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I hope everyone was able to reflect on Christ’s birth and spend some meaningful time over Christmas and New Years. I have been studying the following verses in my morning devotional:

Joshua 1

7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

My take away from these verses is that we need to stay rooted in God’s word by meditating on it both day and night. As we do this, we are able to be strong and courageous because God leads us into 2022.

As I mentioned in the November newsletter, the middle school is in year one of PBIS, a program that helps us figure out what areas we need to teach students appropriate school behavior and celebrate what kids are already doing well. Starting 2nd semester (Jan. 18), we will be teaching the students clear, common expectations that we have at our school, so the school day runs even smoother than it does now. Students earn house points for doing positive behaviors during the school day. As we do this we hope to be even more generous in giving house points to students as we get used to this new system to encourage positive behavior. At some point during 2nd semester, you may be notified if your student does get a house point as we are looking into adding that feature to our house point system.

Please pray for the middle school staff and students as we continue to partner with you during the 21/22 school to continually equip the minds and nurture the hearts of the young to transform the world for Christ!

God bless!

Tom Strikwerda
HCMS Principal



Parents – thank you so much for showing such love and appreciation to our staff this Christmas. We appreciate all you do for us and for sharing your child(ren) with us each and every day. Thank you.


Whenever a student is absent for any reason, whether for one period or a whole day, we need a signed note from a parent, an email or a phone call to explain the reason for their absence. Parents can call 616.820.3205 or email to report these absences. Students have many orthodontic appointments; a note from the orthodontic office is sufficient. With two administrative assistants this year, the best email to use is the one mentioned above, so that no matter who is working,  your information gets to the right person. Thank you so much for your help with this.


We are tweaking our schedule for the 2nd semester so that 6th grade will start the school day at 8:00 and end at 2:55. This will make it so their schedule is aligned with our 7th and 8th grade schedule.


Ski club is also starting this month. Please pray for Dave De Kruyter (our ski club coordinator, varsity cross country coach and former HC teacher) and his family as his wife Amy has been diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer.


Our Winter II athletic season is scheduled to start on January 18. Please stay tuned for more information from coaches on practice times and locations. This includes 7th and 8th grade Girls Basketball and 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Boys Swimming & Diving. A bus will leave from the Middle School and take athletes to practice. If your student would like to participate, you can still sign them up via Final Forms. Please make sure they have a current physical on file. Thanks.



14: End of quarter 2/Semester 1
17 – No school: MLK Day
18/19: 8th Grade Science Placement test during science block class
21: Q2/S1 grade available via PowerSchool


21: No school – Professional development/President’s Day
24: Parent Teacher Conferences


3: Parent Teacher Conferences
18: End of Q3
24: PSAT test for 8th grade; this will be a half day of school for 8th graders.