Questions? Email questions@schs.org.

 

LATEST UPDATES:

 

November 16, 2020 – 3:30 p.m.

Positive COVID-19 Case

Parents,

Today, we were made aware of a South Christian student who has tested positive for COVID-19. As of November 16, our number of current cases stands at one student. This case created no close contacts in our school building.

We are responsible to identify those who are considered close contacts by CDC guidelines while still protecting the confidentiality of the students. If your student is considered a close contact, the Kent County Health Department will contact you, and your child will be asked to quarantine. A representative of South Christian has also called you already, as the Health Department is overloaded with contact tracing at this time. If your student does not qualify as a close contact, you will receive no further communication beyond this email.

We are moving forward under the guidance of the Kent County Health Department. Strong measures have been taken to protect the well-being of your child(ren), including thoroughly disinfecting the school building. Please monitor for onset of symptoms related to COVID-19. If you note any change in the health of your child, please call your regular medical provider.

The best way to stop any potential spread of the virus at school is for the virus to never enter the building. If your child has any symptoms, please keep them home and take advantage of the virtual learning option. Thank you all so much for your partnership in helping us stay healthy.

Aaron Meckes              Jim Peterson
Principal                       Head of School

 

November 15, 2020 – 7:45 p.m.

COVID-19 Update: Moving Online

Parents,

On November 15, 2020 we were alerted that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued an Emergency Order closing high schools to reduce the spread of COVID-19. This order takes effect Wednesday, November 18. South Christian will be switching to virtual learning for the duration of this order, which is expected to end on December 8, 2020. As mandated, all extracurricular activities are suspended during this time.

Virtual learning will look significantly different from the spring as we have learned a lot about what works online in our school community. We are committed to meeting our mission of equipping students to live Christ centered lives and serve God to their greatest potential even through periods of online learning. Please read this email carefully to see how this will look.

The next two days will be crucial for setting up online learning. Please make sure that, even if your student or family is in quarantine, you arrange to pick up materials your student might need. Contact individual teachers if you have questions or need to make other arrangements.

We will follow a daily schedule for online learning which requires students to check in each class period. Attendance will be taken. Most every day will involve some instruction before students are released to work, and even after that release teachers will remain available to help. Here is our full online learning schedule for the next several weeks.

Special education students will be able to attend school in person. All mask and social distancing requirements will continue to be in effect. If your student has an ISP, your teacher will be in contact with you with details about this online learning time.

We acknowledge that this mandate is difficult. School has been a blessing to the entire community this year, and we are saddened with you that this is the position we now find ourselves in. Continue to pray for the students and teachers as they adapt once again. We will connect with you when we know more or if there are any changes.

Jim Peterson                           Aaron Meckes
Head of School                       Principal

 

November 5, 2020 – 4:05 p.m.

Positive COVID-19 Test

Parents,

Today, we were made aware of a South Christian staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19. As of November 5, our number of current cases stands at three staff members and one student. This case created no close contacts in our school building.

We are responsible to identify those who are considered close contacts by CDC guidelines while still protecting the confidentiality of the students. If your student is considered a close contact, the Kent County Health Department will contact you, and your child will be asked to quarantine. A representative of South Christian has also called you already, as the Health Department is overloaded with contact tracing at this time. If your student does not qualify as a close contact, you will receive no further communication beyond this email. 

We are moving forward under the guidance of the Kent County Health Department. Strong measures have been taken to protect the well-being of your child(ren), including thoroughly disinfecting the school building. Please monitor for onset of symptoms related to COVID-19. If you note any change in the health of your child, please call your regular medical provider.

The best way to stop any potential spread of the virus at school is for the virus to never enter the building. If your child has any symptoms, please keep them home and take advantage of the virtual learning option. Thank you all so much for your partnership in helping us stay healthy and open five days a week.

Aaron Meckes              Jim Peterson
Principal                       Head of School

 

November 2, 2020 – 3:00 p.m.

Positive COVID-19 Test

Parents,

Today, we were made aware of a South Christian staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19. As of November 2, our number of current cases stands at two staff members and two students. This case created no close contacts in our school building.

We are responsible to identify those who are considered close contacts by CDC guidelines while still protecting the confidentiality of the students. If your student is considered a close contact, the Kent County Health Department will contact you, and your child will be asked to quarantine. A representative of South Christian has also called you already, as the Health Department is overloaded with contact tracing at this time. If your student does not qualify as a close contact, you will receive no further communication beyond this email. 

We are moving forward under the guidance of the Kent County Health Department. Strong measures have been taken to protect the well-being of your child(ren), including thoroughly disinfecting the school building. Please monitor for onset of symptoms related to COVID-19. If you note any change in the health of your child, please call your regular medical provider.

The best way to stop any potential spread of the virus at school is for the virus to never enter the building. If your child has any symptoms, please keep them home and take advantage of the virtual learning option. Thank you all so much for your partnership in helping us stay healthy and open five days a week.

Aaron Meckes              Jim Peterson
Principal                       Head of School

 

October 26, 2020 – 3:00 p.m.

Positive COVID-19 Tests

Parents,

Over the long weekend we were made aware of two South Christian students who tested positive for COVID-19, bringing our total of current cases to nine. These students were last in school on Friday, October 16 and the two cases are independent of one another.

We are responsible to identify those who are considered close contacts by CDC guidelines while still protecting the confidentiality of the students. If your student is considered a close contact, the Kent County Health Department will contact you, and your child will be asked to quarantine. A representative of South Christian has also called you already, as the Health Department is overloaded with contact tracing at this time. If your student does not qualify as a close contact, you will receive no further communication beyond this email.

