HPS Highlights will highlight some of the many events and activities taking place across the district. These highlights are intended to celebrate what is happening in our schools and provide a window into our many programs across the district. This may include specific programs, student activities and professional staff development. 

MDE Seeks Parent Feedback on Proposed School Transparency Dashboard

October 31, 2017

Parents and caregivers of children from preschool through Grade 12 are invited to provide feedback on Michigan’s online “school transparency dashboard,” the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) announced today. The online dashboard is designed to show the performance of every public school in Michigan.

The user-friendly dashboard will display more than 20 different measures that parents and other stakeholders have said are important to them when evaluating the quality of a school.

“We want this important school information tool to be understandable, clear, and easy for parents to use,” said State Superintendent Brian Whiston. “I encourage parents to take this survey, look at the proposed dashboard, and share their thoughts with us.”

The survey allows participants to view components of the new dashboard, then answer questions about the way information is presented; the usefulness of certain features; and viewers’ unique interests. MDE will use survey feedback to help shape the current and future versions of the dashboard so that it is helpful to parents in every community.

Click the link below or type the survey URL into your web browser to access the online survey: www.surveymonkey.com/r/MDEESSA_Dashboard2017

The survey can be completed on any computer, tablet, or mobile device. It should take no more than 15 minutes to complete, and all answers will be confidential. The survey will remain open until November 15, 2017.

The transparency dashboard resulted, in part, from stakeholder input during Michigan’s planning for the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and is an essential component in Michigan’s plan to become a Top 10 education state in 10 years.

A State Board of Education policy, adopted June 14, 2017, outlines the desired metrics for Michigan’s new transparency dashboard and identifies a timeline and process for development.

The Transparency Dashboard is expected to be made available to the public by early 2018 and will replace MDE's former school report card.

You can find more detail in the State Board of Education’s June 14, 2017 policy, which can be found online at the MDE website at www.michigan.gov/mde. Click on State Board of Education in the left column and then “Policies and Statements.”

The Big Read 2017

The Book and Partnering Schools

You are cordially invited to join in The Big Read Holland Area?s 2017 program featuring the book When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka. The Big Read is a month-long community-wide reading program consisting of book discussions, lectures, art workshops, film screenings and more, taking place during the month of November. A key component of the program is K-16 student involvement. This year The Big Read is working with four schools in our district: Holland Early College, Holland High, Holland Language Academy, and Holland East. We have distributed 573 free copies of the book to students and have hired either professional artist(s) Joel Schoon-Tanis or Barry Elz to work with our students to collaborate on art in response to the book.

The Partnership

The Big Read is a Hope College program in collaboration with Herrick District Library, Ottawa Area Intermediate School District, Howard Miller Library, Holland Museum, Ready for School, Western Theological Seminary, Saugatuck Center for the Arts, Holland Area Arts Council, and cultureWorks. Last year’s Big Read Holland Area events involved approximately 10,000  people in the community.

Keynote Speaker

Julie Otsuka will be the keynote speaker at Hope College's Dimnent Chapel at 7 pm on November 9. Otsuka's historical fiction tells the story of a family and their journey to a Japanese internment camp in the 1940s. The novel follows a mother, father, daughter, and son, giving a different perspective to a part of American history often ignored.

Calendar of Events

A list of all of main events and public book discussions is available on the website hope.edu/bigread. On November 16, the signature closing event will be a student exhibition of learning at the Holland Armory.

Celebrating Holland Public Schools Athletics-October 27, 2017

It has been an exciting past few days for Holland High Athletics!

Cross Country-After a great showing this season, our guys tied for the OK Green Cross Country Champions at the cross country conference meet on October 18, 2017. Their next stop is the MHSAA Regionals this Saturday at Portage West MS at 12:30 p.m. Our girls will race at 11:30 a.m. and all JV runners at 1:00 p.m. Good luck to all of our runners!

Boys Soccer-As you may have seen, these guys are on Holland Dutch fire. With a 5-0 victory over Holland Christian, an 8-0 victory over Reeths-Puffer and a 2-0 victory over Grand Rapids Christian (District 2 Regional champs), their next stop is the state semifinals at 7:00 p.m. (Wednesday, 11/1) at Portage Northern facing the Region 5 winner TBD this Saturday. 

