Important Messages/Updates

Updates on Theatre Program 3.11.19

The following letter is being offered to our parents and staff regarding the recent changes in instruction and leadership of our high school theatre program.

Letter to Parents of Theatre Students

 

2019 Fiscal Budget Update-March 5, 2019

2019 Fiscal Budget Update-March 5, 2019

In a press release earlier today by MASA, The Michigan Association of Superintendents & Administrators (MASA), the Michigan Association of School Boards (MASB), the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators (MAISA), and the Michigan Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP) applaud Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on a budget proposal that invests in the classroom and recognizes the need for school funding equity based upon a weighted formula. The budget, as outlined, addresses the concerns of Michigan citizens, 70 percent of whom (in a statewide poll commissioned by the School Finance Research Collaborative) said they believe Michigan’s schools are underfunded.

As a contributing member to the work of the Michigan School Finance Research Collaborative Project, and Superintendent of Holland Public Schools, I too applaud Gov. Whitmer on her education proposal. Basing funding on the actual cost to educate students with differing needs is the most equitable way to structure school funding and ensure that all students achieve at the highest level. The results of the recent Michigan School Index and results of the Reading Now Network point to this correlation of achievement and need.

If the Legislature adopts the budget proposed by Gov. Whitmer, this will be one of the most significant changes in the way we fund schools in Michigan’s public education system in a generation, and the largest operational investment made in education since 2002.

Included in the budget proposal was a boost in funding for students impacted by poverty, special education students, and additional funds to increase the number of literacy coaches statewide – a topic that came up during Gov. Whitmer’s State of the State Address last month where she discussed Michigan’s rank nationally for student literacy.

"Some students need more supports than others. Our schools provide individualized instruction for each pupil and our state budget should recognize that we need individualized funding based on each student's need," said Wendy Zdeb, MASSP executive director. "The governor's budget is a huge step in the right direction because it recognizes that a one-size-fits-all funding formula and top-down decision making doesn't provide many students with the support they need to be successful."

“We look forward to working with the governor and the Legislature to get a budget passed before school budgets are due in late June,” said Don Wotruba, executive director of MASB. “This will ensure our students receive a high-quality education, and that school boards and administrators can make timely and accurate budgeting decisions.”

Key factors in the proposed budget include:

  • $507 million in investment for a new, restructured weighted funding model that includes a base per-pupil amount plus additional funding for students with more costly educational needs:
  • $235 million to increase base per-pupil funding to $8,051 for districts at the minimum (a $180 per pupil increase) and $8,529 for districts at the maximum (a $120 per pupil increase). This reduces the gap between the highest and lowest funded districts to $478 per pupil.
  • $120 million to increase state reimbursements for special education services by 4 percentage points. This brings total state funding for special education services to $1.1 billion, which will help districts address the wide variety of needs for special education students, which range from academic supports to one-on-one specialists.
  • $102 million to provide an estimated $894 per at-risk or economically disadvantaged pupil (11 percent of the state minimum foundation allowance). This brings total funding for this purpose to $619 million. Economically disadvantaged students tend to have lower academic success rates. The recommended funding will allow districts to provide additional instructional supports like tutoring and non-instructional supports like counseling to improve academic outcomes for these students.
  • $50 million to provide an estimated $487 per career and technical education pupil (6 percent of the state minimum foundation allowance). This brings total funding for this purpose to $55 million and will help support the higher costs of materials, equipment, and staff for career and technical education courses.
  • $85 million to expand state-funded preschool programming. This investment expands eligibility to 4-year-olds in families with an income up to 300% of the federal poverty level, and also increases state payments per child. This investment brings total funding to $328.9 million and will provide preschool education to an estimated 42,500 children, an increase of 5,100 children from current funding levels.
  • $24.5 million to triple the number of state-funded literacy coaches available to assist elementary school teachers and help improve early literacy attainment. 

I look forward to working with Gov. Whitmer on her plans for the future and a new funding plan for public education in our state. We are a long way away from a final budget but this is a step in the direction needed for Holland Public Schools.

Michigan School Index Report-What it means! March 5, 2019

Michigan School Index Report-What it Means!

I hope that each of you took the opportunity at our elementary parent-teacher conferences or soon will be at our upcoming secondary conferences to talk with your child’s teacher about student growth and performance. This is one way in which we enjoy sharing with each other the learning taking place at Holland Public Schools. We have much to be proud of and to celebrate.

In addition to our local assessments that we use to measure student growth, the state of Michigan is required to demonstrate growth to the U.S. Department of Education. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) developed the School Index System to comply with accountability requirements established in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. ESSA replaced the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

The School Index System provides parents and school districts comparative information about school performance in six areas: student growth, student proficiency, school quality/student success, graduation rates, English Learner progress, and assessment participation. It also provides comparative data to like schools serving similar student populations.

Schools receive:

  • An overall composite index value, or score
  • Index values for each performance area scored, and
  • Index values for student subgroups, including students with disabilities, English learners, various racial/ethnic subgroups, and economically disadvantaged students

Index values range from 0-100. Schools with low index values in one or more performance area or student subgroup (ie. ethnicity, free/reduced lunch status, special education, are learning a second language) are targeted for support through the MDE and their local Intermediate School District (ISD). Schools that are targeted for support will work with the MDE and local ISD to develop an improvement plan.

We are proud that Holland Public Schools ranked very high in several areas, including School Quality and Student Success, Graduation Rates and Assessment Participation. Across the district our scores ranged from 30.01-100. Each of our elementary schools and the middle school program have outscored our peer group comparisons for the last three years that data is available.

We have had the opportunity to review our scores and teams are already in the process of planning work to address our areas of improvement. We did qualify for Additional Targeted Support (ATS) at Holland High School  as we continue to assess and build core academic proficiency and supports for our students who are learning English as a second language.

One of the ways in which we are meeting the needs of our English Learners is through our dual language immersion program at Holland Language Academy, Holland Middle School and next year at as this program will transition into Holland High School. This soon to be TK-12 program has been growing over the past several years and we are excited about the academic progress to date.

Our faculty and staff are extraordinarily talented and dedicated to ensuring that each and every student succeeds. That said, we recognize there is always room for improvement, and we are constantly seeking ways to collaborate and grow. We look forward to working closely with the Ottawa Area ISD and MDE to identify ways we can best meet the needs of all students in the district.

Our experienced staff will continue to customize learning plans that best meet the needs of students identified through this state accountability plan. That is our goal every day – and that goal is not changing. One way that we are already doing this is through our successful Individualized Reading Improvement Plans in each of our elementary schools. We also continue to focus on our district identified priorities of literacy, social competency and teaching practices.