We are moving forward under the guidance of the Kent County Health Department. All measures have been taken to protect the well-being of your child(ren), including thoroughly disinfecting the school building. Please monitor for onset of symptoms related to COVID-19. If you note any change in the health of your child, please call your regular medical provider.

The best way to stop any potential spread of the virus at school is for the virus to never enter the building. If your child has any symptoms, please keep them home and take advantage of the virtual learning option. Thank you all so much for your partnership in helping us stay healthy and open five days a week.

Aaron Meckes              Jim Peterson
Principal                       Head of School

 

October 21, 2020 – 2:45 p.m.

Positive COVID-19 Test

Parents,

In the last 24 hours we were made aware of one South Christian student who tested positive for COVID-19, bringing our total of current cases to seven. This student was last in school on Friday, October 16.

Based on the information we have about the seven current cases, we are confident that these cases all originated outside of the school building.

We are responsible to identify those who are considered close contacts by CDC guidelines while still protecting the confidentiality of the students. If your student is considered a close contact, the Kent County Health Department will contact you, and your child will be asked to quarantine. A representative of South Christian has also called you already, as the Health Department is overloaded with contact tracing at this time. If your student does not qualify as a close contact, you will receive no further communication beyond this email.

We are moving forward under the guidance of the Kent County Health Department. All measures have been taken to protect the well-being of your child(ren), including thoroughly disinfecting the school building. Please monitor for onset of symptoms related to COVID-19. If you note any change in the health of your child, please call your regular medical provider.

The best way to stop any potential spread of the virus at school is for the virus to never enter the building. If your child has any symptoms, please keep them home and take advantage of the virtual learning option. Thank you all so much for your partnership in helping us stay healthy and open five days a week.

Aaron Meckes              Jim Peterson
Principal                       Head of School

 

October 20, 2020 – 12:30 p.m.

Positive COVID-19 Test

Parents,

In the last 24 hours we were made aware of one South Christian student who tested positive for COVID-19, bringing our total of current cases to six. This student was last in school on Friday, October 9.

Based on the information we have about the six current cases, we are confident that these cases all originated outside of the school building.

As we look ahead to next week, we want to emphasize that South Christian is committed to providing in-person learning, five days a week. We are thankful that the hard work of our technology team and teaching staff allows us to also provide a fully virtual experience for those who prefer not to come to school at this time. If you are choosing to participate virtually for any amount of time, please contact the South Christian office.

We are responsible to identify those who are considered close contacts by CDC guidelines while still protecting the confidentiality of the students. If your student is considered a close contact, the Kent County Health Department will contact you, and your child will be asked to quarantine. A representative of South Christian has also called you already, as the Health Department is overloaded with contact tracing at this time. If your student does not qualify as a close contact, you will receive no further communication beyond this email.

We are moving forward under the guidance of the Kent County Health Department. All measures have been taken to protect the well-being of your child(ren), including thoroughly disinfecting the school building. Please monitor for onset of symptoms related to COVID-19. If you note any change in the health of your child, please call your regular medical provider.

The best way to stop any potential spread of the virus at school is for the virus to never enter the building. If your child has any symptoms, please keep them home and take advantage of the virtual learning option. Thank you all so much for your partnership in helping us stay healthy and open five days a week.

Aaron Meckes              Jim Peterson
Principal                       Head of School

 

October 19, 2020 – 9:52 a.m.

Positive COVID-19 Test

Parents,

In the last 24 hours we were made aware of one South Christian student who tested positive for COVID-19, bringing our total of current cases to five. This student was last in school on Wednesday, October 14.

In an abundance of caution, we asked on Friday that all students consider virtual instruction this week. If your student struggles with virtual learning and is not quarantined, he or she is welcome to come to school in person. Students will follow the normal 7-hour schedule for Monday and Tuesday and meet with each of their classes. Those joining virtually will be able to access all classes through Google Classroom at the regularly scheduled meeting times.

We are responsible to identify those who are considered close contacts by CDC guidelines while still protecting the confidentiality of the students. If your student is considered a close contact, the Kent County Health Department will contact you, and your child will be asked to quarantine. A representative of South Christian has also called you already, as the Health Department is overloaded with contact tracing at this time. If your student does not qualify as a close contact, you will receive no further communication beyond this email.

We are moving forward under the guidance of the Kent County Health Department. All measures have been taken to protect the well-being of your child(ren), including thoroughly disinfecting the school building. Please monitor for onset of symptoms related to COVID-19. If you note any change in the health of your child, please call your regular medical provider.

We want to say a profound thank you to the teachers and tech people at South Christian. The online learning system they have implemented is working well. The number one way students stay free of this virus is if the virus never comes into the building. If your child has symptoms or is a close contact, please take advantage of the online learning and stay home. A student who does not have COVID and is not a close contact may return to school 24 hours after being symptom free. Thank you all so much for your partnership in helping us stay healthy.

Aaron Meckes              Jim Peterson
Principal                       Head of School

 

October 16, 2020 – 5:30 p.m.

Positive COVID-19 Tests

Parents,

In the last 24 hours we were made aware of four South Christian students who have tested positive for COVID-19. Two students have not been in school since Monday, October 12, one since Tuesday, October 13; one was in school this morning. These positive cases led to the quarantining of several dozen students.

