The Appleseed

February/March 2023

Update from the Superintendent

Michigan winters can have some frigid temperatures, little snow followed by heavy snow, and some days with little sunshine. I only know that as we work our way through February, the days will become longer, and I anticipate the temperatures will begin to increase.

The future of Hudsonville Public Schools remains a priority to our entire community. Over the next few months, we will be seeking input as we explore the various programming needs of our district and how we can set priorities. We are now beginning the work on S.O.A.R. V (Strategic Objectives to Achieve Results), which will lead us into the future. During February and March, we will establish focus groups to help explore ideas intended to support the future of Hudsonville Public Schools. These groups will be chosen at random and will represent various members of the Hudsonville community, including parents of students attending Hudsonville Public Schools, senior citizens, booster members, and business representatives. Focus groups are established to ensure an understanding of the various needs of our district in 2023 and beyond. We will use the information from the focus groups to generate a survey that will be administered to our entire school community. This survey will include a multitude of subjects ranging from thoughts on curriculum, technology, program opportunities, and the district’s financial responsibilities. Later in the spring, this community survey will be available on our website, and we ask for your feedback to help drive our next three-year strategic plan for Hudsonville Public Schools.

Also of great importance is an upcoming vote this spring. On May 2, Hudsonville School parents and community members will have the chance to vote on two ballot initiatives. First, our annual Non-Homestead Millage renewal. This is a yearly renewal request that voters have approved for the past 27 years and would generate approximately 6.8 million dollars in operating revenue for our school district. Please note this is not a tax on primary residences and is not a new tax. The Non-Homestead Millage will not affect those who own one home. It will have minimal impact on the property tax bill of businesses, second homes, and some agricultural properties because it will only be a continuation of the 18 mills that have been levied in past years.

The final ballot initiative will be the Hudsonville Public Schools Sinking Fund Millage Renewal. A sinking fund is a savings account into which a local school district can deposit voter-approved local millage revenue in order to pay cash for projects or repairs as they arise rather than having to borrow through short-term notes or long-term bonds. This enables the district to pay directly for unforeseen maintenance, such as a new boiler, a roof leak, parking lot repairs, and updated student and infrastructure technology. Hudsonville Public Schools has been operating with a sinking fund for the past 25 years, but additional funding is needed as some of our buildings continue to age. Please vote on May 2.

Finally, we are officially over halfway through the school year. Our students continue to shine in the classroom and throughout our community and schools. We are blessed to have some of the best teachers and support staff that any district can provide. Our bus drivers continue to take exceptional care of our students on some challenging roads, and our administrative team goes above and beyond to make Hudsonville the special place that it is. I know I’m deeply blessed to have such fantastic staff all throughout our district, and I hope you feel the same.

Thank you for your continued support of Hudsonville Public Schools.

Dr. VanderJagt


Early Childhood Programs Open House

HPS Early Childhood Programs Open House for the 2023-2024 School Year and 2023 Summer Program

Registration/Open House Night:

Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at the Early Childhood Center from 6:30 - 7:30 p.m.* The Early Childhood Center is located at 5535 School Ave. (main entrance off Madison Ave.)

Programs include: 3 & 4-year-old Preschool, Before/After School Care, and Summer Care.

This is a chance to gather information about the programs, meet staff, and visit the Early Childhood Center. There is no formal presentation, and children are welcome.

Online registration will open Wednesday, February 8, at noon. The registration link can be found at under Early Childhood Center. A $100 fee per child is due ($50 non-refundable registration fee; $50 credit towards future tuition). Please note that enrollment fills quickly.

For more information, please call the Early Childhood office at 616-797-0842, ext. 1

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It's back! This program, sponsored by the Hudsonville Girls Basketball team, is one of the year's most anticipated events. There is a fun activity for everyone, so don't delay and register today at Hudsonville Public
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Riley Street Middle School Engineering Challenge

The RMS 8th grade science students competed in an engineering challenge, constructing a "hurricane-proof" freestanding tower made of common items such as plastic cups and popsicle sticks. The tower requirements included holding a tennis ball at least 32cm off the ground and being able to withstand different wind speeds.