We celebrate the fact that students at our schools speak over 30  different languages – from Burundi to Rohingya to English. We welcome the opportunity to build on the success we’ve had educating – and, in fact, learning from – an extraordinarily diverse student body. We remain committed to ensuring that our programs and performance standards are right for every child in our community. Through our work on equity and building culturally responsive classrooms, we will be beginning an intensive three-year professional development plan this April to ensure that each child, regardless of their ethnicity or economic status, will achieve at high levels of growth and proficiency.

Our Compassionate Staff, Leading Edge Programs, and partnerships with a Committed Community will ensure that we are able to Embrace, Engage, and Empower each student for success in an ever-changing world. Holland Public Schools is Right for Me!

You can learn more about the Michigan School Index System at their website and view results at the parent dashboard.

Thank you for your continued learning and partnership with us as your district school of choice.

 

Communication Update 2.25.19

PARENT TEACHER CONFERENCES

It’s that time of year for the very important meeting between parents and their child’s teachers. These conversations are important to continue the academic and social growth in school. While there are many data points to share relative to student testing, don’t forget to also ask about how your child is doing in other areas. It is also a great time to share your hopes and dreams for your child. The questions below provide some examples of what you might want to ask. The complete parent teacher conference schedule is posted on the district website.

Top 10 Questions to Ask During a Parent Teacher Conference-By Melissa Taylor

1. How do you best prefer to communicate with me? (Email? Phone? Text? Notes?)

2. What do you see as my child’s strengths?

3. What do you think are the academic challenges for my child?

4. What would you do if my child were struggling academically with something?

5. How is my child doing socially?

6. How do you support kids in their social development? For example, how do you address challenges that happen at recess?

7. Is my child on grade level for reading? What about math, science and writing?

8. How does the school handle standardized testing and prep for those tests?

9. Can we talk more about your homework policy and how my child is doing with homework?

10. What can I do at home to support what you’re doing in the classroom?

SNOW DAY UPDATE

  • As of Friday, February 22nd, we have used our basic limit of snow days for the year. The District will be applying for a waiver to the Michigan Department of Education for the days beyond our allotted six days; up to three. This means that any additional days this school year will require us to make up this time. We are hopeful that we will not have any more days that will require us to extend the school year further into the summer.
  • If school is cancelled two days in a row due to inclement weather; or on a Friday or Monday, food for HPS children will be available for pick up at the following locations between 12:00-1:00 p.m. thanks to a collaborative partnership with Kids Food Basket: Harbor Village, Crowne Point, Lincoln Estates, Meadow Lanes, Holland Heights and Holland High School.

ENROLLMENT FOR 2019 NEWS

  • Our Kindergarten Information nights have been rescheduled for Monday, February 25, 2019 at 6:00 p.m. and again on Tuesday, March 26. This is a great opportunity to learn more about our early childhood program and sign up for our Kindergarten screening assessment.
  • The School of Choice window for 2019 will run from Monday, April 8 through Friday, May 10. This is an opportunity for non-resident students to seek application for open spots at Holland Public Schools. Space is limited. If you are a school of choice family already enrolled in our district, you do not have to reapply for admission.

CONGRATULATIONS

  • HHS Competitive Theatre Team on their State Championship production of “Lucky Stiff” and People’s Choice Award
  • Select Men’s and Belle Canto wonderful comments and high Division 2 ratings at the 2019 MSVMA District Choir Festival. Concert Choir and Vocal Dimensions each received high Division 1 Excellent ratings advancing to State Choral Festival in May. 
  • Holland High School moved on all five of its wrestlers to the individual state tournament at Ford Field, including regional champion Easton Mendoza (112). He is joined by Jaeger Schippa (152), Javier Ramos (215), Michael Landin (285) and Isaiah Bernal (125). Best of luck at state!

Upcoming Performances

  • Bethany VanOss is thrilled to announce that the HHS Jazz Band, along with the Holland Christian High School Jazz Orchestra, will have the privilege of performing a concert featuring headliner renowned jazz bassist and jazz educator, Rodney Whitaker and friends, on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 7 p.m. at the Holland Christian High School Auditorium! 
  • This is not only a wonderful performance experience for the students of the HHS and HCHS Jazz ensembles but a wonderful jazz educational opportunity for them as well, as they will receive rehearsal/clinic time with Rodney Whitaker and his special group of musicians during the day prior to the evening concert. The educational aspect of this amazing day of jazz will also extend beyond the HHS and HCHS jazz students, as Rodney Whitaker and his professional group of jazz artists will be presenting an improvisation clinic in the afternoon open to jazz students from other surrounding area school districts. 
  • We hope to see at the upcoming Vocal Dimensions Shows March 21-24, 2019 
  • The re-do of the Holland High School Quiz Bowl Invite is this coming weekend at HHS. There will be 23-24 teams from 13 different schools attending. Come out and support our local teams and cheer on these future Jeopardy champions!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Dear HPS Families and Friends,

This weekend, the Holland community experienced a tragic loss. The shooting death of 14-year-old, Troy “TJ” Wells — a former member of the Holland Public School family — leaves us all shocked and grieving. We extend our deepest sympathy to Troy’s family and friends. There are no words that can adequately express our shared grief in the face of such a tragedy.

While we are still gathering information, I would like to share with you what our schools have planned thus far to support our students and families in the days ahead.

The District Crisis Team and administration met today with local law enforcement representatives to review our safety protocols in preparation for the return to school on Tuesday, as well as the Holland High School Snowcoming dance this evening (2/16/19).

While there is no current threat to our students or schools, the following proactive measures are being put in place to protect the health and safety of students and staff members:

  • We have crisis counselors on staff who are able to work with students and family members who are in need of individual support. We understand that a situation like this can be difficult to comprehend and contextualize — particularly for children and teens. District crisis team members will be available at each of our schools to support any staff or students that may be impacted by this event; specifically at Holland Middle School and Holland High School. If you or your child is in need of any assistance that we can provide, please call the District Administration Office on Monday at 494-2000, contact your school office on Tuesday, or if you need more immediate assistance, please email me directly at bdavis@hollandpublicschools.org. Students who are having trouble coping with fear, anxiety, grief or uncertainty are encouraged to seek counseling. Our teachers and building administrators will be vigilant, as well, in watching for signs of trauma in their students.
  • District administration will continue to monitor and assess the details of the events that happened and address any additional supports that are needed.
  • Our highly trained staff is well equipped in crisis management. They have reviewed our safety protocols. Where we believe necessary, additional safety procedures are being implemented.

