Zeeland Quest News
August 6, 2021
Back To School Information!
Hello All ZQuest Families!!
Ahead of ZQuest returning to school on Monday, the message below was released from ZPS:
We trust this message finds you well and enjoying the beautiful summer weather we are experiencing lately. We are sharing this Z for Me Staff Edition ahead of the regular Z for Me out of professional respect and also to acknowledge the impact this messaging has on your roles in the district. We recognize the immense challenges these kinds of plans have on how you implement your plans for the 2021-2022 school year. We also have a strong desire to collaborate and problem-solve together on the numerous ways these guidance criteria will influence your approach this school year. The timing of this messaging continues to be a challenge as we want to ensure input and feedback while attending to the availability of staff as well as the ZQuest start date of August 9. A special thanks to the Board of Education, the OCDPH, the administration team, and ZEA leadership for helping to inform the planning and sharing of this important update.
The safety and well-being of our students and staff is a top priority for Zeeland Public Schools. Over the past sixteen months, the Zeeland Public Schools community has repeatedly come together to make responsible and thoughtful decisions as we combat COVID-19 together. We are enormously thankful for the support of our community, and we ask for your continued patience as we plan for a successful 2021-2022 school year.
In coordination with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health, the ZPS Board of Education, and the ZPS administration team, the following Return to Learning plan for the 2021-2022 school year has been carefully considered and crafted and is ready to share with the ZPS community. Please note this plan is based on the data we currently have from our community and may need to be adjusted if case counts continue to increase.
We recognize that this experience is different for many families, and ZPS will continue to support the community in a variety of ways. ZPS will implement prevention strategies in a layered and measured approach to increase the safety and protection for staff and students. In the coming weeks, ZPS will release additional guidance aimed at prioritizing the health and safety needs of all ZPS students and staff.
Please reach out to the ZPS Administration Office with any questions at 748-3000.!
Just a Reminder: ZQuest School hours August 9-August 26, for ALL grade levels, are 8:30am-2:00pm!
We are looking forward to a much calmer year!
2021/2022 ZQuest Calendar & Highlights
ZQuest First Day of School: Monday, August 9, 2021 (8:30a-2p, all grades)
No School Fridays: August 13, 20, 27
1st-8th Grade Family Guide to Curriculum Night: August 17
Kindergarten Bus Ride: August 24
No School/Staff Professional Development: Monday, August 30, 2021
All of ZPS Returns (including ZQ): Tuesday, August 31, 2021 (hours change)
Labor Day Break: September 3 & 6, 2021
Break Week 1: September 27-October 1
Mark Your Calendars for these EVENTS!
Family Guide to ZQuest Learners' Curriculum (Grades 1st-8th) ONLY!
We will hold our yearly informational parent night that is specifically designed for you to hear and learn all about how your child’s classroom is structured, curriculum used, how you can help them with homework (what homework will consist of), you will get the ins and outs of how the teachers will use online platforms for distributing information, grades, homework, notes from class, lessons, etc.. You will see how the content areas are structured by learning how your child will learn, how you can best help them at home, and how we will facilitate their learning so they will grow as independent learners and leaders. This will also be a night for a quick overview of the concepts your child will be working on during the school year. In addition to the academic views, you will also have a chance to visit the computer lab to complete your yearly background check as well as fill out an online lunch application (to qualify for free or reduced lunch, which in turn helps our school receive funding through the state and federal government).
In addition to curriculum information, homework information, classroom communication, etc., you will have the opportunity to complete your background check and fill out all necessary Parent Portal papers, Contact Census and School Compacts.
Because this evening is meant to be informational and for you to ask questions as you are walked through the different aspects of your child’s grade level, we are asking that you make it a PRIORITY to attend.
All 5th-8th grade students are required to attend with their parents. It’s important that they hear about the learning style and expectations that they will need to meet while learning. It’s so important for our kids and parents to have the same knowledge about expectations in order to help each other through the year.
If your child is in 1st-4th grade, we ask that this be an evening that you can really focus on what you, as a parent can do to help them as a learner, and kids be cared for by a relative or sitter.
Kindergarten families had their night prior to school starting!
When? Tuesday, August 17, 2021
Each session will provide the same information in each grade level group. There are different sessions so you can make it to multiple levels if you have multiple ZQuest kiddos! If you cannot make Curriculum Night due to other commitments, please reach out to your child’s teacher(s) and set up a time to meet with them or get information that they pass out/go over on this night.
Session #1 5:00-5:45pm
Session #2 6:00-6:45pm
Kindergarten Bus Ride Experience/Practice Run!