Over a week, students constructed and tested at least two different towers, using a formula to determine the tower's score based on height, mass, base diameter, and wind speed (created by a box fan). Next, students submitted their best tower for competition day. Any score of 175 points or higher received an 'A .' Several students scored point values in the 300s, 400s, and 500s; congratulations to Nolan Ophoff for scoring 903 points and Claire Aukeman, scoring a whopping 1820 points!

Following the competition, students reflected in a CER, choosing a Claim of which tower's design was the best, providing Evidence from the data collected through the competition, and offering Reasoning to defend a particular tower design.

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Blue SOAR Tickets at Park

Park Elementary is trying out a new kind of SOAR ticket - BLUE ones!! These blue tickets are given to SOARing students at recess. All the blue SOAR tickets are then collected from every grade level into a big bin in the office. From this bin, winners are drawn to get a prize and a little certificate for their excellent recess behavior. The kids have absolutely loved this special SOARing addition. There has been a big jump in safe, kind, respectful, and helpful behavior on the playground. We love seeing our kids so proud of themselves. Keep SOARing, eagles!

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Hudsonville Education Foundation Selected as Hudsonville Meijer Community Cares Donation Recipient

Every December, Meijer stores come together to select a nonprofit organization that positively impacts their communities to receive a $10,000 donation through their Meijer Community Cares Program. The Hudsonville Education Foundation is overjoyed to be selected as Hudsonville Meijer's 2022 donation recipient!

"Our team feels strongly that the Hudsonville Education Foundation helps pave the way for students to reach their full potential and be presented with opportunities they otherwise would not have. With these students being a part of the future workforce, we feel a special calling to support them in any way we can," said Olivia Frass, Store Human Resources Representative for Meijer's Grand Rapids West Market

Staff and Board members from the Hudsonville Education Foundation attended a special reception with leadership from the Hudsonville Meijer to accept the donation.

"We are beyond grateful to have such a wonderful community partner and supporter in our local Meijer store. This donation means that the Hudsonville Education Foundation can invest in additional resources to enrich the education of Hudsonville Public Schools students now and for many years to come," said Janessa Smit, Executive Director for the Hudsonville Education Foundation.

If you want to learn more about how you can support the Hudsonville Education Foundation, go to

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Congratulations to Ms. Kelly TenBrock for winning the College Board's AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for 2022! This honor recognizes the outstanding work Ms. TenBrock is doing at HHS to engage more female students in computer science. Ms. TenBrock's leadership in diversifying computer science education is preparing female students for the high-paying, in-demand jobs of the future.

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HPS Author Assembly for 4th Graders at South Elementary

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Hudsonville Community Education Current and Upcoming Activities

  • Tennis Lessons
  • Softball
  • Girls Volleyball
  • Shark Tooth Island STEAM Engineering
  • Cookie Decorating
  • Baseball
  • Bricks 4 Kidz Lego Amazing Animals
  • Rollerskating
  • Ice Skating
  • Hockey
  • Babysitting Class
  • Home Alone Class

Click here for more information and to register.

Coming soon:

  • Minecraft Virtual Reality
  • Learn to 3D Print
  • Swim Lessons
  • 56er's Volleyball League
  • Tae Kwon Do
  • Bricks 4 Kidz Ninjago

New programs are added frequently, so check back often to register for the latest programs.

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HPS Social Media Highlights Available on our Website

Even if you are not on social media, be sure to check out our social media highlights on our website. All the fun and none of the fuss.
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Color Theory in Kindergarten Art Class

Kindergarteners at South Elementary have been having fun identifying their primary colors recently. To strengthen their fine motor skills, students were able to practice cutting round shapes in a variety of sizes. Students then carefully overlapped their shapes in order from largest to smallest to complete their beautiful abstract pieces. Color theory is so much fun!
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