Our excitement is building as we are getting closer to the first day of school! We cannot wait to greet the students and get them into classrooms. We are also eager to see you again. It has been too long. In our back to school email, we mentioned that details about ‘back to school events’ would be coming soon. This email will provide a few updates regarding the following events – Elementary Parent Information Night, the K-8 Open House Night, and other beginning of the year details.
Thursday, August 27 – Elementary Parent Information Night:
Due to the gathering restrictions placed on indoor events, we are not able to hold an in-person Elementary Parent Information Night for 3 School through Fifth Grade parents as we usually do. Instead, all of our teachers will be creating a video in which they share a little bit about themselves and important information about their classrooms. These videos will be sent out to families on Friday, August 28. Our teachers in 3 School through Fifth Grade may combine this information with their classroom tour video (see below).
Monday, August 31 – Open House Night:
We had hoped to be able to hold this event as we traditionally have done. After consultation with our local health department, due to the size of our school population, we are not able to hold our annual Open House event for parents and students as we normally do. This is typically a time where students can meet their new teachers, put supplies away, and get a peek at the classroom. We will do this differently for 3 School and 4 School students, Young Fives, Kindergarten, and 1st-grade students, students of families new to HCS, and for Second Grade through Eighth Grade students.
- 3 School and 4 School students – We are excited to have Visiting Days on September 9 and 10! Your child’s teacher will be contacting you to set up a time to see the classroom and visit with the teacher.
- Young Fives, Kindergarten, and 1st-grade students – We feel that this event is especially important for our littlest learners as a short visit to school can help ease anxieties for that first day.
- For those of you with children in Young Fives, Kindergarten, and 1st Grade, your child’s teacher will be contacting you soon, giving you an opportunity to sign up for an in-person visit during the week before school starts.
- Families who are new to HCS – If you are a new family to HCS this year, welcome! We are so excited to partner with you to help your child grow in their love for learning and their love for Jesus! Your child’s teacher will be contacting you to set up an in-person visit during the week before school starts.
NOTE: For these in-person visits, we ask that everyone:
- Use the door closest to your child’s grade level area
- Wear a facial covering while inside the building
- Stay within the time-frame your child’s teacher sets up and immediately exit the building when that time-frame has ended
- Second Grade through Eighth Grade students – Teachers of grades 2-8 will be creating a video for their students, which will be sent out to families on Friday, August 28. Second through Eighth Grade students will be given time on the first day of school – Tuesday, September 1 – to put away supplies and get their lockers and desks organized.
Monday, August 31 – Family Park and Pray:
One of our favorite things that happens on Open House night is the Blessing and Dedication prayer service in the elementary gym that ends that evening. It is so fitting to come together as a community in prayer asking God’s blessings on the coming school year. While we are not able to come together like this, we still are a community of prayer warriors and we would like to give all families an opportunity to be in prayer for this school year. Prayer is powerful in any setting!
We would love for every family at sometime during the day or evening of Monday, August 31, to drive to and park in the parking lots of the campuses and pray for God’s blessings on the school year.
- The students to have a great school experience, to meet new friends, to learn new things, to remain healthy, and to fall more deeply in love with God.
- The staff who dedicate their lives to serve God’s children. Fill them with strength, grace, hope, patience, and love. Help them to teach the wisdom and truths of God’s Word as they shepherd His covenant children this school year.
- The school leadership and School Board as they continue to make important decisions that carry on the mission and vision of Hudsonville Christian School
- The parents who are passionate about the mission of challenging their children’s minds and lives for Christ while it may be a sacrifice to partner with HCS to raise their children in the foundation of His Word.
- The greater HCS community and those who support HCS and enable us to make Christian education affordable for all God’s children.
- Health and safety for everyone throughout this new school year.
Coming into the building and Drop off and Pick up
Parents are welcome to come into the main offices at the elementary, early childhood, and middle school. As mentioned in the back to school letter, at this time per safety protocols, only a limited number of visitors and volunteers can be allowed past the main offices while in Phase 4. Office staff are eager to help you and will bring your child anything that they may have forgotten to take to school, etc. A reminder that anyone entering the building is required to wear a face-covering.
How does this requirement affect Drop off and Pick up?
*Please know that staff will be outside and inside everyday meeting and greeting your children.
Drop off – Bus transportation and parent transportation
- Early Childhood – Parents of early childhood students, please be watching for more information to come on specific drop off and pick up locations for your child.
