Welcome Back to Alward

2019-2020 School Year

"SOAR"-ing into the 2019-2020 School Year at Alward

Greetings Alward Families and Staff,

I am so excited to welcome all of our returning and new families and staff to Alward Elementary School for the 2019-2020 school year. Our school will continue to focus on what it means to Support, Grow, and Unite as we champion for our students everyday. This year, as a school community, we will also be diving into what it means to “SOAR” as an Alward Champion in our school, during school events, and out in the community. Every member of our school community plays an integral role in caring for, educating, and guiding our children. It is important that we understand these roles and how we can support each other for the benefit of our students and their academic, social, and emotional growth. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your continued support and entrusting our staff to care for, educate, and support your children on their educational journey at Alward. I’m looking forward to another great year!

Alward Champions SOAR

This year, our district is implementing PBIS-a system for providing positive behavior interventions and supports for our students-in all of our elementary buildings. PBIS is a proactive approach to teaching and modeling positive behaviors in and outside of school. Students and staff will use a common language that will be taught through lessons focusing on specific behavior expectations throughout the building, on the school buses, and on the playground. Our district has adopted the acronym SOAR to help teach these positive behavioral expectations. SOAR stands for:

Be Safe

Own It

Act Responsibly

Be Respectful

Part of the PBIS roll-out is to positively recognize students when they are caught following behavioral expectations. Students will receive “SOAR” tokens for their positive actions. In addition, we will continue to recognize students monthly as Alward Champions who are “SOARing.”

As you walk through the building, you will notice evidence of SOAR with posters stating behavioral expectations. On the first day of school, you will see teachers wearing t-shirts with SOAR logo on them. We will also be getting student t-shirts with the Hudsonville SOAR logo thanks to our Walk-a-thon Committee.

We are excited to see all of our students SOAR this year academically, socially, and emotionally with the support of our teachers, parents, and community!

Educationally yours,

Mrs. Melanie McClure

AES Principal

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Nuts and Bolts to Help Ensure a Successful School Year

New Faces at Alward

We are excited to grow our team to help support our students this year! Please help me welcome the following new staff to our Alward family:

  • Mrs. Emily Nagelkirk will be transitioning into her new role at Alward as our Social Worker!

  • Ms. Emily Daenzer will be joining our KDG team as a classroom teacher for the newly added fourth section of KDG.

  • Ms. Emmalene Carr will be joinging our fifth grade team as a classroom teacher for the newly added third section of fifth grade.

  • Mrs. Rausch will be our new resource teacher as Mrs. Gillespie recently joined the Forest Grove team for the 2019-2020 school year.

  • Mrs. Emmert will be joining our office staff as our new secretarial clerk.


  • Alward Blog (link): Sign up for the Alward blog to receive regular communication on what is taking place at Alward! IMPORTANT FORMS AND PROCEDURES are linked on our blog. These include: Hudsonville Public Schools’ Elementary Guidelines, Transportation Policy, and Medication Forms. These documents also include district-wide guidelines for dress code, absences/tardies, student conduct, and vacation procedures.

  • Follow our story by liking us on:

    • Facebook: Like us on Facebook-facebook.com/AESEaglePride

    • Twitter: Like us on Twitter @AlwardElem

  • School Messenger: Regular communication from school messenger will be sent out via email, phone calls, or text messages to keep you in the loop on what is taking place at Alward!

Mark Your Calendars!

First Day of School

  • Monday, August 26th, 2019

Early Release Dates

  • We will have ten Early Release days this school year on Sept. 20, Oct. 18, Nov. 15, Dec. 13, Jan. 31, Feb. 21, March 6, April 24, May 8, and our last day of school, June 5. On early release dates, students will be dismissed at 12:15 p.m. The purpose of early release is to provide quality collaborative time for our staff to review assessment data and discuss best practices with the goal of improving student achievement.

School Hours

  • School begins at 8:45 a.m.

  • School ends at 3:45 p.m.

  • Office hours: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Medications at School

In order for your child to take any medication (prescription and non-prescription) at school, a MEDICATION FORM is required. If your child requires a prescription medication (asthma inhaler, EPI pen, insulin), your physician must complete a portion of the form. The medication forms are available in the school office and will be posted to our school blog.

Safe and Secure Schools

  • Alward has an up-to-date safe and secure entry system. All visitors entering the school building will be buzzed into the building by the office staff. Due to the busy nature of the office, please be aware that our secretaries, Ms. Walcott and Ms. Emmert, will only be able to buzz in visitors or answer the phone when they can provide their full attention.

  • If you will be in the building, volunteering, attending parties, etc. you do need to have a background check on file. This needs to be completed EVERY YEAR! Please complete this form online and submit it as soon as possible. LINK: https://tinyurl.com/HPSVolCheck

  • Once buzzed into the office, visitors must sign in and obtain a “visitor lanyard.” You must wear this lanyard the entire time you are in the building, then return it to the office when you sign out. We will use an alternative system for party days and other high traffic times.

  • Younger Siblings: If you are planning on entering the building to volunteer in the workroom, attend a classroom party/event, eat lunch with your older child/ren, or volunteer in a classroom, please arrange childcare for younger siblings that are not students at Alward. This is for safety and liability reasons.

  • Thank you in advance for your flexibility, cooperation, and patience.

Hot Lunch

Hot Lunch is available everyday to all students. Menu's, Free and Reduced Information, Nutrition information and lunch account info can all be found on the Jenison/Hudsonville Food Service Home page. You will receive your students ID# on your packet at open house. You will need this to set up an account with food service for making online deposits. Please call the office at 616-669-6700 if you have any questions.

