District News

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Thank you to everyone for understanding how seriously we took today's event and our commitment to keeping our students safe.  We can be proud of the way our BR kids respectfully handled this difficult topic.

Evening Activities at BRPS on Friday, February 9 will take place as scheduled.

Note: Mr. Bittrick's after school STEM activity has been cancelled due to school being closed today. Please stay tuned for the rescheduled date.

Message to Friends & Families from Mr. Brunink

Wishing safe and and happy holidays to all our Black River friends and families!   Click here to read.

Dec 13 Choir Concert is CANCELLED due to weather conditions.


Dear Black River Families,

This morning's car line was a bit hectic! Construction began on 21st St. and we were not informed that the crews would be at our intersection beginning at 7:30 am. We are also working to understand if there could be a better plan for the construction crew to stage than our parking lot.

Thank you for you patience. We will continue to make sure students are safe and look forward to a newly paved 21st St!

Fun Walk Friday T-Shirt Design Contest Ends Soon!

Attention all students in grades K-12! The BRPO is looking for two t-shirt designs for it's 2017 Fun Walk Friday Event. Check the Fun Walk Friday flier for more information.

Picture Day is Thursday

Picture Day for all Black River students and staff is on Thursday, September 7. For students in middle school and high school, picture forms should be brought with you to give to the staff conducting the photo shoot. The main office does not collect picture forms. For elementary students, please give your form to your teacher. Extra forms are available in the main office. 

Debating the Constitution - September 14, 2017 Constitution Day
JV and Varsity Soccer Game Change!

JV and Varsity soccer game times have changed for today.  JV game is now at 5:00pm, Varsity is at 6:30pm.  JV bus leaves at 4:00pm, Varsity bus leaves at 5:00pm. 


Thursday, October 26 - 1:00 to 8:00pm (1/2 Day for K-12)
Friday, October 27 - 8:00 to 3:30pm (No School for K-12

Online sign up has ended.  If you were unable to schedule an appointment, please contact individual teachers to schedule.

Dear BR Families,

UPDATE:  suspect has been arrested:  http://fox17online.com/2017/10/09/holland-woman-stabbed-to-death-police-looking-for-suspect/

A violent crime resulting in a fatality occurred on 14th Street at about 1:30 today.  Cross country and running clubs were kept on campus, but Holland police advised us that lockdown was not necessary.  We will stay in touch with the police department and follow every direction for the safety of our students.


Lost & Found Clean-out - All Buildings

Lost and Found in all buildings will be cleaned out over the holiday break. Please ask your student to take a moment to look for lost items. Thank you!

Open House for Prospective Families

Interested in learning more about BR? Please join us for our Open House for Prospective Families! The Open House will be held on Saturday, February 3 from 10:00am - 12:00pm. Tours (for grades K-12) will begin in the main lobby of the middle/high school building. Stop in at your convenience and have a BRPS student be your tour guide. Teachers and staff will also be available to help answer questions. It is an excellent event for the whole family!

2018-2019 Calendar is Now Available

Click here to access a printable copy. 


2018-2019 New Student Enrollment Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for the 2018-2019 academic year is currently underway and applications are being accepted for our lottery drawing. The deadline to apply is 4:00pm on Wednesday, February 28, 2018.

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.

Student News - Friday Show
Spring 2018 Parent/Teacher Conferences

Thursday, March 15
1:00pm - 8:00pm

Friday, March 16
8:00am - 3:30pm
Online sign up has ended.  Please contact individual teachers directly if you were unable to schedule a time. 

BRTC Musical, Man of La Mancha Ticket Information

The Black River Theatre Company presents the musical, Man of La Mancha on Friday, March 9 at 7:00pm and Saturday, March 10 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm.  Tickets are available online at https://blackrivertheatreco.ludus.com/ for $8 for students/seniors/staff and $10 for adults. Tickets will also be available at the door for $10 and $12. Performances will be held at Lokers Auditorium in Cityside Middle School in Zeeland

Summer Camp Brochures are Here!

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

Ripples Newsletter

In an effort to provide our Black River families with more timely information we have decided to replace the Ripples, our monthly school newletter, with this ongoing News section of the website. Current school information, news and events can be found here. We will no longer have a link to the Ripples provided on the website or emailed to your inbox. If you need a copy of the final Ripples newletter which was published in June, please email the main office at heneghank@brpsk12.org.

BRTC Auditions for "The Crucible"

Auditions for "The Crucible" are Thursday, September 7 at 3:15pm in the Small Ensemble Room. Open to any students in grades 6-12. Please see Mrs. Andrews for an audition packet.

