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Zeeland Public Schools: Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan
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District/PSA Template for the

Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan

as Described in Public Act 149, Section 98a

August 27, 2020

September 3, 2020 Clarifications

On August 20, 2020 Governor Whitmer signed House Bill 5913 into law as Public Act 149. Section 98a states that in order to receive state aid for 2020-2021, districts must provide for instruction under an extended COVID-19 Learning Plan (“Plan”) that has been approved by an intermediate district or authorizing body. The Plan does not replace the District’s/PSA’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan, it is an additional plan that includes new assurances and sections on educational goals, instructional delivery, grading, and equitable access. PA 149 does not apply to districts that operate as a cyber school.

District/PSA educational goals written for all students and all subgroups must be established no later than September 15, 2020 and submitted in their Plan to the ISD or Authorizing Body, as applicable, no later than October 1, 2020 for approval. ISDs and PSAs will transmit the approved plan to the state superintendent of public instruction and the state treasurer.

This is a Review Only document. Please download it as a Microsoft Word document to add your own District/PSA logo and Extended Covid-19 Learning Plan.

District/PSA Extended COVID-19 Learning Plans should be submitted to the ISD or Authorizing Body as a PDF file.

Zeeland Public Schools: Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan

Address of School District/PSA: 183 W. Roosevelt Zeeland, MI 49464

District/PSA Code Number: 70350

District/PSA Website Address:

District/PSA Contact and Title: Calvin DeKuiper, Superintendent

District/PSA Contact Email Address:

Name of Intermediate School District/PSA: Ottawa Area ISD

Name of PSA Authorizing Body (if applicable): N/A

Date of Approval by ISD/Authorizing Body: October 1, 2020


  1. The District/PSA will make their ISD/Authorizing Body approved Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan accessible through the transparency reporting link located on the District’s/PSA’s website no later than October 1, 2020.


  1. The District/PSA will create and make available on its transparency reporting link located on the District/PSA’s website, a report concerning the progress made in meeting the educational goals contained in its Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan not later than February 1, 2021, for goals its expected would be achieved by the middle of the school year and not later than the last day of school of the 2020-2021 school year for goals the District/PSA expected would be achieved by the end of the school year.


  1. Benchmark Assessments: The District/PSA will


  1. If delivering pupil instruction virtually, the District/PSA will


  1. The District/PSA, in consultation with a local health department will develop guidelines concerning appropriate methods for delivering pupil instruction for the 2020-2021 school year that are based on local data that are based on key metrics. Note: A determination concerning the method for delivering pupil instruction shall remain at the District/PSA Board’s discretion. Key metrics that the District/PSA will consider shall include at least all of the following:

  1. If the District/PSA determines that it is safe to provide in-person instruction to pupils, the District/PSA will prioritize providing in-person instruction to pupils in grades K to 5 who are enrolled in the District/PSA.
  2. The District/PSA assures that

  1. The District/PSA will ensure that students with disabilities will be provided with equitable access to instruction and accommodation in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations.


  1. The District/PSA will ensure that two (2), 2-way interactions occur between a pupil enrolled in the District/PSA and the pupil’s teacher or at least one (1) of the pupil’s teachers during each week of the school year for at least 75% of the pupils enrolled in the District/PSA. The District/PSA will publicly announce its weekly interaction rates at each District/PSA Board meeting where it re-confirms how instruction is being delivered. The District/PSA will make those rates available through the transparency reporting link located on the District/PSA website each month for the 2020-2021 school year. 


District Superintendent or President of the Board of Education/Directors



Learning Plan Narrative

Opening Statement

  • Please provide a statement indicating why an Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan is necessary to increase pupil engagement and achievement for the 2020-2021 school year.

The COVID-19 global pandemic is impacting our school community in a number of ways: we are experiencing a traumatic event, many students may have gaps in their learning, and equity issues are more pronounced.


As we return to school in the fall, our first priority will be to ensure the well-being of all members of our school community. Because of the wide range of experiences students had during the remote learning portion of the 19-20 school year, we anticipate that students will come to school in the fall of 2020 with a wider than usual range of social-emotional and academic competencies. Teachers will need opportunities to collaborate with each other as they examine student work and determine what comes next in the learning for each student.

There is no doubt that the ZPS staff will do everything possible to maintain and continually increase student engagement. At the same time, ZPS believes in and values our strong partnership with our students, families, and community. This opening statement is meant to reinforce and solidify that we are all here for each student's success. This Extended Learning Plan will help focus the team and accelerate the learning process and is important in providing transparency, confidence, and partnerships within our community.

Educational Goals

  • Please outline and describe the educational goals expected to be achieved for the 2020-2021 school year. The District/PSA must establish all of its goals no later than September 15, 2020. Authorizing bodies expect PSA educational goals will be aligned to the educational goal within your charter contract.
  • Specify which goals are expected to be achieved by the middle of the school year and which goals are expected to be achieved by the end of the school year.
  • Ensure that all of the following apply to the educational goals described in this section: (a) The goals include increased pupil achievement or, if growth can be validly and reliably measured using a benchmark assessment or benchmark assessments, growth on a benchmark assessment in the aggregate and for all subgroups of pupils; (b) The District/PSA benchmark assessment(s) are aligned to state standards and will be administered to all pupils K-8 at least once within the first 9 weeks of the 2020-2021 school year and not later than the last day of the 2020-2021 school year to determine whether pupils are making meaningful progress toward mastery of these standards; and (c) the District’s/PSA’s educational goals are measurable through a benchmark assessment or benchmark assessments.
  • To the extent practicable, the District/PSA will administer the same benchmark assessment or benchmark assessments that it administered to pupils in previous years. 

