Parent Communicator

               November, 2016

Dear Parents,

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.”  This verse from Proverbs 3:5, which is displayed in our main display case at school, has been a good reminder for many of our staff and students throughout the early part of this school year.  As we become aware of students, staff, and our families who are facing difficulties of many different sorts, we have been able to call their attention to this verse and take comfort in it ourselves.  Even as we all faced the uncertainties of this election and now the uncertainty of the results of this election, we can only do one thing—Trust in the Lord.  This verse implies that it is our natural tendency to trust in our own understanding and in our own abilities to work us through the tough times.  So often this is what we do.  But there is little hope in what we can do.  The true hope and promise is found in the following verse.  “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  Therein is our comfort as we live and walk by faith.  The high school years are trying times for our young people as they begin to prepare to enter a much more complicated world.  As parents and as teachers, we must continually direct them to trust in the Lord.
We are now over one quarter of the way through the school year and things are progressing well.  The new students seem to be adjusting well to high school life.  We have had to have a few pointed conversations with our 9th and 10th grade boys regarding immature behavior in the hallways and I think we are seeing good results from this. 
Our new teachers are also doing well.  Mr. Karl Dykstra and Mr. Ethan Mingerink both report that they enjoy the work and are getting to know and appreciate the students.  They also report that they are getting great support from their colleagues.  Our student teachers, Mr. Matt Elzinga (Math) and Mrs. Emily Boersen (English), are now at the peak of their work as they have taken on the full time teaching load for a couple of weeks.  They will soon start to back away and turn things over to the regular teachers once again.  

New Family—I take this opportunity to introduce and welcome a “new” family to West Michigan and Covenant Christian.  Dave and Susan King moved to Hudsonville this summer from Hull, Iowa and enrolled two of their boys at CCHS.  Dave grew up in our neighborhood and graduated from CCHS in 1991.  After marrying Susan (Gritters) he moved to Hull where they began their family and started his business.  Everything has now relocated to West Michigan.  Caleb is currently in the 11th grade and David is in 10th.  They both participated with the cross country team this fall.  We welcome this family to CCHS.

Report Card—The first 9-week report card is enclosed with this letter.  Please note that the Term 1 grade does not have any effect on the high school GPA calculation.  Only the final semester grade, which includes Terms 1 and 2 and the exam, will be used in the GPA calculation.  This explains why there is no Cumulative GPA listed for the 9th grade students.  Any questions regarding grades posted on the report card should be addressed to the teacher.

Guidance Counseling, College Visits, and Job Shadows--Mr. Haveman and Mrs. Bomers continue to meet with students in the counseling process.  Mrs. Bomers is currently meeting individually with the 10th grade students to review their performance on the PSAT test that they took last spring and to update their thoughts on goals and career plans.  Mr. Haveman has completed his fall meetings with individual Seniors.  He will be meeting with them again near the end of the year to see how things are shaping up with their plans for after high school.   He has been meeting with 9th grade students, talking about their adjustment to high school and working out their course selections for next year.
Mr. Haveman recently sent emails home with information regarding some career exploration programs put on by Kent Intermediate School District and local businesses.  He related his experience with this program to me last week.  Both he and his son came away very impressed with the program.  It is done very professionally and the student gets a good first-hand look at many of the aspects of the job.  I believe that these experiences serve two good purposes.  First, they help the student decide if this is something that they would like to continue to pursue or decide that this is not for them and move on to investigate other areas.  Second, they help the students to see beyond the time of their high school life and to motivate them to continue to do well in their academic work at school.
We have many seniors making arrangements for college visits.  We have reminded them that the college visit forms must be completed at least 5 days before the visit takes place.  We encourage the students to make these visits but we really believe that they are most effective if they go as individuals rather than as a group.  This allows them to get a much better feeling for how each school will meet their personal needs and help them reach the goals that they have set.  We also strongly encourage parents to accompany the students on these visits.  The colleges expect parents to attend and generally have part of the day specifically programmed for the parents.
Parents of Seniors who are applying to colleges are reminded that they are already able to file the FAFSA forms for financial aid.  In past years this could not be done until February 1 and it often required the use of estimates of what the tax forms would report.   The current filing period for high school seniors opened October 1 and it is possible to complete these forms early by using the previous year’s (2015) tax documents as the basis for filing.  For more information on this you can refer to the financial aid office of the colleges or go to

Chapels--Our weekly chapels this semester included having Rev. J. Slopsema here for two sessions speaking on the problems of anxiety and depression.  He gave the students a good overview of the symptoms, the causes, and the necessary solutions.  He made it very clear that this is a very difficult affliction to deal with and something that anyone could face in their life.  He stressed that it is nothing to be ashamed of and it is something that must be dealt with in the proper way.  Students were given the opportunity to submit questions and Rev. Slopsema is willing to return to answer those questions.  More recent chapels featured Mr. Gritters providing devotional thoughts in regard to the songs of the choirs and Mr. Lanning reminding the students to be thankful for the blessings that come to them.  Miss Prins reminded us of the importance of serving God with an undivided heart.  We also had a time of singing as a full student body giving thought especially to the reasons why we as Christians are called and privileged to use the gift of song.  This week Rev. D. Overway will be our speaker.

Student ID—All students will soon be receiving their CCHS Student ID card.  This is a picture ID which can be used as a means of identification for many purposes.  This card can sometimes be used to obtain student discounts on products and events in the area as well.