Boys Football-For the third time in school history, our Holland Dutch have made the playoffs and head to Hackley field to face the Big Reds of Muskegon at 7:00 tonight. The HHS Marching Band, Cheerleaders, a fan bus and 1/2 of the town driving North, it is sure to be a great night for our guys. It's a white out...but no snow day today! (Sorry)

Volleyball/Swimming-MHSAA Districts for Girls' Volleyball is next week at Zeeland East and the OK Green Girls’ Varsity Swimming Prelims are next week at Byron Center. Good luck to all of our Lady Dutch!

Thank you to our parents, volunteers, coaching staff, Dutch Nation, students and faculty for supporting all of our student athletes. 

Check out www.hollanddutchsports.com for more information.

Michigan School Finance Research Collaborative

Dr. Brian Davis Participates on Professional Judgment Panel for Michigan School Finance Research Collaborative

In January, 2017, a bipartisan group of business and education experts launched a new effort to study school funding in Michigan-School Finance Research Collaborative. The purpose of this collaborative is to “bring together top industry experts to reexamine our approach to how we fund Michigan’s schools to fully prepare all students for jobs and success” and the mastery of the current standards required of our students in the state. This study is intended to build upon a report released in the summer of 2016. This 2016 report concluded that Michigan’s system of funding schools is becoming increasingly unequal and in equitable and that the state needs to allocate more funding to educate students who are socio-economically disadvantaged or not English dominant speakers.

Approaches to the Study

There are two approaches to the study: professional judgment and evidence-based. Each of these two approaches are briefly described below. I am pleased to share that I was asked to serve on one of the professional judgmental panels representing moderate sized school districts with identified high needs populations.

Professional Judgment Approach

The Professional Judgment approach relies on a series of educator panels to identify the resources needed to meet all Michigan standards. Panelists range from teachers to superintendents, and are brought together from all parts of the state and from all types of school districts and charter schools.

First, educators build a set of schools during the school-level panels. The school-level panels are designed to identify the resources any student should expect to have in place in any school in the state. Panelists first build the base-level resources, then identify resources for at-risk students. After the school-level panels set the base-level resources, special needs panels meet to review the base-level resources and identify the resources needed for special education, at-risk and ELL students.

These panels examine the impacts of various concentrations and different levels of student need. The panels examine the different levels of resources needed for mild, moderate and severe special needs students, literate versus illiterate at-risk students, and ELL students at different WIDA levels.

Four different district panels (very small, small, moderate, and large size districts), panels on charter schools and geographically isolated districts then meet to review all previous work, make adjustments to fit district size context, and identify the resources needed at the district level to ensure success at the school level.

Resources identified at the district level include district administrators, administrative costs, security and other central office needs. After the district-level panels are held, a statewide panel meets to review all work and finalize the resources for the Professional Judgment approach.

Evidence-Based Approach

The Evidence-Based approach generates a set of resources needed to implement a set of educational principles based on the best academic research on student success. These resources include those needed for all students to meet state educational standards, as well as additional resources for special education, at-risk and ELL students. Resources for students include instructional resources, such as teachers, and the social and emotional structures needed for student success. Social-emotional supports include social workers, counselors and other professional staff. Once the model resources are identified, educators from around Michigan will be asked to determine if the resources are adequate to meet the needs of Michigan students. Urban educators, including teachers and administrators, will be included in this process.

Task/Role

My task, with eight other individuals, was to identify the resources that districts and schools with a particular set of demographic characteristics should have in order to meet a specific set of “input” requirements and “output” objectives. Our work built upon four school-level professional judgment panels that were convened to design funding models for preschools, elementary schools, middle schools and high schools across the state of Michigan as described above. Four additional panels were then held to review the work of the school-level panels and address the resources needed for special education students, English Language Learners, students in poverty, and career technical education.  My panel’s role was to serve as a district-level panel to review the work of all prior panels, and then identify the resources required at the district level to supports schools in the district. The work from our panel will now be forwarded to a state-wide panel that will become the cumulative findings and basis for the School Finance Research Collaborative recommendations. The time-line for completion of the collaborative and public release is currently set for January, 2018.