Food Allergies

  • As a staff, we take food allergies very seriously and do all that we can to create a safe environment at school. If your child requires an EPI pen for this, please fill out the required PRESCRIPTION MED FORM which is located on the Alward Blog or in the main office.

  • The cafeteria has nut free lunch tables to accommodate students with peanut and/or tree nut allergies.

  • All classrooms are peanut and nut free including specials’ classrooms. Please make sure that you send in snacks that are peanut and nut free.

Thank you for your support as we work to be proactive in protecting and keeping our students safe!


Student drop-off and pick-up are very busy times in the school driveway and hallways. To make it more efficient and secure, we have the following procedures in place:

Car Line Drop-Off Procedures

8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.


Use the car loop on the west side (office side) of the building.


Stay in the right lane and drop off your child in the drop-off zone (south of the school’s speed bump)-Zone will be marked with cones.


Students will exit the cars on the passenger side of the car.

(Do not allow students to exit the car on the driver’s side for safety reasons!)


Do not pass cars in the car line.

Stay in a single file line until the cars move in front of you.


*If you need to get out of your car to help your child unbuckle from a car seat or help him/her unload projects, park your car in the parking lot and walk your child across the driveway to the main sidewalk.

To Keep Our Line Moving Tips:

  1. Follow the procedures noted above.

  2. Say your goodbyes and give kisses prior to dropping off in the car line. :)

  3. Have backpacks/supplies ready to exit car with students.

  4. Parents need to remain in their vehicles.

  5. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding with our system and procedures. Safety is our number one concern for our students and their families.

Car Line Pick-up Procedures

PK-Fifth Grade Students

3:45 p.m.


Use the car loop on the west-side (office side) of the building.


Stay in the right lane and pull up to the orange cone on the far side of the parking lot or behind the cars in front of you.


Put your car tag in the passenger side window. Staff will take your students’ names. You will receive car tags at open house or contact the main office to get a car tag or additional tags.


Students will be walked out in groups to the car line and must enter cars on the passenger side of the vehicle.


If you need to help your child buckle his/her car seat, please pull forward with the flow of traffic, park in a parking spot, and help your child buckle his/her car seat.

To Keep Our Line Moving Tips:

  1. Follow the procedures noted above.

  2. Parents need to remain in their vehicles.

  3. Please be patient with this system for the first few weeks of school. Once students, staff, and families get used to the process, the line moves efficiently and is safe for all of our students!

  4. Based on last year’s car line data, the car line takes 4-5 minutes to load 60 cars!

Car Tags

  • In your packet, you will receive a car tag for the dismissal car line. Please write your child’s/children’s names on the car tag.

  • If you need additional car tags, you can get them from our office staff.

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Bus Information

  • Transportation (bus) information will be accessible via PowerSchool. You should have received an email from the tech department with directions on how to set up your PowerSchool account.

  • Please contact transportation with any changes (669-7757).

  • Please contact the Alward office for any questions regarding the Parent Portal account (669-6700).

Change in Transportation Home

If your child is going to have a change in transportation home, please contact the main office to let them know of the change prior to 3:00 p.m. We want to ensure that the classroom teachers are notified in a timely fashion prior to end of day dismissal procedures.


  • Car riders

    • The doors open at 8:30 a.m. Please do not drop your students off before this time for safety and security reasons. We do not have supervision available before 8:30 a.m. Thank you for your understanding!

    • Pre-K students will line up outside of door W.

    • At 8:30, students in grades K-5 will enter the building through door A and head out door H to line up on the playground side of the building.

      • Students in KDG will line up at door H.

      • Students in grade 1 will line up at door K.

      • Students in grades 2 & 3 will line up at door M.

      • Finally, students in grades 4 & 5 will line up at door L and enter through door M.

  • Bus riders

    • Pre-K students will enter door K, walk straight to door K, and line up outside of door door W.

    • Students will line up at:

      • Students in KDG will line up at door H.

      • Students in grade 1 will line up at door K.

      • Students in grades 2 & 3 will line up at door M.

      • Finally, students in grades 4 & 5 will line up at door L and enter through door M.


We love that our students like to be active and healthy by riding their bikes to school. However, we also want our students to be safe. Please discuss with your child that he/she will need to walk their bike to the bike rack which will be located in the front of the building once they get onto the school’s sidewalks. Please also help us to remind them not to ride their bikes through the parking lot. This will help keep everyone safe!


  • Breakfast is served from 8:30 – 8:45 a.m. in our cafeteria daily.

  • Breakfast consists of cereal, milk, juice, fresh fruit, and a cookie/cracker bar.

  • Breakfast costs $1.25. If someone qualifies for reduced lunch, the cost is $0.30 and free for those that qualify for free lunch.


  • If your student will not be attending school due to illness or other reasons, please call the office before 9:15am. Students who are not called in by a parent/guardian will be marked with an unexcused absence.

  • If your student will be late, arriving after 8:50am, please call the office in the morning. Any students arriving after 8:50am must be signed in by a parent/guardian.

  • If your student will be late and needs a hot lunch, please let us know when you call. Hot lunch needs to be ordered by 10am.

  • Planned absences of more than 3 days require a vacation request form to be filled out. Forms can be picked up in the office or emailed to you. Please turn in vacation request forms at least 5 days before the planned absence.