District News


Thursday, October 25 - 1:00 to 8:00pm (1/2 day for K-12)
Friday, October 26 - 8:00 to 3:30pm (No School for K-12

Printable sign up instructions


Please note that online sign up will end at 11:59pm on Monday, October 22.

November School Millage

This fall, for the first time, Black River will be part of the local school millage. The Ottawa Area Intermediate School District initiated an enhancement millage proposal on behalf of all its constituent school districts, including Black River.  Both Muskegon and Kent ISD's have successfully passed regional enhancement millages for their schools.  As a resident of Ottawa County, you will have the opportunity in November to vote on this proposal.  Please read through this FAQ document and the Quick Facts for more information! 

2019-2020 New Student Enrollment Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for the 2019-2020 academic year is currently underway and applications are being accepted for our lottery drawing. The deadline to apply is 4:00pm on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.

Click here for admissions information and here for important enrollment dates. For questions regarding enrollment, please contact Nicole Klunder at klundern@brpsk12.org or 355-0055, ext. 116.

Science Classroom Change

Parent/Guardians of Black River MS/HS Students: Unfortunately, our science building will be closed to start the school year due to water damage. We are busy in clean-up and Mr. Ewald and Mrs. Miskelley will be working in classrooms in our Main Building. Mr. Ewald will begin the year in the MS Science Lab (Basement), Room 113 and Mrs. Miskelley will be in the High School Science Lab (4th Floor), Room 406. Signs will be posted to help your students with the change. Thank you for your patience!

Barnes and Noble Book Fair - Still time to support BR Online!

Thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday for the fun, shopping and festivities!  

If you couldn't make it, there's still time to shop and support BR.  You can visit bn.com/bookfairs to support us online from today through 12/06/17 by entering Book fair ID #12276168 on the payment page (it's near the bottom). 

Thank you for supporting BR and helping to put more books in our children's classrooms!

Senior Cap and Gown Ordering Deadline

Attention Seniors: Your cap and gown (and graduation products) order form needs to be turned in to the Jostens Representative during lunch on Wednesday, January 31st. If you missed the class meeting to obtain information materials and the form then please stop by the main office to pick one up. 

A Big Top Carnival Thank-YOU!

Thank you to everyone that helped make the BR Big Top Carnival a huge success! We appreciate the donations, sponsorships, volunteers and attendees. It was another amazing Black River event hosted by the Parent Association.

Black River Sailing Team Update

The Black River Sailing Team enjoyed a great weekend (Oct 21st-22nd ) at the Michigan State Championships in Pontiac Michigan.  The team comprised of Eden Nykamp, Chris Heideman, Jack Hemmelgarn,  Duncan Elmer, Alden Gort, and Will Voss competed in the 420 Regatta (two-person boat) and the Laser Regatta (singlehanded boat).  Medal winners included Chris Heideman (State Champ - Laser Radial), Eden Nykamp (2nd place - Laser Radial) and Jack Hemmelgarn (State Champ - Laser Full).  The Black River Sailing Team is currently ranked the 5th best team in the Midwest. Congratulations to the Black River Sailing Team.

Anyone who has completed Sailing Project Term and or has an interest in joining the sailing team should contact Matt Hemmelgarn, parent coordinator, at 616-994-3001. 

Sailing Team Photo

Senior Families: FAFSA/Financial Aid Night is October 25

Black River will be hosting a FAFSA/Financial Aid Night for seniors and their parents here at Black River. The event is scheduled for Wednesday, October 24th at 7pm in the Large Ensemble Room. The event will be run by a financial aid officer from a local college and attendance is highly encouraged. With all of the changes in recent years to the FAFSA, this is a great way to get your questions answered. Please contact Miss Cessie Wright with any questions at wrightc@brpsk12.org.‚Äč


Careerline Tech Center Open House Tonight

THE CAREERLINE TECH CENTER IS HOSTING AN OPEN HOUSE tonight from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The open house provides 10th and 11th grade students the opportunity to see what career programs are available for next fall. Talk with teachers, tour the labs, and participate in activities and demonstrations. If you missed signing up for the visit, this is another great opportunity to check out what CTC has to offer! Please visit www.oaisd.org/ctc to learn more about what they have to offer! Students can see Mrs. Schrotenboer with questions regarding the Careerline Tech Center.

