This question was asked countless times over the last few weeks as we invited Christian Schools Management (a scheduling consulting firm for Christian schools) to HCMS. The goal was to provide scheduling recommendations for next year and help us navigate the transition of adding the 5th grade to the middle school. Through dozens of interviews with staff, students, and families we found it to be extremely beneficial, even though it sometimes felt like the core of Hudsonville Christian was being scrutinized.
While the question “Why?” is healthy, it creates a tremendous amount of vulnerability. Why do we teach how we do? Why is the schedule organized the way it is? Is this really what’s best for students? I imagine God asking the same question of us at times. Why? Why do you do what you do? Why do you follow me? And sending His Son to die on the cross for us–talk about the ultimate example of vulnerability!
Some staff members are apprehensive about these changes because everyone will be impacted in some way. Changes to the middle school schedule will cause some anxiety but we must agree on one thing–prioritizing our students will be paramount to our success.
Upon joining HCS last year, I taped a simple question to my computer monitor. This question (shown to the right) must drive our conversations at HCS. When we are asked “why?”, we can unequivocally respond with “because it’s best for our students.”
Cover this process in prayer in the coming months. It is an exciting time to be part of Hudsonville Christian but may we remember to do what is best for students–that is our ‘why?’
Middle School Principal
A New Website for HCS
To ensure we tell the story of our school to the external community accurately and really, really well, HCS is planning to launch a new website! This website will seek to answer questions that families looking for Christian education have about how we challenge minds and lives for Christ at HCS. A portion of the new hudsonvillechristian.org will remain dedicated to current HCS families with important volunteering links and parent handbooks and feature a calendar of school events. If you have questions about the website or need help finding information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next week Friday, December 15 is an early release day, with dismissal at 11:10 AM. Our staff will be engaged in valuable professional development during this afternoon. Hudsonville Public buses will run as normal but students riding Unity buses will need to arrange for transportation home.
Moms in Prayer
Moms in Prayer invites you to have a profound impact on your children and HCS by praying scripturally with other moms each Friday. This week we will be meeting at the Middle School 8:00-9:00 a.m. Check in at the main office and they will direct you where to go. We will be focused on praying for the administrative team, office staff and custodians this week. See you there!
Christmas Blessings – Share Yours!
Some of our HCS families are experiencing struggles due to employment issues, health concerns, etc. Please prayerfully consider how your family can bless another HCS family in need this Christmas season. If you know of a family in need, please contact Devon Brinks, Tricia Kiepert or Chris Achterhof. Gift card donations in any amount to Family Fare, Meijer, Target, Walmart, and Speedway, can be dropped off in the school offices until December 15.
Christmas Celebration | Photos & Recording
Last night, our 1st through 5th-grade students led us in worship and reminded us all that we get to tell the story of God’s love for us this Christmas and all year round! Here are links for photos taken during the event available for download and a link to the recording that you are free to share!
Also, a big “THANK YOU!” to the Christmas Celebration Committee and all the teachers for their fantastic leadership!
All elementary students will gather in the west gym for chapel on Friday from 10:00-10:25 AM. Parents are welcome to join us and may enter through the west gym lobby doors.
Elementary Hot Lunch
The menu as well as other information on the Elementary Hot Lunch Program provided by JenHud Food Service can be found on the JenHud Food Service website.
This week Friday morning students will have the opportunity to purchase freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for $.25 each to support the work of our Global Awareness Committee.
Our elementary students will be taking collections this Christmas season for the following organizations:
- 3 School — Closet of Hope
- 4 School — Toys for Tots
- Nature Based 4 School — Life Give/LifeWest Church
- Young 5s/Kindergarten — Gifts of Hope School in Liberia
- First Grade — Hand2Hand Ministries
- Second Grade — GRPS Winter Gear
- Third Grade — Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital Foundation
- Fourth Grade — Gateway Mission
- Fifth Grade — The Belong Project
Boots and Snow Pants
Please be reminded of our guidelines for boots and snow pants. Young 5s – 2nd grade students should have snow pants and boots at school for when the playground conditions warrant wearing them. If the playground is snowy and/or wet these students must wear these items. If they don’t have boots or snow pants, they will still go out but will need to stay on the blacktop. Students in grades 3 – 5 may use their own discretion regarding boots and snow pants, but if they choose to get wet, they will not be permitted to call home for dry clothing.
5th Grade Concerts
You are invited to attend the first concert for the 5th Grade Orchestra on Wednesday, December 20 at 2:00 p.m. and the Band on Friday, December 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the west gym.
Lost and Found
Our elementary lost and found is bursting with discarded items. Please remind your child(ren) to check out these items in the hall by the lower elementary office to see if anything belongs to them. Parents – please check out the lost and found when you are at school. All unclaimed items will be donated to REVIVE over Christmas break.
