Cityside Annual Report

Click to read the cover letter

January 5, 2021   



Dear Parents and Community Members:

We are pleased to present you with the Annual Education Report (AER) which provides key information on the 2019-20 educational progress for Cityside Middle School. The AER addresses the complex reporting information required by federal and state laws. The school’s report contains information about student assessment, accountability, and teacher quality. If you have any questions about the AER, please contact Sarah Huizenga for assistance.


The AER is available for you to review electronically or you may review a copy in the main office at your child’s school.

For the 2019-20 school year, schools were identified using definitions and labels as required in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI) school is one that has at least one underperforming student subgroup. An Additional Targeted Support (ATS) school is one that has three or more underperforming student subgroups. A Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI) school is one whose performance is in the lowest 5% of all schools in the state or has a graduation rate at or below 67%. Some schools are not identified with any of these labels. In these cases, no label is given.


Our school has not been given one of these labels. 

Although Cityside Middle School is above the state average in all areas, we are not without our challenges.  We are targeting ways to close the achievement gap with all of our students, specifically our English Language Learners and our Special Education subgroups. We have devised new guidelines for our EL curriculum and have had several planning meetings for support and interventions. We are training multiple staff members in SIOP training to better teach our language learners. We are team-teaching with our EL teacher and regular teachers for added support.  We are working with our special education team to provide the most support possible for our students with disabilities.  We look forward to seeing the growth with these two subgroups as these interventions are strengthened. The pandemic that ensued in March of 2020 did not help us in these areas, but we are constantly exploring ways to strengthen the academic performance and the social and emotional health of all of our students. 


State law requires that we also report additional information. 

PROCESS FOR ASSIGNING PUPILS TO THE SCHOOL: There are two middle schools in Zeeland Public Schools. Cityside has three feeder elementary schools – Adams, Lincoln and Woodbridge. We also house all of the Spanish Immersion middle school students from New Groningen and Lincoln.  Cityside Middle School students go on to Zeeland East High School for ninth grade and beyond. Students are assigned to their elementary school by geographic boundaries. We also accept schools-of-choice students both within district and outside of the district as well.

THE STATUS OF THE 3-5 YEAR SCHOOL IMPROVEMENT PLAN: During 2019-20, we focused on reading, using technology, improving science scores and strengthening our MTSS-A/B structure. We also have a career awareness focus based on survey results we received from parents, staff and students.  Our primary goal was to increase the percentage of students reading at grade level at each grade, and we did that as measured by the STAR that we used as our universal screener. To support positive behavior choices, we are using the PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) Model. This will not only encourage positive behavior, but will also teach our students what behavior is expected in a given situation. Since the implementation of PBIS in 2010, we have seen our discipline issues decrease. We had over 600 behavior referrals in year one, and this past year, we had less than 150. By working together as a staff, under the leadership of the School Improvement Team, we feel we have an excellent plan that will help our students in 2020-21 and beyond.

A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF EACH SPECIALIZED SCHOOL: Cityside Middle School has approximately 740 students in grades six through eight. We support Special Education students with both traditional resource classes, as well as two, more intensive, categorical classrooms. Students are able to participate in a wide range of elective classes, including Band, Choir, Orchestra, Dance, Art, Career Choices, Spanish and Advanced PE/Health. All students are exposed to Physical Education, Art, Spanish and Life Management through our Exploratory Rotation. Our eighth graders are able to take classes that earn high school credit in Math, Spanish, and PE. We offer a wide range of sports and clubs that allow students to connect to the greater Cityside community outside of the school day.

IDENTIFY HOW TO ACCESS A COPY OF THE CORE CURRICULUM, A DESCRIPTION OF ITS IMPLEMENTATION, AND AN EXPLANATION OF THE VARIANCES FROM THE STATE’S MODEL: Zeeland Public Schools makes sure our students are provided challenging lessons that are consistent across grade levels and that include the common core curriculum. A team of Zeeland educators regularly evaluates and revises our curriculum to ensure classroom lessons meet state requirements for kindergarten through twelfth grade. All Zeeland teachers are involved in monthly half-day curriculum planning sessions to make sure curriculum is horizontally and vertically aligned, to work on common assessments, and to collaborate with other teachers in their subject area and/or grade level. We have identified essential standards for mastery by all students.  If you have questions about Zeeland Public Schools’ curriculum, please contact us at 616-748-3018 or email Curriculum Director at

THE AGGREGATE STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT RESULTS FOR ANY LOCAL COMPETENCY TESTS OR NATIONALLY NORMED ACHIEVEMENT TESTS: The state of Michigan did not administer the M-Step due to the pandemic, so we do not have the normal results that we have had in the past. You can visit to see Cityside specific achievement data on the Parent Dashboard. 


IDENTIFY THE NUMBER AND PERCENT OF STUDENTS REPRESENTED BY PARENTS AT PARENT-TEACHER CONFERENCES: The community of Zeeland has always supported our schools, and 2019-20 was no different. We had over 85% of our parents either attend the scheduled Parent Teacher Conference times, or schedule a separate conference at another time if they were unable to attend. We worked hard to reach out to the 15% we did not formally talk to and make sure they understood how their son or daughter was doing at school and what they could do to support them. Parent and community support is a cornerstone to school success, and this is an area in which Cityside, and all of Zeeland Public Schools, has been continuously blessed.


At Cityside Middle School, we are proud of the entire school culture we offer for our students and families. Our students have a wide variety of opportunities to get involved in and to have new experiences. The community of Zeeland is tremendously supportive of our school and our students. We have caring teachers and support staff who give countless hours to meet the needs of each and every student. Our students experience success in everything from state assessments to the playing field of our sports teams; from their report cards to the stage during our annual musical; from the life lessons learned, to the opportunities to give back to the community.The pandemic closed ZPS schools last spring, and our students last day in face-to-face learning was March 13, 2020. We then established a weekly remote learning plan. We know that in-person learning is best for our students, so we have made accommodations to make sure that happens as much as possible, even in the midst of a pandemic.  We experienced growth and were challenged during the 2019-20 school year due to the pandemic, yet we are looking for ways to push ourselves to new heights for 2020-21 and beyond.  



Sarah Huizenga, Principal
Cityside Middle School


Click to view other ZPS annual reports.