Alward Action

January 29, 2023

Music Notes

Hello parents!

The support that our students received at the Holiday Program was wonderful! Thank you for being a part of what I believe was a very special night. I’m already looking forward to the next one!

After spending the entire fall on the program, music class definitely looks different now. Here is what each class is up to!

PreK - These students are practicing basic music skills such as keeping a steady beat and matching pitch in their head voice. Currently, all of their songs are about food!

Kindergarten - They are also practicing basic music skills. All of the songs they are singing and moving with are about horses. Like PreK, singing skills and steady beat skills are most important.

First Grade - These kids just finished playing scales on glockenspiels and singing along with a book called Mortimer. Be looking for a read along video emailed to you that we created for the book. They are now starting to play steady beat circle games.

Second Grade - Second grade students are working together as a class to create a rhythmic poem (a rap)! Then, they are creating a background track in garageband together. Finally, they will record their rap over the background track.

Third Grade - These students have started a long unit on instruments and instrument families. They will be learning about the science of how instruments work and how to classify instruments into families!

Fourth Grade - Fourth grade students are beginning to prepare for a field trip! On May 9, they will be headed to the West Michigan Symphony in Muskegon. They will be sitting in the audience with hundreds of 4th graders from all over West Michigan. These students get to play their recorders, sing and move to the music! It is often a highlight of their elementary music experience!

Fifth Grade - We have begun playing ukuleles! This unit teaches basic chords and affords students the opportunity to play simple songs. We will also soon begin bucket drumming!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!

Mr. Scott Barry

Music Teacher

Alward Elementary

STEAM Tidbits

It’s time for another update from the STEAM room.


For the month of January, we have explored what it means to be an engineer. We have read picture books such as Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer to learn more about people who design and build amazing creations. They had the opportunity to build freely with STEAM bins, using Legos, Lincoln Logs, Bristle Blocks and so much more. Most recently, they were asked to help create a flying machine like Rosie Revere attempted in her book. The kids loved watching their machines fly along the zipline in the room.


This month we’re continuing our study of the human body, focusing specifically on the bones inside our bodies. They’ve learned that the bones have two very important functions: 1) to protect our soft, squishy insides and 2) to give our body a structure so that we don’t “squish, like a jellyfish.” They’ve most recently learned about the many bones in our hands and how having that many bones allows us to bend our fingers and move things with ease. They did an investigation to explore what it would be like if each finger was made up of just one bone, instead of three. They quickly learned that everything would be much more difficult.

1st Grade:

We recently started our unit on light and sound. Students are learning that sounds are created by vibrations. They had the opportunity to feel the vibrations on guitar strings, drums, cymbals, and tuning forks. They were all surprised with how much those vibrations can tickle when we touch them lightly. They also learned that when the vibrations stop, so does the sound. Students have recently worked with their table groups to build their own musical instruments that make sound using vibrations.

2nd Grade:

Students have been doing some hands-on investigating on the effects of different types of erosion on land. They explored how wind, earthquakes, glaciers, and water can all impact a land mass. They were shocked at how devastating massive amounts of water can be on land. They are now working to apply all that they’ve learned about erosion to help protect their little sand town from a landslide.

3rd Grade:

Students are loving our new Scratch programming unit. Students are working in teams to learn how to do paired programming. The “driver” is the student with their hands on the laptop, doing the physical clicking of buttons and moving of code blocks. The “navigator” is watching over their shoulder, helping guide and remind them how to perform various tasks. They take turns trying out each role. They’ve recently learned how to add a background, a sprite (character), music, and coding blocks to make their sprite move. Their most recent project was to create a dancing sprite, and we had some pretty awesome dancing ballerinas, dinosaurs, and even a dancing taco.

4th Grade:

This month, students have learned a lot about circuitry. They’ve learned how electricity can only flow within a closed circuit, but that they can open and close those circuits. Students loved seeing this in action as we used Energy Sticks, and we used our bodies to open and close circuits. We then created paper circuits using coin batteries, LED diodes, and copper tape. The students loved this, and I’m sure you’ve seen those come home. We then moved on to using Snap Circuits to turn on a light, make a fan move, and even produce sound through a speaker. Next week we will get to explore circuitry even further using Makey Makey sets that I was able to borrow from our ISD.

5th Grade:

Students are working hard to write code using VEX IQ software to help their robots move autonomously through the classroom course, just like the Amazon robots we watched move through their fulfillment centers. Students had to test often and change their codes as they noticed how their robots were moving. Sometimes they needed to adjust their distances and other times they needed to adjust the angles in which they were turning. It was great to see all of the collaboration and group effort as students worked to program their robots.

STEAM Supplies Request:

If you have any of the following items in your recycling bins, I would love to take them in the STEAM room. Thanks in advance! :)

  • Toilet Paper Rolls

  • Paper Towel Rolls

  • Empty Egg Carts

  • Empty Oats, Coffee, or Clorox Canisters

  • Empty Tissue, Shoe, or Cereal Boxes

5/6 @ Georgetown Building Update

Click here for an update on the 5/6 @ Georgetown Building from Mrs. McClure!