Snowcoming Dance Protocol:

  • Students will enter the main front doors of the high school near the high school offices as previously instructed.
  • Only students and their approved guests who purchased tickets in advance may attend the dance this evening. All students upon arrival will be verified that they have pre-purchased tickets. Student ID badges will be scanned and verified. Previously approved guest attendees will also be verified.
  • All students and their personal belongings -- including coats, purses, or other items -- will be checked by a Holland Public Schools’ employee in the presence of a male/female staff member. (new)
  • Student belongings will be secured in a designated coat-check area.
  • Students should anticipate that check-in to the dance may take longer than check-in at our fall homecoming dance. Please plan accordingly.
  • As per our standard protocol, there is no re-entry to the dance if students leave.
  • As is standard practice, administrators, faculty/staff, parent/community chaperones as well as Holland Police Department officers will be present this evening.

The Holland Public Schools Board of Education is committed to maintaining a school environment in safe, secure and predictable settings. We also recognize that tragedies such as the one that occurred on February 16, 2019, are multifaceted problems that need to be addressed in a manner that utilizes the best resources and coordinated efforts of school district personnel, law enforcement agencies, and families. Working together, we can provide for the safety and welfare of our students while they are at school, a school-sponsored activity, or while enroute to or from school.

Finally, while this incident did not take place on or near school property, I would like to stress the priority we place on the safety and security of all our students. We have comprehensive programs, policies, and procedures in place to ensure our schools are safe. Our faculty, building administrators, and counselors are trained in crisis intervention techniques, and we employ an associate dean of schools at each of our buildings to assist in our work. These highly trained individuals work directly with students to identify ways to keep our schools safe and our students secure.

I will continue to provide updated information as it becomes available and applicable to the safe operations of our schools and school-related activities.

Thank you,

Family Engagement Strategic Plan Update 1.27.19

Family Engagement Strategic Planning Update

A group of dedicated parents, support staff, teachers, and administrators worked over the course of several months to develop a family engagement plan for the district. This work was embedded in study with Dr. Karen Mapp through online learning in partnership with Harvard. This information will be presented to the HPS Board of Education in February, 2019.

Definition of Family Engagement:

Family Engagement is a full, equal, and equitable partnership among families, educators, and community partners to promote student learning from birth through college and career.

Vision Statement

Partners in Education

To ensure a family engagement partnership that supports the life-long success of each student

Families as First Teachers, Trusting School Culture, Collaborative Relationships and Community

Mission Statement

Enhance student learning through Engaging, Educating, and Empowering families and school teams.

Core Beliefs

  • All families have dreams for their children and want the best for them.
  • Families are the first teachers. We recognize the critical role that parents and other caregivers play as the first teachers of their child and the shared responsibility they have for learning.
  • Student Achievement is central to our work. Our parents and staff must work together to increase the level of individual student performance.
  • Trust and Communication are foundational. Families will engage in the school setting if they believe that they can trust the individuals in the school setting. Trust builds through two-way transparent, simple, clear communication in a language they understand.
  • Connections foster more engagement. A family-friendly and welcoming culture that supports family engagement and student learning is critical to building strong partnerships. This is built through ongoing education of all stakeholders.
  • The responsibility for building and sustaining partnerships between school, home, and the community rests primarily with school staff, especially school leaders. A family engagement program needs to be developed and sustained, with the necessary resources and infrastructure to support its endeavors.

Focus Areas:

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences Format and Structure-Provide a structure that allows for two-way dialogue and collaboration throughout the school year focused on the developing needs of a child socially, emotionally and academically.
  • Learning at Home Resources-Facilitate information, ideas, and resources with/for/by families about how to help their children at home with homework and other curriculum-related activities, decisions, and planning.
  • Communication-Design effective forms of school-to-home and home-to-school communications about school programs, student learning and community resources.
  • Parenting-Encourage opportunities for families to establish home environments that support their children as learners through education and networking.
  • Decision-Making-Include and inform families as participants in school decisions and develop parent leaders across the school community
  • Ongoing Education for Stakeholders-To build capacity of staff, families, and community partners that supports successful school-family partnerships that lead to student achievement.
  • Benchmarks of Success-It is important to define the outcomes and data that will inform our work and measurement our impact.

It’s easy to criticize public schools, but without proper funding, there’s only so much they can do.

I came across this opinion article and found it worth sharing with our HPS family. It was written by Ron Wilson-Superintendent of Ionia Public Schools.

This week I would like to talk about criticism.

My father once told me, “Son, do not criticize someone until you have walked a mile in their shoes, because if they become angry, they will be a mile away and won’t have any shoes!” My father is always good for a humorous quip, sprinkled with some blatantly good advice. I think the point he was making speaks to our tendency to criticize and judge before we first seek to understand.

It’s certainly easy to be a critic. I think the following excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s speech, “Citizenship in a Republic,” delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris, France on April 23, 1910, sums that up:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Since the early 1990′s Michigan public schools and educators have been criticized for poor student achievement scores and a plethora of other social ills. But without adequate funding, schools are limited in what they can accomplish.

The recent study completed by Michigan State University, titled “Michigan School Finance at the Crossroads: A Quarter Century of State Control,” concludes that our public schools are not adequately funded

An article published in the Jan. 23 edition of MSU Today summarized the report.

“Michigan has tried to improve schools on the cheap, focusing on more accountability and school choice,” said David Arsen, MSU professor of education policy and lead author of the study. “To make those policies effective, they have to be matched with adequate funding. We have been kidding ourselves to think we can move forward while cutting funding for schools. We don’t have to wait any longer. We know that this isn’t working.”

One fact that surprised me, is that after adjusting for inflation, Michigan’s education funding in 2015 was only 82 percent of what it was in 1995, and worse than any other state.

The report found that the State of Michigan covers less than one-third of the costs for federally-required special education programs. It also found that students from low-income families now account for half of all students, but per-pupil state support for them has dropped even more sharply, by 60 percent.

The study reaffirms an earlier 2018 study by the Michigan School Finance Research Collaborative, or MSFRC, which estimated the base cost of $9,590 to educate a typical student to meet state performance standards. It recommended additional funding for districts with large numbers of students living in poverty, English language learners, special education students and large geographic boundaries.

It's time for less testing, more funding for Mich. schools

I came across this opinion page written by Ron Koehler-Assistant Superintendent at Kent Intermediate School District and found it worth sharing with the HPS family.

One of my favorite music artists, John Prine, once wrote a song with the refrain “It don’t make much sense that common sense don’t make no sense no more.”

That is about the only rational thing I can say about the current state of politics. The most recent example is the record-setting orgy of excess that recently concluded the 99th session of the Michigan Legislature.