BRPS Summer Camp Registration Information

Camps are open to any Black River Public School student, as well as their friends from other schools! We welcome all students who want to have fun, improve skills, and enjoy a camp with individualized instruction. Invite your friends! Each camp has a minimum participation level of 10 campers. Individual coaches/teachers run camps. Please contact coaches through email if you have any questions about camp. Administration/paperwork questions can be directed to Tim Witvoetwitvoett@brpsk12.org.

Summer Camp Brochure

Summer Camp Registration Form

Thank you for Supporting the Book Fair Paws for Books Book Fair - Come.Stay.Read a great tale!

To everyone who came to the Book Fair and to all who helped make it a great experience and success, a big THANK-YOU!  Because of your support of this event, 466 books were able to be purchased for BR Classrooms!!  Keep paws-ing for Books and we’ll see you at our fall Book Fair!


You're invited to the Senior Capstone Showcase - May 24, 2018

This year, seniors at Black River have created 3D models and machines, crafted artistic and culinary masterpieces, and conducted social and scientific research. They have taught themselves languages, composed their own music, and challenged themselves to write and publish work in a variety of ways. Come see it all!

When: Thursday, May 24 from 6:30-8:00pm

Where: Black River Lyceum, Large Ensemble Room, and Auxiliary Gym

Who: You’re invited! The Black River senior class of 2018 will showcase their senior Capstone projects and research for all to see. Family, friends, community members, and students of all ages will find fun and interesting projects to enjoy, and are all invited to this event—that means you!

What: Over the course of their senior year, all seniors complete a Capstone paper and project that is a reflection of their own interests, knowledge, and abilities. Tables will be set up for viewing and activities, and seniors will be available to share their work with you and answer questions. This is a kid-friendly event with lots of opportunities for audience participation and manipulation of materials

You don't want to miss this event! Come learn from our graduating seniors as they complete their culminating learning experience at Black River!

Sixth Graders are Heading to Camp Pendalouan

Sixth graders at Black River are headed to Camp Pendalouan!  At camp, the students will be divided into groups and will complete three team building activities:
Survival + Orienteering, Group Challenge and Capture The Flag!

Time: 8 am – 3pm, Wednesday, August 29th

Permission Form

Middle School Dance

The first middle school dance of the year will be held from 6-8pm on Friday, November 2 in the Main Building lobby. The cost is $5 at the door and dress is casual. Please contact Jeanne Kane at kanej@brpsk12.org with questions. 

Turkey Jam 3 v 3 - Sign-up Today!

Turkey Jam Poster

The Wednesday Show by Student News
Community Service Recognitions

In appreciation for outstanding and dedicated service to our community, the Black River Class of 2018 completed 1352.85 hours over their high school career! Receiving the STUDENTS LIVE UNITED Award: Logan Kibler – 256.5 hours  and Javier Carpio-Martinez – 146.35 hours. 

Receiving the STUDENTS LIVE UNITED Award as well as the State of Michigan Governor’s Service Award: Madeline Powers – 546 hours and Taylor Gort – 404 hours.


Rat Buck Shout-outs from Mr. Donnelly

Congratulations to the following students for earning the top number of Rat Bucks as of today: 

Sixth Grade - Hadleigh Hilgert, Mae Pasatta, and LJ Nykamp

Seventh Grade - Isabella Davis and Eden Pomp

Eighth Grade - Iliana Rodriguez-Kupres, Aaron Summitt, and Atif Usmani

Keep up the great work!


Step Right Up...Carnival is Coming!

The BR Big Top Carnival is Friday, March 23 from 6-8pm in the BR Lyceum and Gyms.   

It takes a lot of Black River families to make the annual Carnival a success! Here are some ways you can help:

1. Sponsor a Game or be a Carnival Underwriter! Here is the form.

2. Donate small game prizes. Dollar Tree, Target, Meijer or Wal-Mart party favors are perfect.  We also need gently used books for all ages, from preschool to MS. Donations can be dropped off at either Office. Please label the bag with your name so we can say thank you!