When? Tuesday, August 24
Time? Students and ONE parent will be picked up TWO hours earlier than their AM bus pick up time, but in the evening (ex. If they get picked up at 8am, they will be picked up at 6pm on the bus experience night)!What? Busses will drop off students/parent at each building. Students will have the opportunity to play for approximately 30 minutes and then busses will depart from the buildings at 7pm to drop kinders and parent back at their bus stop.
Suggested School Supplies List
Many of you already know the routine for our days in August, however with new friends joining us a reminder is always helpful!
First Day of School for ZQuest Students:
Monday, August 9, 2021
Kinder-8th grade: 8:30am-2:00pm (August and June hours)
August Drop Off/Pick Up
We will continue to use the EAST parking lot and procedures for drop off/pick up this year!
Drop off for both elementary and middle school students (in August) will be 8:20am-8:30am during the month of August.
The doors WILL NOT unlock until 8:20am, so kids will remain at EAST doors until then if they are earlier than 8:20am (unless you are using ZKids; in that case, you have a code to enter the building). During the month of August, kids should enter school in the morning at the EAST DOORS (this will change for those riding a bus on August 31, the main entrance will be available to them).
End of the Day Pick up will be in the EAST Parking Lot ONLY at 2pm (please DO NOT use the bus loop for pick up).
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; we are practicing this for when busses begin running).
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 4-5 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!).
If students are dropped off later than 8:30am/picked up earlier than 2pm, they MUST be signed in/out in the MAIN OFFICE and will enter through the main doors of the building.
Walking students to class Expectation: We are anticipating some sort of protocol, however it has not been determined yet. Please watch for more information!
Camps, vacations, etc.: We value family time during the summer, however we value education as well. Many of you have chosen ZQuest because of that educational value and the balanced calendar, which includes frequent, more spaced out breaks throughout the entire school year! We jump right into the curriculum in order to get the biggest bang for our time. Because of our balanced calendar, there are many different weeks that vacations can be scheduled while ZQuest is on break. We understand that it’s not always possible with work schedules to match up parent vacations with school vacations, however we are asking that you try your best. It is extremely important that you schedule vacations during our break weeks when possible in order to allow your child to optimize their learning experiences each day. The attendance policy was adopted by the ISD during the 18/19 school year and will be strictly enforced. Please know that we are tracking school attendance to help ensure that every child is receiving their needs in school each day.
We understand that there are usually many camps offered by ZRec during the month of June and in some cases August. We want your kids to be able to participate in those that interest them, however we also need them to be in school. If there is a camp that they are wanting to be involved in, please feel free to register them, however understand that what they miss must be made up. If the camp is a half day, your child is asked to return to school for the remainder of the day. This is to keep our classes rolling as usual! Another important reminder is to make sure that you are communicating with your child’s teacher about these types of events. It will help them to make sure they keep things aside to give them prior to leaving for the day. Thank you for your support in your child’s education!
Illness or appointments: If your child is ill or needs to be called in for any reason during the school year (June and August included), you are asked to call the attendance line at school (616-748-3060). You simply leave a message regarding the reason for being out. If you need to bring your child to school late or pick them up early, you must sign them in or out in the office (it will be open during our school hours).
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
Kindergarten bussing information will arrive in your mailbox in August on a postcard! Don't forget to look at the calendar section to see information on the Kindergarten Bus Ride in August!
All 1st-8th grade bussing information will be made available in your PARENT PORTAL mid-August.
FOOD SERVICE Information
School Year (August-June) Breakfast and Lunch Information
Middle School Schedules: Middle School Schedules (6th grade music electives and grades 7th-8th) will be given to kids in August. There will be a Creekside Open House that you can attend as well prior to the traditional year and our 6-8 graders beginning their electives next door! In addition, our 5/6th grade teachers will plan a time prior to August where 6th grade students will go for a quick visit next door to search for their music classes or rotation classes as well.
Personal Devices: Many kids, especially middle school kids are carrying cell phones in order to communicate with parents when participating in after school activities, going home and checking in after school, etc.. We can appreciate the convenience of having a phone. While in school, we are going to ask that all phones are kept turned off and in backpacks during the school day. Our classrooms and main office have a phone that can be used for students in case of an emergency or illness. It becomes extremely hard to keep track of kids’ needs when they are making calls at their lockers or in the bathroom when they don't feel well. Teachers often don’t know that a student left school and our secretaries aren’t sure when parents call back wondering why their child called them. If students are using their personal device during class time, it will be taken and parents can pick them up in the main office at their convenience. There may be instances that a teacher allows students to use their own device, however this is rare.
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?
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
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!