For the third time in as many years the Legislature refined the school accountability measurement system by adopting an A-F formula that will give schools letter grades on their performance on standardized tests.

The Legislature also diverted more funds from the School Aid Fund to repair potholes and finance environmental cleanup. This diversion — more than $140 million immediately and growing to nearly $180 million on an annual basis — brings this year’s total to more than $1 billion when added to the $908 million already being taken from our K-12 classrooms to finance higher education.

The A-F bill was passed, of course, because lawmakers claim schools are failing to produce college and career-ready students. Of course, they are diverting more funds away from K-12 classrooms each year to ensure our K-12 districts will not have sufficient resources to meet their demands.

The most comprehensive school funding study in the nation released earlier this year by the School Finance Research Collaborative makes it clear Michigan districts cannot afford the supports students and teachers require to achieve Michigan standards.

So, the beatings will continue until morale improves. More apt, however, is the observation made by an Iowa farmer and school board member some years back when discussing the new standards put in place by President George W. Bush under the “No Child Left Behind” elementary and secondary education act.

“You can’t fatten a hog by weighing it,” said the farmer, expressing the simple truth that coming up with new, more frequent and elaborate measurements will never take the place of adequate nourishment and husbandry.

Our Michigan Legislature and the Snyder administration ignored this simple piece of common sense. Following the $470 per pupil “rebasing” of the per-pupil foundation grant in 2011, this administration spent 77 cents of every new dollar in the School Aid Fund somewhere other than the classroom. Much of it was spent on community colleges and higher education — even as they criticize our students for needing remediation (fattening) once they get there — and most of the rest on unfunded pension liabilities.

The $470 per pupil cut that afforded Gov. Snyder his signature $1.5 billion corporate income tax cut means every child who started kindergarten in 2011 will have had $3,760 less invested in his or her elementary and middle school experience than if there had been no cut at all.

For a classroom of 30 — too large, says the research, but common in Michigan — that’s $112,800 less. That could have brought those children the expertise of reading experts and professional development for their teachers. It could have brought a social worker or guidance counselor to those children, to provide expert assistance for social and emotional needs.

Instead, those dollars went to tax breaks for corporations that, from 2011 through today, have enjoyed the longest period of economic expansion in Michigan and U.S. history. Those diverted dollars virtually guarantee our children cannot achieve the standards our Legislature set for them. That was the conclusion of the School Finance Research Collaborative study.

Hogs don’t gain weight by standing on a scale. Children don’t learn without the educational nourishment to fulfill their needs. It’s just common sense, which is pretty uncommon in today’s world.

This guest commentary first appeared in Bridge Magazine, an online publication of the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Michigan.

Strategic Plan Update 12.17.18

Happy Holidays,

It is hard to believe that we are nearly half way through the 2018-2019 school year with the holidays quickly approaching.

PURPOSE

The purpose of this communication is to update you on the important work of the Board of Education with regard to their strategic plan. A Board of Education has three primary functions:

  • Establish/Approve a Strategic Plan
  • Establish/Approve an Annual Budget
  • Hire a Superintendent to carry out the strategic plan and applicable local, state, and federal laws.

WHY A STRATEGIC PLAN?

Success is built upon vision driven and mission focused work. This vision is based upon core values and beliefs. It requires a look into the district, and an external study of variables that impact who we are and what we do. It often requires a degree of change. Sometimes it feels good, really good, and sometimes, well...it can be a difficult pill to swallow.

Since last January, there have been many intentional/purposeful actions that have proactively positioned Holland Public Schools for the future. Through intentional study, assessment of alternatives, and projecting to the future, we have been proactive in responding to the ever-changing needs of our community and intentionally investing the necessary resources to support our vision and mission. This has not been an easy lift for sure, but together, with purpose, we are seeing results. It is a time to look back and honor all of the work that each person has done individually and collectively to make this happen. It is also a time to thank you for choosing and supporting Holland Public Schools as your choice for educational excellence.

PROGRESS TO DATE

Our Board of Education has finished their strategic planning work gathering input from a wide cross sector of individuals engaged in our community. This plan will be adopted at the regular meeting of the Board of Education on December 17, 2018.

THE STRATEGIC PLAN Approved December 17, 2018

VISION STATEMENT

Holland Public Schools

The Choice for Educational Excellence

Compassionate Staff, Leading Edge Programs, Committed Community

Right for Me

MISSION STATEMENT

Embrace, Engage, and Empower each student for success in an ever-changing world.

CORE VALUES

We value…

  • Success for All-Our students develop their innate abilities to be life, career, and college ready.
  • Educational Excellence-We provide state and nationally recognized academic programs and extra-curricular activities measured by high standards of performance and personalized support.
  • Innovation-We continuously improve through the study and implementation of best practices and programs with high expectations for achievement.  
  • Passion-We employ committed, talented, and passionate individuals who care for the students and families they serve.
  • Inclusion-It is our collective responsibility to foster respect, a sense of belonging, and success that honors each individual.
  • Equity-We ensure that our policies, practices, and programs serve our growing and evolving community.
  • Safety-We provide all students and staff powerful learning opportunities in safe, secure, and predictable environments.
  • Collaboration-We intentionally develop family and community partnerships to share the responsibility for the success of our students.
  • Proactive-We study and respond to the ever-changing needs of our community and intentionally invest the necessary resources to support our vision and mission.

FOCUS AREAS

ACADEMICS/PROGRAM GOAL:

Holland Public Schools will provide educational excellence that meets the needs of each student in all district programs in safe, secure and predictable learning environments.                 

FAMILY AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP GOAL:

Holland Public Schools will support and engage staff, family and community partnerships through ongoing communication, involvement and accountability that lead to student success.

FINANCE AND OPERATIONS GOAL:

Holland Public Schools will establish and implement a sustainable budget that supports district programs, building infrastructure and facility master plan.

HUMAN SERVICES GOAL:

Holland Public Schools will recruit, develop and retain team members who demonstrate a high degree of proficiency, community partners that support the vision/mission and volunteers who assist in the implementation.

WHAT’S NEXT?

  • Cross-sector teams will then be brought together to develop the specific, measurable, actionable strategies to assist in addressing the focus areas that have been identified.
  • Another important survey will be forthcoming that will be used to address marketing, branding and communication of the district. Watch for this invitation through your email. I hope that you find the time to participate.
  • A State of The District Address is being planned for March 18, 2019.

This holiday season, I hope that you find the time to celebrate all that is good with Holland Public Schools and your family.

Happy Holidays!