3. Volunteer!  We need cupcake bakers, parents and students to run games, and help with set-up and clean-up.  Click here to sign up to volunteer or make cupcakes (see both sides)!  

4. Come have fun at the Carnival!  Tickets will be on sale in both offices on 3/12.  Watch for the pre-order form in EL backpacks on 3/9. Get your tickets early to avoid the line at the door!

Email Beth Powers at blackriverparentorg@brpsk12.org if you have any questions.

Thank you for helping to make the night a big success!


Boy's Middle School Basketball Meeting Friday, October 19

Middle School boys interested in playing basketball should attend an informational meeting this Friday during CAP in Mr. Johns Room 310. Practice starts Monday, October 29th immediately after school.

College Awareness Week at Black River begins Monday

Monday October 30 - Friday, November 3 is College Awareness Week at Black River! 

Academic Achievement Recognitions at Black River

Please join us in recognizing these Black River students who are excelling in the classroom. Congratulations to all and keep up the great work! Please note that honor certificates are issued by request only. Certificates may be requested begininning Tuesday, May 15 on the sign-up sheet outside of Mr. Donnelly's office. 

Honor Roll 
Middle School, Spring and Fall 2017
High School, Spring and Fall 2017

Dean's List
Middle School, Fall 2017
Middle School, Spring 2017
High School, Spring 2017
High School, Fall 2017

Girls on the Run

Registration begins in November for the Spring 2019 season and program begins in early March.  Coaches are still needed.  

A Celebration 5K will take place on May 31, 2019 & June 1, 2019.

High School Honors Assembly Information

The Annual Black River Public School High School Honors Assembly will be held on Thursday, April 26, 2018 at 1:35PM in the gymnasium. The assembly is hosted by Black River administrators and teachers to honor high school students for their scholastic and community achievements. It is attended by all high school students and families are welcome to watch. The doors will open at 1:00PM for seating. Parents and family members can proceed directly to the gymnasium and do not need to sign-in at the main office before attending. Please contact John Donnelly at donnellyj@brpsk12.org if you questions.

Announcing the Black River Middle School Tennis Club!

The club will take place at the Moran Park tennis courts on Friday afternoons this spring from 3:30-5pm starting Friday, April 27th. We will have Coach Lissa Gilmore, a tennis pro at MVP and the Director of Holland Recreation Tennis, and two other experienced coaches from Holland Rec Tennis to provide coaching. The cost is $35 per student. A limited number of scholarships are available. The club is limited to 18 spots. To sign up email Elisabeth Bauman at elisabethbauman@gmail.com. See you on the court! 

Senior College Decision Day Celebration

Black River is excited to celebrate our seniors along with students across the country who achieved an amazing milestone: getting accepted to college! Watch for them wearing their college gear and hats and congratulate them on their acceptance. Pictured below is Laura and Amanda Halsey. Go Bradley Braves!

Amanda and Laura Halsey

High School Summer Reading Reminder

Reminder: Keep up your reading! Students entering English 9 and English 10 are required to read the common read text and are encouraged, but not required, to read one or more of the suggested supplementary texts. Please read the Summer Reading Program information and contact Karen Rowe, rowek@brpsk12.org, the English Department Chair with questions.

Elementary Odyssey of the Mind Program Information Night

Join us Thursday, September 27 at 6pm in the Elementary Music Room to learn more about OOTM, how to get involved, and all the wonderful benefits for your child!

NHS is Hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive

The National Honor Society will be hosting a blood drive on Monday, October 22 in the main gym from 9 am to 3 pm. It would be amazing if you could donate. If you are sixteen or older and are interested in donating blood, please follow the following steps:

STUDENTS: If you are 16 years old and wish to donate, please complete the following:

1) Please fill out this form:


2) Also, please stop in the main office for the consent form. It must be signed, dated, and turned in to Ms. Mousseau's office by 11 AM on Monday, October 15th.

