Middle School Newsletter – August 2020
Welcome back to our incoming 8th grade families! We are so excited to see you back in our newly renovated building this year. We also want to extend a special welcome to our new 6th and 7th grade families as ⅔ of our school is brand new this year. This newsletter will provide you with important things to note and plug into your calendar. Just like in years previous, we will be sending out communication to parents once a month.
As we get closer to the first day of school the excitement for starting school grows. I have been privileged to watch the renovation for the last 15 months, and I have been impressed by how it has come together. We have also made major strides in our remote learning plan, HC•Sync. With all that has gone on, we are so thankful we will be ready for our first day of school on August 24. As we continue to get ready for the new school year, let’s cover our school with prayer and remember to continually make decisions through the filter of loving God above all and loving our neighbor. As we do this journey together, remember, God is not surprised by the events we are living in during this pandemic. Let’s continually seek his wisdom as we embark on a new school year!
/ 2020-21 INFORMATION
We know most parents are interested in the information that comes along with a new school year and a new building and also the changes taking place due to COVID-19. The following information will address both.
As I have worked in education for the last 33 years, I have come to value the home and school connection more and more every year. This year we would like to implement open office hours once a month. I will hold open office hours at the Middle School from 9:00-10:00 am on the second Thursday of each month. Join me with your favorite beverage and let’s talk about life at the middle school.
NEW SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Please note the new safety protocols that we are implementing this year and share this information with your child.
- Masks are required unless eating or drinking. Teachers will be designating break times in class for students to drink or eat.
- Students will be eating in classrooms with either lunch from home or an ordered pre packaged hot lunch that will be delivered to the classrooms before the lunch hour begins.
- Students will be socially distanced in rooms as best as possible.
- Teachers will be cleaning their rooms between each class.
- Desks will be facing the same direction, if possible.
- Teachers can use the outdoors if it fits within their learning target.
- Grade level cohorts have been developed. We are keeping the grades separated as much as possible.
SCHOOL SUPPLY LIST
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL INFORMATION
Monday, August 24: We start school this year with a full day. This year start and end times will be staggered by five minutes per grade to allow for more room in our hallways. 6th grade will run from 8:05-3:00, 7th grade from 8:00-2:55, and 8th grade from 7:55-2:50.
Due to the middle school renovation schedule, our Middle School Orientation day will be embedded in our first day of school and will include a tour of the building as well as our school picture day.
Upon arrival on the 24th, your student will meet up with their homeroom teacher outside to walk in the building with their homeroom together. More specific details will be coming to you in an email from your child’s homeroom teacher.
DROP OFF/PICK UP
In our best effort to keep our students appropriately socially distanced, the following is the suggested drop off time for each grade level. If your schedule allows you to drop off your student at this time, this would be greatly appreciated.
6th Grade: 7:50-8:00
7th Grade: 7:45-7:50
8th Grade: 7:40-7:45
At the end of the day, each grade level has a designated zone to wait for parent pickup/bus transport.
If you would like to order photos, visit the Geskus website. Please note, the Middle School yearbook is included in the yearly activity fee and does not need to be ordered separately. Each student will receive one at the end of the school year.
Picture Make-up day will be Thursday, September 10; retakes will be taken Monday, October 12.
Our student schedules will open, via Powerschool, starting August 14. We will also be giving each student their printed schedule and other important paperwork at school on August 24.
The Middle School runs a modified block schedule. This means students take seven classes on Monday/Thursday/Friday, and fewer classes on Tuesday/Wednesday, but for longer blocks of time. All of our Grade Level Daily Schedules are available here.
LATE START WEDNESDAYS
Students start school a few minutes later each Wednesday so middle school staff can attend meetings from 7:30-8:15 am. Starting the first week of school, the start time on Wednesdays is 8:20 for 8th Grade, 8:25 for 7th Grade and 8:30 for 6th Grade.
PARENT NIGHT GOES VIRTUAL!
Join us for our Middle School Parent Night, held virtually this year! You’ll receive an email on September 1 from our teachers providing you with helpful information pertinent to the school year from their classroom perspective.
If you are looking for information such as school supplies, hot lunch menus, medical forms, newsletters, schedules and much much more, please click under “Schools” and then “Parent Resources”. We encourage you to take a look around and familiarize yourself with the site. If you run stuck, or want to find information even faster, use the search function in the upper right hand corner to find what you need. You are also welcome to contact us with questions at 820-2805 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW TO HOLLAND CHRISTIAN?
