Dear HCHS Families,
Welcome to the school year of 2023/24! Our teachers and staff could not be more excited to see the classrooms full once again as we enter this new season of equipping our students’ minds and nurturing their hearts to transform the world distinctively for Jesus.
This summer, Dr. Forseth gave the entire Holland Christian leadership and staff a Psalms Journal, spurring many of us to meditate on the prayers of King David at an unnaturally slow pace. For each psalm, the reader conducts a cursory reading of one, thinks about what it says, reflects on potentially striking words or phrases, underlines or circles words or phrases that stand out, completes five pages of journaling prompts on that same psalm, and is expected to talk to God throughout the entire process. As a 21st century school administrator, this took a lot of self-control to stay focused, and I’m assuming I’m not alone in finding such a high level of focus challenging in today’s fast-paced world.
One psalm that struck me differently this year was Psalm 46, with its recapitulating swing from describing the consequences of the world’s fallenness to the peace that we can have in God’s sovereignty over all creation. Typically, verse 10 received the most attention with its infamous beckoning to “Be still and know that I am God,” but the motif that stuck out this time was God’s persistent presence:
- God is “a very present help” (46:1)
- The “holy habitation of the Most High” is in the city of God (46:4)
- “God is in the midst of [the city of God]” (46:5)
- “The Lord of hosts is with us” (46:7)
- “The Lord of hosts is with us” (46:11)
This theme of presence brings to mind Jesus’ declaration to the repentant thief who was crucified next to him, “Today, you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Growing up, I always focused on wondering what “paradise” meant while missing the key detail that made “paradise” a place where we would want to be: being with Jesus.
One of our deep hopes for this school year is for each of our students to practice how to be not only present with one another, but also present with Jesus. We are fully aware that any change, like the personal technology update, can be difficult at first. Yet one concept our staff is rallying around is the theme of doing difficult well, and this doesn’t mean trying to squeeze more into our hurrying schedule. Rather, the things we might find most difficult in our culture today could include the simple act of greeting the new student in class, stepping in when hearing someone getting picked on, sharing food with others who forgot their lunch, or noticing and then helping a classmate who might be struggling with a math problem.
Jesus’ disciples once asked him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you a drink?”, and he responded, “Truly, I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matt 25: 37-40). By seeing and being present with one another each day, we are practicing the presence of God the way Jesus taught us.
Thank you for your continued partnership in forming the next generation of resilient followers of Jesus as they strengthen their practice of presence.
Parents and students, we have spent a fair amount of time dealing with dress code issues in the first two weeks of school, especially with crop tops showing midriffs. Please take a moment as a family to read together the dress code policy listed below from our student handbook. Thank you for your cooperation.
In keeping with the mission of Holland Christian Schools, the Holland Christian School community recognizes the important impact of student dress on the learning environment. We understand that all of our lives, including our dress, bring honor or dishonor to our God. We also embrace our identity as a Christian school and how we dress impacts our witness for Christ to the world. While these principles impact our most basic commitments regarding dress there is more to which we would challenge the HC community.
- No hats, hoods, earbuds, AirPods, or sunglasses are allowed during school hours. Teacher discretion may be used in class based on class activity.
- Clothing or accessories depicting alcohol, tobacco, sexual or offensive language should not be worn at school.
- Clothing and accessories that can be considered political or divisive in nature are not allowed, instead, Holland Christian is committed to providing venues for safe and meaningful discussion.
- Shirts, shorts, and dresses must be modest and cover what they are supposed to cover. Cleavage, midriff or butt cheeks should not be visible.
- The administration reserves the right to determine what constitutes appropriate dress. Students who do not adhere to these guidelines will not be allowed to attend class. Parents will be called if appropriate clothing is not available or the student refuses dress-code-appropriate clothing.
All students who drive to school are required to display a parking permit on their vehicle. They are available at no charge in the high school office.
Security System at HCHS
Just a reminder that we have an intercom/buzz-in system at HCHS. All of the Holland Christian School campuses have such a system. Please note that after 8am (9am on Wednesdays) the front doors to the main high school entrance (Entrance A) are locked and you will need to press the intercom button located to the right of the doors to speak to one of the office personnel who will let you in. Parents may drop off items for their students in the office, and visitors who are going to be in the building must sign in the visitor log and wear a guest badge. Thanks for your cooperation with these important safety protocols.
High School Daily Announcements
All students and parents will be emailed the high school’s daily student announcements. Please help us by keeping your contact information up to date in PowerSchool. When you log in to PowerSchool, click “SwiftReach SwiftK12;” under “Contact Information” you can make sure your demographics are up to date. Announcements are also posted daily on the website.