Zeeland Public Schools has been relying on the use of benchmark assessments to monitor and evaluate academic performance, provide aligned interventions/extensions for students, and to identify effective instructional programs. The data gathered from our benchmark assessments is used to inform our intervention supports, refine our overall instruction, and support common pacing across multiple buildings to ensure a more guaranteed and viable curriculum.

Benchmark assessments are not used to make high-stakes instructional decisions, but rather inform our focus on individual student learning. These formative assessment practices are embedded in the teaching and learning process to continuously observe where our students are in order to modify instruction. The district Assessment Calendar is designed each year with the input of our teachers and grade level/department leaders and is seen as an integral part of our instructional cycle.

In addition to coursework and one on one assessments, our benchmark measures offer us a more complete picture of what our students know and are able to do. The tool we utilize is also capable of providing progress monitoring as well to ensure students are moving forward with their learning.

Educational Goals

The Star assessments in early literacy (for our youngest learners) along with reading and mathematics will be administered to all students three times over the course of the school year: once in the first nine weeks of the school year, next in the middle of the year around mid-January, and finally in the spring prior to the last day of school. This assessment schedule is consistent with what we have implemented over the last several years and provides us data to utilize in our Benchmark Data Meetings held during each assessment window. The Star assessments will inform our progress toward our goals over the course of the year. As required, progress reports will be available on our website in February and June.

Additionally, we will continue to engage families as we share the results of their student(s)’ Star results along with stakeholders in the district by publicly sharing aggregate and student subgroup performance reports on these Star results.

Goal 1 - All students (K-8) will improve performance in Reading/ELA from Fall to Spring as measured by the Star assessment.

Goal 2 - All students (K-8) will improve performance in Mathematics from Fall to Spring as measured by the Star assessment.

Instructional Delivery & Exposure to Core Content

  • Please describe how and where instruction will be delivered during the 2020-2021 school year. (e.g. instruction may be delivered at school or a different location, in-person, online, digitally, by other remote means, in a synchronous or asynchronous format, or any combination thereof).

Note: The complete Zeeland Public School District instructional plan can be found in the MI Safe Schools Roadmap: Zeeland Public School District's Preparedness Plan.

Mode of Instruction

To begin the 2020-21 school year, nearly 90% of our students in grades Young 5’s-12th have decided to attend school every day for face-to-face instruction. The remaining students are being educated in our remote option which we are calling Z-Connect Online. This remote option is staffed by Zeeland teachers in grades Young 5’s through 5th grade and utilizes ZPS curriculum. In this remote elementary setting, instruction is provided both synchronously and asynchronously with a focus on the academic content for a given grade level, along with a strong focus on the social-emotional needs of our students.

At the secondary level, students in grades 6th-12th are receiving their remote instruction via courses through Michigan Virtual. Additionally, we are providing two ZPS teachers who are serving our students as mentors helping them to navigate the online setting and providing necessary support along the way.

Our students attending school face-to-face are wearing masks all day at every grade aside from the time they eat. At the middle and high school levels, ZPS adjusted the schedule and moved to a block schedule which ensured fewer passing times for students.

  • Please describe how instruction for core academic areas will expose each pupil to the academic standards that apply for each pupil’s grade level or course in the same scope and sequence as the District/PSA had planned for that exposure to occur for in-person instruction.

Note: The complete Zeeland Public School District instructional plan can be found in the MI Safe Schools Roadmap: Zeeland Public School District's Preparedness Plan.

Curriculum and Instruction: Academic Standards

The Zeeland Public Schools’ district curriculum for core academic areas is aligned to state standards and is housed on our in-district curriculum website for ease of access and alignment for staff. Knowing the gap in instruction our students have experienced due to the pandemic, we worked as a team over the summer months to evaluate our curriculum and make necessary adjustments to accomplish two goals: 1) Adjust the pacing to account for the lost instructional time, and 2) To integrate technology more fully in our curriculum so that the content could be delivered both face-to-face as well as remotely. Teams of teachers worked in sub-committees to design this instruction and the related curriculum pacing guides to ensure similar supports across all grade levels and departments. A focus on Essential Standards was critical so that the instructional standards could be further defined and prioritized.

In addition to the work that staff completed in defining Essential Standards and creating adjusted pacing guides, they also worked to integrate lessons focused on social-emotional learning to ensure a focus on the Whole Child, particularly at a time when we know that these needs are critical.

As we support our staff in their work with students, we continue to focus on the following:

  • Please describe how pupil progress toward mastery of the standards described within this section will be graded or otherwise reported to the pupil and the pupil’s parent or legal guardian.