In an abundance of caution, and because next week is only a two-day week for students, we are asking all students to consider virtual instruction next week Monday and Tuesday. Our reason for suggesting this is that it may give our students 10 days of social distance, minimizing any potential spread of the virus at school. If your student struggles with virtual learning and is not quarantined, he or she is welcome to come to school in person. Students will follow the normal 7-hour schedule for Monday and Tuesday and meet with each of their classes. Those joining virtually will be able to access all classes through Google Classroom at the regularly scheduled meeting times.

We are responsible to identify those who are considered close contacts by CDC guidelines while still protecting the confidentiality of the students. If your student is considered a close contact, the Kent County Health Department will contact you, and your child will be asked to quarantine. A representative of South Christian has also called you already, as the Health Department is overloaded with contact tracing at this time. If your student does not qualify as a close contact, you will receive no further communication beyond this email.

We are moving forward under the guidance of the Kent County Health Department. All measures have been taken to protect the well-being of your child(ren), including thoroughly disinfecting the school building. Please monitor for onset of symptoms related to COVID-19. If you note any change in the health of your child, please call your regular medical provider.

We want to say a profound thank you to the teachers and tech people at South Christian. The online learning system they have implemented is working well. The number one way students stay free of this virus is if the virus never comes into the building. If your child has symptoms or is a close contact, please take advantage of the online learning and stay home. A student who does not have COVID and is not a close contact may return to school 24 hours after being symptom free. Thank you all so much for your partnership in helping us stay healthy.

Aaron Meckes              Jim Peterson
Principal                       Head of School

 

September 29, 2020 – 3:20 p.m.

Positive COVID-19 Test

Parents,

We were made aware today of two positive cases of COVID-19 in the South Christian community: one student and one staff member. Neither has been in school since Friday, September 25, and the two cases are independent of one another.

We are responsible to identify those who are considered close contacts by CDC guidelines while still protecting the confidentiality of the people testing positive. If your student is considered a close contact, a county health department will contact you, and your child will be asked to quarantine. The health department will determine the length of the quarantine. If your student does not qualify as a close contact, you will receive no further communication beyond this email.

We are moving forward under the guidance of the Kent County Health Department. All measures have been taken to protect the wellbeing of your child(ren), including thoroughly disinfecting the school building. Please monitor for onset of symptoms related to COVID-19. If you note any change in the health of your child, please call your regular medical provider.

Thank you all so much for your partnership in helping us stay healthy and open five days a week. Contact tracing, quarantining, and staying home when you have symptoms are instrumental in helping to keep close contacts to a minimum. In these two most recent cases, we again have only one close contact who will need to quarantine. We understand that being required to quarantine is a challenge; consequently, we feel blessed to be streaming our classes for students who have to stay home. We are grateful for the hard work of our tech team and teachers to make this happen.  We encourage you to continue to keep your child(ren) home and to take advantage of this virtual option when they are symptomatic or asked to quarantine.

Aaron Meckes                        Jim Peterson
Principal                                 Head of School

 

September 17, 2020 – 2:12 p.m.

Positive COVID-19 Test

Parents,

We were made aware today of a South Christian student who has tested positive for COVID-19. This student has not been in school since Thursday, September 10, when he/she was identified as a close contact of a different positive case outside of school and, consequently, went into quarantine.

We are responsible to identify those who are considered close contacts by CDC guidelines while still protecting the confidentiality of this person. If your student is considered a close contact, the Kent County Health Department will contact you, and your child will be asked to quarantine for 14 calendar days from the date of last contact. If your student does not qualify as a close contact, you will receive no further communication beyond this email.

We are moving forward under the guidance of the Kent County Health Department. All measures have been taken to protect the wellbeing of your child(ren), including thoroughly disinfecting the school building. Please monitor for onset of symptoms related to COVID-19. If you note any change in the health of your child, please call your regular medical provider.

We want to say a profound thank you to the parents of this student. When they were notified of their close contact, they immediately took their child home and quarantined. Because of our plan and their quick response to the situation, we have been able to limit the number of newly quarantined students to just one person. We have heard over and over this year how much everyone is enjoying being back at school, but the environment for this to happen depends first and foremost on sick students and staff staying home and obeying quarantine instruction. The number one way students stay free of this virus is if the virus never comes into the building. Thank you all so much for your partnership in helping us stay healthy and open five days a week.

Aaron Meckes                        Jim Peterson
Principal                                  Head of School

 

August 5, 2020 – 1:15 p.m.

Reopening Plan

South Christian Community,

As we look forward to the 2020-2021 school year, we are met with many uncertainties in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to providing an excellent, Christ-centered education in a manner that is safe for students, staff, and their families.

This plan was developed by a group of administrators, teachers, and parents and was guided by the State of Michigan’s Return to School Road Map. It was then formally approved by the South Christian School Board. Even though we are a private school, we are legally held to the same health and safety standards as all schools in the state. We recognize some of the things in here are not ideal, comfortable, or what we’re used to, but they do allow us to have school in-person, and we consider that a blessing.

Our plan includes three contingencies, each correlating to a different phase in the State of Michigan’s reopening plan. South Christian High School is in the Grand Rapids region, which is currently in Phase 4. While in this phase, we are able to have in-person learning with several precautions in place. If we are in Phase 5, we are able to remove many of those precautions. Under current law, if our region moves to Phase 3 we would be forced to move fully online. South Christian is actively supporting measures asking the state to modify this mandate to allow for safe, in-person learning.

We are pleased to share that in Phases 4 and 5, we will be in-person, 5 full days a week.