The PTC is looking for new board members to join the PTC board for 2023-2024 school year. It’s a great way to be involved at the school and to help plan the fun events. Please reach out to to get more information.

Girls on the Run

Girls On The Run aims to inspire girls to recognize their inner strength and celebrate what makes them one of a kind. Over the course of the 10-week program, girls in grades 3-5 at Alward Elementary will develop essential skills to help them recognize their power, to be intentional in decision-making, embrace differences, and realize their personal potential. The program culminates with girls participating in a celebratory 5K with other West Michigan GOTR Programs.

  • Register online @ The early registration period ends on February 1st.

  • Girl placement day will be February 2nd, followed by late registration for teams that still have space.

  • Program fee is $125. Financial Assistance is available to all who apply.

  • Our Spring season will begin in March 15.

  • Teams will meet twice weekly on Monday and Wednesday after school at Alward until 5pm.

  • The Ottawa County 5K will take place at 10:00 a.m. on June 3rd at Coopersville HS.

Contact Stacy Louis (, Site Liaison for Alward Elementary or the website for more information:

Report Cards will be sent home

Friday, Jan. 27th, 4pm

3811 Port Sheldon Street

Hudsonville, MI

We have completed our first semester of the 22-23 school year! The classrooms have been busy with learning and fun. We love to celebrate the success of our students and there have been many celebrations! We want to thank our families for working alongside our Alward staff to support the great work that continues to happen within our building!

Report cards will be coming home, in an envelope, this Friday, January 27th with each student in their take home folder. Only students enrolled in kindergarten through 5th grade will receive report cards on this date. Classroom and specials teachers have worked with each student to accurately assess grade and content level standards and provide families with meaningful comments. In this envelope, we will also include your child’s most recent STAR reading and math scores.

If you have any specific questions regarding your child’s report card please reach out to their teacher directly. We also have upcoming conferences on Monday, February 27th and Wednesday, March 1st. This will be a time when families are able to sit down with their child’s teacher to discuss student progress. During conferences, our goal is to meet with each and every family who attend Alward. We look forward to this time to connect and partner with families in order to support the success of our students!

Thank you for your time as we work together to support our Alward students.

PK/Kindergarten Showcase

Tuesday, Jan. 31st, 6:30pm

3811 Port Sheldon Street

Hudsonville, MI

If you have an incoming PK or Kindergarten student for the 2023/24 school year, mark your calendars for our enrollment information night! To be eligible for pre-kindergarten or kindergarten for the 2023-2024 school year, children must be five years of age on or before December 1, 2023. Registration is not open yet, but more information will be coming soon!

Early Release

Friday, Feb. 3rd, 12pm

3811 Port Sheldon Street

Hudsonville, MI

Students will be dismissed at 12:15pm. Sack Lunches are available for students to take home. If you would like to order a lunch, please let your child's teacher know.

Valentine's Day Parties!

Friday, Feb. 10th, 9am-4pm

3811 Port Sheldon Street

Hudsonville, MI

Valentine's Parties will be held on February 10. Teachers will send out their specific party times. Please note that only parents signed up to volunteer at the party may attend. To keep the focus of the party on the students at Alward, we ask that younger siblings not attend. All volunteers must have a background check on file before attending the party! You can complete the background check form here.

Alward Luau Dance

Saturday, Feb. 25th, 6-8:30pm

3835 Baldwin Street

Hudsonville, MI

It’s that special time of year again where daughters grab their dads, uncles, grandpa, brother,
etc. and bring them out for an evening of memories! Join friends and spend the evening
snacking, crafting, laughing … but mostly dancing! We look forward to seeing you there!

Tickets are $20 per couple and $5 for additional children. Tickets can be purchased here.

Book Fair

Monday, Feb. 27th, 9am to Thursday, March 2nd, 3pm

3811 Port Sheldon Street

Hudsonville, MI

Mark your calendars for the Spring Book Fair! Each class will have a look day to make their wish list to bring home for parents approval. Then, they will have a buy day to come back with their approved list to make their purchases. The book fair will also be open Wednesday night during parent teacher conferences. Teachers will communicate with parents when their look day and buy day is scheduled.


Please check out our website for important information on Health Services.

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 website.

Please do not send medications to school with your child. Please come into the office to drop off medications. Thank you!

Texting Opt-In

Click here and follow the instructions to opt in for texting messages from HPS!


All volunteers and visitors are required to have a background check on file. Background Checks must be completed every school year. Please complete the background check now so you are all set for the school year!
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  • Visit Our Website: Our school website will be updated on a regular basis as it will be the main source of information for our parents and community members. Past newsletters will be linked under NEWS.
  • 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!

  • Social Media: Follow our story by liking us Facebook


  • Google Classrooms: Teacher google sites are linked under staff members. Teachers will be updating their Google Classroom Sites on a weekly basis.