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GRCHS Home Bulletin News — September 20, 2022

Keeping You Connected

Details from the Dean

It is our goal to teach our students to be effective communicators and collaborators and lifelong explorers. Part of this work includes helping students understand the importance of being present, arriving on time for all of their classes, and readily responding to and reading their school email. In order to help them learn these valuable lessons we need your support as we continue to implement our attendance policy. Please see our parent-student handbook for more details. 

Attendance Policies

  • Students will be present in all of their classes. If students need to miss class due to illness, appointment or other approved reasons a parent/guardian must call the attendance line (574-5521) or email the same day to excuse them. 

  • If students need to leave school during the day, they must have parent permission and sign out in the office.

  • Students should arrive on time each day for class. Arriving late impacts their learning and disrupts the learning environment. Therefore, students should not exceed 3 tardies in any of their classes. 

  • Students that will be gone for an extended pre-planned absence, need to pick up a pre approval form in the office and submit parent permission. These forms need to be signed by all of their teachers, so they are aware of this upcoming absence. It is the student’s responsibility to gather and complete work that is missed. 

  • Students will arrive on time and be present in chapel and their assigned focus sessions.

  • We communicate about attendance regularly with students. 

  • Students receive emails at the end of the day letting them know if they received an unexcused absence. If they were present, it is their responsibility to email their teachers to correct this absence by the end of the week. They are also responsible to let their parents know they need to be excused for illness or appointments within 24 hrs. Unexcused absences and tardies will result in learning lunch. Students are expected to serve all learning lunch sessions immediately after notification.

We want our students to understand the importance of being punctual and present and maintaining regular professional communication here at school. We are grateful that we can partner together to help them understand these important lessons. Please let Elizabeth Hoving ( know if you have any questions or concerns regarding attendance. 

—Elizabeth Hoving

Plugged In

Our clubfest was a success last week. We had booths set up for students to check out a variety of student opportunities.

October 3-8 is homecoming week. This week gives students many opportunities to be involved with our school!

  • Spirit week with different themes every day 
  • Our middle school students will also be participating at their respective schools
  • A hallway decorating contest decorated by each class
  • Lastly, the homecoming court will be on display at the football game along with halftime activities.

We look forward to seeing you there!

—Eric Taylor

Preparing Students

65 percent of students entering grade school today will end up working in jobs that don’t even exist yet. What do you think of when you hear this statistic from the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report? One thing that comes to mind is the importance of teaching and assessing transferable skills--skills and competencies that will help our students be successful regardless of their postsecondary educational journey. Transferable skills like critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity are taught across many of our course offerings. Our hope, however, is for all students to grow in these skills throughout high school. For this reason, we have started a new department at GRCHS called ACADEMIC SKILLS. You may have heard of this if your students are taking Freshmen Skills, Sophomore Skills, or Mastery Skills. Here's what going on in these classes so far this year:

Freshman Skills started the year getting oriented to high school--tech tips from technology coaches, essential school information from high school administrators, and a meet and greet with school counselors. Students are now learning about the power of goal setting and students set their first SMART goal of the year. Students also practice daily habits each class period, such as checking and responding to emails, examining the StudentVue calendar and grade book, and creating a to-do list for the day.

The fall theme for Sophomore Skills is charting a course to our future. The first few weeks in class included an interview with our future selves, and exploring time management and priorities. Students have also set their first SMART goal for the first weeks of school. Similar to Freshmen Skills, students practice daily habits each class period, such as checking and responding to email, examining the StudentVue calendar and grade book, and creating a to-do list for the day.

—Nick DeKoster

Stronger Together

September 15 marked the first day of National Hispanic Heritage Month. We kicked off our celebration with a Hispanic Heritage Month Community Time. Hispanic students and Spanish Immersion students read a children’s book in Spanish, with English translations projected above. Then, we ended our time with a prayer of blessing over the school, also spoken in Spanish. I am grateful for the variety of cultures we have in our student body, a representation of God’s kingdom. I am also grateful that our school welcomes opportunities for students to celebrate their stories. Victoria Meija, a senior, says, “Seeing all the different Hispanic cultures represented under the same language of Spanish at our school has been an exciting experience. Sharing it with my classmates is important to me because I get to share a part of me with them.” We look forward to celebrating the rest of the month with Focus Times which will help us learn more about the Hispanic culture.

—Rona Das

Rooted in Christ

Over the last few days, I have had the privilege of having conversations with teachers and students about lessons they are doing in their classes that integrate faith and learning. Students in the English department’s Speech and Composition course have been giving speeches about people in their life who embody the attributes of our school’s Portrait of a Graduate - characteristics like disciples of Christ, thoughtful neighbors, and justice seekers. Not only does the assignment teach speech techniques, but it also has students reflecting upon people worthy of imitation. Similarly, students in the Science department’s Earth and Space course have been exploring various ways that Christians understand the relationship between faith and science. One way the students have been doing this is by having intergenerational conversations with adults and mentors in their life, a practice that not only teaches the material but it also has students developing lifelong virtues of intellectual curiosity and humility. These are just two snapshots of the various ways that teachers and students are seeking to live out the Apostle Paul’s instruction to “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Rom 12:2). 

—Mark VanderWerf

High School News

School Photos

Photos and ID cards arrived last week. If your student did not pick theirs up they should stop by the main office.

You can still order online at Enter your student's web code (found on the photo folio students received). You can also order by phone at 800.473.3885.

Retakes are happening on Wednesday, September 28.


We are looking forward to celebrating homecoming from Oct. 3 - 8! We will have activities and themes each day for students to have fun and celebrate as a class. Everyone is welcome to attend our homecoming game at Eagles Stadium on Friday, Oct. 7 which will feature our homecoming court.

