First Week of School at Alward

2021/22 School Year

Open House Night

We are so excited to welcome our families back into Alward face-to-face this fall for Open House! Mark your calendars!
  • Tuesday, August17th
  • PK-KDG: 5:30-6:30
  • Grades 1-5: 6:30-7:30

Here are some important tidbits about Open House Night!

  • Please come at any time during your child's assigned grade level times to meet your child's teacher, explore the school, and play on the playground. This is a leisurely evening to help you and your child feel more at ease with the first day of school! Come and go as you please during the assigned times above.
  • Open House Night is a great time to drop off school supplies in your child's classroom so they do not have to bring all of these items to school on the bus or in the car drop-off line the first day of school!
  • Parking is limited at Alward. If you do park across the street, please use caution crossing Port Sheldon.
  • Please bring your child's transportation information (bus # or #'s) with you to verify his/her transportation to and from school with the classroom teacher.

New Faces at Alward

Please help me welcome the following staff members to Alward! We are so excited to have them on our team for the 21-22 school year!


Mrs. Boerner-PBIS Specialist

Mrs. Phon-KDG

Mr. Custer-2nd Grade

Ms. Miller-2nd Grade

Mrs. Stadt-Resource Room Teacher

Ms. Hassevoort-ASD (PK-1st)

Ms. Freeman-ASD (2nd-4th)

Mrs. McAlary-ASD Para

Mrs. Boomstra-ASD Para

Mrs. Porter-ASD Para

Mrs. Nash-Instructional Para

Ms. Rose-Instructional Para

Mrs. Roelofs-OT

A Sneak Peak of the First Week of School

Mark Your Calendars!

First Two Weeks of School Important Dates
  • Monday, August 23rd: First day of school and Early Release at 12:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday, August 24th: Early Release at 12:15 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 25th: Early Release at 12:15 p.m.
  • Thursday, August 26th: Early Release at 12:15 p.m.
  • Friday, August 27th: No School!
  • Friday, September 3rd: No School!
  • Monday, September 6th: No School!


Please check the HPS Student Calendar for early release dates and breaks for the 21-22 school year!

School Hours

  • School begins at 8:45 a.m.

  • School ends at 3:45 p.m.

  • Office hours: 8:00 a.m.-4:15 p.m.

PK, KDG, and First Grade Helpful Tips

  • Please have your child wear a name tag for the first day of school that has their first and last name along with their teacher's name. This will help us get your child to the correct classroom.
  • Please label your child's backpack. They will receive a bus tag on the first day of school if they do not receive one at Open House.

MORNING STUDENT LINE-UP LOCATIONS

  • Car Riders/Walkers

    • The doors will open at 8:35 a.m. Please do not drop your students off before this time for safety and security reasons. We do not have supervision available before 8:35 a.m.

    • We will have a staggered arrival for the FIRST WEEK of school. Please see below for student drop-off procedures. We will communicate with families when we will transition back to normal drop off times. Students will not be counted tardy to school during the first couple of weeks if they are not dropped off by 9 a.m.

    • All students will enter the building upon arrival and head straight to their classrooms.

    • KDG students will enter Door A.

    • Pre-K and 1st grade students will enter Door W.

    • 2nd-5th grade students will enter Door U.

  • Bus riders

    • When buses arrive at Alward, a para will get students off of the bus and walk them into the building and take them straight to their classrooms.

STUDENT DROP-OFF AND PICK-UP PROCEDURES

Student drop-off and pick-up are very busy times during a normal school year in the school driveway and hallways. COVID has added a new layer, so please make sure to read all of these drop off procedures so that we can ensure the safety of our students and staff and efficiency of our car line. If you are dropping your child off in the carline, please remain in your vehicle and follow the procedures below.


Staggered Drop-off: We will have a staggered drop off due to the expected increase in car riders this year. We will have numerous staff helping students get into the building safely and to their classrooms.


  • Grades 2-5: Please drop your child off between 8:35-8:45 a.m. Please do not come early as we will not be able to allow students into the building until 8:35 a.m. If you have children in grades PK-1, you can drop off all children during this time slot. We will have your oldest child help walk your younger child/ren to their assigned classes. Students in grades 2-5 will enter Door U unless they are walking a younger sibling to their class.
  • Grades PK-1: Please drop your child off between 8:45-9:00 a.m. Students in KDG will enter door A. Students in PK and 1st grade will enter door W.


