Dear SPS Parents/Guardians,
What a roller coaster ride of school year! Thank you for supporting your children and our faculty and staff through all the ups and downs of the past fifteen months. Nothing about school was quite the same this year, but I am very proud of the academic and social emotional growth of our students, the co-curricular opportunities we were able to provide, and the celebrations of our students that we were able to share in.
I am excited to share that, overall, our students were able to close any learning gaps in reading and math that may have existed at the beginning of the school year. Our benchmark data shows strong growth in K-8 reading and math with most grades scoring well above state and national averages on the NWEA Map Test. PSAT results for juniors also compared favorably to recent graduating classes with scores at or above state and national levels. A Progress Report on our Extended Continuity of Learning Plan goals is available on our website.
Experiential learning with our new Boys and Girls Club continues all summer long. Current 1st through 5th grade students can register at https://bgch.org/join/ for summer programming that includes hands on activities, field trips, arts, science, sports, character and leadership skill building and more. Students and staff will continue to wear masks while indoors with no masking required outdoors.
The latest COVID-19 metrics regionally and statewide are very encouraging with a new low state positivity test rate of 1.84% this week. Vaccines are widely available for individuals 12 and older. We will be making plans for mitigation strategies and protocols for resuming in-person instruction next fall as further guidance and emergency orders develop over the summer. I will be sure to communicate our back-to-school plans to families when they are finalized using the most recent information.
Based on the low number of parents indicating a strong interest in virtual instruction and the dissolving of the regional online options in both Ottawa and Allegan counties this spring, the district is not planning to offer a full-time virtual option for the 2021-22 school year. Saugatuck High School students still have a wide variety of options to personalize their education including online courses, early college, dual enrollment, direct credit, work-based learning, and project-based learning. Parents can contact principal Neidlinger for more information.
In closing, I want to recognize the efforts of our amazing teachers, support staff and administration this year. I am proud of the way they stepped up to meet this unprecedented challenge. If you haven’t already done so, it would mean a lot if you sent them a note or email letting them know how much their efforts are appreciated.
Best wishes for a happy, healthy summer filled with “normal” family activities. We look forward to seeing you again for the first day of school on August 31st.