Dear SPS Community,

            The coming new year is often a time to reflect on the year gone by and to set goals for the year ahead.  I would like to share an update of new programs and opportunities for our students that were implemented at the start of the 2019-20 school year and provide information on several district goals for 2020.

            This fall we were able to make a significant investment in early childhood education thanks to the OAISD enhancement millage.  Our four-year old preschool program has officially become a member of the Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP) which has allowed us to increase preschool learning time by 33% by expanding to four days per week and to provide access to free preschool to qualifying families.  Please visit https://helpmegrowottawa.org/ for excellent parent resources, events, and preschool information.

We also added a new three-year old preschool teacher and paraprofessional and a new Kindergarten teacher and paraprofessional at DES.  Our middle school special education position was also increased to full time this fall.

Thanks to our awesome PTO, opportunities such as field trips, lessons at the Outdoor Discovery Center, additional swimming lessons, Artists in Residence, and after school clubs continue to expand and thrive at DES.

Academic and co-curricular opportunities for our high school students were expanded this fall with the addition of Advanced Placement Government, Advanced Placement Chemistry, Advanced Placement Computer Science and a new Bowling Club, Glee Club and a cooperative Hockey program with West Ottawa.

One of our goals in the near future is the establishment of a Boys & Girls Club at DES to provide after school and summer programming that fosters teamwork, education, creativity, healthy habits and community.  We are very grateful to our partners in this endeavor, the Saugatuck-Douglas Rotary Club and the Boys & Girls Club of Holland.

Renovating our schools continues to be a district goal.  At the December 16th meeting, the board of education passed a resolution placing a revised bond proposal on the March 10, 2020 presidential primary ballot.  The presentation outlining the proposed renovations is included here for your information.

Best wishes for a strong start to a new decade and a very happy new year to all!