Dear HCHS Families,
During your fall break, HC staff had the opportunity to learn from and abide with fellow Christian school educators and administrators across the Midwest at the Christian Educators Association (CEA) annual conference. Each year, this gathering gives us a powerful reminder that we are part of an international movement of providing a Christ-centered education to the children of the church that goes back to the first century. In the midst of persecution and luring cultural norms over the millennia, Christian schools have lasted not only because of their great academics and programs, but because all community members were united in following Jesus together, learning to listen to and obey his teaching in every sphere of life.
As we enter into this exciting season of fall concerts, athletic playoffs, musical performances, class presentations, and more, our deep hope remains that we do all of these things distinctively as followers of Jesus. Jesus lived the most compelling life ever lived, and one way that we encourage our students to follow Jesus is by looking at the practices he implemented in his own life, such as prayer, sabbath, fasting, simplicity, solitude, scripture reading, service, and generosity so that we might emulate Jesus in how he loved God and lived in community with others.
Neuropsychological research has shown the vast majority of the decisions we make come as a result of instinctive, emotional processes and not as a result of rational thought, which requires time and delayed decision-making, and this has been exasperated by the fast-paced culture in which we live today (Liljenstrom, 2021). This research has helped make sense of Paul’s confession in his letter to the Roman church: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate” (7:15). The early church understood that our daily routines and practices mattered in our pursuit to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves, especially when called to respond quickly. This might be why Paul encouraged Timothy to “train yourself for godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7), and this is the type of practice that can change the world.
Richard Foster, founder of Renovaré, expresses in his The Celebration of Discipline, “Our world is hungry for genuinely changed people.[…] Let us be among those who believe that the inner transformation of our lives is a goal worthy of our best effort” (p. 11). Only two words distinguish our mission statement from what all other schools do: “for Jesus.” Every school equips minds, every school nurtures hearts toward something, and with today’s technological capability to communicate en masse instantaneously, every school has the ability to transform the world. However, at HC, our pursuit is to do all of these aims distinctively for Jesus.
As we enter into this winter season, one of our deep hopes is that we can continue the good work of discipleship that has been at the core of Christ-centered education since the birth of the church. Thank you for your continued partnership as we seek to fulfill our mission each day and be a place where God’s effective will is being done, a place where his Kingdom reigns as it is in heaven.
Veterans Day Assembly
You are invited to join us for our Veterans Day Assembly on Friday, November 10. Our program will begin at 8:45am in the high school gym.
First Semester Exams
- Students are not required to be at school unless they have an exam.
- You will not be allowed to take your exams until all detentions have been served, and you will not receive credit for your first semester courses until you take your exams.
- All lunch account negative balances must be paid before exams may be taken.
- All books must be returned and fines paid in the Media center before exams may be taken.
- Students who ride the bus should check with bus drivers to find out the bus schedule for exam week.
- Tuesday, January 16, 2023
- 8:45-10:15am 1st-hour exam
- 10:30am-12:00pm 2nd-hour exam -Tech Center required. Students may leave 2nd hour exam when finished; Tech will be notified that you may be late.
- Wednesday, January 17
- 8:45-10:15am 3rd-hour exam
- 10:30am-12:00pm 4th-hour exam – Tech Center required
- Thursday, January 18
- 8:45-10:15am 5th-hour exam
- 10:30am-12:00pm 6th-hour exam – Tech Center required
- Friday, January 19
- 8:45-10:15am 7th-hour exam
- 10:30am-12:00pm Make-up slot – Tech Center required
Decisions for Seniors
We have met with each senior individually to make sure they are on track with their post-high school planning and all that comes with it. We are encouraging college bound seniors to get their applications done soon to have the best opportunities for financial aid and scholarships. We also assist non-college bound seniors with career exploration, vocational opportunities, and job search skills.
Also, many colleges are SAT/ACT test-optional for acceptance, so testing may not be a requirement for acceptance. Some are test-optional regarding scholarships as well. Students should check with individual colleges to determine if an ACT or SAT score is needed for merit-based scholarships. If scores are needed, the student should request them through their CollegeBoard or ACT student account.
When in doubt, it is best to connect with the admissions and/or financial aid office of the college(s) you are considering to get the most accurate information on admissions policies, scholarships, financial aid, and specific programs/opportunities.
All students seeking financial aid (institution based, state & federal funds) must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online via the FAFSA Website. The FAFSA will be available for you to complete beginning in December. Be sure to check the financial aid link on each college website for specific information on their timelines. For helpful information on the FAFSA, check out this FAFSA Application guide.
The federal student aid estimator can provide you with an estimate of your Student Aid Index (SAI). This index is used by colleges to determine what types of student aid you may receive. Again, the financial aid office of the college(s) you are considering is a great place to start if you have specific FAFSA or financial aid questions.
