Holding hands in praise

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June 2021 Board Report
20-21 Board Report_June
Click the above image to view the June 2021 Board Report.

Message from the Superintendent

Dear Board:

We closed the school year with a half-day for students on Thursday, May 27, 2021.  Looking back on a very eventful year, I have nothing but gratitude to express to you, parents, students, and staff for everyone’s resilience, flexibility, dedication, and extraordinary efforts since we opened school nearly 10 months ago. God’s presence was truly experienced in many ways, and looking back, it is clear how His hand guided our work.  Though things are not guaranteed to be fully back to normal in the fall, the relaxation of a number of health restrictions we are now enjoying suggests a much more normal fall than for what we planned last summer.  

This month’s board packet includes important information for your review.  It is a full agenda and, in light of several letters the board received over the past few weeks, it is possible that we will have a handful of parents attend the meeting.  I have been in contact with several of them to explain how the board executes its work through committees and reassure them that they will have the opportunity to personally share concerns with the appropriate board committee. Tim will direct the conversation, and we will review the concerns on Monday night.

A note of celebration and thanks to Patti Harris and Jill Ellens, whose respective board terms expire this summer. Each of them has served two consecutive terms, having joined the board in 2015. They have been invaluable assets as board members, and I have tremendously appreciated their passion and support of our efforts. They will certainly be missed.

I trust you have enjoyed the warm weather of late and the start of the summer season with your friends and families. Jacquie and I will be on vacation in mid-July and the kids will each be able to join us at a cottage on Lake Michigan for a good portion of our time on the lake.  We are definitely looking forward to the time together.

Will see you Monday night at 6:00 pm in the Hub!


Tom DeJonge


District Theme: All Things. Hold Together.

Campus Themes Stories

Brad Mockabee — GRCHS Principal

As we reflect on the past school year, there were certainly challenges and hardships. There were, however, many blessings and opportunities for growth. We are specifically thankful for our community that modeled unity in Christ through difficult times. When so many things could have divided, all things were held together through Jesus Christ.

It was an emotional end to the school year in many ways. There was certainly a sense of relief but also a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. It was specifically emotional for our class of 2021. We were so proud of the way they celebrated and the maturity they showed in reflecting on their four years. We were grateful to be able to hold special events for the class of 2021, including our senior chapel, senior mixer, senior banquet, and graduation. They professed God’s faithfulness in providing for them and holding them together over the last four years. 

Sara Seth — GRCMS Principal

We had a fantastic end to our middle school year as we once again came around our district theme of All Things Hold Together. We came together outdoors as a student body to sing praises to our faithful God. We were reminded once again how only God could bring us through this unpredictable school year. It felt so appropriate to sing together again as a student body. 

Our 8th-grade graduates experienced a beautiful last night as a middle schooler on the high school football field. Mrs. Allen (middle school choir teacher) worked with the choir students and Miss Mueller (American Sign Language teacher) with the 8th graders to learn the song Thrive by Casting Crowns. As the students signed the song for their parents, grandparents, teachers, and friends, they reflected upon how God has made each one of them for more than just surviving; God made them to thrive. It is each teacher and administrator’s prayer that our 8th graders move on from middle school, seek their God-given talents, and THRIVE in the years to come.

Ben Buursma — Rockford Christian Principal

Every Monday morning this past year, K-8th grade Rockford Christian students would connect for a time of worship over Zoom. While we are grateful for the technology that makes this possible, everyone missed being in the same physical space for our family time chapels. (Christ became flesh and dwelled among — he didn’t Zoom for a reason.) Our last day of school was also the first time we gathered together in person, outside for family time. Worshiping together again was a true gift to our community and a beautiful way to end a year where God has truly held us together.

Ann Bakker — GRCES Evergreen Campus Principal

The Evergreen students gathered in the grove on the last day of school for our annual graduation chapel. The Team Three Olders (graduates) invited guests to join us that day. It was a beautiful, sunny, cold day. We were able to celebrate their years at Evergreen. Then, the graduates and teachers lined the sidewalk for a final car parade to celebrate the school year. 

John Barkel — GRCES Iroquois Campus Principal

Upon completion of this school year and throughout the past year, we get to reflect on our theme, All Things. Hold Together, which couldn’t have been a more appropriate theme for this year. He put the right people in the right places and at the right time. Staff, students, parents, and administrators all came together to make this school year a success. It was not without its challenges. There was much that could have permanently divided us, yet, we were held together by the righteous hand of God. 

On the final day of school, we invited parents and friends to celebrate our oldest grade, the fourth graders. The timing was just right. COVID restrictions lifted just enough, the weather was perfect, and the Holy Spirit was felt among us out on the soccer field. As we sang “The Blessing’’ to the departing fourth graders, it was certainly a time of honor to honor them, and it was so much more. It was a time we were all TOGETHER! Masks were down, and voices carried in praise. There was no talk of vaccines or no vaccines, presidents or politics. Our beautifully diverse community was united as one body. We were all exactly who we were intended to be. God held us together, and we give him all the honor and glory for allowing us to complete what I will call both a challenging and wonderful school year!. 



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