The Homecoming Dance will be on Saturday, Oct. 8 from 8:00 pm - 11:00 pm. We are pleased to offer this dance for juniors and seniors at the Grand Rapids Children's Museum. More information will be posted in upcoming morning announcements.

We still need parent volunteers for this dance! If you are able to chaperone, please email Dean of Student Life Eric Taylor (

Important State/National Testing Info

For the past several years GRCHS has used a one-day testing schedule in the Fall and in the Spring in order to be the least intrusive to classroom instruction. All School Day testing (State/National tests given at school during a scheduled school day) is free for students and parents. Each test/program on these two dates (October 12 and March 8) is required of all students. Notes:

  • Attendance will be taken for grades 9—11.  
  • Busing will be provided, with no classes held on either testing date. 

Below are the details for our 2022 Fall event.

FALL TESTING and MIXER on Wednesday, October 12 (all beginning at 8:30 am):  

9th: Freshman Mixer (required)  

  • Freshmen will participate in a variety of activities throughout the day to break away from their school routines and spend time having fun and building relationships with their peers.
  • Freshmen will be bussed to and from the mixer and will return to school by 2:45 pm.
  • Please watch your email for more details.

10th:  Pre-ACT 

  • The test given will be identical in format and have similar content to the ACTs offered on Saturdays. This is valuable preparation for ACT and SAT testing.
  • Extended time is available for students who qualify as determined by our ESS department. Contact Mrs. Amy Crow ( for more information.

11th: PSAT/NMSQT (Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test)

  • Accommodated testing is available for qualifying students.

12th: Seniors are strongly encouraged to participate in college visits. 

Please note: 

  • On Monday, October 10, all 10th and 11th-grade students will receive a school email with their room assignments for the Wednesday testing and instructions about what to bring/not bring with them that day.
  • On Wednesday, October 12:
    • Testing and mixer begin promptly at 8:30 am
    • 10th and 11th-grade testing will conclude by 12:15 pm (except for students who qualify for extended time) and students will be dismissed for the day. Standard-time students will have bus transportation available as soon as the testing is complete.  
    • 9th-grade students will participate in their mixer and will be transported back to school by 2:45 pm.

Senior Pictures

Senior pictures must be emailed to Ms. Das by Friday, November 4. Please use these guidelines to ensure that the photo is of high quality. 

Senior Recognition Ad

If you're interested in highlighting your senior, consider purchasing a yearbook recognition ad, starting at $50. You can personalize and add baby photos to celebrate your senior's high school graduation. 

Buy a Yearbook

For a limited time, yearbooks will be $60. Order your yearbook now before prices increase.

Choral Events

We are proud to present the first choral music concert of the year on Tuesday, October 4! As we are building momentum for our choral groups, come out and support us by listening to some beautiful music of several genres. The concert begins at 7:30 pm, student singers must arrive by 7:00 pm.

A unique and incredible event is being hosted by GRCHS! The Men's Choral Workshop, directed by MSU's Dr. Jonathan Reed will feature the Great Lakes Singers, several guest artists, and over 100 high school guys from our West Michigan region for an unforgettable music experience. It's so important to keep men singing! Please join us for this free event and invite others! Wednesday, October 5, 7:00 pm at the DeVos Center for Arts and Worship. 

The Drop-in Center at Shawnee Park CRC

Shawnee Park CRC has assembled an after-school Drop-in Center for GRCHS students across the parking lot from the school. The center is open twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) from 3:00 - 5:00 pm. Students can enjoy a convenient and comfortable space to complete homework, play a game, enjoy a snack, wait for extracurricular events or a parent/guardian pick-up, or simply gather with friends.

Adventure Club

Adventure Club is a great way to meet others interested in outdoor recreation! Throughout the year, there will be opportunities for mountain biking, backpacking, and rock climbing. Students may attend some or all of the activities. We are beginning the year with group mountain bike rides. There will be beginner and advanced groups, so all are welcome to come out and ride! All Wednesday rides start at 6:30 pm. Stay tuned for more details on our Saturday trip to slay The Dragon!

Saturday, September 24 - The Dragon (Website)

Questions? Contact Mr. Van Harn at Parents and students can follow on Instagram for reminders, updates, and directions! @grcsadventureclub


From the Counseling Department

Please visit the Counseling Department website for the latest information from the GRCHS Counseling Department, including curriculum and class information, ACT and SAT testing information and prep classes, college planning guides, and much more.

Get Registered on SCOIR

We are pleased to introduce you to SCOIR, a service designed especially for students and families. SCOIR is a comprehensive website that you and your child can use to help in making plans about colleges and careers. SCOIR will allow you to get involved in the planning of post-high school years, research careers and colleges, request transcripts/teacher recommendations, and track college applications. 

All parents, we ask you to register for an account on SCOIR  because it's the only avenue in which we communicate with you and send our emails. Please contact Jill Anderson at in order to sign up for an account and download the Parent App. 

Upcoming Saturday ACT dates: 

  • October 22, 2022. The late registration deadline is September 30. See to register.  
  • December 10, 2022. The registration deadline is November 4. See to register. 

Upcoming Saturday SAT dates: 

From the Athletics Department

GR Christian HS Concessionaires 

GR Christian HS is looking for concessionaires for our athletic event concession stand. This job is great fun! You are working with parent volunteers and the Eagle Athletic Boosters showing hospitality to our community and our guests. Flexible hours and you get to see our kids! We need more concessionaires so we can offer concessions at our home events.

We will pay for any licensing and certification and the hourly rate is very competitive. Contact Jason Heerema, Athletic Director at or 616-340-6802 if you are interested. Go Eagles!


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