Frequently Asked Questions
Elementary School Questions:
A. Yes, if space is available. An application for transfer of attendance must be submitted in writing to the principal of the school located in your attendance area. After contacting the receiving principal, they will submit a recommendation to the superintendent. A transfer is not automatic, however. There must be space available at the requested school, and parents must provide transportation to the requested school.
|Q. Is there opportunity for community involvement within the district?|
A. There are many ways the community is involved in district functions. Community members sit on committees to work on the district's budget and curriculum. Task forces made up of community volunteers have studied and developed recommendations on such issues as redrawing attendance boundaries, establishing learner expectations and determining the kindergarten schedule. PTAs, volunteer programs, and school/business partnerships also offer opportunities for the community to be involved in the district.
|Q. What is No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Education Yes?|
A. See our NCLB page for and explanation and terms/definitions.
A. Yes. Grand Haven Area Public Schools' preschool program emphasizes socialization, sharing and getting along with others in a group. Through the creative use of activity centers, each child is encouraged to explore many aspects of his/her world. The preschool program has kept attuned to current trends in early childhood education, providing developmentally appropriate activities for two- to five-year-olds, and are connected to the K-12 curriculum.
|Q. What is the Voyagers School ?|
A. Please visit the Voyagers School website for a full explanation of this exciting alternative to the traditional classroom.
A. Yes. Under a "Schools of Choice" agreement in Ottawa County, your children can attend school in Grand Haven Area Public Schools. Click here to download the Schools of Choice application.
|A. Grand Haven students consistently score higher than the statewide average in all categories of the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) test. Additionally, Grand Haven High School students score higher than the state and national average on the ACT test.|
|Q. What school will my child attend?|
A. Students in grades Young Fives, Kindergarten through fourth grade are assigned to their neighborhood school. Parents do have the option to request a different school, however there is an application process, and openings are based on available space.
Students in grades 5 and 6 attend White Pines Middle School.
Students in grades 7 and 8 attend Lakeshore Middle School.
|Q. How do I register my child?|
|A. If you live in the GHAPS district you may contact the school building your child will attend. If you are not sure which attendance area your home is located, please look at the boundary maps or call the Human Services office at 850.5020.
Click here for a list of what information you must provide when registering you child.
If you do not live in the GHAPS district you must submit a "Schools of Choice" application to the Human Services office.
|Q. What are the school start times?|
A. The schedule during the school year is as follows:
*Note: Summer hours may vary. Please contact the individual school for their summer schedule.
|Q. How can I learn about the Grand Haven community?|
|A. Visit our Area Links page to learn more.|
|Q. Can you tell me more about the Young Fives program?|
A. The Young Fives program provides children extra time to develop social and emotional skills that prepare them for entering kindergarten.
The Young Fives program exposes children to the alphabet and numbers through a “Gift of Time.”
The major emphases of the Young Fives program are exposure, experience, and repetition. The three concepts are designed to help develop confidence in students so they are familiar with what to expect when they enter kindergarten.
|Q. Should my child attend kindergarten or Young Fives?|
|A. This question is one that should be discussed with the building principal, kindergarten teacher, and Young Fives teacher. Some variables to consider are: maturity, ability to get along with others, ability to separate from parents’ supervision, fine motor skills, and attention span.|
|Q. Will my Young Fives child be expected to know the alphabet?|
|A. Young Fives students are exposed to letters of the alphabet in a variety of ways, but they are not expected to reach mastery level. They are involved in activities that reinforce development of the alphabet.|
|Q. Will my Young Fives child be reading at the end of the program?|
|A. Students are exposed to different types of literature (genres). Students will develop a desire to want to read. Reading is introduced for enjoyment.|
|Q. Will my Young Fives child be counting at the end of the program?|
|A. Again, the emphasis is on exposure not mastery. Students will write numbers incorporating the date and other calendar activities. Shapes, patterns, and counting will be introduced. Students will be able to recognize certain numbers by the end of the program.|
|Q. Will my child have the opportunity to ride on the school bus?|
|A. Yes, district transportation is provided to students of this age. If your child is going to ride the bus, his or her pick up time will depend on where you live. Kindergarten bus drivers will contact you regarding the noontime run. You are also welcome to contact the transportation office at 850.5150.|
|Q. How do I know if my child is ready for school?|
If you can answer YES to these questions, your child is probably ready for school.
