Hudsonville Public Schools
3886 Van Buren
Hudsonville, MI 49426
Phone: (616) 669-1740
Fax: (616) 669-4878
Dr. Douglas VanderJagt
Dear Hudsonville Community,
As I reflect on the last several months and dream about the next, I can only describe our current reality as a blur. I close my eyes and think about kids running around the playgrounds, students moving throughout the hallways, our marching band preparing their fall performance, and our athletes beginning their takeover of our facilities as they start to bring our high school campus alive. I catch myself dreaming about what this looked like and what it will look like. I open my eyes only to feel the emotion get the best of me. I have to be honest, my eyes well up once in a while. It’s not easy for anyone. We long for the day when we know this pandemic is behind us but wonder if it will ever be behind us. What will be the long-lasting effects on our community, on our economy, and most importantly, on our children? Where are the learning gaps? What will the social and emotional toll be on our children? Our youth did not ask for this. We did not ask for this, but we can define the narrative. We can comfort our children and give them the peace that they so deserve. We can support them, walk alongside them, prepare them for what is upon us all. There are so many ways to tell your children what could go wrong, what is going wrong, and what will go wrong, but there is only one way to comfort them. Love them. Each and every day. Tell them that this will be okay and that we are all there to provide the best for them. As a parent, I know the natural feeling of always wanting to protect my child. I want to make sure that he will never be harmed, will never get hurt, will never fall ill, and will always have what he needs. To emotionally and physically protect him. I can’t always make that reality, but I can provide a sense of calm. My real job, not my day job, is to put his stress on my plate and give him a sense of calm that every child deserves. Whether he is wearing a mask all day or not, whether he is in school or learning remotely, whether he is able to play sports this fall or not, I can always be there to support him each and every day.
We all know that the 2020 school year will begin with several unknowns. We have prepared all summer for learning and we understand that even perfect plans need to be fluid. Each and every parent is walking alongside us through this unknown. We can’t thank you enough for your support, encouragement, and patience as we do our best to educate your children. Our priority is to keep your kids safe and educate them to the best of our ability. Whether your child will begin the year online or in-person, please know we are there to support them. Every child deserves the best we have to offer and our staff is committed to supporting each and every one of them throughout this journey. We thank you for your confidence in our district.
While our conversations have been primarily regarding our return to school plans, we are still preparing for the future of Hudsonville Public Schools. This year we will conclude our SOAR IV strategic planning process and finalize our next three-year plan for the district. Our administrative team has been busy deciphering over 3000 survey responses regarding curriculum, human resources, finance, special education, and co-curricular activities. We thank you again for your input on this important planning process as we prepare for Hudsonville’s future.
I’m so proud to be a Hudsonville Eagle, especially in turbulent times. We thank you again for your trust in our district and your commitment to the education of our students. I wish you all the best and please stay safe.
Doug VanderJagt, Ph.D.