3) You will receive a confirmation email once your submission has been processed.

STUDENTS & FRIENDS OF BR: For those who are 17 years and older wishing to donate, please complete the following:

1) Go to redcrossblood.org
2) Type "49423" into the "Find a Blood Drive" bar in the top right corner. 
3) Find the Black River Blood Drive
4) Click on a time slot
5) Make an account and sign up.

If you have any concerns, please email lowrys@brpsk12.org.

Main Building Lost & Found Clean-out

Please don't forget to check the Lost and Found area located in the Main Building under the south stairwell in the basement after your fall conferences are finished for items your student may be missing. We have collected lots of items throughout the beginning of this year and will be taking items that are not claimed to a local charity immediately following conferences. Thank you!

United Way Club Spends the Afternoon with Warm Friends Residents

On Tuesday, April 10 the United Way Club group spent time playing Bingo with Warm Friend residents. A great time was had by all participants.

United Way Warm Friends Bingo Meeting


Fun Walk Friday Logo - Print.png

Fundraising period: Thursday, September 20th - Friday, Oct 5th. 100% of the funds collected by students benefit Black River!

Grand Finale: The BR community will gather together Friday, Oct 5th from 5:30-6:30pm to celebrate our school spirit with a 30-minute fun walk and festivities.

ATTENTION ALL K-12 Students...We Need Your Creativity!

Running Rat.jpg

The Fun Walk Friday fundraiser is looking for two

T-shirt designs for its 2018 event! New this year, a theme: WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!  Click to read more!

End of Year Rat Buck Shout-outs

The last month of school the following students received Rat Buck recognition shout-outs. Congratulations!

6th graders:
Gabby Shook (16)
Ashley Landman (8)
Zoe Sample (8)

7th graders:
Ben Pikaart (5)
Grah Russell (5)

8th graders:
Wesley Looman (6)
Hudson Hilgert (4)

Here are the 2017-2018 school year CAP winners!

6th Grade CAP with the most Rat Bucks:
Mr. Schreuder - 306
7th Grade CAP with the most Rat Bucks:
Mr. Bittrick - 250
8th Grade CAP with the most Rat Bucks:
Mr. Rowe - 105


MSPO Kick-off Meeting
All middle school parents are invited to attend the first Middle School Parent Organization meeting of the year.  We will gather at 8 a.m. on Thursday Sept 27 in the Baker Lofts commons (at the seating area by the Oven Mitt bakery).  Please come to enjoy bagels and coffee, connect with other middle school parents and learn about the MSPO. For more information, contact Mary Rynsburger at msblackriverpo@brpsk12.org.
Senior Yearbook Picture Submission Deadline

The deadline to submit senior photos for the yearbook is Friday, December 14. One photo in a high-resolution jpg or tiff file should be emailed to Joy Shirk, Yearbook Advisor, at shirkj@brpsk12.org.

BR United Way Club

The BR United Way Club volunteered at Kids’ Food Basket last week. They had a lot of fun helping to make trail mix for the sack suppers for children in Holland!

Eat Up and Meet Up: Summer Meals for Kids Information

Meet Up and Eat Up is a fun reason to get out of the house and get outside! Activities like: games, sports, water activities, books and crafts provide exercise and fun with friends.
Meals are provided for everyone 18 and under.

Get Holland Township details here!

Get Ottawa County details here!

Meet your New Infinite Campus Apps!

Infinite Campus has released two new and improved mobile apps: Campus Student (for students) and Campus Parent (for parents). Download your free app for real-time access to grades, assignments, schedules, announcements and more.

meet your new infinite campus apps


Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play


Warning, Please Feed the Gator! paper-gator
Senior Yearbook Photo Deadline is November 30

The deadline to turn in senior photos is Thursday, November 30. Senior pictures should be a high resolution jpeg or tiff file and must be vertical. If you have a scheduled photo shoot after that deadline and need a small extension, please contact Miss Shirk at shirkj@brpsk12.org or see her in room 121 during CAP.

Seniors - Did You Miss FAFSA Night?

