COVID-19

KEEPING OUR COMMUNITY UPDATED ON COVID-19 Information

It is important for our ZPS community to have access to accurate and timely information about the COVID-19 health pandemic at ZPS and beyond.

Zeeland Public Schools will work under the guidance of The Ottawa County Health Department and in conjunction with area schools, medical professionals, and educational professionals to ensure the safety of all at ZPS and beyond.

COVID-19

May 7, 2021

Quarantine Rules Changed For Schools

Effective immediately, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services will no longer require the county health departments of Ottawa, Muskegon, Ionia and Kent counties to quarantine students who have possibly been exposed to COVID-19 at school. This announcement is backed by extensive data that indicate minimal transmission occurs in the regional school setting. 

Students currently quarantined due to contact tracing at school are immediately approved to return to school and are immediately eligible to participate in athletics, extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. 

In the event of a positive COVID case, the affected individual must follow the 10 day isolation protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Furthermore, immediate family members of a COVID positive individual and close contact, non-vaccinated school employees are still required to quarantine. The health department will make case-by-case decisions regarding outbreaks, including localized outbreaks, such as a single classroom. 

As a result of these changes, schools will begin contact tracing to a 3 foot distance, rather than the previous requirement of 6 feet. ZPS will inform all close contacts as a required notification but will no longer mandate students to quarantine. Instead, parents can make their own informed decisions whether it is necessary to quarantine.  ZPS will honor each decision and will remain flexible with attendance guidelines, as permitted. 

This announcement serves as an official notification that students quarantined due to school related contact tracing are no longer quarantined. Those quarantined due to contact tracing outside of school must still follow the guidelines set by the Michigan Department of Public Health. If you have questions about your child’s situation, please contact your building. 

ZPS emphasizes the importance to monitor children daily for symptoms associated with COVID-19. If your child displays symptoms, please stay home. ZPS has an online symptom checker available to assist families who are unsure of necessary steps or protocols. 

Under state order, masks continue to be required indoors while at school, on the bus, and outdoors in groups over 100. Additionally, there is no change to the current state athletic requirements at this time.

ZPS appreciates the collaborative partnerships with all neighboring school districts and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health as we navigate through this pandemic together. 

April 19, 2021

All buildings are open. Families will be contacted with necessary information regarding the need to quarantine, if and when necessary. Currently, all quarantines are 14 days from the last date of exposure.

ZPS Middle & High Schools Switch to Remote March 31 and April 1

Due to COVID-19, ZPS is experiencing a surge in absenteeism and students being quarantined at both the middle and high school levels. Attendance is currently between 65 - 75% in our middle and high school buildings and are continuing to decline. Normally, we would expect 95% attendance on these dates. Therefore, to mitigate further spread of COVID-19, all students grades 6-12 will participate in remote learning both Wednesday, March 31 and Thursday, April 1. 

  • Wednesday will follow a remote late start EVEN schedule. 
  • Thursday will follow a remote late start ODD schedule. 
  • Specific schedules will be shared directly from the school buildings.

Students in grades 6-12 can order meals available for pick up at ZEHS or ZWHS each day. Orders must be placed prior to 8 am through the Remote Learning Deli. This link can also be found on the ZPS Food Service webpage. 

 Attendance at the elementary level remains consistent and does not require any change to scheduling. 

 ZPS plans to return to in-person learning for all grades on Monday, April 12. 

Traveling for Spring Break?

ZPS follows the guidelines set by the CDC and does not follow differing rules to travel. These guidelines are backed by the OCHD and can be found here.

Not feeling well?

Parents can use this helpful symptom checker to understand what to do when a child doesn't feel well. This was designed for ZPS families.

 

The CDC also has a symptom checker to assist families who may have concerns about whether or not they may have COVID.

 

 

COVID checker

 

 

December 10 Update

Students in grades PK-8 are scheduled to return Monday, December 14, 2020 for in-person learning. 

 

November 11 Update

Read this update in Spanish

Although many questioned how long in-person learning could last during a pandemic, we are proud of all our students and staff for all that has been achieved in the first academic quarter. It has been nothing short of amazing to see the strength and tenacity of teaching and learning in every corner of our district over the last 11 weeks. Thank you for supporting your children and our staff throughout this experience and this academic year. 

Although student attendance remains near 89% (normal is 98%), the challenges associated with this pandemic have reached a new level both at ZPS and throughout West Michigan. The virus has expanded its reach into our community and our buildings. As local COVID cases increase, our state and local health systems are taxed to keep up with testing and results. Additionally, local community tracing is now done at the state level. This high case load translates to a delay in communication, sometimes up to a week, before a school building has sufficient detail and contact tracing within ZPS can be completed.  Each building is experiencing numerous classes without substitute teachers and other staffing gaps that cannot be filled.  As we all work tirelessly to maintain a healthy physical environment at ZPS, we are also mindful of the mental health and well-being of students and staff who must then be placed under quarantine. As our numbers escalate, so does our need to adjust quickly and effectively. 

Therefore, it is for the health and well-being of our students, staff, and community that ZPS will alter the immediate in-person academic calendar to a remote calendar until after Thanksgiving Break. Specifically:

Thursday, November 12: Parent-teacher conferences remain as scheduled. The virtual half day for students is canceled to provide staff time to organize for remote learning.