Throughout the school year, various scholarship opportunities will be posted online through the Counseling Department. A listing of outside scholarships, both regional and national, is updated as we receive notices of scholarship opportunities. Beginning in January and early February, there will be information online about the Community Foundation of Holland/Zeeland 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 section of the Counseling Department page.
Helpful Resource for Financing College
The Sallie Mae Paying for College Resource is a new, go-to destination to help students and families make a plan to pay for college. The resource is free, easy to use, and includes great information on all the important paying-for-college topics.
The featured video series takes families through the paying for college process. Over the course of eight short videos, learn not only what resources are available to help pay for college, but also the basics of financial aid and the questions to consider before choosing a college. Watch by topic or the entire series.
- All 11th grade students will take the SAT during the school day on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. Students do not need to register for this test, and there is no cost for students.
- Upcoming Saturday SAT dates are available in December, March, and May. HCHS is a testing site for the March date. You can search for other testing sites in our area when you go to the SAT website to register.
- Upcoming Saturday ACT test dates are available in December, February, and April. HCHS is a testing site for the December and February dates. You can search for other testing sites in our area when you go to the ACT website to register.
- Here is a chart of the upcoming ACT and SAT dates, including the registration deadlines. This covers the 23-24 school year, so we hope you find this helpful as you look ahead for possible testing dates that work for your student.
Meeting with Juniors/Parents
We met with the juniors this week to talk about planning and preparing for senior year and life after high school. We will also be offering the opportunity for parents to join their student and his/her counselor for a junior + parents check-in meeting. Some of the information covered in the junior meeting will be taking the ACT/SAT, preparing for senior year, and discussing plans for life after high school. Since this is such an important and transitional time in your student’s life, we want parents to have the option to sit in on this meeting. If a junior + parents meeting doesn’t work for you, we will still meet individually with each junior. Watch your email for more information to come about these meetings.
If you are considering attending a NCAA Division I or II school, and you hope to compete in athletics, the NCAA Eligiblity Center is an important place to start. It is the responsibility of the student and parents to be familiar with eligibility requirements and course specifics. If you are considering participating in athletics at the NAIA level, check out the NAIA eligibility center.
Festival of Fine Arts
Celebrate Holland Christian High School’s Festival of Fine Arts! From student drawings and paintings to movie music, from choral anthems to the deep sounds of the tuba, prepare to enjoy a rich diversity of the arts:
- The HS Choir Concert is Wednesday, November 1 at 7:30pm in the HS Auditorium.
- The HS Band and Orchestra Fall Pops Concert is Thursday, November 2 at 7:30pm, also in the auditorium.
- The Fall Art Exhibition will be on display in Main Street from November 1-3.
Swingin’ the Night Away
The Holland Christian Jazz Bands and the Old Timer’s Jazz Band are proud to present Swingin’ the Night Away in the HCHS cafeteria on Friday, November 3, from 6:45-9pm. Admission is $5 and goes to support the music program at HCHS. New to swing dancing? No worries! Dance instructors will be on hand from 6:45pm-7:30pm to teach us the basic steps of swing, so the evening can be enjoyed by novice and experienced dancers alike. Not in the mood for dancing? Come socialize, indulge in delicious desserts, and enjoy the music of Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, and more.
The Sound of Music High School Musical Performance
This fall, Holland Christian Theater is producing one of the most beloved musicals of all time: The Sound of Music! In Austria, 1938, an exuberant young governess brings music and joy back to a broken family. But as the Nazi forces take hold of Austria, Maria and the entire von Trapp family must decide between keeping their new family safe, or making a courageous and extremely dangerous stand for their beliefs. Shows will be held at 7pm on November 16, 17, and 18, with an additional matinee performance at 2pm on November 18. Tickets will go on sale on Oct 17. Purchases can be made at https://hollandchristian.org/arts/theatre.
Winter Sports Tryouts
- October 30: Ice Hockey (co-op with West Ottawa)
- November 6: Competitive Cheer (co-op with West Ottawa)
- November 20: Girls Basketball
- November 13: Boys Basketball
- November 20: Boys Aquatics
Scheduling/cancellations and game information can be found on the Athletics website.
All athletes need an approved pre-participation physical form (dated after 4/15/2023) on file in the Athletic Office and completed registration on Final Forms. See the Athletics Registration page for complete details.
- 1: High School Choir Concert, 7:30pm
- 2: High School Band & Orchestra Concert, 7:30pm
- 10: Veteran’s Day Assembly, 8:45am
- 16, 17, 18: Fall Musical, The Sound of Music
- 22, 23, 24: Thanksgiving vacation, no school
- 1-2: 24 Hour Theatre
- 19: High school Christmas concert 7pm
- 25: Christmas break begins