The Middle School uses PowerSchool for accessing student schedules, tracking grades, attendance, and family contact information. Student schedules will be available in PowerSchool on August 14 at ps.hollandchristian.org. Parents can log in with the username and password you created in a previous year. Parents new to HC will be sent information for creating a PowerSchool account.
In addition, it is important that Holland Christian has accurate contact and emergency information in PowerSchool. When you access your student’s schedule, please also check your family’s contact information and make any needed updates using the Demographic Change page. If you are unable to make changes in PowerSchool and you know that changes should be made to your address, phone number, email address or emergency contacts, please contact the Administration Office at (616) 820-2805.
Please review the Parent Laptop handbook and sign the forms online. This includes the following documents: Laptop Agreement, Technology Honor Code, Internet Filtering, Field Trip & Medical Permissions, Concussion Awareness, and Consent for Immunizations Disclosure.
These online forms need to be completed each year and need to be done before Monday, August 17. You will need to have your student’s ID number (from PowerSchool, seven digits long, begins with graduation year), and your student must be present while filling out the form.
Please visit our Technology for HCMS families link if you would like any tutorials on Middle School technology.
We encourage you to carefully review the 2020-21 Student Handbook as a family. Your familiarity with this information will provide the common ground for a successful school year.
Please contact your health provider to be sure your student’s immunizations are up to date. All students’ immunizations (whether learning in person or online) must be up to date before the first day of school. In compliance with the Michigan Department of Health, Holland Christian Schools will not allow students whose immunizations are not up to date to attend school. Thank you so much for your help with this. Again this year, as per the Public Health Code, each student must have a copy of their most current immunization record and/or copy of their current waiver in their student file for as long as they are enrolled in school. You may email a copy to email@example.com.
Lunch options are offered daily for our students. For the monthly lunch menu and additional details about the lunch program, please visit our website. The cost for a middle school hot lunch is $2.65 (includes milk) and milk is available for purchase daily for $.50. Students may drop off money for their lunch account on the first day of school in the office or parents may pay online at sendmoneytoschool.com. This year hot lunch will be delivered pre packed to classrooms right before the lunch hour begins. If you have any questions about the hot lunch program, please contact Sue Lambers at firstname.lastname@example.org or (616) 820-2934. Reduced and free hot lunch are available for those who qualify. To apply for benefits go to lunchapp.com.
Bussing is available to Holland Christian students in a variety of different ways, depending on where you live. West Ottawa, Holland and HCS South Side Busing cooperate with HCMS and have their own registration forms and fees. If you have not signed up for busing yet, please do that now.
Our Rose Park Shuttle and South Side Transportation will be running for both AM and PM pickup times starting on Monday, August 24, for the school year.
West Ottawa bussing will begin on September 8.
Holland bussing will begin on August 26.
Zeeland bussing will begin on September 1.
Please find additional information and busing registration forms on our HC Transportation Page.
FINAL FORMS – ATHLETICS
Final Forms is our hub for “All Things HC Athletics.” You’ll find physical forms, sports sign ups, all forms needed to play sports, and can even pay your Pay to Play fee from this site. Please make sure your student athlete is registered and all forms are signed before their first day of practice.
Our Fall sports season begins Monday, August 24, with football beginning Thursday, August 19. Please click here for all of our athletic information. This will show you how to register your athlete in Final Forms, which sports are offered when, the sport specific practice/game calendar, and our Athlete Handbook. The physical form, completed by a physician and signed by a parent, is required by the state in order to participate and must be on file in our office before practice begins.
A “Pay to Participate Fee” charge of $55 to all students involved in extracurricular activities helps offset some of the costs of the program. Please plan on paying the participation fee by the end of the first week of the season on your Final Forms account.
Additional Important Things to Watch for:
All Sports Shirt: This shirt will be used for all HCMS sports as a team shirt and warm up shirt. There will NOT be an individual shirt for each sport. Once you purchase this shirt you will be set for the school year. Please note that some sports require specific equipment or apparel outside of the All Sports Shirt.
- Football – Thursday, Aug. 19
- Girls Volleyball, Boys Soccer, Girls Tennis, Cross Country – Monday Aug. 24
Make sure you are signed up on Final Forms and that you have chosen your Fall HCMS sports. Coaches are starting to send out emails through Final Forms, if you are not signed up you will not receive the emails.
/ IMPORTANT DATES
19 – Football Practice Begins
24 – Orientation/First day of School
24 – Middle School Fall Sports Practices Being
1 – Parent Night Done Virtually
4 – No School
7 – Labor Day Break