SS/PR Elementary Newsletter 2018-2019

We’re getting geared up throughout Holland Christian to welcome your child and your family back to all of the adventures that God has in store for us this year. The hallways and classrooms at South Side and Pine Ridge are taking on life again! We very much look forward to filling our spaces with curious children again, trusting in God’s guidance and goodness for the 2018-2019 school year. Our theme this year is “Preparing A Table.”

Have you ever heard the phrase “Jesus ate his way through the gospels”? I read that one years ago and it comes to mind again this summer as we begin to live into our new theme for 2018-2019, “Prepare A Table”.

All four gospels recount the intimacy of last supper as the 12 disciples broke bread with Christ and shared a communion meal one final time. Also shared in the four gospels is the grandiose effort involved in the feeding of the 5,000! What a fun, festive, chaotic event that must have been on a hillside in Israel. Jesus also shared a meal with Levi the tax collector and his shadowy buddies (more on the company He kept at many tables another time). There’s the tension-filled meals with the Pharisees found in Luke 11: 37-54 and again in Luke 14: 1-24. Remember who we teach our children to sing about and the last verse “for I’m going to your house today”? Jesus invited Zacchaeus to break bread with him! How humbling yet affirming for little Zacchaeus and what a lesson for the onlookers whose table was passed by. One of my favorites dinner accounts is the meal after Jesus’ resurrection on Emmaus Road. His presence was not made known to his followers until they had the opportunity to share a meal at the table. Together.

Jesus is often found feasting and even celebrating at these meals. Remember the very first miracle was at a multi-day party? Festivities such as these were not a new scene in Scripture. In the Old Testament, Israel’s yearly calendar is peppered with festivals and feasts. Sharing a meal together at a table was a joyous, bonding occurrence. It strikes me that perhaps some of this rich community building and learning of the early Church and early Christians are a bit lost on us today. Common practices have changed a bit in the last 2000 years. Our yards are separated from one another by quality fencing. Each member in a family tends to have their own bedroom “zone” complete with the amenities that keep one another pacified separately in the bedroom with a TV, computer, phone, etc. The risk is that of course this leads us away from the table of community and a bit into isolationism. I believe there is a cost to this individualism and perhaps we might even say it pulls us away from the Church as Jesus had intended. To be the body of Christ we must be bonded together, don’t we? Read Revelation 19 and we read that the second coming of Christ is described as ‘the wedding supper of the lamb.’ Again, we see Jesus moving his people to meet him at a table. To commune together with Him and with each other.

Our staff is busy preparing a place at a table for your child and for your family. We are eager to model and teach your child how to prepare and include others at their table. We pray and expect we will learn to live a life more like Christ’s as we seek to prepare a table, broadly, for others this school year.

South Side Announcements

Please click the attached link to view the Class lists for 2018-19 School Year.   Class Lists

Preschool News

Preschool Paperwork is now available on-line here. Please download and print all forms and return to the school office before August 14, 2017.

Preschool families join the whole South Side Christian School family on Thursday, August 16 from 6:30-8 PM for our annual Ice Cream Social.  This is a great night to come out and visit your student’s classroom, meet the teacher, and enjoy fellowship with other Rose Park families.

Our Preschool Parent Meeting is Tuesday, August 14 starting at 6 PM in your child’s classroom.  This meeting is for parents only.  You will hear more from the teacher regarding the year and your student’s experience.  You don’t want to miss this!


Just a reminder that all Kindergarten, Junior Kindergarten, and Preschool students need to have a copy of the health information and immunizations turned in at school. These need to be done BEFORE the first day of school (please turn them in next week – August 8-12) or your child will not be able to start school due to Michigan Law. Thanks so much for your help on this!

Pine Ridge Announcements

Internal Staffing Changes

Lynae Stielstra

Mrs. Stielstra will bring enthusiasm and expertise to our E.S.S. program here at Pine Ridge and to the entire Holland Christian system.

Natalie Boer (Sapp)

Congratulations to Natalie on her marriage to Kyle Boer this summer.  Mrs. Boer will be teaching 3rd Grade again this year.

Jen Becksvoort

Mrs. Becksvoort will be teaching 5th Grade this year with Mrs. Smit.

Welcoming New Staff to Pine Ridge

Stephanie Smit

Mrs. Smit comes by way of South Side where she was a Pre school teacher aide. Prior to her work at South Side and the addition of three daughters to her family Stephanie taught at Rose Park for six years. She may have some fun stories about Mr. Howell because her fourth grade class was next door to his third class, if she is willing to share.