Our survey results have also indicated that some of you are uncomfortable with in-person learning at this time, and so we have created an option for remote learning for those who prefer it. Our working default assumption is that all students will participate in-person as this plan allows. If you would like to choose the remote learning option, or would like to hear more about what that entails, please contact Aaron Meckes at ameckes@schs.org.

Thank you for taking the time to review our plan. For your convenience, we’ve added an FAQ section at the end. If you still have questions once you’ve read this plan in its entirety, please contact either of us.

Click here to review the plan (FAQ section included).

We’re grateful for your partnership in the Christian education of your child.

On behalf of South Christian High School,

Jim Peterson                                                Aaron Meckes
Head of School                                            Principal

 

July 23, 2020 – 12:00 p.m.

Fall Reopening Update 7.23.20

South Christian community,

It is hard to believe that tomorrow, July 24, marks one month until the first day of the 2020-2021 school year. We recognize that what school will look like is something on all of your minds, and we want to communicate to you where we are in our reopening process and what you can expect to hear from us soon.

  • South Christian’s reopening committee is refining and finalizing our plan, guided by Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap. Based on advice of legal counsel, we must comply with anything that the Roadmap designates as required in each phase. Once complete, our plan needs to be approved and then submitted to the state; we intend to communicate this plan to you no later than Wednesday, August 5.
  • We are prioritizing in-person instruction whenever possible.
  • We have created a special COVID-19 financial assistance fund and strongly desire that any family with financial need related to this crisis contact our Finance Director, Maelia Post at mpost@schs.org.

We look forward to sharing more details with you the first week of August once our plan has been formally approved. Thank you for your prayers, patience, and support.

Aaron Meckes, Principal

July 15, 2020 – 10:00 a.m.

Fall Reopening Update

We know that many of you are wondering what school will be like in the fall. We are also aware of the wide variety of opinions and the various emotions attached to some of the issues related to reopening. We continue to work toward plans that unify our community, exhibit grace and compassion, and, above all, honor God.

Here are some brief thoughts for the community right now:

  • A group of staff and parents are working on a detailed plan for all phases of reopening. This plan needs to be approved and submitted to the state and will be communicated the first week of August.
  • The adaptations we are making for this school year are not permanent but instead represent our best effort to have a great South Christian experience in the face of the significant adversity we all face right now.
  • Based on legal counsel from a variety of sources, we know that private schools are legally required to comply with state and local orders; therefore, our plans are based on Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap, and we remain in close communication with the Kent County Health Department.
  • We have created a special COVID-19 financial assistance fund and desire strongly that any family with financial need related to this crisis contact our Finance Director, Maelia Post at mpost@schs.org.

The South Suburban Christian Schools Reopening Committee continues its work so that all of our schools are in communication with each other; at the same time, the individual schools have committees working out the detailed plans needed for their students, buildings, and programs.

We know you have a lot of questions. We know this communication may not answer them. Please be assured that we are working on detailed plans and will publish the information as soon as we have it.

We understand that many of the precautions involved with returning to school are inconvenient, uncomfortable, and perhaps even divisive. They are certainly not ideal nor how we would choose to have school; however, we are thankful for the opportunities we do still have to gather as a Christian community this coming school year. We are blessed to still pursue our mission to equip students to live Christ-centered lives and serve God to their greatest potential. We are blessed with the opportunity to study God’s world, who He has created us to be, and how He desires for us to live. Our hope and prayer is that, even in the midst of this adversity and challenge, we find ways to see God at work in our world and that we all have the compassion to see God’s image in those with whom we interact each day.

Thanks for partnering with us,

Jim Peterson, Head of School

 

June 9, 2020 – 8:15 a.m.

Sports Physicals

Dear Parents,

We wanted to update you regarding sports physical requirements for the upcoming academic year.

South Christian will follow the MHSAA guidelines and not require a new physical for this upcoming school year if you are a returning high school athlete and have a physical on file at South Christian from last year. All incoming freshmen will still need to get a physical from their family doctor dated after April 15 to be eligible to playClick here for the MHSAA Sports Physical Form.

With that being said, we still highly recommend that all students get a physical. Not only are physicals vital to show physical readiness to compete, but, even more importantly, they show mental readiness. One of the major things a student athlete receives from a physical is a screening to detect any signs of mental health concerns.

We realize we are living in a time of change through this pandemic, so we are following the MHSAA guidelines but also giving you as a parent or guardian the choice to get a physical as usual through your family doctor.

We are not having the Sports Physical Night at SCHS on August 3 as previously scheduled.

As always, please contact the athletic office with any questions or concerns.

David Kool
Athletic Director
dkool@schs.org

 

May 27, 2020 – 10:15 a.m.

Important Year-end Reminders

As we enter these final days of the 2019-20 school year, we want to remind parents and students that, even though daily classes have ended and no new work may be assigned, students should still be checking their Google Classroom and email for communications from their teachers about any work that needs to be completed yet. This time of catching up and remediation will end on June 3.

Other important dates:

June 5, 8 – Teachers’ grades due and proof-checked
June 10-11 – Report cards emailed to parents along with the grade change form
June 18 – Responses due for grade change form – one response required for each student
June 22-26 – Grade changes made and new report cards emailed

If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Registrar, Rebekah Wierenga (rwierenga@schs.org).

 

May 8, 2020 – 11:45 a.m.

