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December was filled with many extra activities at the middle school. It was a blessing to combine the talents of our students with the celebration of Christ’s birth at our band, orchestra and choir concerts. We also had two house events as we had a Christmas decorating contest and many other small house competitions on the last day of school. Sixth grade had their “Ratio Restaurant” on the last day of school as well. We also took part in two Christmas chapels where we learned about the gifts of faith, hope, love and grace that come from Jesus. May you and your family and friends experience the gifts of Jesus each and every day.

I thought it would be great to hear from our counselor, Mrs. Short, this month as well, so you know what she does each day at the middle school. She has been a real blessing to work with, and she does so many things to help our school run smoothly.

God bless!

Tom Strikwerda

HCMS Principal


From Mrs. Short:

I love my role as the school counselor at the Middle School! My role is unique amongst the school staff I get to work alongside. Each day is so different. Some days bring new joys and celebrations, some days bring hard conversations, some days bring pep talks, or time to sit and reflect.

As the school counselor I am available to all students. This brings its own natural variety in the work I do at the middle school. I partner with the teachers to plan grade level presentations on topics like bullying, collaboration, organization, stress management, growth mindset, etc. I work with individuals or groups of students working through friendship issues. I meet with individual students, sometimes for just one or two brief check-ins or for short-term support on one specific topic or skill building practice. The most common topics I talk about with individual students are anxiety, developing coping skills, stress management, balancing school work and after-school activities, self-esteem, and self-advocacy. Being able to incorporate discussions of faith with students and considering how God joins us in our hard moments of life make my role at Holland Christian Middle School that much more meaningful.

Middle school is a time of so many changes and transitions for students. My encouragement to the students I work with is to be open and honest–not only with themselves but also the trusted adults in their lives. In these years where they start to seek independence and explore who they want to be, it might be easy for them to assume that we as adults don’t get it. My encouragement to you as the parents or guardians of these teens or pre-teens is to be patient. Leave room for them to make mistakes. Have honest conversations about the why behind the boundaries you create for/with them. Continue to model the positive behaviors you hope to see in them. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions.

It is a true honor to partner with you, the parents and guardians of these fun, lively, and joy-filled kids.


Kyra Short

January at HCMS

Thank You from the Staff:

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.

Front Office Communication Reminder:

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. Thank you so much for your help with this.

New Athletic Season Starts in January: Girls Basketball and Boys Swimming/Diving

Our Winter II athletic season is scheduled to start on January 9. 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 and Diving. A bus will leave from the MS 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.

Important Dates


16: No school – MLK Day
20: End of Quarter 2/Semester 1
26: Q2/S1 Grade available via PowerSchool


17: ½ Day & Professional Learning
20: No school: Professional Development/President’s Day
23: Parent Teacher Conferences


2: Parent Teacher Conferences
9/10/11: HCMS Play
23: PSAT for 8th Graders: This is a ½ day for 8th graders only
24: End of Q3; ½ Day & Professional Learning
30: Q3 Grades available on PowerSchool
31: No school–Spring Break