 

Communication Update 11.12.18

November 6, 2018-Election Results

Thank you to the voters in Ottawa/Allegan County who voted to support our enhancement millage. In HPS the vote was decidedly cast in favor and overall over 65,000 voters supported this request.

What does this mean for HPS?

Together, with the Board of Education, we have identified four priority areas that these funds will be used for when they become available beginning in 2019-2020:

  • Early Literacy TK-3 with an emphasis on instructional coaching, extended day/year opportunities for children and working to maintain smaller class sizes.
  • Mental Health Supports across the system.
  • Career Pathways/College & Career Readiness/Dual Enrollment/Early College Opportunities.
  • Maintenance of our rich array of academic and extra-curricular programs.

While this additional revenue is most appreciated, it does not fully address the shortfall in education funding over the last decade; but it is a step in the right direction. The studied and recommended $9,590 base foundation grant vs. our current $7,871 has just been closed a little by about $225. While we still operate in deficit spending as a district overall, this will assist us in our long-term strategic plan and vision for the district.

Thank you to everyone who studied this issue and communicated information to our community.

Instructional Priority Highlights

    •  

Challenge Program

Ryan Harrell is the District’s Challenge Program instructor providing project-based learning for students in grades four/five. This program provides academic enrichment for students who score at the 86th percentile or higher on STAR Math or STAR reading with at least an 80th percentile score in the other area (math or reading). Teacher recommendations also contribute to the student selection process. The instructional focus is collaboration, problem-solving and creating thinking as students meet twice/week in 1.5 hour blocks for cross-curricular project-based learning, real-world mathematical problem solving and advanced literacy/short story foci. You can learn more about this program at https://sites.google.com/hollandpublicschools.org/hpschallenge/home

Staff Accolades

Shari Matt-Kindergarten Teacher at Jefferson Elementary was recently featured in the Amazing Teacher spotlight of the Holland Sentinel. “Everything we do is language-based and the world of words,” said Maat, who has spent about half of her 32 years of teaching in kindergarten. “It’s super cool to get them talking and thinking with each other.” Did you know that Shari attended Kindergarten herself as a student at Jefferson Elementary? Thank you Shari for all that you do each and every day to develop readers in your classroom. Check out the full story at https://www.hollandsentinel.com/news/20181112/classroom-spotlight-shari-maat-guides-enthusiastic-kindergarteners-at-jefferson

Student Accolades/Learning

The holiday season is fast approaching, and with that comes many opportunities for our students to share their artistic talents with the community. Don’t miss out on the many events taking place across the district this season from the country’s only live performance of A Christmas Story-The Musical to our annual Holiday Collage Concert.

Inclement Weather may bring school cancelations or delays

It's that time of year to begin planning ahead for possible school cancellations due to inclement weather. It is always best to have a plan in place for your family should the decision be made to cancel school. Here are some things you may need to consider:

  • Review your family plan to arrive to and from school. Sidewalks and bus stops may be impacted due to heavy snowfalls and snow removal efforts. Make sure that you allow extra time in our school pick up and drop off zones. If your child walks or is at a bus stop, additional reflective stickers on winter clothing is helpful for increased visibility.
  • Review your child-care plans and expectations.
  • Review breakfast and lunch options and expectations.
  • Review your plans and expectations for outside play or going to a friend's home.
  • Review your home plans in the event that there is no power.
  • It’s always helpful to our early elementary teachers too if you have your child’s name clearly written on/in their snowpants, coats, boots etc.

For more information on how a decision is made to have school or not, please visit our district website at http://www.hollandpublicschools.org/our-district/superintendents-office/weather-related-cancellations/ and don’t forget to sign up for our text alerts at https://mobile-text-alerts.com/subscribe/hps for school closings and emergency information.

In case you missed it! Holland Public Schools in the News!

Key Dates

  • Wednesday November 21-23-No School Thanksgiving Recess

Communication Update 10.29.18

​​​​​​Don’t forget to Vote on November 6, 2018

School Board Election

In addition to many items on the 11/6/18 ballot, HPS will have two very important items on the ballot for your consideration. Mike McKay and Dian Ybarra are each running for a six-year term on the Board of Education. Mark Woltman is running for a two-year term.

Enhancement Millage

Leaders of the eleven K-12 Ottawa Area school districts felt the need for new revenues was significant enough to go to the voters.  All have seen the purchasing power of state revenue decline.  A report from the House Fiscal Agency in August 2017 found school revenues, adjusted for inflation, are almost eleven percent less today than in 2000. Leaders of the eleven K-12 Ottawa Area school districts felt the need for new revenues was significant enough to go to the voters.  All have seen the purchasing power of state revenue decline.  A report from the House Fiscal Agency in August 2017 found school revenues, adjusted for inflation, are almost eleven percent less today than in 2000.

Learn more about this important ballot initiative on our district web site at Enhancement Millage or my recent podcast at https://whtc.com/podcasts/whtc-morning-news-podcast/99/whats-new-in-holland-public-schools-oct-24/

Please take special note that there are two elections related to the Intermediate School District. The Enhancement Millage is the proposal specific to assisting Holland Public Schools directly.

A sample ballot is posted here for your review before entering the polls on November 6. https://www.miottawa.org/appImages/ElectionManagement/ballotFile-126.pdf

Instructional Priority Highlights

Early Literacy-(Individualized Reading Improvement Plans)-Our caring and dedicated staff have been working in partnership with our parents to provide individualized reading supports for our children who are struggling to read well and independently at grade level. During our Parent-Teacher Conferences, we were able to have very important discussions about strategies that can be used at home to support the work in our classrooms. We continue to implement the Reading Now Network evidence based practices. We are also a c0o-recipient of the $12M High Impact Leadership grant through Western Michigan University. This grant is developing capacity across our district to enhance literacy instruction.  Through the generosity of a local business, we have been able to hire a part-time literacy coach for one of our elementary schools. Our students have made great strides in literacy and we see growth in our students; above performance levels when at-risk factors are considered. As you may know, the current third grade reading law in Michigan impacts this year’s 2nd grade class, and looks at retention as an intervention strategy. As a former 2nd grade teacher, I understand the value of developing early literacy skills and the need for all children to read well and independently. The gift of time is not through retention at the end of third grade. The gift of time that some students need is through quality pre-school programs, quality teaching, progress monitoring of student growth, family literacy engagement activities, smaller class sizes, partnerships with parents and extended year programming Prek-3rd.

Are you interested in helping us develop literacy skills with our students? We are looking for individuals to come in and read to students, and to listen to students read. Contact any school office about how you can volunteer in this capacity.