|Q. How should my child and I prepare for the first day of school?|
|A. The first day at the “Big School” can seem frightening to even the most confident child. Crying is a common occurrence on the first day. Stay strong; tell your child you love them dearly, and then let them go. This sometimes-rough transition is made easier when parents allow their children to become independent.
|Q. How old does my child have to be to enroll in either Young Fives or Kindergarten?|
A general education pupil must turn five years of age on or before December 1 to enroll in Young Fives or Kindergarten.
Note: If the child is any younger, they may be able to enroll in a tuition-basedpreschool program. Interested parents should speak with Child Services department about this matter.
|Q. What do I have to have to enroll my child in Young Fives or Kindergarten?|
|A. When you enroll your child for school, we will need some required information. Here are some of the things you should bring with you:
Enrollment forms are available in the forms section of our website. If you do not live in our district but would like your child to attend Grand Haven Schools you can fill out and submit a Schools of Choice application.
|Q. How many students are in a kindergarten class and what is the average class size for lower and upper elementary schools?|
|A. The average kindergarten classroom has 20 students. Overall, grades K-2 average 21 students and grades 3-5 average 25 students.|
|Q. How many classes are there per grade level?|
|A. Classes per grade level vary by building – anywhere from 2 to 4|
|Q. Are there any aides in kindergarten classrooms in addition to the teacher?|
|A. Teacher assistants are provided when class numbers warrant.|
|Q. What skills should students have practiced before entering kindergarten?|
|A. Kindergarten students should practice basic fine motor, gross motor, social, language and counting skills|
|Q. Are students screened for placement prior to entering kindergarten?|
|A. There is currently no adopted district kindergarten-screening program|
|Q. Are Young Five students integrated into the regular kindergarten, or do they have a separate class?|
|A. Young Fives students have their own classroom, but are introduced and exposed to the kindergarten curriculum. Young Fives students are not expected to reach a mastery level.|
|Q. How is instruction differentiated for students with different levels of ability?|
|A. Through Differentiated Instruction, all children are challenged at their individual level .|
|Q. In addition to the core academic curriculum, what other subjects do students have access to during their school experience?|
|A. All students at the elementary level have art, music, physical education and media skills built into their weekly schedule|
|Q. What extra-curricular opportunities are offered at elementary schools?|
|A. There are a variety of extra-curricular activities at each elementary building including; boys and girls basketball, chess, Destination Imagination, Girls on the Run, Total Trek Quest, North Ottawa Recreation Authority, service learning groups, foreign language, etc.|
|Q. Are the arts integrated into the curriculum?|
|A. Yes. In addition to having art class, there are a variety of ways the arts are included a part of the elementary experience such as; Reader’s Theatre, music performances, art shows, and drama clubs.|
|Q. Do students receive computer instruction and are they able to visit the school library regularly?|
|A. Grand Haven Area Public Schools has a comprehensive technology and media curriculum. All students work with a media specialist and a media assistant to learn technology and media skills as well as times to check out books.|
|Q. What opportunities/expectations exist for parent involvement?|
|A. Each elementary school has an active, vibrant Parent Teacher Association that provides many opportunities for parents to be involved in their child’s school. Parents are also involved in the classroom by helping with activities, tutoring and serving as chaperones on field trips|
|Q. How do schools regularly communicate with parents?|
|A. In addition to parent-teacher conferences, parents receive record cards, newsletters, email messages, and can log onto school webpages for up-to-date information.|
|Q. Could I see a copy of school mission statements? Could I have a copy of school calendars?|
|A. Each school has a unique mission statement, and individual school building calendars are available for parent on school webpages.|
|Q. How can I find answers to specific questions I may have for a certain elementary building?|
|A. Elementary buildings would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Ferry Elementary: 850-5300
|Have a question? Send your request to the webmaster and our staff will consider adding your question to the FAQ.|