Billy Meyering

Mr. Meyering is also a Calvin graduate. He will teach fourth grade too. He comes to us from East Martin Christian School where he has been very busy teaching Kindergarten through eighth grade Spanish, third through fourth grade science, middle school math, middle history, middle school spelling for the past three years. He has also worked as the Geography Bee Coordinator, Spelling Bee Coordinator, Boys Basketball coach, and Chapel Director. Needless to say, he is excited to focus on one class at one grade level. If you have any hazardous waste materials, this is your man. He can properly break down, sort, and handle any materials with that strange yellow label you may have in your car, house, or outbuilding.

Claire VanWeelden

Miss VanWeelden will teach fourth grade students this coming year. She graduated from Calvin College this past May, with her BA in Language Arts and Spanish. She is from Pella, Iowa, where she attended Pella Christian High School. She plays basketball, volleyball, and tennis. I would suggest if you are going to challenge her to a one on one competition, don’t choose tennis — she was a state tennis player!

Please click the attached link to view the Class lists for 2018-19 School Year.   Class Lists


Just a reminder that all New students to Holland Christian will need to have a recent copy of their health information and immunization records turned in at school. These need to be done BEFORE the first day of school (please turn them in next week – August 6-10) or your child will not be able to start school due to Michigan Law.  Thanks so much for your help on this!

Shared Announcements

New Shared Staff

Tina Meckley

Mrs. Meckley will be teaching art at Pine Ridge and South Side. Also at South Side she will be a teacher’s aide in preschool. She taught art at Jenison Christian and was a Young Rembrandts Art instructor before coming to Holland Christian. She also is a HC parent of a middle school student and a fourth grade student.

Febe Gomez

Señora Gomez will serve this year as our new Spanish teacher. Welcome Señora Gomez! She is a HC parent and comes to us with five years experience teaching Spanish at Corpus Christi. She will teach Spanish at South Side and Pine Ridge. She is married to Enrique, a local pastor.

Important To Do Today

It is imperative that you update your demographic information in PowerSchool now with your latest and most accurate contact information. Simply go in your browser to, and, if you are a returning parent, log in with your personal log in and password. If you have difficulty, click the “If you are having trouble…” link to retrieve your log in information. If you are a first-time parent, create a login for yourself. Then, either an “update demographic screen” will automatically pop up, or simply click the “change demographics” button on the left of the screen. This information is necessary for field trip participation, emergency response and treatment, student photo permission, and for the office to easily be able to contact a parent or guardian as needed or desired. When listing your child’s emergency contacts, please be sure to list two contacts other than yourself. Again, please do this today to ensure that your child’s teacher has the most accurate contact information for you. The teachers do a lot of communicating with parents especially at the start of the year, and we want to make sure that you receive all of this communication. Thank you!

South Side and Pine Ridge Need You!

We rely on a wonderful volunteer base to assist the staff as needed. We have a need for help in our library this year. We are looking for parents or other volunteers to help us and our librarian shelve returned books, process new books for cataloging and shelving, and check books out for students throughout the day. Come for an hour a week, or hour a day. We would love to have you join us in our library. Please email mrynsburger@hollandchristian or, or call  in the office at 616-820-3535 for South Side or 616-820-3505 for Pine Ridge if you are able to support our literacy program in this way.

For some positions, we even pay! We currently have a need for lunch recess supervisors on the playground, from 11:45-12:30 each day. Even if you can’t commit to every day, if you would like to learn more, or know that you would like to help out in this capacity, please email mrynsburger@hollandchristian for South Side or for Pine Ridge, or call  in the office at 616-820-3535 for South Side or 616-820-3505 for Pine Ridge .

Back-To-School Events

We have some wonderful events planned for you in August.  Please find information below regarding these dates and additional items related to the beginning of school:

Ice Cream Social / Open House: Thursday night, August 16, from 6:30 – 8:00 PM

  • “Socialize” with old friends and meet new families. (Challenge: Talk to at least three parents with whom you are not very familiar! Also – help your child meet the new students in their class. See names with an asterisk on the class lists posted by the classroom doors.)
  • Visit classrooms, introduce yourself to the teacher, find your child’s locker and desk, bring in school supplies. (See the Holland Christian page for the list.)
  • Pay for busing, or put money into your child’s lunch account – having your child’s account number will be a huge help. Assistance will be available to new families wishing to fund lunch accounts.
  • Technical support, if you are having trouble setting up a Power School account or updating the demographics page.
  • There will be a table set up for checking Tshirt Sizes, so you can Order your childs Tshirt for Walk-a-thon. ( no cost )
  • Inform the teacher about your child’s transportation to and from school – needed information before the first day of school.
  • Enjoy some ice cream!

School begins on Tuesday, August 21, for all students.  Our first school day will run from 8:10 AM (first bell) to 3:12 PM.  Normal Office hours are 7:45 AM – 3:45 PM.  Because Holland Christian is starting school earlier than public schools, there will be no busing until September 4.

