessional: Micki Hyma
We hope that you will join us in this exciting shift, with the opportunities for great successes at all levels for the 22/23 year!
PSAT 8 & MSTEP
Hello ZQuest Families!
The week following spring break we will begin our spring state assessments. It’s an incredibly busy and important time of the year. We view it like the Super Bowl of education, where our kids get the opportunity to show their learning and knowledge from the year to date. While this test is important, it’s also important for us to remain realistic. We want to build excitement rather than anxiety and I feel that our team does just that. The test is a glimpse into your student’s learning that helps us in many ways beyond just the score they receive at a particular time.
We hope that you will join us in helping our kids celebrate all that they’ve learned by promoting healthy skills especially over the next few months of testing! As always, if you have questions, please reach out to myself or your child’s teacher!
Attendance during testing:
We are asking that all kids do their very best to be in school on the days that they are testing (see scheduled dates below). Please try your hardest to avoid these dates for appointments, vacations, etc.. Students do their very best testing when they are in their learning environment and when they are absent, that make up testing takes place in a different location in the building. We want them to be in the best spot for them so that they can focus and be with their teacher and peers. If an illness happens or an appointment cannot be avoided, please make sure that we know this ahead of time, it will help in the make up scheduling. Again, we hope that advance notice will help with kids getting to school and on time!
Refueling during the test:
We want to make sure that all of our kids are refueling during their test. There are breaks included and students are also allowed to take breaks as needed (during MSTEP only). During these breaks we will have healthy snacks that they can choose from in order to refuel their minds and bodies in order to maintain their testing stamina! In the past, we’ve put a Sign Up Genius out for donations. This year, we are going to pick up all snacks and have them available to all kids. If you would like to donate money toward these snacks, we would greatly appreciate it. You can send a marked envelope (Testing Snack Donation) to Ms. Leslie or any teacher and we will take care of the rest! Thank you in advance for your support!
MSTEP Schedule for 3rd-8th Grade
2022/2023 School Information
2022/2023 Transportation Form
Transportation forms for the 2022/23 school year are again needed by the transportation office. This form is needed for all students regardless of how they get to school so we can begin planning busing for next year. This year the forms are online making it easier than ever! Please fill out the transportation form by clicking HERE.
2022/2023 ZKids Enrollment
It's that time of the year again!
Time to enroll for the 2022/2023 ZKids Childcare. Those of you who are new to this, please know that you must enroll right away to ensure a spot for your child(ren). ZKids generally fills up very quickly!
For Zeeland Quest, ZKids is offered at ZQuest during our summer hours (in June and August), Monday-Thursday (Fridays the kids go to Quincy, unless otherwise specified). In July, the kids go to Quincy (or another location specified).
Enrollment for ZKids begins...
February 1, 2022 for current families, and
March 16, 2022 for new families for the 22/23 year
Summer camp (this is for this July) Registration starts March 16
Click HERE to go directly to the enrollment options
ZQuest PTO Information
GENERAL PTO MEETING COMING UP!!!
The next ZQuest PTO Meeting is on
Wednesday, May 19 at 6:30pm via zoom or at Howard Miller Library
Join Zoom Meeting--TBD
FOOD SERVICE Information
School Year (August-June) Breakfast and Lunch Information
Please fill out the Free/Reduced Meals application REGARDLESS of your financial status. Each application filled out helps support the district. Click HERE to take a few minutes to fill out the application (even if you know you will not be approved)!
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 @zquest2021 to the number 81010 (you will receive a welcome text from Remind)
Go to https://www.remind.com/join/zquest2021 and follow the directions
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)?
How it all began! We launched our SCHOOL-WIDE GOAL to students in January!
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 and will continue in the future. 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 tickets that learners will be earning weekly (as school starts) and then gradually requiring learners to earn tickets in less intentional ways. These tickets 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 will be implementing a consequence matrix system as well, but will not release this until September when all teaching of expected behavior has been completed.
Q= Quality Choices is our overarching foundation. Everything that we do must be done with quality choices & all of our expectations fall under quality choices.
U= Understanding YOUR Impact. How does your behavior impact yourself?
E= Empathy. How does your behavior affect your peers and teachers?
S= Safety. How does your behavior affect your safety, your peers’ safety and your teachers’ safety?
T= Trustworthy. How does your behavior affect your integrity?
ZQuest Attendance Line: 616-748-3060
Creekside Attendance Line: 616-748-3310
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:
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 (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
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
Zeeland Quest Informational Video
Diabetes Management Plan (come to the office or your doctor will have the plan)