- Elementary students Y5s -5 – Students who ride the bus will be dropped off in the bus loop behind school. Staff members will be there to meet them and help as needed. They should keep their face-covering on when they enter the building. Students should drop their things off at their lockers and then head outside for the before school recess, keeping their face-covering on since students will be mixing outside for this recess only. If you drive your child(ren) to school, they may be dropped off at the parent loop parking lot off of Oak Street, or parents may find a parking spot and walk their child to the entrance closest to their classrooms. If parents choose to do so, parents must wear a face-covering. Parents may not go into the building with their child. Students Y5s -8 must wear a face-covering upon exiting the vehicle and entering the building. Students should put their things in their lockers and then go outside to the playground wearing a face-covering for the before school recess.
NOTE: Please remember that you may also drop off elementary students in the west parking lot by the west gym. This drop off location is very close to the 5th and 4th-grade classrooms.
- Middle School students – May be dropped off at the entrance on the east side of the building (by the north gym) or parents may walk them to the entrance. Parents may not go into the building with their student. Students must wear a face-covering upon exiting the vehicle, entering the building, and putting their things in their lockers. They will bring their first period materials to homeroom and then go outside wearing a face-covering.
Pick up after school – Bus transportation and parent transportation
- All students Y5s-8 must wear face-coverings while waiting for rides – bus or parent pick up. Older siblings should wait with younger siblings. While waiting, students should remain socially distanced as much as possible.
Drop off or Pick up once the school day has started
Once the school day has started, anyone coming to school must enter through the main office at the elementary building, early childhood wing, and middle school building. The office staff will answer your questions and will call your child out of the classroom if you have come to pick them up. Just a reminder that anyone entering the building is required to wear a face-covering.
1st day of school – Regardless of the grade level, the first day of school comes with a heightened level of anticipation and nervousness, but mostly excitement! (I will fill you in on a secret – staff feels that way too.) We realize this year this may be even more so due to the fact that students have not seen each other for a long time and also the new safety protocols that are in effect. We have plans in place to make this a positive experience for all. School Board members will be at both campuses to welcome your children back to school. I don’t think they have any choreographed cheers, but there may be pom poms and balloons involved!
- At the elementary school, Y5, K, and 1 classroom teachers will be inside by their classrooms. We will have some staff in hallways to help students find their classrooms. The rest of the staff will be either outside greeting students or inside helping them with whatever they need.
- At the middle school, grade level homeroom teachers will be by classrooms. We will have some staff in hallways to help students find their classrooms. The rest of the staff will be outside greeting students and helping them into the building. (This really is not a change for middle school as this is the way they have been handling the first day of school for the last few years.)
- Early Childhood sessions start the second week of September. Julie Moes, the Director of Early Childhood Program, will be communicating the plan to the parents of these students.
We realize for some of you this is not the way you hoped the first day of school would start. We wish it could be different as well. Please be assured that when your children arrive at school that day they will be enthusiastically welcomed by staff who love and care about them.
Update on Mr. Los, elementary school P.E. teacher
As you know, Mr. Los was in a roll-over ATV accident earlier this summer fracturing his pelvis in 4 places. Dan continues to heal quite well and we praise God for this. However, his injuries were significant, so it will be some time before he will be able to come back to teach and when he does it will be on a limited basis at first. We are blessed to have Jennifer Hoekstra willing and able to be a long term substitute teacher while Dan recovers. We are so thankful to God, who continues to provide for all of our needs!
Dan asked if we would pass along this message: Mr. Los would like to thank everyone for their cards, balloons, cookies, gift cards, and prayers for me since my ATV accident. I am in the pool for physical therapy and recovering at home. I am so disappointed to miss the 1st 6-8 weeks of school. I really miss everyone and can’t wait to get back. I would love to hear from you using my school email email@example.com. Visitors must wear a face-covering, please Thanks, Mr. Los
The leadership team continues to pray daily for the HCS families. This looks to be an atypical school year. Every school year is different and brings with it uncertainties; we realize that this school year will likely bring even more differences and unknowns. Yet there are some things that we do know. HCS staff members love Jesus and they love teaching. They will have absolutely no problem sharing their love for teaching and for Jesus with the students placed in their care. It is what they do and they are experts at it. Regardless of circumstances, we will carry on the mission and vision of HCS by challenging our students’ minds and lives for Christ. HCS will continue to be a place where your child is valued as a unique child of God, created with his or her own set of gifts and talents, educated by teachers committed to nurturing the whole child – mind, body, and spirit—surrounded by an academically excellent and dynamic learning environment and supported by a loving community rooted in faith. Yes, there are and will be unknowns this school year…yet we as believers can handle these because we serve a sovereign God – the God who knows all and is in all things. “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 God is with us in every step that we take and will be with us each day of this school year.
Serving together for His glory,
Mary Broene, Interim Superintendent
Tricia Kiepert, Elementary Principal
Justin Knot, Middle School Principal
July 20 Email to Parents – Update to July 13 Email – As of July 20, 2020 the state of Michigan is in phase 4 and HCS is planning on in-person school.