Staff Accolades

I would like to take the opportunity to recognize our instructional coaches in the district: Lynette Brander, Diana Lerch, Michelle Marko, Andrew Pratley, Kristen Pratley and Jillayne Wallaker. These highly skilled former classroom teachers are providing instructional supports in each of our schools to support teachers in their work and in turn increasing student achievement.

Student Accolades/Learning

Congratulations to the following gentlemen on their acceptance to the MSVMA Regional Honors Choir: Ian Fritz, Josiah Broussard, Malachi VanderZwaag and Cris Abreu.They will represent HHS at the MSVMA Regional Honors Choir on Saturday, December 1 at Flushing High School were they will also audition for the State and All-State Choir. This is the third year in a row these students auditioned and were selected for this honor. This is a big honor as schools twice our population do not have this many students selected.

​​​​​​​HPS in the Community

Holland High School will be celebrating our 81st Veteran’s Day Observance on Friday, November 9 at 10:15 in the Dutch Dome. Dr. Fred Johnson III Hope College History Professor and United State Marine Corps Veteran will be our keynote speaker. All veterans and their families are welcome to attend this observance with us.

Key Dates

Wednesday November 21-23-No School Thanksgiving Recess

Communication Update 10.15.18

  •  

Don’t forget to Vote on November 6, 2018

School Board Election

In addition to many items on the 11/6/18 ballot, HPS will have two very important items on the ballot for your consideration. Mike McKay and Mark Woltman are each running for a six-year term on the Board of Education. Diane Ybarra is running for a two-year term.

Enhancement Millage

Leaders of the eleven K-12 Ottawa Area school districts felt the need for new revenues was significant enough to go to the voters.  All have seen the purchasing power of state revenue decline.  A report from the House Fiscal Agency in August 2017 found school revenues, adjusted for inflation, are almost eleven percent less today than in 2000. Leaders of the eleven K-12 Ottawa Area school districts felt the need for new revenues was significant enough to go to the voters.  All have seen the purchasing power of state revenue decline.  A report from the House Fiscal Agency in August 2017 found school revenues, adjusted for inflation, are almost eleven percent less today than in 2000.

Learn more about this important ballot initiative on our district web site at Enhancement Millage

Instructional Priority Highlights

Early Literacy

Holland Public Schools is working to ensure that all students will be able to read well and independently at grade level. Our focus on early literacy begins with our Early Childhood Special Education programming, and Great Start Readiness followed by a move into Transitional Kindergarten or Kindergarten. Our highly skilled teachers, instructional coaches and support staff are providing the necessary supports to engage readers in just right fit books and instruction. Through the generosity of the Herman Miller Cares Foundation and the Holland Educational Foundation we continue to build and add to our classroom libraries. I hope that you are spending time at parent-teacher conferences learning more about your child’s reading level and ways in which you can support them at home.

The Big Read Lakeshore

From Holland Sentinel Reporter Erin Dietzer 6/5/18

A post-apocalyptic novel set in the Great Lakes region will be will be the topic of discussion for the Holland area’s fifth annual Big Read in November, presented by Hope College, thanks to a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

“Station Eleven” by Emily St. John Mandel is set in the Great Lakes region 20 years after a flu pandemic wiped out 99 percent of the world’s population. The novel follows a traveling troupe that performs Shakespeare’s plays to the communities that have arisen in North America in the event’s aftermath. The narrative visits both the story’s post-apocalyptic present and the world before the pandemic, exploring the collapse of society and its aftermath while also emphasizing the connections between people and the efforts of those seeking to do more than merely exist.

For the second consecutive year, the event will also feature a “Little Read,” with Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” for middle school students and John Rocco’s picture book “Blackout” for younger children.

“The Giver” follows 12-year-old Jonas, who believes he lives in a utopian society, but gradually realizes he lives in a dystopia that has eradicated emotional depth from people’s lives. “Blackout” tells the story of a New York City family during an electrical power outage.

Details about this year’s Big Read’s food, music, art and lecture events, which will include keynote addresses by St. John Mandel and Rocco, will be released later this summer. Book clubs interested in reading any of the chosen titles are encouraged to sign up on the Big Read’s website.

Thanks to local resident artist Joel Schoon-Tanis for supporting the creative expression of this literature with many classrooms across the district through visual art displays.

STEM in Action

Did you know that Holland Middle School now has a robotics team connected with our world famous Team 74 Holland CHAOS US FIRST Robotics team? We are excited to engage students in the further application of their science, technology, engineering and math skills. If you would like to see what this is all about there is an event coming up just for you this Saturday, October 20, 2018 at the West Michigan Robotics Invitational (WMRI) at Zeeland East High School.  This event is a fun competition featuring local teams re-competing with last year’s robots and game. This is a great opportunity for our returning Students to get back in the game and for new Students and their Families to take part in the competition experience in a fun, convenient way.

Staff Accolades

Congratulations to Holland Middle School STEM Teacher Bill Boerman on his recent accomplishment and completion of National Board Certification! NBC is the highest symbol of professional teaching excellence. Recipients are awarded and judged by their peers in their respective fields.

Student Accolades/Learning

The Holland High School Marching Band performed their "Salute to Disney" halftime show at the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association's (MSBOA) District 10 Marching Band Festival in Zeeland this past week. The band entered this festival one classification higher than last year and received a Division 2 "Excellent" rating for their outstanding performance, being, in fact, half of a letter grade away from a Division 1 "Superior" rating. We are extremely proud of the HHS Marching Band and the hard work and long hours they have put in starting early this past summer and all the way through the fall marching season.

Health Alert

Regionally, we have seen an increase in Chicken Pox. The vast majority of our students have been immunized for chicken pox. If you have questions regarding immunizations or symptoms, our school nurses and health aides are happy to assist.

Key Dates

  • October 16-Parent-Teacher Conferences-Full day for students PreK-5 3:50-6:50 p.m. and 6th-12th 5:30-8:30 p.m.
  • October 18-Jefferson Family Fall Fest 6:30 p.m.

Athletic/Extra-Curricular Spectator Expectations

In an effort to improve the spectator experience and increase safety and security for all, Holland Public Schools will be making some adjustments to expectations at all sporting/extra-curricular events both at home and away.  This includes venues that are Holland Public Schools owned and operated, other school districts, and venues that are rented for a specific use from the public and/or private sector. This applies to the facility itself, parking lots and open public areas that are designated as parts of the venue where the event is being held. While most of these expectations are not new, we felt it was important to make sure they are clear to students, parents and community members.

We encourage all students and their families to participate in extracurricular activities and sporting events. This is a great way to build community and celebrate the many accomplishments of our students. While in attendance, we strongly recommend that all TK-8 students that attend events be accompanied by their parent(s) or guardian(s).     

