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Swine Flu Prevention Procedures

In light of the current Swine Influenza Alert, I am providing you with some information and resources.  The Allegan and Ottawa County Health Departments are intensely monitoring the reports of swine influenza. One suspected case has been reported in Michigan at this time, however this has not been confirmed.  The symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  While there is no cause for alarm, prevention is important.  A one page fact sheet for schools from the Ottawa County Health Department is attached.  Both health departments recommend the following prevention strategies:
1.  Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your inner elbow when coughing or sneezing.  It may prevent those around
you from getting sick.
2.  Washing your hands often with soap and water will help protect you from germs. While not a substitution for proper hand washing,
you can also use an alcohol- based hand sanitizers if needed.
3.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.  Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose or mouth.
4.  Keep your distance: Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
5.  Stay home from work, school and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

A flyer from the Ottawa County Health Department is also available for you to read:  school-swine-info

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Pre-Kindergarten is BACK!

From our Superintendent, Roxanne DeWeerd:  Pre-Kindergarten Reinstated

Hudsonville Public Schools will offer the same pre-kindergarten program next school
year as has been offered in the past.  Because of a significant change in the state funding
formula for pre-kindergarten that was to go into effect next school year, the program was
going to be dropped.  However, it now appears that the State will either delay the funding changes for two years or, hopefully, eliminate the changes completely.  Given that potential, pre-kindergarten will be reinstated for next school year.

Your building principal will be contacting all parents who had their children screened for kindergarten this spring.  If your child qualified for pre-kindergarten, you will be given the option to enroll your child in this program.  At Georgetown, Mrs. Giovanna Estefan will be teaching pre-kindergarten on the Monday/Wednesday full day rotation schedule.   Any open spots in this Pre-K class will be then be filled with  children who did not qualify but parents desire to have Pre-K over K.  Please be patient while we contact all parents.  This may take 3-5 school days to sort through.

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MEAP Scores: How We Compare!

The intermediate school districts of Ottawa and Kent have compiled MEAP scores for 31 districts they serve.  As  you look at this ranking, you will see that Hudsonville consistently posts scores in the 90’s.  Our students and teachers continue work exceptionally hard to master the curriculum and show this understanding on district and state assessments.  We are very proud of the results!  If you are interested in finding out more about the MEAP assessments, check the MDE website.  To view our scores, click: MEAP county-scores

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Got Talent?

Got Talent?  If so, consider trying out for the…GEORGETOWN TALENT SHOW!!

Can you juggle?
Play an instrument?
Perform magic tricks?
Do trick jump roping?
Play a song on the recorder?

Then Georgetown wants to see YOU!
We will soon be hosting our 3rd annual Georgetown Talent Show! This year, our show will be on Thursday, May 14 in both the morning and afternoon (specific times will be posted later).

If your child is interested in being a performer or an MC for the talent show, they will need to be aware of the following rules:

1) Performers must be in grades 3rd – 5th.
2) Acts must be 2 minutes or less in length.
3) There will only be 8 spots for “solo” performers, all other performers must be in groups of at least 2.
4) All acts must be appropriate. Acts with suggestive or questionable lyrics, movements or costumes will not be allowed to perform.

There will also be (2) student MC’s for each show chosen. If your child would be interested in MCing, they need to also fill out a Talent Show sign up sheet and prepare one short joke for their audition.

Official Talent Show sign up sheets will be available outside of the music room on Tuesday, April 28. These need to be returned to Mrs. Bretz (an envelope will be outside the music room door to return them) by FRIDAY, MAY 1. Auditions will begin next week and exact audition times will be posted on Monday morning. Acts must be prepared and “performance” ready for the audition. So get practicing!!

Parents: If you would be interested in helping with the talent show, there are many behind the scenes jobs that require volunteers. Please contact the Talent Show Committee (Mrs. Bretz, Mrs. Brouwer, or Mrs. Bouwens) if you would be willing to help. Thanks!

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Pink Week is Here!

Ashley Tiesman, a fourth grader in Mrs. Jurewicz’s class is hosting PINK WEEK. This service project is being done to honor breast cancer survivors and to raise money for research to prevent cancer.  You can support this cause by buying a Susan G. Komen product and wearing PINK on Friday, May 1.  To find out more, visit this link:  PINK

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Weekly Events, 4/27/09

We have many events scheduled this week–and most of them are not on this list.  This is an overview of school events, so please visit your child’s class blog for event details that pertain to that grade or class.  Mrs. Nurenberg does an outstanding job updating the google school calendar to the right.  Please check this for event details as well.  Please note:  The recess games have taken the place of our All School Field Day.  Grades 4/5 will have their field day on June 2 at the BMS stadium.  PK and K teachers will also be holding their own very special field days the final week of school.  Details can be found on their blogs.