Seniors and Parents of Seniors: Did you miss FAFSA Night? The link below has some very helpful information on the FAFSA. Check it out!  FAFSA Information

Mr. Jim is a FINALIST for MAPSA Administrator of the Year!

Congratulations, Mr. Jim - You are an AMAZING administrator!


Check Out the Middle School Robotics Website!

A new school year has started and the Black River FTC robotics team, River Rat Robotics, is working hard as ever. They would love it if you would check out their website at https://riverratrobotics.wixsite.com/riverratrobotics

Ski Club Announcement

Attention all middle school and high school skiers and snowboarders! Join us this winter on our weekly trips to Bittersweet Ski Area. Forms and information are available in Mr. Bittrick's room 211. 

Former BR Student Wins Prestigious Award at MSU
An Important Note From Our Head Rat

Did you know that the Black River Parent Organization spends $20,000 annually to support field trips, student celebrations, teacher appreciation gifts, and more for our Black River community?  Black River is truly fortunate to have the support of these dedicated parents!

These funds are raised by a school-wide fundraising campaign which culminates in our annual Fun Walk which is coming on October 5th!  Over the course of this week, our Parent Organization has distributed envelopes to students for collecting donations for this event.  Please take some time to look for it and consider donating to this great organization.  After the necessary funds are raised to support the items mentioned above for this school year, the excess funds will go toward the outdoor hard surface project.  A project for which our Parent Organization is dedicated to making a reality as soon as possible and has already saved over $40,000.  We're excited that project will benefit all of our students here at Black River.

For more information, to donate with a credit card, or to see the winning artwork that will be featured on this year's t-shirts, please visit the Fun Walk Friday website.

Class of 2019 - Senior Information Packet

Do you have a senior at Black River? Check-out the 2019 Senior Information Packet. It has everything your senior needs to know about their final year as a river rat. Please contact Cessie Wright, Senior Advisor, with questions at wrightc@brpsk12.org.

Kinder Dutch Dance Details are Here!

JOIN THE DANCE! BECOME A TULIP TIME KINDER DUTCH DANCER! Tulip Time invites all 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students to participate in Kinder Dutch Dance! Registration ends Thursday, February 1, 2018. Practices begin the week of 2/26 with a variety of places, days, and times for practices. Kinder Dance has a $25 registration fee. For more information and registration, please go to www.tuliptime.com/kinder-dutch-dance. Have questions? Please contact jennifer.tenpas@gmail.com.

Save the Date: the BR Big Top Carnival is March 23, 2018

Mark your calendars! The BR Big Top Carnival is on Friday, March 23rd from 6-8pm. Click here for sponsor information and look soon for more details and volunteer opportunities! We look forward to seeing you and your family for a fun-filled evening!

Scholastic Book Fair Thank-you! Book Fair Thank You Logo

The Scholastic Book Fair was a huge success!  Thank-you to all of the students, families and teachers who stopped by our enchanted forest and bought books.  Because of your support 447 books were purchased for BR Classrooms! 

Also thank-you to those who volunteered, without you this event would not be possible.  Thank-you for supporting BR and encouraging a love of reading with our students!

Spanish Tutors Needed

Students in Spanish III, IV, V, or AP act as peer mentors and tutors for students in A, B, 1, 2 or elementary spanish. Tutors become peer supports for students who need help with Spanish in addistion to the time they seek with their Spanish teacher during help sessions. They will provide strategies that have been helpful for them when learning Spanish, help with organizational skills, practice memorization or vocabulary and concepts, and play language learning games.

Middle School Girls Indoor Soccer Opportunity

Middle school girls interested in indoor soccer at the Soccer Stop Sportsplex. Ages 13 and under. Younger girls will need to tryout to be sure they are ready for this age group. We will be playing in the U14 division against competitive teams. The goal is to get a girls team going and to keep it going throughout their middle school and high school years. 

Cost per season is $675 per team. We will divide the cost up by the number of girls that sign up. Team shirts will be an additional cost of $12 each. Registration deadline is October 20th. I will need a deposit of at least $30 by the 19th of October. 