Review of Michigan Standards and Requirements

There were a number of items that were considered as part of “input” requirements and “output” objectives. The following items were included in this work:

  • Minimum days and hours of instruction: Currently set at 180 days of instruction and 1,098 hours of pupil instruction
  • Flexible learning options such as: seat-time waivers, hours/days waivers, work-based learning experiences, college course enrollment, early/middle colleges, career and technical education options, testing out options and personal curriculum
  • Early Literacy Initiative: Focused on increasing the early literacy skills of students through MDE’s Early Literacy Initiative by providing high quality instruction to all students, progress monitoring, and strategic interventions with research-based strategies when students fall behind. Engaging and supporting parents in age-appropriate early literacy development is the foundation for this achievement.
  • “Third Grade Reading Law”: Enacted in October, 2016, House Bill 4822 establishes requirements to provide assistance to students to “help ensure that more pupils will achieve a score of at least proficient in English language arts on the grade 3 assessment.”
  • Michigan Merit Curriculum (MMC): Districts must ensure that any student who entered grade 8 during or after the 2005-2006 school year and wishes to receive a high school diploma from a public school must meet the requirements of the MMC. Michigan Common Standards define the requirements within each of the core academic areas.
  • Awarding of Credits: Based on a student’s demonstration that he/she has successfully met the content expectations for the credit area.
  • Educational Development Plan (EDP): Used to assist students in identifying career development goals as the relate to academic requirements.
  • College and Career Ready Skills: The skills necessary to earn a self-sustaining wage and participate in postsecondary opportunities without remediation.
  • Implementation of the Recommendations to the Career Pathway Alliance by executive order of State Superintendent Brian J. Whiston on June 26, 2017.
  • Michigan Assessments: Review of all of the current state required assessments including; early literacy and mathematics benchmark (K-2) assessments, M-STEP, PSAT 8/9, PSAT 10, Michigan Merit Exam (MME), MI-Acccess, W-APT (WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test) and WIDA ACCES for Early Language Learners
  • Michigan District and School Accountability: Annual accountability requirements including Michigan Top-to-Bottom School Rankings.
  • Educator Evaluations
  • Administrator Evaluations
  • Additional ELL Requirements
  • Title III-Language Instruction for Limited English Proficient and Immigrant Students
  • Michigan English Language Proficiency Standards
  • Common Statewide Entrance and Exit Protocols
  • Additional Special Education Requirements
  • Michigan Administrative Rules for Special Education (MARSE) with related Individual’s with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Federal Regulations
  • Standards for Extended School Year Services (ESY) in Michigan

What I learned

In this two-day process I was affirmed of the passion and dedication that our public education employees across this state have for their profession, their communities, and most of all the children that they serve. It also became even more apparent to me the inequities that exist in our current funding model and the lack of resources available to meet the current legislated demands on our schools for all students to achieve the success defined. It is my hope that my involvement in this process not only represents Holland Publics Schools well, but all districts across the state as we continue to provide high quality education regardless of class, culture or community.

 

1st Amendment Clarity

An opportunity to learn, listen and reflect on student initiated expressive activity

October 2, 2017

Conduct like wearing a black arm band, taking a knee, refusing to stand during the National Anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance, or refusing to recite the pledge, implicates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because it is “expressive activity” protected by the “free speech” clause. Students do not shed their First Amendment right to freedom of speech when they attend school or school-sponsored events, Tinker v Des Moines Indep Cmty Sch Dist, 393 US 503 (1969). The U.S. Supreme Court in Tinker explicitly stated that whether a student is in a classroom or “on the playing field,” the student may express his or her opinions, even on controversial subjects. The Supreme Court also held that students have a First Amendment Right to not salute the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance, West Virginia State bd of Educ v Barnette, 319 F3d 172 (CA 3, 2004).