Important End of Year Information

Students and Parents,

As we approach the end of the 2019-2020 school year, we know there are some loose ends to tie up that include cleaning out lockers and returning school materials. We have scheduled a pickup/dropoff for Tuesday, June 2, with hopes that this date will work for most of you to take part. Students should come only during their designated time slot and should be in and out of the building in the most prompt manner possible. Please read the details below carefully and send any questions you may have to questions@schs.org.

Process

  • Students should be dropped off at the Anchor Entrance, where they will enter school through the marked doors. Anyone entering the building must wear a mask.They will drop off their textbooks and other materials in the appropriate classrooms. They should also gather all of their possessions from their hallway locker, gym locker, or other places where they may have left something. This will help us prepare the building for our deep summer clean. Once they have returned materials and gathered their possessions, they should exit through the marked doors at the Anchor Entrance and return to their vehicle.
  • If you are uncomfortable having your son/daughter enter the building, there will be staff members available and willing to do this for you.
  • Lost and Found tables will be set up by the Anchor Entrance. Anything not claimed by the end of the day on June 2 will be donated.
  • Time slots are divided by last name:
    • Agar – Covell: 8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
    • Cunningham – Greenwood: 9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
    • Grevenstuk – Kuipers: 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
    • Laidler – Podbregar: 11:30 a.m. -12:15 p.m.
    • Possett – VanderKooi: 12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
    • VanderLaan – Zylstra: 1:30 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Textbooks and other class materials

  • All books and materials should be returned to that specific classroom. Most teachers will be in their rooms to give direction.

Chromebooks

  • There will be NO Chromebook return this year.
    • Graduating Seniors
      • You may keep your Chromebook. There has been a charge in the past but not this year. If you do not want to keep it, you may return both the Chromebook and charger on June 2.
    • Returning Freshmen, Sophomores and Juniors
      • You may keep your Chromebook for the summer. A Chromebook maintenance list will be sent that details how to care for it.
    • If you have issues or need help with your Chromebook throughout the summer, or have any other tech-related questions, email tech@schs.org.
  • Parents: if you would prefer your child not have his/her chromebook over the summer, it can be returned on June 2 with the other school materials.

Library Books

  • All library books should be returned to the library during your dropoff time. Click hereto see if you have a library book in your possession.

Athletic equipment

  • Individual coaches will communicate how and when to return any uniforms and equipment you may have.

Band/Orchestra/Choir instruments and uniforms

  • Renkema and Mr. Rozema will be in touch with specific instructions for return of these items.

 

April 27, 2020 – 11:45 a.m.

Friday, May 1 – “Nice Day”

Hi parents,

As you may know, Friday, May 1 was scheduled as a half day that included Grandparents Day. While we are unable to meet, I still think it may be nice to give students a break on Friday. Plus, it looks like 60 degrees and sun! I just emailed students and told them that I’ve declared Friday a “Nice Day” (like a Snow Day, but with opposite weather) and that we’re going to take the day off together. They still may have assignments that are due Friday, but there will be nothing new assigned. I hope we can all enjoy a 3-day weekend.

Blessed to do this work with you,
Aaron Meckes

 

April 23, 2020 – 11:00 a.m.

Semester Grading Information:  Important Reminders and Dates

Second Semester Grades
We recognize that the circumstances of our unprecedented spring semester brought both successes and struggles and that the situations in our students’ homes were as varied and unique as the people themselves. As a result, the SC Administration, along with the School Board, designed a grading policy that we believe honors the uniqueness of these situations while still maintaining the integrity of the education experience at South Christian.

The summary version is this:

  • All students will receive letter grades for their work for the entirety of this semester.
  • Students will have a one-time option to receive credit (CR) for a course instead of the passing letter grade if both the student and parent agree it is best.
  • The minimum grade to receive credit for a course is a D-, or 60%.
  • All grades below 60% will result in an “E” on the student’s transcript.

Further details can be found in the FAQs Document.

Important dates:

June 5, 8 – Teachers’ grades due and proof-checked
June 10-11 – Report cards emailed to parents along with the grade change form
June 18 – Responses due for grade change form – one response required for each student
June 22-26 – Grade changes made and new report cards emailed

If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Registrar, Rebekah Wierenga (rwierenga@schs.org).

 

April 20, 2020 – 12:00 p.m.

SCHS Student Organization Suggestions for Parents

Transitioning from classroom learning to remote learning has been an adjustment for all of us. Some students are finding this new way of doing school more challenging. Reba Ezell is one of our teachers and a parent. Having taught online for years, she is now adjusting to how to parent her own kids doing school online. She has created a short video with tips and suggestions for parents who have students who are feeling overwhelmed and have anxiety about how to organize and complete their work.

 

April 15, 2020 – 1:00 p.m.

South Christian Students & Parents,

As we navigate our current reality, I write to you with great gratitude for your support, encouragement, and the constructive feedback you continue to give. While this certainly isn’t how I imagined spending my first year as principal, I’ve also been affirmed in the decision to join the South Christian community. The grace, gratitude, and patience you’ve shown, while still demanding a strong Christian education from us, displays exactly the type of place I want to be a part of. I am so glad this is the community that I get to raise my own kids in.

In the midst of this chaos, we are as committed as ever to advancing the mission of South Christian: to equip students to live Christ-centered lives and serve God to their greatest potential. Because of that, the School Administration and the School Board have designed the grading policy outlined below. We believe this policy recognizes the wide range of successes and struggles going on, as well as the uniqueness of each individual situation, while still maintaining the integrity of the educational experience at South Christian.