Mon 4/27  Day 3                                                                                                                                         Happy Monday!                                                                                                                                      Mileage Club Continues
Tues 4/28  Day 1
Recess Game Training-TTH K Classes
Music Therapy:  ECSE, CI in MPR 1:30-3:00 pm

Wed  4/29  Day 2
ART SHOW Georgetown Reception at Park (5:30-7:30 pm)

Thurs 4/30 Day 3
Young Author’s Day-Calvin College

Friday 5/1  Day 1
Poetry Academy:  1 pm with Mrs. Bast and some incredible 3rd Graders

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Special Blog Feature: Peter Pappas About Our Student Writers

We were featured as a “writing school” to check out by Peter Pappas, a national educational consultant. Mr. Pappas left a comment on our school blog about our fabulous student writers and also highlighted us on his blog as a school that publishes student writing!  This was exciting and flattering news to receive on the eve of our upcoming JUST WRITE celebration, May 4-8.

You can check our Mr. Pappa’s post at:  COPY PASTE

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Celebrating Our MEAP Scores

The Michigan Department of Education has finally given us permission to release our MEAP scores.  These were published in the press last week, and I would like to share our results with you!  You can view this year scores in comparison to 2006 and 2007 by clicking on the attached document:  MEAP Results 08

We are very proud of the way in which our students performed.  We opened our school in the fall of 2006–with students coming from 7 + different schools (with varied curriculum and instruction) and staff from 4 + schools.  You can see that each year, our curriculum approach has tightened and this is evident by scores that have gone up every year, and scores that remain in the 90% percentile ranking.  The teachers at Georgetown are focused on best practice instruction and our students in all grades put their very best in working hard and learning well!  We are very proud of them.

We have focused very intensively on writing these past three years.  We have celebrated every gain and have noticed that our students have improved exponentially on their school writing assessments.  In some cases, we have seen students improve their scores low to high within one year.  This is due to our work on the craft of writing (Lucy Calkin’s Writing Program) and our focus on student’s owning their writing progress (rubric bases assessment).

We have, however, been very frustrated by the scores we have received from the state.  Although the state has shown that we have improved, none (that means zero) of our students have received a proficient score of ONE (1) in spite of their incredible improvement on our assessments.  It is important to note that throughout our district, not ONE student received a proficient score in grades 3-8.

As a teacher of writing, a writing trainer, and an advocate for writing to teach other subjects, I have been extremely frustrated with the inconsistent writing results.  I was even more frustrated when I found out that student papers received only one reading last year.  In the past, papers received a reading by two assessors–and any papers that had a discrepant score were read by another assessor.

I was happy to hear that our state Superintendent Mike Flanagan listened to many of our concerns about these results that lacked reliability and integrity.  The writing portion of the MEAP will be re-evaluated and retooled so that the results indicate true writing strengths beginning in the fall of 2010.  To find out more about the flaws in the writing assessment, read this excellent article by a west Michigan parent and writer.

Writing will be a focus of improvement at our school in all grades, every year.  We are amazed by the writing (essays, memoirs, personal narratives and poetry) that our students in grades K-5 are producing.  To view their published work, visit our school storefront at In addition, we will be celebrating our writing school wide the week of May 4th with stories published on lockers, walls, and monitors.  We will be reading stories over the intercom and performing stories with a star studded cast.  More about this event is found here:  JUST WRITE. Remember, if you have something to say…JUST WRITE!

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Week’s Events, 4/20/09

As Mrs. Nurenberg mention in the FTO’s, there are just 33 days left of school!  While some may be counting down, others are feeling anxious with so much to do in such a short amount of time.  There are many events that will be taking place, so please check this blog and your child’s classroom blog for detail events. Remember, if you look at the first few posts and don’t find what you need, type what you are looking for in the search area.  All posts are tagged with key words to help you easily find posts at all times.

This weeks events are as follows:

Mon 4/20  Day 1
Happy Monday!
Mileage Club Continues
Play to Learn in MPR @ 9 am

Tues 4/21  Day 2
Music Therapy:  ECSE, CI in MPR 1:30-3:00 pm

Wed  4/22  Day 3
Happy Wednesday
Thurs 4/23  Day 1
Happy Thursday

Friday 4/24  Day 2
ECSE To Meijer Gardens
Recess Game Training:   Non-competitive, inclusive games for all children, all grades!