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Grand Rapids Christian High School Principal's Corner

A Great Start!

A new school year brings about a lot of change for all of us: new teachers, new classes, new opportunities, and new relationships.  At GRCHS we are excited about some intentional changes that will help us achieve our mission.  

We have been intentional about creating a positive school culture where students can grow in their relationships with each other and with the Lord.  A slight change in our schedule has made it possible to have chapel twice per week.  Our chaplain, Mark VanderWerf, has led us in shorter, more frequent chapels where we gather together, grow in our knowledge, glorify God, and go out to live for Him.  All of our students also meet in adult-led small groups twice per month.  Small groups have the following purpose:

  • Every student is known by and connected to a group of peers and an adult.  Students grow in their relationships with each other and have fun together.
  • We share joys and concerns, pray for each other, and grow in our faith.
  • It is a safe place for students to discuss issues in our school and community that are relevant to young people.  
  • It is a safe place for students and staff to hear different perspectives and to learn how to disagree with each other in a way that honors God.
  • We discuss school business and get student feedback.

Two other events have contributed to a positive culture to start the year.

  • First of all, we invested a bit more in welcoming our freshmen with a full-day Freshman Launch.  The launch was led by administrators and our 10th - 12th student congress members.  It was awesome to see our student leaders connecting with our freshmen and making them feel welcome.  Finishing the evening with a freshman parent dinner was a great way to fellowship together.  
  • Our Senior Retreat was moved to the fall so we could set the tone for a great year.  I was so impressed with our seniors as they shared their testimonies, set goals for the year, and built relationships.  Check out some highlights here!

Our staff is committed to being a school that focuses on LEARNING rather than teaching.  In fact, we guarantee that students will LEARN essential standards in our courses. Over the last few years, our teachers and administrators have spent a great deal of time researching best practices in grading and assessment.  Throughout those years, there have been many subtle changes.  Those subtle changes continue this year as we align our practices with our beliefs.  

We want to make sure that you are aware of why those changes occur.  Please take some time and watch the series of videos below.  Feel free to watch the entire video or select the question that interests you.  

We are grateful for your partnership!  

  1. Watch the full discussion about assessment and grading.
  2. What led up to these changes in grading and assessment?
  3. Why weren’t these changes communicated earlier?
  4. What should a grade represent?
  5. What provides evidence of learning?
  6. What is the problem with averaging all scores and can grading really build hope and confidence
  7. How is my grade calculated?
  8. What’s the purpose of homework and why aren’t points given for completion?
  9. Will students have more than one chance to assess?
  10. Will grades go up or down?

Brad Mockabee

Grand Rapids Christian
High School


Past High School Principal's Corner Updates