  • All students will receive letter grades for their work for the entirety of this semester.
  • Students will have the option to receive credit (CR) for a course instead of the passing letter grade if both the student and parent agree it is best.
  • The minimum grade to receive credit for a course is a D-, or 60%.
  • All grades below 60% will result in an “E” on the student’s transcript.

More details about when and how to make these changes will come in future communications, and many questions are answered in the FAQ document linked below.

Students, I encourage you to continue to take advantage of your God-given gifts and the educational experience your teachers are offering. The temptation to slack off and do the bare minimum in order to receive a 60% is real, and I get it. Don’t give in! I’m reminded of something a mentor, Jim Bultman, once told me:

“Humanity is not served by, nor is God glorified by, mediocrity.”

Parents, we are asking you to do what you know is best for your child. My hope is that you will continue to hold your child accountable to learning to the best of his or her ability. I also recognize every home situation has unique advantages and challenges. We trust you and are grateful for your support at home.

You can find a lot more specific information in this FAQ document. If your question is not answered after reading this, feel free to contact me or Rebekah Wierenga (rwierenga@schs.org).

Blessed to do this work with you,

Aaron Meckes, Principal
ameckes@schs.org

 

April 15, 2020 – 12:00 p.m.

Reminder: The South Christian High School Scrap Metal Drive has been rescheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 12-13. Please save your scrap metal (steel, aluminum, copper, brass, etc.), old cars, worn-out farm equipment, tired appliances, used car and equipment batteries, etc. The drive will take place at SCHS by the barn adjacent to the South entrance. Proceeds will benefit Tuition Assistance. If you would like to help or have any questions, please call Sandy Dobbs (455-3210 x110).

 

April 13, 2020 – 12:15 p.m.

South Christian Community,

As we continue this new normal for the rest of the school year, we are praying for you. We recognize the toll this takes on the mental health of all students and see the pain and disappointment of all of the moments missed, especially for the Class of 2020. Our mission is to equip students to live Christ-centered lives and serve God to their greatest potential, and we are committed to this even in the midst of these new circumstances.

Here are a few notes as we begin again after Spring Break:

  • Each student has a teacher responsible for reaching out to them and praying for them on a regular basis. If a student is feeling overwhelmed or has questions, this teacher is the person they should go to.
  • Each household could have unique circumstances right now due to health concerns. Your priority should be the health of your family; if you cannot attend to school work, take care of yourself or others and let your teachers know. They will lead you through it with grace.
  • A committee has been formed to plan ways we can honor and celebrate the Class of 2020. Look for events, social media posts, and more coming soon.
  • New dates for AP Testing have been posted here.Questions about specific AP tests should be directed to that teacher. Once a student has taken his/her AP test, the course is considered finished, and there will be no more instruction.
  • We will continue our process for online instruction that we used prior to Spring Break.
    • Students will receive instructions in the morning for their work.
    • Nothing will be due within 24 hours of being assigned.
    • Class may meet virtually, and this will be done following a Monday daily schedule. If the meeting is mandatory, at least a 24-hour notice will be given.
  • The Education Committee of the School Board is meeting tonight to finalize plans for final grades. We will communicate this plan to you in the next couple of days.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to specific teachers with regard to their classes; they are here to help! General questions may be directed to questions@schs.org. I will be LIVE on South Christian’s Instagram (@grsouthchristian) Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. to share updates and take questions.

I received an email from a fellow Christian school administrator over the weekend that reminded me that what we have is a gift: an opportunity to do meaningful, kingdom work while physically apart. I’m blessed to partner in this work with you and am so grateful for the South Christian community.

In Him,

Aaron Meckes

 

April 3, 2020 – 1:45 p.m.

MHSAA Cancels Remainder of 2019-20 Winter & Spring Seasons. Click here for more information.

 

April 3, 2020 – 10:45 a.m.

Online Auction Update: Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, we will be postponing the go-live date for the Online Auction of Experiences. Please stay tuned as we are hoping to announce a new date in the near future.

 

April 2, 2020 – 4:00 p.m.

Governor Whitmer announced today that schools must close for remainder of the year. Click here to view a letter from SCHS about ending the school year online.

 

March 31, 2020 – 11:30 a.m.

IMPORTANT REMINDER TO CHOIR TRIP PARENTS: Please click here to view a letter from Corporate Travel regarding the cancellation of the Chicago Trip. Included with the letter is a refund waiver that must be signed and returned by March 31 (TODAY). Simply complete the waiver, take a picture and email it to tourdecision@ctscentral.net. Thank you!

 

March 26, 2020 – 12:30 p.m.

Reminder: South Christian indoor and outdoor facilities are currently not available for organized play/activities.

 

March 20, 2020 – 4:30 p.m.

South Christian Community,

Each year around the beginning of the calendar year, at the suggestion of author Jon Gordon, I choose a word to focus on for the coming year. This year, my word is dwell. This past week has not included much of that for me, and I’m sure the same is true for many of you. My mentality has very much been one of “head-down, push forward;” it feels like everything this week has been urgent. I haven’t taken time to reflect much on what is actually going on and what all of this means.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve received in my first year as a principal is to not let the urgent things get in the way of doing the important things. This weekend, I’m setting aside some time to dwell on the important things. I plan to spend time considering how my leadership is (or isn’t) conveying the care and love that I desire it to. I plan to think deeply about what it means to live in Christian community while being physically apart. I plan to wonder how we all can be Christ’s hands and feet to each other during this time. I need to take time to mourn the lost opportunities this situation has brought about, especially for our seniors. I must take time to dwell in the arms of the Lord.