A school’s authority to discipline or censor a student for his or her speech, including expressive activity, is limited to situations where a school official reasonably believes that the speech will substantially and materially interfere with schoolwork, discipline, or infringe on the rights of other students. School officials must show a “substantial disruption” or a reasonable forecast of a substantial disruption to justify imposing discipline on a student for his or her speech.

The District believes that patriotism and love of country should be encouraged and celebrated in school activities as reflected in our school policies. As a school district we remain committed to upholding the law and protecting our student’s constitutional rights, while maintaining a safe and orderly learning environment for our students. While events like those at Friday's game may seem like these ideals are in opposition to each other, they are, in fact, democracy in action.

Last Friday, September 29, 2017, our Holland High School cheerleaders took a knee during the playing of the National Anthem. These actions did not create a disruption and, as defined above, were within their constitutional rights. The cheerleaders, by their actions, acted independently from the district. However, a brief review of comments on social media as well as the emails and phone calls that have been received by our administration, illustrates the differences of opinion on this topic.  It is important that we acknowledge these differences of opinion and emotion. This provides an opportunity for all of us to learn more, understand more and perhaps even talk more and listen to each other.

Over the course of time, a lot of things have filtered down from professional sports to high school sports. We have learned about the importance of scholarship and sportsmanship. We have learned about health/safety and concussions and ways to keep our athletes safe. Most recently, we have learned about individuals exercising one’s freedom of expression.

Some will defend that high school sports is not the venue for this discussion and the push and pull of national politics. Others will counter that students have the full rights under the First Amendment as adults to express what they believe. The reality is, students today are much more in tune to politics and what is happening around them; more so than when I was in high school. Our students are very concerned about their country, their schools, and their community. They are aware of the civil unrest and challenges to equality. They seek to make a difference and be a voice for those who may not have one. They seek to find appropriate ways to learn more and share more from and with each other.

As part of our ongoing work in the district, our Student Senate has developed the Dutch Matrix. Diverse, United, Thrive, Committed and Honorable; these words represent the framework as we seek to create a culture and climate where all students are able to experience success in our schools. This matrix is in alignment with our District Strategic Plan. In this plan there are several core beliefs; one of which it is our collective responsibility to champion the prosperity of ALL students regardless of culture, class or community. We adopted these core beliefs recognizing that our students need to be college capable, career ready and life ready recognizing the life skills needed to be productive citizens in a global learning community.

I believe in our students at Holland Public Schools. I am most appreciative of the effort that many are engaged in as part of our Student Senate to lead the work in creating a culture and community where all students will be united in their diversity where they can thrive through honorable and committed actions. Our students are our future leaders of civic discourse, civic engagement and perhaps even civic leadership. They will be increasingly involved in this discussion representing many different perspectives.

It is my hope that we take this opportunity to listen to each other, learn from one another, and focus our efforts and energy on the difficult work ahead of us as a country and perhaps even our own community. In the end, high school sports both in practice and competition should bring us together and not lead us further apart. 

Dr. Brian Davis, Superintendent of Schools

September 13, 2017 HPS Highlights
Holland High School Receives New Grant from Motus Integrated Technologies

Funding will Deliver Project Lead The Way Curriculum to Prepare Students with In-Demand STEM Knowledge and Skills

Holland, MI -- Holland High School announced today that it is the recipient of a new, $35,000 grant from Project Lead The Way (PLTW) to implement the organization’s premier career learning curriculum for its students.  This new grant was made possible by a generous donation from Motus Integrated Technologies, headquartered in Holland.

August 7, 2017 HPS Highlights

Kindergarten Screening, Start School Ready, Non-Resident Application Process, Adaptive Schools Training, HHS Registration Information, HPS students showing their DUTCH pride, Legislative Updates & Alumni Spotlight and more take shape to extend the great learning experiences and collaboration with Holland Public Schools

July 21, 2017 HPS Highlights

Carnegie Hall, Start School Ready, Return to School Ready, Teacher Leadership Advisory Council, IChallengeU Presentations, L.E.D.A., Joint Session with Holland City Council, $30,000 contribution to Holland High School, Alumni News and more take shape to extend the great learning experiences and collaboration with Holland Public Schools.