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Dear Parents,

A few months ago, Dr. Forseth had myself as well as other leaders in our school read a book that led us to pick a word to focus on this year. The word I chose was gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.Research has illuminated the profound connection between gratitude and mental and physical well-being. The feel-good hormones released during acts of giving and thankfulness can help us manage stress and feel happy, and in turn, have more energy, a positive mindset and better sleep.

Here are a few of the things I am grateful for at the middle school:

  • The opportunity to help middle school students grow. In my 34 years of working with middle school students, I have always appreciated their enthusiasm, spontaneity, ability to pivot, curiosity, as well as the fact that they are figuring out who and whose they are.
  • Each teacher uses their unique gifts as they welcome our students, teach learning targets, and teach about Christ to our students.
  • Each support staff who enhance the learning experience for each student.
  • Dr. Forseth for his leadership and mentorship over his four years at HC.
  • The instructional team’s wisdom and passion as we work together to continually improve our schools.
  • Mr. Ribbons, who is retiring at the end of the year. He has done a wonderful job of keeping our school clean, and he also gets things fixed as he knows and is connected with so many people. He also did both a middle school and high school chapel this year. Note: It would be great if either you or your students could give him a thank you note as he finishes out his career at HC.
  • House activities like the Quad Cup which we had for three February Friday homerooms. In the random activities, our houses enthusiastically cheered on fellow house members who were randomly chosen to compete in the activities. The Dunes won the Cup for the second consecutive year.
  • Fundraiser for Jom Se Bos, South Africa during the Maroon Unity basketball games on February 20. Over $11,000 was raised to help build homes for people who lost their homes to fire. Both of our South Africa groups served these people food on our trip. (Note: Sign-ups for next year’s October trip is below).
  • The wisdom, organization and thoughtfulness of our grade level team leaders Michelle Styf, Ben Herrman and Katie Boer. Recently, they helped us make a school technology policy so we can help students stay on task.
  • The 8th grade students who completed rigorous research papers for Mrs Lundy class. I read a couple of the papers and was impressed with what the students learned. 
  • You, the parents, as we partner together to do what is best for our students. 
  • Mrs. Kruithof as she keeps everything at school running smoothly day in and day out. She does this while continually being hospitable to each person who comes in the office. 
  • Mrs. Beukelman as she prepares our students to perform the play Charlotte’s Web next week. 
  • Mr. Leegwater as he organizes all our athletics and coaches basketball.
  • The Parent Team, who meet to think of ways to support teachers and add to the student life of our students. 

These are only some of the things I am grateful for in middle school. 

What are you grateful for? Take some time to reflect and write them down. It is a very positive experience!

Tom Strickwerda, HCMS Principal

March at HCMS

Parent Survey

We are continuing to evaluate and improve our process for communicating behavior expectations to students. Our desire is to come together as a community to help our students grow into people of God. One of the central components of this initiative focuses on working to recognize and acknowledge positive student behavior. We have created a school-wide system for teaching and addressing behavior in our students.

We would love to have your input about the overall climate of our school community. This survey should take 5-10 minutes to complete. Many of these questions are required as this is a nationally recognized program. Your responses will be kept confidential.

South Africa Trip 3.0

Holland Christian Middle School is inviting eight incoming 7th and 8th graders to a kingdom encounter in South Africa October 10-October 21. The vision of this trip is to raise up a generation of servant leaders to have a deeper understanding and knowledge of the Father, and to provide a process for students to make His heart known.

While staying abroad students will explore cross-cultural service, spiritual disciplines, and encounter our Father’s Kingdom heart. They will find a new rhythm to life that allows them to connect with God and focus on life outside of themselves. Students will be immersed in cultures, communities, and livelihoods very different from the ones they are used to living in. They will work alongside young children at Ocean View Care Center, dwell with residents who live in the townships, and help with the homeless ministries. Every interaction is an opportunity for intellectual, spiritual, and personal growth and development. Learning becomes alive as they explore life’s big questions in the light of God’s truth, their purpose, and how to live out the Great Commission. There will be a parent informational meeting on Thursday, April 18 at 7pm in the media center. South Africa Application will be due by Wednesday, April 26 if you would like your son or daughter to be considered for the trip. The following forms also need to be filled out by April 26 if you would like to be considered for financial aid: Recommendation form for financial aid and financial aid form. We are blessed to have enough available staff this year that we are not in need of chaperones. 

Kids’ Food Basket “Go Orange” Week

Each year HCMS partners with Kids’ Food Basket as we work toward our mission in feeding the hungry right here in our own community! Go Orange Week raises awareness about the needs our community has regarding childhood hunger. We will be collecting food March 11-15, and are specifically requesting the food items listed below. See the Kids’ Food Basket flier for more information.

  • Fruit cups or pouches
  • Pudding cups
  • Meat sticks (i.e., Slim Jims)
  • 8 lb or XL brown lunch bags
  • Cheerios
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese crackers

Tickets! Get your tickets!

Tickets are now on sale here for our HCMS play Charlotte’s Web, with performances March 7-9.

Spring Sports

Boys and Girls Track, Girls Soccer, and Girls Tennis are slated to begin on March 18! Make sure you are signed up on Final Forms for the sport your student is interested in to receive information from the coaches. Students must have a valid physical form on file before they are able to participate. Thanks!

Athletic Physical Night

We encourage every child to see their PCP for their well-child visit, but also understand that MHSAA preparticipation sports physical requirements do not always align with the annual well child visit with your physician due to insurance requirements. It is beneficial to see your PCP as they know your previous history and can note any oddities, but MHSAA requires that physicals must be dated after April 15. 

Sports physicals through the school allow a way to fulfill the MHSAA requirements when insurance does not cover an additional physical. More information is coming on an all-area physical night this spring, so please stay tuned for a date and time!

Please note: Any parents willing to volunteer their time as any of the following: Physician, nurse, PT, expert crowd control or healthcare professional, please email HC’s athletic trainer, Karianne.

Technology Violations

Earlier this month, you should have received an update regarding a new process for technology violations. If you missed it, please feel free to take a look at it here. Tech Violation Parent Email

Important Dates


  • 7: MS Parent-Teacher Conferences 3:30-6:30pm
  • 7: MS play 7pm
  • 8: MS play 7pm
  • 8: Ski Club weather permitting
  • 9: MS play 2pm & 7pm
  • 13: Band Extravaganza 7pm at Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts
  • 21: 8th grade PSAT; ½ day for 8th graders only
  • 22: End of quarter 3
  • 22: Swingin’ the Night Away
  • 25: Beginning of quarter 4
  • 29: No school: Spring break begins


  • 8: School resumes
  • 25: MS Choir Concert 7pm


  • 9: Half day for Tulip Time
  • 10: Grandparents’ Day 1:30pm
  • 14: Orchestra concert 7pm
  • 15: All school convocation 8:45am
  • 16-17: 7th grade camp
  • 27: No school: Memorial Day