I spent some time reflecting on John 15 this morning:

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. – John 15:4

I hope and pray you’ll find time this weekend to slow down and dwell in this moment. I pray you’ll set aside the urgent to consider the important. Most of all, I pray that these moments will drive you into the arms of our Savior, for it is in Him that we are able to do all else.

——————

I would like to share a few logistics from our faculty “meeting” Friday morning with regard to online learning that are effective Monday.

  • We will maintain a “Monday” schedule each day for timed events such as “live” assessments and Google Meets.
  • All work for the day will be sent out by 11:00 a.m.
  • No work will be due within 24 hours of it being assigned. (Unless it is a “live” assessment that all students are taking at the same time.)
  • All Google Meets or “live” assessments will be given a minimum of 24 hours notice.       

You will also notice a decrease in the amount of work. It became very clear that a full workload is simply not manageable for teachers or students, so workloads will be decreased. This may take the form of less daily work or a day off from an individual class. AP classes should still expect a heavier workload.

Thank you for your patience, affirmation, and constructive feedback this past week. We are committed to partnering with you not only to continue your child’s education during this time but also to care for your child mentally and spiritually.

Please continue to send your questions to questions@schs.org or contact Jim Peterson or me directly. I will be doing another Instagram Live session on Monday at 8:30 p.m. to take student questions regarding these new procedures.

Finally, some of you may have seen the release from the Michigan Department of Education stating that online work will not count toward required instructional hours. Please rest assured that this does not apply to South Christian as we have set our own graduation requirements as a private school. All work completed during this time will count toward academic progress at South Christian.

Blessed to do this work with you,

Aaron Meckes

 

March 18, 2020 – 5:00 p.m.

The 2021 Israel Trip informational meetings scheduled for March 26 and 30 have been cancelled. If you were planning on attending one of the meetings to either sign up or receive more information, please click here to express your interest and answer a few questions.

Why go to Israel?

 

March 18, 2020 – 1:40 p.m.

Dear Students & Families,

Wow! What a crazy world we are living in. With so much uncertainty, it is easy to let our minds wander and have worry and anxiety take over. As Christians, this is an opportunity to let the world see one example of how we are different. Be prepared, be smart, follow the recommendations of the medical community: do all of these and more–but live in faith. We are children of the King! God is all-powerful and sovereign. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit living in us. Listen to that still, small voice that whispers peace and encouragement to you in this time of worry. Jesus promised times like this would come. In John 16:33 He said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Please don’t read this and think the counselors are saying we just need to pray more and have deeper faith and all will be well. Life isn’t that simple. Many of life’s circumstances require that we take direct action while praying fervently. Sometimes mental health concerns require direct action. There are times when we need extra help to handle the stress and worry that life throws at us. Often friends or family members meet this need; other times we need more help. That is why there are professionals and why South Christian is part of the Student Assistance Program (SAP) through Pine Rest.

This program makes accessing that help easier. The SAP is available to students, staff, and families of both students and staff.  This program offers 3 FREE visits for a specific issue. (Please note that during this time, all out-patient sessions will be conducted via telehealth.) In addition to the free counseling, the SAP also offers a Personal Advantage Online Library. This library has thousands of articles on many different topics. To access the Personal Advantage Online Library you need to sign in with the password “SouthchristianSAP.” If you have any questions about the program, please contact Pine Rest at 800-442-0809 or 616-455-6210.

In addition to the SAP, we are including links to 3 articles related the COVD 19 that you may find beneficial:

If you have questions about anything else, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Email is the best way to reach us. We will be checking it multiple times every day.

Blessings,

Mrs. Connie Muller                                        Mr. Dave DeBlecourt
cmuller@schs.org                                          ddeblecourt@schs.org

 

March 18, 2020 – 1:30 p.m.

Hello South Christian community. We hope this communication finds you healthy, safe, and socially distant. We are listening to the feedback from the community as we transition to this time of online learning. This week has already had many successes and experiences that we can learn from. Our teachers are meeting over video on Friday to collaborate on what changes we need to make to online learning in order to make it better and as manageable as possible. In the meantime parents and students have the right to expect grace from teachers. In return, we hope that you continue to offer grace as we navigate these unprecedented times.

 

March 17, 2020 – 10:00 a.m.

The Sports Boosters Sporting Clay Shoot has been CANCELED. Information on a reschedule will be sent out at a later date.

 

March 17, 2020 – 9:20 a.m.

There have been many questions regarding AP Testing. Please see this update page from CollegeBoard.

 

March 16, 2020 – 10:15 p.m.

South Christian’s remote learning due to COVID-19 includes training sessions in addition to classroom activities at home!  Mr. Hiskes, Mrs. Vermaas and Mr. Copeland are creating strength & conditioning sessions for our high school students (not just athletes) to do individually from home during their time off.

Our sessions will be updated daily on this blog and organized with the following on each day.  We encourage students to do their workout at the same time every day for consistency.  There will be a motivational message at the bottom of every workout!

 

March 16, 2020 – 12:00 p.m.

Students and Parents: Please watch this video for information regarding student learning during this time.

  • The following events are cancelled:
    • Choir Trip
    • Academic Letter/Pin Breakfast
    • Grandparents Day
  • No SCRIP until further notice.
  • Spring Break will continue as planned. Classes are scheduled to resume on April 13.
  • Online Newsies ticket refunds must be requested by 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, March 18 for online ticket purchases. Contact Ryan VandenHeuvel at rvandenheuvel@schs.org for online ticket refunds. Tickets paid by cash or check will be refunded after April 13.