Student Handbook Updates
Parents and students, please take some time to read through the HCHS Student Handbook. Make sure you are familiar with the attendance policy and the dress code.
Student Medical Information and Forms
If your student has any medical situation that the school office should be aware of or has any medication that needs to be kept in the office, the appropriate forms need to be filled out each school year and kept on file in the office. Please make sure all information is current so that we can help keep your child safe and keep the necessary medications here. All the forms can be found on the Medical Information and Forms page of our website. If you have any questions please contact Hendrina Cupery, Manager of the Holland Hospital School Nurse Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be hosting our annual Parent Night on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at 7pm at the high school. This will be an opportunity for you to meet the HCHS staff and learn more about our how we will live into our district mission of “Equipping Minds and Nurturing Hearts to Transform the World for Jesus Christ.” Please add this event to your calendar and make it a priority to attend.
Senior Picture Information
Here are some details on Senior pictures. The deadline for senior pictures is Friday, September 22, 2023.
The 23-24 school year is off to a great start. We are committed to building relationships with our students and we look forward to meeting with each one over the course of this school year.
Information for Seniors
All seniors will have an individual check-in with their counselor in September or early October. Regardless of the desired outcome–career, college, or another option–we are here to help, support, and encourage seniors as they think about and plan for life after high school. Application timelines and due dates vary by school, so we encourage college-bound seniors to work toward completing and submitting applications by early November. This ensures maximum consideration for financial aid and scholarships, as well. We will assist non-college-bound seniors in the exploration of career options and help them find information on job and trade-specific training.
We will hold a “Planning for life after high school” session with all seniors on September 6 during Family Flex. In this session, we will cover a timeline of things seniors can be doing throughout the school year, including the college application process. Seniors will also be invited to sign up for a Common Application workshop session coming up later this month.
Throughout the school year, various scholarship opportunities will be posted online through the Counseling Department page of the website. A listing of outside scholarships, both regional and national, will be updated as we receive notices of scholarships. Beginning in the second semester, there will be information online about the Holland/Zeeland Community Foundation Scholarships that are open to Holland Christian students and also internal HC scholarships, which are for full-time Holland Christian students only. Be sure to check the Scholarship portion of the Counseling Department page.
College Representative Visits
We keep a listing of college reps holding visits at HCHS linked here, that can also be found on the Counseling Department page. This list grows throughout the fall.
A college representative will be hosting a virtual workshop for HCHS parents later in September (date yet to be determined) to speak to parents about filling out the FAFSA and other financial aid opportunities. More details, including the date and link to the meeting, will be emailed out to parents of juniors and seniors.
- Upcoming ACT test dates are October 28 & December 9, 2023. HCHS is a testing site for these test dates. Register for the ACT at www.actstudent.org.
- Upcoming SAT test dates are October 7, November 4 & December 2. HCHS is a testing site for only the October 7 test. To register for the SAT, go to www.sat.org.
- There is information about free ACT and SAT Preparation on the Holland Christian website; also, pick up a free “Preparing for the ACT” and a free “SAT Student Guide” booklet in the counseling office.
- PSAT: This test is a precursor to the SAT. It provides excellent practice for subsequent standardized tests and can provide valuable test preparation feedback and tools. The junior year is the only year a score is considered for the National Merit Scholarship. The test will be given on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, during the school day. Juniors who wish to take the PSAT/NMSQT must sign up and pay on Total Registration (more details to come). All freshmen and sophomores will take the PSAT during the school day on March 20, 2024. There will be no fee charged to students, and they will register through school.
The Pay to Play fee is now $100. We prefer that you pay online when you register your student-athlete, and there is no longer a fee to do so.
- 1: No school, Labor Day break
- 4: No school, Labor Day
- 5: Parent Night at the HS 7pm
- 7: Picture make-up day
- 16: Homecoming Dance
- 22: Senior picture deadline
- College Financial Aid Seminar, TBD
- 5: Parent/Teacher conferences 5:30-8:30pm
- 11: PSAT/NMSQT
- 13: Picture retake at HS
- 14: Tuition Grant Fund Auction & Dinner 6-9:30pm
- 12: Parent/Teacher conferences 3:30-6:30pm
- 18: Half day, 11:15am dismissal
- 18: Modified Wednesday Schedule, no late start
- 19 & 20: CEA Staff Development (No school)
- 19 & 20: All Tech Center Students must attend Tech Center