Car Line Drop-off Procedures:

1. Please place the placard sign, pictured below, in your passenger side window of your car with your child/ren's names and teacher's name listed. You will receive two car signs at open house. Additional signs can be picked up in the office if needed. If you can, please put a name tag on your child along with his/her classroom teacher's name to help us get students to their correct classroom.


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


3. Stay in the right lane and drop off your child in the drop-off zone. Zone will be marked with cones. Please pull all the way to either the stop sign for the unloading zone or to the car in front of you.


3. Students will exit the cars on the passenger side of the car in the unloading zone. (Do not allow students to exit the car on the driver’s side for safety reasons!) Staff will help child/children get out of the car and direct them to the door that they will go in.


4. Parents remain in their vehicles.


5. Do not pass cars in the car line. Stay in a single file line until the cars move in front of you.


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.


1. Please put the placard sign, pictured below in your passenger side window of your car with your child/ren's names and teacher's names listed. You will receive two car signs at open house. Additional signs can be picked up in the office if needed.


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


3. 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.


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


5. 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!

Breakfast

  • Breakfast will be served starting at 8:35. Once students are done eating, they will be sent back to class.

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

  • Breakfast is free for any student.

  • Students that eat breakfast at school will eat breakfast in the cafeteria. They will be spaced out 3 feet apart at our cafeteria tables.

  • If your child will be eating breakfast at school, please contact your classroom teacher so that we know to send them down to the cafeteria the first week of school.

Lunch-Update

Hot Lunch

Hot Lunch is FREE for all students again this year. If your student chooses to take milk only, you will need to pay for that. Milk is .50. 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 received your students ID# with your students' teacher. You will need this ID# 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.


PK students will be eating lunch in the cafeteria, while our K-5th grade students will be eating lunch in the classrooms again this year. Students will travel down to the cafeteria to get hot lunch or milk, if they ordered it, and then go back into the classroom to eat. Teachers will be with the students while they are eating their lunches. We will have noon hour aides that will be assisting students getting their lunches and helping sanitize the classrooms after lunch is done.

Food Allergies-Update

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 website or in the main office.


Peanut and Nut Free Classrooms

The following classrooms are peanut and nut free for the 21/22 school year. Attached you will find an approved list of peanut and nut free items that you can send in for your child's snacks and lunch items.

  • Mrs. LePard-KDG
  • Mrs. Phon - KDG
  • Mrs. DeCarlo-First Grade
  • Mrs. Pingel - First Grade
  • Mr. Oosting - 3rd Grade
  • Mr. Karel - Fifth Grade

For more information about our peanut and nut free classrooms, please see the letter linked below and the approved peanut and nut free snacks letter.

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

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 website.


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

Transportation Home

Transportation Home

  • At Open House, please verify with the classroom teacher how your child will get home every night.
  • If you are unable to attend Open House, please communicate with the office and your classroom teacher how your child will be getting home nightly from school.


Change in Transportation Home At the End of the School Day

If your child is going to have a change in transportation home at the end of the school day, 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.

Bus Information

  • Transportation (bus) information will be accessible via PowerSchool and was communicated in an email and/or text message to all families last week.

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

Bikes

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 (located by door U)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! Thank you!

Attendance

  • If your student will not be attending school due to illness or other reasons, please call the office before 9:15 am. 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 8:50 am, please call the office in the morning. Any students arriving after 8:50 am 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 10 am.

  • 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 prior to the planned absence.

Forgotten Items

To help limit the numbers of visitors into the front office due to social distancing requirements and available space, we will have a table set up in our front vestibule for "forgotten" items. Place the item/s into a basket, fill out a slip of paper with your child's name and grade, and leave the basket on the table. Our office staff will make sure that students get their items as quickly as possible.

Communication

  • 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. We will no longer have an Alward Blog as we are looking to consolidate and simply communication to our families.
  • 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 on...

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

    • Twitter: Like us on Twitter @AlwardElem

  • Google Classrooms: We will no longer have individual blogs for teachers. Teachers will be updating their Google Classroom Sites on a weekly basis.