Friday, November 13: No school (previously scheduled day off)

Monday, November 16: No school for PK-8 and Remote Learning for 9-12 

Tuesday, November 17 - Tuesday, November 24: Remote Learning PK-12

Wednesday, November 25 - 27: Thanksgiving Break, no school

Monday, November 30: Return to in-person learning

Let’s all do our part so we can resume in-person learning. 

Please continue to follow the CDC guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

We understand there are many questions. We will do our best to provide  information on key areas below.

Food Service

Families can sign up for ZPS Meal Service by emailing foodservice@zps.org or calling 616-748-3128 before noon on Fridays. Food pick up is held every Tuesday from 2-5 pm at The Bridge in downtown Zeeland and includes a week's worth of breakfast and lunch per student at no cost. 

Z-Kids Childcare 

Z-Kids Childcare is operating under the remote schedule plan. There is currently a waiting list for this program. 

Early Childhood Center Preschool

The Early Childhood Preschool, as well as special education programs, will begin remote on Tuesday, November 17 to coincide with the K-12 schedule. At this time, ZPS childcare at the Early Childhood Center remains open for currently enrolled families. 

Extra-Curricular Activities for Grades 6-12

Currently, extracurricular activities will continue with safety precautions in place. Students who participate in any extracurricular activity will receive information from their director or coach. 

Zeeland Recreation 

Currently, all Zeeland Recreation activities and the Zeeland Recreation Fitness Center remain open with safety precautions in place. 

Z-Connect Families

Z-Connect Online Learning students in grades Y5-5 will receive calendar updates from Leslie Rindfliesch, Z-Connect Director. Of immediate importance, Y5-5 students will have no academic requirements for Thursday, November 12. Z-Connect Online Learning for grades 6-12 is not affected by the calendar change. Students in grades 6-12 will continue with their self paced schedule. As a reminder, Friday, November 13 remains a scheduled day off for all Z-Connect students.

Remote Schedules and Class Information

Buildings and classrooms will provide further information about the remote schedule. Families can expect an update by Monday with more details. 

We know this is a difficult undertaking for our families, as well as our staff. We hope this break from in-person learning will provide sufficient time to slow the spread of COVID-19 and allow for our medical facilities to properly navigate the current situation. We know in-person learning is critical for many students and our hope is to regain the ability to teach and learn in person. We thank you for your continued grace and wish all of our families a safe and healthy remote experience. 


 

October 4 Update

On Friday, October 2, at approximately 5 PM, the Supreme Court ruled all State of Michigan Executive Orders placed after April 30 to be unconstitutional.

While ZPS understands there are numerous viewpoints associated with this highly sensitive topic, we ask for your continued grace and support while we navigate through this turning point for our state. ZPS is proud of the success experienced district-wide with mitigating the spread of COVID-19. While we understand it can be challenging, we couldn’t be more proud of the 6,000 students and 800 staff within our buildings who comply to maintain a safe and healthy environment. 

Guided by the district’s motto of Safe, Valued and Loved, ZPS will meet tomorrow with local legislators, neighboring districts, legal counsel, medical advisors including the Ottawa County Health Department, and Zeeland Education Association leaders to fully understand the scope of the Supreme Court ruling and ensure all current safety plans are appropriate, effective, and timely. 

Zeeland Public Schools will adhere to the safety guidelines currently practiced within the district as outlined in the Board of Education approved Preparedness Plan. This includes the continuation of wearing masks and practicing social distancing to minimize the risk of exposure to COVID-19.

ZPS will provide details as further guidance emerges. Until otherwise announced, ZPS will remain unchanged with current COVID-19 procedures.  

 

August 31, 2020

  • Message from Superintendent Calvin De Kuiper

July 31, 2020

July 21, 2020

May 12, 2020

All complete student hot lunch meals are free at this time. Please email foodservice@zps.org for full assistance. 

Do you need help? Contact ZPS Cares

616.748.4509
zpscares@zps.org
Request form in English
Request form in Spanish

 

Mental Health Assistance

If you or someone you know needs mental health assistance during this time, resources are available. If an emergency, please call 911. Other resources include:

Crisis Text Line - Text “HOME” to 741741

Suicide Prevention Online Chat - https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/

Suicide Prevention Lifeline - Call 1-800-273-8255

Visit CrisisChat.org

The Trevor Project: Founded in 1998 by the creators of the Academy Award®-winning short film TREVOR, The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.

Trevor Lifeline - Call 1-866-488-7386

Trevor Chat - Confidential online instant messaging with a Trevor counselor, available 24-7. Access through a computer, as you may have technical difficulties using a smartphone or tablet. https://www.thetrevorproject.org/

Donated Goods

Those seeking to make donations or receive distributions of food, non-perishable household items, or clothing are encouraged to utilize Harvest Stand in Zeeland. Please check with Harvest Stand for open hours. 

Hand2Hand, a food program within all ZPS buildings, will be working out of City on a Hill. Food delivery through this program is available by calling 616.283.2645.

Contact for Assistance

Anyone requiring additional coordination of food and basic need resources can contact Lana Kamer at lkamer@zps.org or by calling 616.283.2645.