Assessment and Grading

Zeeland Public School District bases its assessment system on the Michigan Standards. We regularly assess students at the district and classroom level to determine if they are making progress toward meeting those standards. We place a heavy emphasis on formative assessment. This is critical in the instructional process so that students receive timely feedback that helps them know what they need to do to improve. It also gives the teacher important information to know how to adjust the teaching and learning process to meet each student's needs.

ZPS utilizes Infinite Campus as its student information system. Within this system, there is a Parent Portal which allows families to stay updated on student progress. In addition to grades, families have access to schedule information and attendance data as well. Progress reports are shared with families via the student information system as well. Beyond the online portal, we know the best way to ensure families are informed is to establish strong partnerships with them. We encourage our teachers to connect with families through regular newsletter/email/phone call updates as well. At the end of the semester/reporting term, report cards are shared as well. These are typically provided around conference time so that families have the opportunity to meet with teachers to discuss any concerns and celebrations.

In the spring with the pandemic shut down, our team revisited our grading practices to determine how to best support our students and their learning with a strong focus on not penalizing them for things outside of their control. Through this dialogue and the resulting actions, many of the best practices for grading were implemented.

Equitable Access

  • If delivering pupil instruction virtually, please describe how the District/PSA will provide pupils with equitable access to technology and the internet necessary to participate in instruction.

ZPS ensures all students will be provided equitable access to technology and the internet as described in our Continuity of Learning Plan that was previously submitted to the state. ZPS is a 1:1 digital device district currently providing iPads to our approximately 6400 students. Approximately 70 - 80% of students have reliable internet at home. As was done last spring, the district provided information and guidance to families for sources of reduced cost or free temporary access for those families who did not have access. In unique cases, the district provided individual access points to families. Additionally, access points have now been added to the exterior of many of the school buildings for weekend or evening connection locations. The district has taken inventory of the geographic locations within the district that do not have internet access available for specific planning purposes.

  • Please describe how the District/PSA will ensure that students with disabilities will be provided with equitable access to instruction and accommodation in accordance with applicable state and federal laws, rules and regulations.

At the start of the school year, Zeeland Public Schools’ staff will review students’ IEPs and 504 plans in conjunction with their parents, with specific attention given to what has transpired in our students’ lives since the Covid-19 shut-down in March 2020. In addition, general and special education teachers and/or related service providers will work collaboratively to collect updated baseline data in connection with students’ IEPs. This data will be used to update goals, objectives, accommodations, programming , and services, as needed.

ZPS is committed to the continuation of interventions, specialized instruction, and support services for our students with disabilities. Special education services include speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, and social work services for students, as written on their Individual Education Plans (IEP). ZPS students age birth to five and those in CTE will receive intervention and support services through their programs from the start of school.  

In connection with the provision of interventions, specialized instruction, and support services, ZPS ensures that general and special education teachers and/or service providers will communicate regularly in regard to student progress on IEP goals and objectives, including needs related to assistive technology and accessibility. For assistive technology and accessibility, we will access Alt+Shift, as well as the teacher consultant for assistive technology from OAISD. In addition, ZPS will continue to conduct initial evaluations for students suspected of having a disability, and conduct re-evaluations for existing special education students.

  • Optional Considerations for District/PSA Extended COVID-19 Learning Plans:

  • 1. In addition to the students with disabilities noted above, please describe how the District/PSA will ensure that the needs of other vulnerable student populations, such as but not limited to, early English Learners and Fledgling/struggling students, are met.

2. Please describe how the District/PSA will ensure that students will, during pandemic learning, have continued access to programs such as, but not limited to, Early Childhood, CTE, Early-Middle College, Dual Enrollment and Advanced Placement as applicable within the District/PSA.

  1. Zeeland Public Schools is committed to ensuring that the needs of vulnerable student populations are identified and addressed without delay and with an immediate, appropriate response. This includes, but is not limited to, our English Learners, those identified through our MTSS structure, and students referred by teachers or parents.  As outlined in our Preparedness Plan, each student will start the year with access to grade-level instruction and high quality, standards-aligned instructional materials in every subject. Students will be assessed on their understanding of prerequisite skills and grade-level proficiencies using formative assessments, screeners, or diagnostics. These data will be used in benchmark meetings to make data-based decisions about appropriate supports and interventions. Progress monitoring will be conducted regularly to assess growth or need to amend interventions. In addition, students’ academic and social-emotional needs will be addressed with the integration of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and strengthening connections with students. Additional information can be found in MI Safe Schools Roadmap: Zeeland Public School District's Preparedness Plan.

  1. Zeeland Public Schools is committed to ensuring that our students will have continued access to existing programs including Early Childhood, CTE, Dual Enrollment, and Advanced Placement. Our ZPS Early Childhood Center is open and is actively seeking students for open spots in both Great Start Readiness Preschool, as well as tuition-based preschool. ZPS is working in collaboration with CTE, with both in-person and online students currently enrolled. In addition, students enrolled in Michigan Virtual classes online and those in-person are taking Advanced Placement classes. Dual enrollment also remains an available opportunity for our students.

Zeeland Public Schools Extended COVID-19 Learning Plan