Senior Pictures—The yearbook staff is urgently requesting a digital copy of Senior photos.  They need the pictures to begin the layouts for these pages in the yearbook.   Please send the photos to  The office also needs one copy to be used in the Senior Picture Composite.  This picture should be a minimum size of 3” tall by 2 ¼ “ wide vertical pose (portrait style, not landscape) and it should also be with dress that is compliant with the school dress code. 

Teachers Convention—The annual PRTI Teachers’ Convention was held at Heritage Chr. High School in Dyer, IN.  Heritage and the PRCS of Dyer did a great job as host for this event. Their facility worked out very well to handle the sectionals, the combined meetings, and the meals.  This was the first time that many of us had seen the recent additions to the school and we came away very impressed.  Rev. J. Mahtani gave the Keynote Address on the convention theme text of Ephesians 4: 4-6.  His emphasis was on the unity between the home and the school that is necessary if our work is to be done to the glory of God.  He reminded us that it is God, through His Spirit that is in us all, who provides daily grace to do our work. 
Once again many of our teachers were heavily involved in the convention.  Mr. Dan Kuiper and Mr. Joel Minderhoud served as officers of the PRTI which did most of the planning.  Sectionals were presented by Mr. Tom Begman (Why do students hate math?), Mr. Dan Kuiper (Planning for Student Success), Mr. Jon Van Overloop did two sectional (Avoiding Burnout and Redeeming “Culture”) and I presented, Teacher as Counselor—Helping Hurting Kids.  It was announced that next year’s convention would be held at Adams Christian School on October 19-20, 2017.  I think that we all found the convention to be a good time of instruction and encouragement.

Concerts—We had our first Choir Concert of the season at Jenison Center for the Arts.  This was the first concert involving 4 choirs, with the 9th and 10th grade split into boys’ and girls’ choirs.  Overall the concert went very well and it was given to a nearly full auditorium.     The Band held their Fall Concert this past Wednesday at Grandville Middle School Auditorium.  They presented a nice program with a wide variety of music.  The Band is scheduled to play their annual Christmas Concert at the Lincoln Development Center on December 16.
The Combined Band and Choir Christmas concert will take place on Saturday, December 17.  Considering the number of students and therefore the number of families involved in these groups, we are anticipating that many would like to attend.  This concert will involve two performances, a matinee at 3:00 pm and an evening concert at 6:00 pm at Jenison Center for the Arts.  We are doing two performances for a number of reasons.  First, we want to continue to have our Christmas concert as a full music department concert including the Band and the Choirs.   Even though the Jenison Center for the Arts has a large capacity we don’t believe that we could fit everyone who would like to attend at one performance.  Second, we believe that the afternoon performance will be a nice opportunity for parents to take their younger children without keeping them up late on a Saturday night.  This will also be nice for some of our grandparents who do not like to drive at night.  Finally, we hope that those who have other obligations at one of the times can still attend a performance at the other time.  We do realize that we may be creating a conflict with other family activities at this time of the year, but we felt that we should give this a try and see how it goes.  I apologize to those families who have plans and thank those who have made adjustments.  I also appreciate the feedback that I received on this issue.
Fall Festival and Craft Show—Our two large fall events are now completed and both were very successful.  Thanks to all those who worked on the committees to make these events run so smoothly.  The Annual Fall Festival was once again a great success.  The final numbers are not yet in but it appears that the total raised for the Senior Class will approach $12,000.  We had a great committee of parents involved and the Senior class advisors did a good job of organizing the students to get the jobs done.  The CCHS Craft Show attendance suffered a little due to the beautiful weather and the UM-MSU football game held that same day, but the total profit for the day was still over $8600.  Thanks to all who planned, worked, attended, and bought apples, tickets, and baked goods.

Fall Sports—The Fall Sports season is now finished.    The Soccer team won the District Championship on Saturday defeating Calvin Chr. 1-0.  Advancing to the Regional round, they defeated the team from Harbor Springs at Cadillac High School to get to the Regional finals.  This game was played against Muskegon Catholic Central.  The game was tied 1-1 after regulation play and two overtime periods.  Each team scored three times in the first shootout round sending it to sudden death where we lost on the first kick.   The Volleyball team defeated Calvin Christian and Northpointe Christian to win the district title.  They faced the 9th ranked team from Laingsburg in the Regional semi-final and lost 3 games to 1.  At the Regional Cross Country meet the Girls’ team finished in 3rd place thus qualifying for the State meet.  The Boys’ team did not qualify but Seth Bleyenberg finished high enough to earn an individual spot in the State meet.  At the State meet, held at Michigan International Speedway, the Girls’ team which was ranked #21 finished in 11th place.  Seth finished in 46th place out of 242 runners.  It has been a successful season for all of our teams.  We thank all of our coaches and assistant coaches for the work that they put into making this a good experience for our players. 
Girls’ basketball opens their season at home on Dec. 2 and the Boys’ start up the following Tuesday on December 6.

Student Council—Our Student Council is busy planning a few upcoming events.  Our annual Friendship Week will take place during Thanksgiving week.  They will be leading the Friendship Chapel on November 23.  They are also working on plans for the December Holiday Gift Certificate Drive and for Homecoming Week, February 13-17.  The annual Student Council Christmas Chapel will be held on December 22.

Robotics—Our Robotics teams are working to complete and improve the robots that will be used in this year’s competitions.  The first scheduled contest will be held in Newark, Ohio on December 5.

Tuition Statements—We have moved the sending of tuition statements to an email process.  Tuition statements will be emailed, to those with a balance due, during the first week of each month.  If you have questions regarding your statement you may contact Mrs. Mol in the school office.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

In Christ,

Mr. Rick Noorman, Principal