Please contact Raquel Pena-Rosas for more information. raquelpena03@gmail.com

Odyssey of the Mind Information

Thursday 9/27 is the Odyssey of the Mind information Night.  As a friendly reminder, the meeting will begin at 6:00pm in the Elementary Music Room and will last about an hour.  Peg Edvenson, our OotM Regional Director, will be sharing great information on what OotM is, what the team dynamics look like, and what the roles of the coaches and judges are.

I understand that not everyone will be able to attend the meeting.  Here are the Student Registration and Volunteer Registration forms, as well as a timeline for our program with some important dates.  

High School United Way Club Meeting Dates

Below are the dates for the United Way Club meetings.  Meetings are held in Marguerite Stephens' Room 321 during High School CAP from 11-11:30am. 

Thursday, January 18 
Wednesday, January 31
Wednesday, February 14
Wednesday, February 28
Wednesday, March 14
Wednesday, March 28
Wednesday, April 18

Carnival Donations Wanted!

Cleaning out the toy bins and bookshelves? Your student can earn community service hours and the Carnival can benefit! The Carnival committee is looking for LIKE NEW tiny trinkets and preschool to middle school-aged books that your student has outgrown. Birthday party favors, dollar store items, new packages of candy are all great ways to donate to the Carnival! Items will be used for carnival game prizes and can be brought to the Main Office during school hours.

Odyssey of the Mind Volunteers Needed!

Attention all high school Sophomores, Juniors, and Seniors: The elementary students will be participating in a program called Odyssey of the Mind, and they need your help to be successful! Odyssey of the Mind is a program that "teaches students how to think in different ways by providing open-ended problems that appeal to a wide range of interests.  Students learn how to identify challenges and to think creatively to solve those problems."  For each team of seven students, one coach and one co-coach is needed.  This year we are turning to the Black River High School students to fulfill the role of co-coach.  Students who volunteer to participate as a co-coach have the opportunity to earn community service hours, be a mentor and role model to younger students, act as a leader in an amazing program, and learn new skills.  Teams will meet once a week beginning in November and leading up to the Regional Tournament on February 2, 2018.  The frequency of team meetings is likely to increase leading up to the tournament.  For more information please email OotM Coodinator, Ashley Huizenga, at odysseyatbr@gmail.com.  There will also be an information night hosted in the Elementary Music Room on Thursday, September 27 from 6-7.

BR Students in the News
Box Tops & Direct Your Dollars Receipts Box Top Logo

A friendly reminder to keep saving BoxTops and Family Fare/D&W Direct Your Dollars receipts.

Black River Rat School Spirit Store - Order Online 24/7!

Check-out the new Black River School Spirit Store - Uniting Students, Parents and Fans through School Pride! We are very excited to announce our School Store with 24/7 online ordering and delivery straight to your home. The link can be found on the banner in the right hand corner of the Black River website or here. Watch for a $10 Gift Card, one promotion per household which will be sent home with the youngest child in each family this week. We hope you will consider the School Store when shopping for the holidays and stocking stuffers! Contact the MS/HS Main Office if you have any questions.

Class of 2019 Senior Party Planning and Sign-up Information

Senior Party Logo     Calling all Class of 2019 Parents!

Senior Party planning is underway. Help us keep organized by sending in your Class of 2019 Senior Party Form and deposit as soon as possible. The form should be mailed or dropped off in the MS/HS main office during the first week of school.

Would you like to be on the party planning committee? Please contact Rachelle Rokos at hsblackriverpo@brpsk12.org

Download the District Mobile App

The Black River District website can also be via the SchoolPointe Stay Connected app which is available for both Apple and Android phones. Please click on the preferred link below to download the website application.

Download on the App Store
Click Here for Apple SchoolPointe Stay Connected App

Get it on Google Play
Click Here for Android SchoolPointe Stay Connected App

SchoolPointe's Stay Connected App features:

-Headline News and Information
-Calendar of Events
-School and Staff Directory
-School Notifications

491 Columbia Avenue
Holland, MI 49423
Phone: (616) 355-0055

Fax: (616) 355-0057