BR Student News for Homecoming Week

Check-out this week's edition of the BR Student News at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2-M9lJr4O0  Students are shown the BR Student New Feed once a week during CAP class. Great job to all of the students involved in production planning, interviews and post-production! It's always fun to watch. 

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 25th 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 Cessie Wright with any questions at wrightc@brpsk12.org.


We the People Team District Champs

On Friday Black River's We the People team was named district champions for West Michigan. In its first ever competition, Black River placed first in 5 out of 6 panels. The team of nine juniors and seniors is led by coach Alex Constantelos. BR students faced stiff competition, including a school that had previously won districts 14 years in a row.

We the People The team will continue on to the state competition in Lansing on January 12.  Congratulations team!

What is We the People? This new course at Black River is a competitive public speaking course focused on American politics, law, and civics. The curriculum was developed in 1987 and is the flagship program of the Center for Civic Education.

From the Holland Public School Website


This morning, two students reported a suspicious vehicle near the high school.  If you are leaving campus for lunch or walking home after school today, please adhere to the following safety precautions:

  • Avoid walking by yourself.  Take measures to walk with a friend. 
  • Be aware of your surroundings.  Make sure you can see and hear your surroundings.  For example, if you normally wear earbuds, make sure you can still hear what is happening around you.
  • Walk with purpose.  Take the most direct, visible route to your destination and walk at a brisk pace.  In other words, avoid wandering, lingering, or stopping.
  • If you see or hear something suspicious, report it to a school staff member immediately.  If you need to report something that happens on your way home from school, report it to the police and inform school staff as soon as possible.  

We are working with the Holland Police Department to ensure that the areas around our school buildings are well patrolled.  We have also communicated with our K-7 buildings, so that our younger students are also aware of these added safety measures.

Thank you to the students who reported what they saw this morning.  Your willingness to seek out a school staff member has helped keep us all safe.  Have a safe afternoon.    

Lunch Menu Change

Due to the recent snow day, the lunch staff will be serving Mac and Cheese or a Chicken Sandwich for lunch on Friday. 

Ski Club Outing Sign-up

The first Ski Club outing to Bittersweet is this Wednesday. Students with the appropriate paperwork on file with Mr. Bittrick should sign up for the bus outside of room 211.

Wednesday, January 24

This morning, at approximately 7:30am, the Holland Fire Department was on site due to a smoke alarm in the lyceum kitchen.  The building had been cleared within a few minutes and the day resumed as scheduled. Thank you for your patience.

5th Grade Parent Night

Attention Parents of Current 5th graders and Incoming new 6th grade Families

5th Grade Parent Night
Tuesday, March 20

5:30 - 6:15
Large Ensemble Room (use entrance off 20th St.)

Click here for more details.

Check-out Rat Camp!

The Freshman Class of 2021 had a great day at Geneva Pines. Check-out these pictures. 

Rat Camp PhotoRat Camp Image

Homecoming Tailgating, Powder Puff Game and More!

Come help us celebrate Black River's 2017 Homecoming and cheer on the Varsity Boys Soccer Team as they take on Potter's House on Friday, September 29th at the Hope's Van Andel Soccer Stadium.

Middle School Dance

The first middle school dance of the year will be held on Friday from 6:00-8:00pm in the main lobby! The cost is $5 and dress is casual. Contact Jeanne Kane at kanej@brpsk12.org with questions.

MS/HS Lost and Found Clean-out begins Monday

Lost and Found clean-out will begin Monday, October 6. Students have received announcements for the past sevral days in CAP. Please remind them to take one last look on Monday. We will begin clean-out after school. 

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!

Main Office Hours during the Holidays

The Main Offices will be open from 7:30am-12:00pm during exam week, December 18-20, 2017. Offices will be closed Thursday, December 21 through Wednesday, January 3, 2018. Classes resume on Thursday, January 4, 2018. Have a wonderful break!

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. 

Eastern Europe Project Term 2019 Trip Meeting Announced

Attention all Travelers! If you will be a high school student in 2018-2019 and are interested in traveling to Eastern Europe in 2019 come to an informational meeting Monday, March 26th, at 5:30pm in Room 420. Please see more information below.

Sixth Grade Field Trip

The sixth graders at Black River are headed to Camp Pendalouan on Wednesday, August 30th from 8-3pm. Please have your 6th grade field trip permission form turned in on the first day of school. Contact Trisha Byrnes, Chair of the MSPO at msblackriverpo@brpsk12.org with questions. 

Homecoming Week Spirit Days - GO RATS!

