Zeeland Quest News
March 19, 2021
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!
Spring Break Week: April 2-9
Hat Day ($1 donations going to Children's Advocacy Network): April 16
Book Fair (BOGO): April 19-23
Half Days (Tulip Time): May 5, 6, 7
No School (Memorial Day): May 31
Last Day of School: June 10, 2021
State Assessment Update
Those of you who follow these decisions at the state level likely know that we are still required to give M-STEP to our 3rd-8th graders and PSAT 8 to our 8th graders.
Read By Grade 3 Law: We are still waiting to hear to what extent scores will be used and how the 3rd Grade Reading Law will affect us. Good new is, Zeeland has been following the typical plan so we are all in great shape, regardless of what is determined. I will be sure to keep you all informed on the logistics as we get closer.
6th & 7th Grade Students will have a REMOTE ASYNCHRONOUS School Day on
Tuesday, April 13
(all assignments and lessons will be located on Google Classroom and Attendance will be taken that way).
8th Grade Schedule for PSAT on April 13 (this will include our 8th gr. ZQuest students who are online)
School Begins: 7:35am
School Dismisses: 11:20am
*Bussing will be provided in the morning and at dismissal for our in-person students
ZQuest M-STEP Schedule
Grade 8 (includes 8th gr. online ZQuest students)
April 20: Social Studies, 9:45-10:45am
April 21: Science, 9:35a-11:15a
Grade 7 (includes 7th gr. online ZQuest students)
April 27: ELA, 9a-11a
April 29: Math, 9a-11a
Grade 6 (includes 6th gr. online ZQuest students)
April 27: Math, 7:45am-9:45am
April 29: ELA, 7:45am-9:45am
April 13: Science, 9:00-10:45am
April 22: Social Studies, 9:30a-10:30a
April 28: ELA, 9:15am-11:15am
May 4: Math, 9:45am-11:15am
May 11: Math, 9:45am-11:15am
May 13: ELA, 9:45a-11:45am
May 11: Math, 9:45am-11:15am
May 13: ELA, 9:45am-11:45am
Temperatures/Spring outside clothing REMINDER
With the warmer temperatures comes less of a need for winter jackets. Our rule of thumb (expectation) is that temperatures under 60 degrees require a jacket. It does not need to be the heavy winter jacket, however students should plan to have a jacket due to cooler mornings and sometimes cooler lunch time recesses (we start recess at 11:15am). Please help our staff in managing this by sending at least a spring jacket with your child every day (until we have consistent 60 degree or higher weather)!
1:1 Technology for ZPS Shifts
Recently, we made the motion to move from iPads to Chromebooks for our 3rd-12th grade students. This change will afford our students different skill based learning that will teach them a number of different 21st Century Skills as they move from elementary to middle school to high school and off to either the workforce or college.
Like any shift in product, there is a learning curve. Our teachers have been equipped with Chromebooks since spring of last year, diving in and trying out the different ways of teaching they may encounter with Chromebooks vs. iPads. Over the last month, our technology department has been hard at work assigning and setting up Chromebooks for all of our 3rd-12th graders in Zeeland. We are beginning to roll those out this week and next week, in a variety of ways at all levels.
Elementary students (3rd-5th grade) will continue to take their iPad home (per the request and need from the teacher) and their Chromebook will remain at school for the rest of this school year. Come the fall (August for ZQuest, iPads will be checked in and returned to the tech office and Chromebooks will be checked out and become their main learning tool. For our 6th-8th graders, we are allowing them to carry both their iPad and their Chromebook as they will dive in and begin to slowly learn the new tool and how it will impact their learning. Students may decide to leave their iPad or Chromebook at school, only traveling with one device to make it easier on their backs, should they choose.
If you have an insured iPad, that insurance will carry over to your student's Chromebook for the remainder of this year so long as the damage is not deemed to be malicious or intentional. Beginning in August, insurance will be purchased for the Chromebooks as iPads will be returned to the technology department. The cost to replace a Chromebook is $300 without insurance and/or if the damage is malicious or intentional.
I would recommend students get a laptop cover/bag to help preserve the quality of the Chromebook. They are on the smaller side (a little larger than an iPad). Right now the district is not providing a case, but that could change in the near future.
Every Chromebook comes with a power cord. The power cords are NOT covered under insurance (just like the iPad chargers are not covered). You will be charged should the charger go missing, be damaged or is not functioning correctly.
Don't MISS OUT on....KINDERGARTEN ENROLLMENT at ZQuest!
- Go to ZPS Enrollment
- Scroll down just past the District Tour Video to the K-12 Enrollment green bar
- Click on the + to expand
- Click on Enroll Now link!
- Be sure to choose the ZQuest option on the enrollment form!
NOTE: If you have a current Young 5's student, there is NO need to fill out the online forms. All you need to make sure to have completed is the Kindergarten Intent form that was sent home by your Y5's teacher!
Zeeland Quest Informational Video
Elementary Pick Up Reminder
- Please arrive for dismissal at 3:30pm
- If you are a family who walks, please use the crosswalk with our crossing guard.
- Please ONLY enter the east lot for pick up FROM the EAST (we are needing to keep the center turn lane open for busses to pass and get into the main bus loop).
- Please exit the east lot, after you have your kiddos, to the west.
- Please DO NOT get out of your car at pick up. If you need to buckle kids, please pull all the way forward to the cars that are parked in parking spots so that the flow of traffic can keep moving.
- We have a pretty solid system with 4 adult stations for kids. Pull all the way up to the spot to pick kids up. Please remind your family to NOT run/walk to the car before you've stopped (we are also reminding them!).
Middle School 2nd Semester ODD/EVEN Day Cheat Sheet
2021 Summer Camp registration begins Feb 22!
2021/2022 ZKids Registration Information
March 15 (for current ZKids families)
March 16 (for families who are new to ZKids/ZPS)
Link for Summer and 2021/2022 registration
Please contact Cheryl Kraker with any questions at 748-4711 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
COVID-19 QUARANTINE COMMUNICATION & GUIDELINES FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS
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.
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 (email@example.com).
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.
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.
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:
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 email@example.com.
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
ZPS families can call the ZPS Cares Helpline (616-748-4509) or email the ZPS Cares Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for assistance related to health, food, and technology needs.
- 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.
Breakfast and Lunch Information
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.
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 email@example.com to get office hours and days for next week!
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.
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...
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.