MIDDLE SCHOOL NEWS
Spiritual Emphasis Week
With so many messages swirling around us today, Spiritual Emphasis Week will use the analogy of an old-school radio to ask, “Where are we tuning in for truth?” Sometimes, we are listening to the wrong station, filling our minds with things that aren’t from God. At other times, we may find ourselves in the static. Being intimately familiar with God’s Word is the only way to know when we are starting to believe things that aren’t from Him. Like sheep who know their shepherd’s voice, we’ll be able to stay in step with Him when we know Him and are connected to His Word. The Theme Verse for the week: John 10:27 “My sheep know my voice; I know them and they follow me.”
The students will have daily gatherings in the gym or their homerooms for Spiritual Emphasis Week. These will be in place of the Tuesday/Thursday chapels.
Hot lunch this week Wednesday will be Mr. Burger $4.50/burger. Pop/chips sold $.50 each. The full menu/schedule is listed on our website.
Cookies will be sold during morning break this Friday for $.25.
6th, 7th, 8th Grade Choir, Orchestra, and Band Christmas Concert
The Choir, Orchestra, and Band Concert will be tonight @ Jenison Center for the Arts. The concert begins at 7:00. Doors to the outside open for guests to enter at 6:00. Then, the doors to the auditorium open for seating at 6:30. The call time for the orchestra and band is 6:40, and the call time for choir is 6:40. Students must be in formal concert attire (black pants/ skirts, black shoes and a white plain top). However, students MAY add a splash of color (green, red, gold, silver, or blue) with a tasteful accessory. NO santa hats or elf ears, please. Dress code applies. See you there!
Middle School Ski Club
The Middle School Ski club will again be offered this year however it will look a little different. An information sheet and member form was sent home with your student last Friday. There are also extra copies in the Middle school office. Completed forms and money can be brought to the Middle school office. Contact Jon Huisman or Chris Lowe with any questions at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any student may now sign up for our Sus Manos Gleaners service project for this week Wednesday after school. Students should bring a hat and need to get picked up at 5:00 at the ministry. Check out this link: Sus Manos
Middle School Fundraiser/Coin Wars
The Middle School students are raising money for the Mosaic Project from now until Christmas. The money raised will be used to renovate a shipping container into a classroom as well as purchase school supplies for impoverished and orphaned children in South Africa. Students are participating in their ‘salad groups’ with coins and bills collected in buckets outside the office.
There will be concession stands benefiting the Mosaic Project at the boys’ basketball games December 7. Concessions will be sold starting right after school through both the 8th grade game at 4:00 and the 7th grade game at 5:15.
Art Club starts this week, on Thursday from 2:45-4 p.m , for anyone who turned in their sign-up sheet and money. If your student is interested in still joining please talk to Laura Mast at email@example.com.
Middle School Spelling Bee
The middle school Spelling Bee is scheduled for Thursday, January 25, 2024. Each grade level can qualify up to eight students. Information is available from the 6th-8th grade language arts teachers. If you have any questions, contact Joy De Windt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PARENTS' CLUB NEWS
Bonus Box Tops for December
- Earn 5 Bonus Box Tops on Annie’s Soup when you buy any 3 participating Annie’s Soup products in a single transaction between 12/01/23 – 12/31/23.
- Earn 5 Bonus Box Tops on Pillsbury Sugar Cookies when you buy any 2 participating Pillsbury Sugar Cookie products in a single transaction between 12/01/23 – 12/31/23.
- Earn 3 Bonus Box Tops on Chex & Chex Mix when you buy any 2 participating Chex and/or Chex Mix products in a single transaction between 12/01/23 – 12/31/23.
- Earn 4 Bonus Box Tops on Cinnamon Toast Crunch when you buy any 2 participating Cinnamon Toast Crunch products in a single transaction between 12/01/23 – 12/31/23.
- Earn 6 Bonus Box Tops on Blue Buffalo Dog & Cat treats when you buy 2 participating Blue Buffalo Dog and/or Cat Treats products on a single transaction between 12/01/23 – 12/31/23.
Submit receipts within 2 weeks of purchase to the Box Tops app to help earn money for HCS!
All I want for Christmas is free tuition… and more!
The Auction’s popular “free tuition raffle” is going live in time for Christmas stocking stuffers! BUT THAT’S NOT ALL – You could win some AWESOME experiences to use this Christmas Break: Paintball, Bittersweet, Rebounderz, Orangetheory, Griffins, Glow Golf, Air Zoo & MORE! Raffles go live Friday, December 8th and close Thursday, December 14th so DON’T WAIT! Winners will be announced on Friday, December 15th! REGISTER NOW to preview items. Questions? Email email@example.com.
Save the Date
The Hudsonville Christian 3 on 3 basketball tournament will be held on March 9, 2024. Watch the Home Communicator for more details!
Middle School Wrestling Team
Unity Christian is pleased to offer a Middle School Wrestling team for boys in grades 6 – 8. This program will run from January 8 to February 8 and will consist of practices and six matches against other area middle schools. The practices and home wrestling matches will be held at the Hudsonville Christian Elementary West Gym. All experience levels are welcome, whether you have wrestled before or not! The cost to participate is $80, and the deadline to register is December 20. Please go to Unity Christian High School (unitychristianathletics.org) under Camps and Clinics for more information/schedule and an on-line registration link.