We ask that students in grades TK-5 follow our “POWER” expectations: Pride, Own Your Actions, Wise Choices, Engaged, Respect; and students in grades 6-12 follow our “DUTCH” expectations: Diverse, United, Thrive, Committed, Honorable. These expectations are taught and reinforced in our classrooms. It is expected that these behaviors extend to extra-curricular events and activities. The expectation remains that students will also follow the HPS code of conduct at sporting events and all school-sponsored events. The District’s code of conduct is posted on our district website as links from each of our school programs.

Starting this Friday, October 5, 2018, we will be implementing a “No Re-entry” policy. Please make sure that you take all personal belongings needed for the game with you upon entrance into the stadium. We will also be enforcing a “no backpack or cinch sack” policy for students.

Moving forward, we want to share that students will be held accountable for their behavior in the following manner. Students failing to follow the school code of conduct (including profanity, disruptive behavior, disrespect, loitering etc.) at such events will result in students being removed from the event and issued a disciplinary infraction and “Trespass Notice.” They will also be subject to school consequences in similar fashion as if this behavior occurred at school.   Students failing to follow these expectations more than one time, after a first mediation session and review of expectations, will be subject to additional accountability for their actions which may include additional school consequences and exclusion from all athletic events and other school-related extra-curricular activities.

At the conclusion of a game, all spectators will be expected to leave the venue within 25 minutes.  Specifically at the Ray & Sue Smith Stadium on the campus of Hope College, a 25 minute countdown will begin at game’s end to notify everyone when the stadium needs to be cleared.   

If you ever see any unsafe activity or behaviors interfering with your ability to enjoy our events as a spectator or a participant, we ask that you report this to one of the many administrators and event coordinators on site. In addition, members from the Department of Public Safety are available to assist.

By working together, we can ensure that our student participants, and our spectators are able to enjoy these special events together as we cheer on our many athletic and extra-curricular participants. We appreciate your support and encourage you to discuss these changes with your family.

Thank you,

Communication Update 10.1.18

I am pleased to provide you with our first bi-weekly communication for the 2018-2019 school year. I hope that you find this information helpful as we celebrate and honor the great work happening in Holland Public Schools; and at the same time keeping you up to date with school events and activities.

Thank you,

Dr. Brian Davis, Superintendent

Transportation

We sincerely appreciate the patience of staff, families and students as we continue to address transportation needs in the district. We have been working diligently to provide the best level of customer service possible while balancing the many complex needs of transporting students safely to/from school each day. We are still in the need of bus drivers. If you are interested or know someone who may be, please contact Deputy Superintendent Dr. Karen Sherwood at 616-494-2020.

Instructional Priority Highlights

  • Holland Public Schools is working to ensure that all students and staff are afforded powerful learning opportunities in safe, secure and predictable learning environments. We are a proud partner with the U.S. Department of Education and Michigan Department of Education in promoting Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS).  (PBIS) is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in school to achieve social, emotional and academic success. Students are intentionally taught and practice behavior utilizing “POWER” in grades TK-5 and “DUTCH” 6-12. Learn more about POWER at http://www.hollandpublicschools.org/downloads/district/power_matrix.mp

Student Accolades/Learning

  • The Holland High School Chamber Orchestra Performed at the Confucious Great Lakes Institute "Friendships Last For Ever" Gala Concert at Millennium Park this past Sunday in Chicago. The concert was attended by thousands as was in cooperation with Valparaiso University. #hpsproud

Faculty/Staff Accolades

  • Congratulations to Coach Andrew Pratley on being named the 2018 Michigan High School Athletic Coaches State Association Coach of the Year.  The MHSCA selection of Mr. Pratley reflects positively on his school, community and Holland Public Schools. Coach of the Year selections are based on the performance of their program over the years and/or their contribution to the sport, school, and community. #hpsproud

HPS in the Community

  • Learn more about what is happening in Holland Public Schools each Wednesday  morning at 9:15 on WHTC 1450 AM/99.7 FM as we highlight events happening in our schools. The interviews are also posted on our district website at http://www.hollandpublicschools.org/our-district/superintendents-office/hps-highlights/whats-new-in-hps-radio-interviews/
  • Holland Hospital 5K Run-Don’t forget to support our school nursing program in partnership with Holland Hospital this Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. You can still register at  https://runsignup.com/Race/MI/Holland/SchoolNurse5KRunwalk

Key Dates

  • October 9, 2018 Parent-Teacher Conferences-Full Day for Students PreK-5 3:50-6:50 p.m. and 6th-12th 4:30-7:30 p.m.
  • October 11, 2018 Parent-Teacher Conferences-1/2 day for Students PreK-5 12:00-3:00 p.m. and 6th-12th 12:30-3:30 p.m.
  • October 16, 2018 Parent-Teacher Conferences-Full day for students PreK-5 3:50-6:50 p.m. and 6th-12th 5:30-8:30 p.m.

Parent & Family in Education

HPS Administration and Staff invite you to join us in developing a new strategic plan for parent and family engagement for the district. We will be participating in a 6 week on-line course in partnership with Harvard October 8-December 3, 2018. If you would like to join us in this work, please contact the Superintendent’s office at 494-2005 or email the office

Your input is wanted! Strategic Planning

The Board of Education is currently working on Strategic Planning for the District. If you would like to provide feedback on their draft plan, please contact the Superintendent’s office at 494-2005 or email the office

VISION STATEMENT

Holland Public Schools

The Choice for Educational Excellence

Caring Staff, Innovative Programs, Committed Community

Right for Me

MISSION STATEMENT

Embrace, Engage and Empower each student for success in an ever changing world

CORE VALUES

We value…

  • Success for All-Our graduates are life ready and prepared for college or careers to be contributing citizens.
  • Educational Excellence-We provide state and nationally recognized academic programs and extra-curricular activities measured by high standards of performance and personalized support.
  • Innovation-We continuously improve through the study and implementation of best practices and programs with high expectations for achievement.  
  • Passion-We employ committed, talented and passionate individuals who care for the students and families they serve.
  • Inclusion-It is our collective responsibility to foster success that honors each individual.
  • Equity-We ensure that our policies, practices and programs serve our growing and changing community.
  • Safety-We provide all students and staff powerful learning opportunities in safe, secure and predictable environments.
  • Collaboration-We will intentionally develop staff, family and community partnerships to share the responsibility for the success of our students.

FOCUS AREAS

ACADEMICS/PROGRAM GOAL:

Holland Public Schools will provide educational excellence that meets the needs of each student in all district programs in safe, secure and predictable learning environments.                 