K-2 Parent Night:Wednesday, August 22, at 7:00 PM

3-6 Parent Night: Thursday, August 23, at 7:00 PM

  • Meet collectively as a parent and staff community.
  • Spend time with your child’s teacher and learn about the year ahead.
  • Sorry, no ice cream.
  • More specific details forthcoming.

2018/2019 School Supply List  click on this link to view.

Important Busing Information

Holland Public busing will not begin until August 27. This means, obviously, that you will need to provide all transportation for each student to and from school. This also means that we have more car traffic and carpool activity than any other time of the year. Note:  There will not be Holland Public Busing available on September 1.

If you desire busing for your student but have not yet signed up throughHolland Public transportation, you are technically past their June due date. However, if you register now, your student may be able to begin riding later in September. To sign up, go to the HC Transportation page (under Holland Public busing).


You are invited along with the entire Holland Christian Schools community to our annual Convocation Ceremony to kick-off our 2018-2019 school year. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, alumnus, friend, or supporter, we would love to welcome you along with all of our Preschool-12 grade students in a time of celebration, prayer, praise, and listening to God’s Word at the beginning of this exciting new year. Various Holland Christian students, staff, and community members will lead in song, prayer, and devotion. Come and join us Wednesday, August 29, 9AM in the high school gym for this very special convocation service. You will be blessed!

HC Batons

We hope you have treasured the note written to your child from last year’s teacher and tucked inside the special HC baton. It’s not too late to write your own note to your child, or ask a close family friend, leader, or mentor to write their encouragement to your child about what they see as God’s gifts in your student at this point in their growing. We ask that each baton be returned to school in time for our convocation on August 29. Your child’s teacher has a special devotional planned during which batons will be passed from your child to his or her new teacher. You are welcome to bring these batons to the Ice Cream Social event on the 16th of August, on the first day of school on August 21, or during Parent Night on the 22& 23rd of August, or , whichever is most convenient for you. Please keep in mind we need to have them to your child’s teacher by Wednesday, August 29.

Before/After School Care Programs

We offer a before school program for families that need to drop off students as early as 7:00 AM, as well as our after school program starting at 3:15 until 5:30.  Families need to pre-register prior to using these programs to allow us time to provide adequate supervision.  We will allow drop-in’s as long as space allows. Please give the office a call at least 24 hours in advance. Click this online registration link  to begin the registration process for either of these programs.  If you have any questions regarding these programs please contact program director Amanda Brouwer at 616-820-4081.

Maroons Spirit Wear On Sale Now-August 13

General Maroons spirit wear and specific spirit wear for each fall sport is on sale NOW THROUGH AUGUST 13We are excited to offer a wide selection of apparel for each sport as well as general merchandise at a variety of price points. Please note that the August 13 deadline is earlier than previous years, which will allow us to get the orders to families closer to the beginning of the fall sports season.
The Maroon and White Shop (located at the high school and open Wednesdays 8 am-1 pm) is also planning to offer a limited selection of the general HC items offered in the online store but you are encouraged to order online to get the items in the sizes you’d like.
The online shop for general HC spirit wear as well as sports specific merchandise will be available this year prior to each sports season (Early Winter, Winter, Spring).
Go to to see the merchandise offered and to place your online order.

Thank You!

Join us in thanking our custodian team for all of their work to ready our building for students, staff, and the new school year.  They washed, scrubbed, and waxed during our summer vacation, getting the classrooms and halls ready for us to use, and they look great!

Please feel free to call or email our school secretaries–Pat Meiste (South Side 820-3535), Laura Norman (Pine Ridge 820-3505), or either one of us, Miska Rynsburger (South Side), Tim Howell (Pine Ridge) with any questions you may have regarding this upcoming school year.  If you know any families who are still making school decisions for their children, and are interested in learning more about HC, please give them our contact information.  We would love to show them around and tell them about the great things that happen here!

We are looking forward to seeing you all, again, very soon. I am eagerly anticipating a great year experiencing what God again has in store for us at South Side and Pine Ridge!  Please continue to join us in prayer for this coming school year.

Upcoming Dates:


14 – Preschool Parent Night
16 – Ice Cream Social
21 – First Day of School
22 – K-2 Parent Night
23 – 3 – 6 Parent Night
31 – No School Staff Development


3 – Labor Day vacation
13 & 14 – School Picture
28 – No School Staff Development


25-26 – No School: CEA Convention
26 – picture make up/retake date (SS & PR)


21 – 1/2 Day of School ( 11:30am Dismissal )
22-23 – Thanksgiving vacation


24- January 4 – Christmas vacation


Working Together in Christ,

Miska Rynsburger

South Side Principal


Tim Howell

Pine Ridge Principal