 

March 14, 2020 – 10:12 p.m.

The choir trip meeting scheduled for Monday, March 16 has been cancelled. The music department is working on the details and will send updates as they come in.

 

March 13, 2020 – 11:40 a.m.

Please watch this video message from Principal Aaron Meckes.

In an effort to not flood your inbox or have you have to hunt down information, we’re now posting all updates, announcements, and cancellations at www.schs.org/virus. You’ll also find information from our athletic department, coaches, and teachers there in order to keep you in the loop.

We’re deeply sorry for the disappointment and inconveniences that this situation is causing in our community. Our priority at this time is making sure that your child and your family know that you are loved and cared for by South Christian High School. We’re committed to partnering with you to continue your child’s education through electronic means. Christian Education gives us a special opportunity to be the church to one another in the midst of this chaos.

Please encourage and support your child in their academic work over the next few weeks. Teachers will be regularly providing meaningful and engaging work to your child, and your support in having your child check their email twice daily (morning and afternoon) is vital to learning continuing during this time.

We will still periodically email important information to you, but please check www.schs.org/virus often and don’t hesitate to reach out to us and let us know how we can better support you and your child. Thanks.

 

March 13, 2020 – 5:18 a.m.

South Christian High School will be closed Friday, March 13, 2020. Staff should report by 9:00 a.m. The building will be open between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. for students to pick up any supplies they may need to complete their schoolwork over the next 3 weeks.

 

March 12, 2020 – 5:00 p.m.

Thank you again for your prayers, patience, and flexibility throughout the day. We are receiving continued updates regarding COVID-19 as the first confirmed cases have now been diagnosed in Michigan. Officials at the Kent County Health Department (KCHD) have stated that they have no scientific data at this time that warrants recommending closing any K-12 school in the area.

They did, however, offer schools significant guidance on how to move forward. In the interest of public health and the safety and well-being of our students, we will apply the following measures effective at the end of the school day Friday, March 13:

  • All field trips will be suspended until further notice.
  • All school-sponsored travel is suspended until further notice.
  • All indoor assemblies and performances will be suspended until further notice.
  • All rental and external use of the school building is canceled.
  • Any after-school activity consisting of a group of less than 100 people and an extension of the normal learning day will continue as planned. Administration will contact you if you are allowed to continue your activity.
  • All chapels will be moved to the outdoor amphitheater or be done in smaller groups.
  • Lunch periods will consist of smaller groups of students at a time.

We are truly sorry for the disappointment and inconvenience that comes along with these and other decisions made throughout the day today. These are difficult decisions and were made in consultation with the KCHD, the Michigan Department of Education, and the Centers for Disease Control, as this has been declared a public health emergency. We will follow their guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

Remain at home if you are sick (and continue to remain home until you are symptom-free for 24 hours) and avoid close contact with people who are sick. Symptom-free is defined as no fever or coughing for 24 hours.

For more information, please visit the Kent County Health Department website at https://www.accesskent.com/Health/coronavirus.htm.

Thank you for your support in taking these preventive measures to limit the spread of all illnesses. Please pray for the health of our children, community, and neighbors both near and far who are experiencing suffering and loss due to this illness.

 

March 12, 2020 – 1:04 p.m.

For tonight’s performance of Newsies, we can only allow current students, staff, and immediate family (those living with the student in the musical) of the cast and crew to attend.

There are a few options for accessing tickets for the production:

  1. The tickets you have purchased for tonight’s performance are honored.
  2. You may still purchase for tonight’s production at schstheater.ludus.com.
  3. If you are an immediate family member and have tickets for Friday and/or Saturday’s performance, you may bring in the unused tickets to exchange for a seat for tonight. The specific seats purchased for Friday and Saturday’s performance will not be guaranteed for Thursday’s performance.
  4. If you would like to have your credit card refunded for Friday’s and/or Saturday’s performances, please email rvandenheuvel@schs.org, and he will take care of your refunds by early next week. Please identify the name the tickets are purchased under, the performance date, and ticket seats for the refund.
  5. If you would like your cash refunded for Friday’s and/or Saturday’s performances, please come to the office to receive your refunds either Friday or early next week. Please bring your unused tickets for the refund.

 

March 12, 2020 – 12:16 p.m.
Thank you for your prayers, patience, and flexibility as we make decisions based on the best information we currently have regarding the COVID-19 situation. The information given below is accurate as of 12 pm noon on Thursday, March 12.

  • The job fair today has been postponed to a later date that is still to be determined.
  • The MHSAA is limiting spectators for tomorrow night’s district final basketball game, and there is NO admission to the general public. Those who are allowed to attend have already been contacted by Curt Copeland.
  • The musical’s Friday night and Saturday matinee performances are cancelled. The Thursday 7 pm performance is on, but attendance will be limited to current South Christian staff, students, and the immediate family members of students involved in the musical. Refund information for the other performances and people no longer allowed to attend on Thursday will be sent out in a later communication.
  • No new guidance has been given on a potential school closing as of this time, so we are planning on school tomorrow.

 

March 12, 2020 – 8:51 a.m.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding COVID-19 and are in contact with the Kent County Health Department through the Kent Intermediate School District. We are following their guidance as well as the guidance of the MHSAA for athletic contests and are evaluating other extracurricular events on a case by case basis. Please be reminded that anyone exhibiting any symptoms should stay home from school and events. We will keep you informed with updates through email, and ask for prayers for wisdom as decisions are made that affect our entire community.