FAMILY AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP GOAL:

Holland Public Schools will support and engage staff, family and community partnerships through ongoing communication, involvement and accountability that lead to student success.

FINANCE AND OPERATIONS GOAL:

Holland Public Schools will establish and implement a sustainable budget that supports district programs, building infrastructure and facility master plan.

HUMAN SERVICES GOAL:

Holland Public Schools will recruit, develop and retain highly effective employees, community partners and volunteers.

8/29/18 Spring 2018 M-STEP Release

August 29, 2018

The Spring 2018 M-STEP scores were released on August 29, 2018 from the Michigan Department of Education to local school districts. Parents will receive individual student reports from their respective schools as they become available.

We are encouraged by the progress that many of our students have achieved in the core subjects of math and language arts as measured by the 2018 M-STEP. While we have seen growth, we did see pockets of lower test scores than anticipated at certain grade levels and subject areas. These results indicate that, while the academic changes we previously implemented have begun to take root, some students are still adapting to the new programs. We are also working to individualize supports for those students who have not been part of our academic programs as they enter into our schools at various grade levels throughout the course of the academic year. We believe in the success of each child and pledge our unwavering support to make this happen.

It is important to highlight our early literacy scores in Kindergarten and first grade. Our national and internal data demonstrate that strong early literacy skills are increasing as we have nearly 85% of our students leaving these grades on benchmark. Our focus on early literacy, smaller class sizes, and partnerships with Ready for School, the Reading Now Network and the High Impact Leadership Grant are all making a significant impact. We believe that with continued commitment of resources and partnerships, we will see improved results as students progress through our district programs.

Each year, we monitor and assess the progress and proficiency of our students. In just the past few years we have introduced program and structural improvements that will support academic proficiency and student growth. One such example is the implementation of Individualized Reading Improvement Plans for children in Kindergarten-3rd grade. This program recognizes the importance of working with parents as a child’s first teacher to encourage reading habits that will set the foundation for future academic success. We have also implemented instructional coaching support and rigorous performance evaluation systems based upon student growth to provide feedback and staff development for teachers and administrators.

This year we are providing acceleration in math to 4th and 5th grade students through our Challenge program. We also are providing advanced courses in 6th grade and above to continue to challenge and improve our students’ math skills, reading/writing skills and application of this content in courses like advanced STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math), science and US History.

We recognize that students learn at different rates. It is incumbent upon us to teach to each child’s educational needs. We have great students with even greater potential. We are confident the programmatic changes previously implemented will be enhanced by our district restructuring plan. The right-sizing of our facilities and staffing will allow us to better meet the academic needs of each student, specifically at the middle school grades. We also know that a successful school system is one that has the support of the entire community. Administrators, teachers and parents, as well as business and civic leaders, all play an essential role in helping our children become the leaders of tomorrow. We appreciate those who are walking with us in preparing all students to be successful in a diverse and ever changing world.

8/3/18 New School Start/End Times Announced

Updated, August 3, 2018

***Please note the new start/end times that were communicated earlier this spring. In the process of finalizing our routes and addressing the many variables below, we had to make an adjustment to our times between 5-15 minutes depending on the grade level. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. It is our hope that this advanced communication will provide an opportunity for adjustments to be made accordingly.

There were several contributing factors at play in the decision for our start/end times as we wanted to accomplish several goals.

Maximize the efficiency of our transportation services and available drivers. We are happy that our economy has improved and the employment rate in Ottawa County is <3%. This however, has created a high demand and a shortage for employment across many sectors. The school community is not immune to this. With the times that we have outlined, many of our drivers will be able to complete multiple runs in the same day, thereby reducing the number of drivers needed but increasing the amount of time of employment, thereby making this career more attractive.

We listened to parents indicating that they did not want combined bus runs where elementary students were riding with middle school/high school students. In some cases, depending on where individuals live, middle school students will ride with their high school family members. Middle school students will be dropped off at Holland Middle School first and then high school students will be taken to their campus. These same buses will then go out and complete our elementary runs, requiring our elementary start time to be delayed by 15 minutes.

We wanted there to be greater daylight in the morning for elementary students walking to school especially during the winter and daylight savings time transitions.

Parents indicated that it was important that there was time between buildings for picking up students after school. A family can do so beginning with the middle school to high school and then to the elementary school as needed. Parents can also drop off in similar fashion in the morning.

Parents indicated that it was important that older siblings have the opportunity to be home before younger siblings, when possible, at the end of the day. 

HPS coordinates many after school activities with other area high schools. These schools ended their school day significantly earlier than Holland High. This meant that many of our high school students were having to leave early on a regular basis. This caused significant amounts of instructional time to be missed. The times these after school activities began were often times out of our control, so we adjusted our school day to more easily accommodate these activities.

There was an expressed desire for the high school lunch program be increased from 30 minutes to 40 minutes. We have been able to accommodate this request. 

We recognize that these times are different from the past school year, but do align with many programs in the area. As we collaborate and have shared services across many sectors with other school partners, this maximizes our partnerships.

For those students who will be riding the bus to school, transportation routes will be available approximately two weeks before the start of the school year as in past years. These will be mailed directly to families' homes. Letters were mailed to families who do not qualify for transportation on August 3, 2018.

Prek-5th Grade Elementary Schools

8:40-3:42

HPS is pleased that our partnership with Life Services Systems of Holland continues into the upcoming school year. LSS has been providing this before school activity with HPS since 2003. A volunteer provided Books/Breakfast/Busses Program will begin at each elementary school at 7:30 a.m. Students will be able to enjoy breakfast, reading books, games or other structured activities inside.

Students must arrive at 7:30 a.m. as doors will not be open throughout the morning. Parents who elect participation in this program will be asked to sign a contract agreement understanding that this is a partnership program with HPS and an understanding of behavior expectations. As this is a volunteer service, students who are unable to meet the guidelines established for participation may be asked to leave the program and forfeit their opportunity for continued participation.

To learn more about this program, please contact the Life Services System Coordinator Lisa Lindemulder at llindemulder@lifeservicessystem.org. Parents must sign up in advance for this program. Parents may do so by contacting Mrs. Lindemulder or at open house on August 20, 2018.

Doors will be open for the start of school officially at 8:10 a.m. for participation in our universal breakfast program.  Students riding the bus will be at school in advance for our universal breakfast program beginning at 8:10 a.m.. Supervision on the playground will begin at 8:10 a.m. Students not needing this service should arrive to school at 8:10 a.m. if they desire to have breakfast only.

Holland Middle School

7:35-2:42

Holland High School/HEC/HVRT

7:45-3:01