Homecoming Week is almost here! Spirit Week begins on Monday, September 25, 2017

Below is the spirit week schedule for the MS/HS building:

Monday - Pajama Day
Tuesday - Hawaiian Day
Wednesday - Holiday Day
Thursday - Class Color Day
Friday - Black River Spirit Day

Below is the spirit week schedule for the EL building:

Monday- Pajama Day
Tuesday-Beach/Hawaiian Day
Wednesday- Formal/Fancy Day
Thursday- Patriotic Day--Wear Red, White, and Blue
Friday- Black River Spirit Day


The Rat Trap - Student News for this Week

Here is the link to today's Rat Trap. Enjoy!


Middle School Robotics Qualifier

The Middle School Robotics Team is attending a Qualifier Competition for FIRST Tech Challenge this weekend. The matches will take place at Allendale Middle School from 11:00am-4:30pm. Spectators can arrive any time after 10:30am to watch the competition. 

BR Student News Friday Show
Holiday Episode of the Rat Trap

Check-out the holiday episode of the Student News!


High School Sock Hop Dance Information

The High School Sock Hop Dance is on Friday, January 19 in the gymnasium following the basketball game. The dance is from 8:45 to 11pm. Tickets are $5 at the door and all proceeds go to the Senior Graduation Party. Make sure to bring a form of socks and an ID for coat check.  

2018 RatFest is on February 17 from 5-8pm

RATFEST 2018 is on Saturday, February 17th, 5 - 8pm, in the Gym/Lyceum

Bring the whole family to a fun-filled night of music, dancing and art!  


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.

Student News - Friday Show
Wear your Craziest Socks Tomorrow!

Black River Families, don't forget to wear your crazy socks tomorrow to participate in World Down Syndrome Day! Here are two short videos that you can share with your students and friends. The first is aimed at younger children.  



Senior Class Field Trip

Save the Date! The Senior Class is going to CHICAGO!

Date: Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Time: 7:15am - 9:30pm
Place: Chicago Museums

Watch your mailbox for more information and the trip permission form or access information via this link. Please return the permission slip and payment by the first day of school. This field trip is sponsored by the High School Parent Organization in collaboration with Black River.

If you have any questions or would like to chaperone, please contact Rachelle Rokos at hsblackriverpo@brpsk12.org or 616-405-9568.

Join the MS/HS Black River Theatre Company!

The first meeting of the Black River Theatre Company will be on Tuesday, August 29 at 3:15 pm in the Small Ensemble Room. BRTC is open to all 6th-12th graders.  If you are interested in participating in theatre either on or off stage, we hope to see you there!  If you have questions, talk student representatives, Grace Brunink and Sam Dykhouse or email Mrs. Rachel Andrews at andrewsr@brpsk12.org. 


Homecoming Volunteers Needed!

Greetings Sports Fans! Don't forget that Friday night is Black River's Homecoming game at Hope College's Van Andel Soccer Stadium. Tailgate fun begins at 5:30 PM! The Athletic Boosters are in need for parent volunteers to sign up on Shiftboard for the following positions: Ticket sales at the front gate, tailgate help, raffle ticket sales and AB merchandise sales. Please log on to Shiftboard and sign up for a shift. We appreciate your support! https://www.shiftboard.com/servola/schedule/calendar.cgi#https://www.shiftboard.com/servola/schedule/calendar.cgi?action=list_day;covered=2;published=1;owner=216279;start_date=20170929;ss=216138

HS Students - Holland Area College Fair Information

Check out the Holland Area College Fair at DeVos Fieldhouse, Hope College campus on October 5, 2017 from 6-8pm. Representatives from over 70 colleges will be in attendance. We hope to see you there!


Hop on the District Volleyball Game Student Fan Bus

The Varsity Volleyball District Game is on Monday, October 30th at Saugatuck High School. The game starts at 5:30pm and a Middle School/High School Fan Bus will leave from the Lyceum lot at 5:00pm. Contact Ana Brickley at brickleya@brpsk12.org for details and if you plan on riding. Go Rats!

HS Students: Are you Interested in Joining Track?

Coach Morrision will host an informational meeting for high school students interested in running track this spring on Tuesday, November 28 at 11:00am in the Auxiliary Gym. 

Congratulations November Rat Buck Winners!

Congratulations to our November Middle School Rat Buck Winners!

Interested in Playing HS Girls Soccer?

All girls interested in playing high school girls soccer this spring should plan to attend an informational meeting on Monday, February 19 at 11:00 in Mr. Rowe's room, 231.  


3 V 3 Volleyball Tournament Cancelled

The 3 V 3 Volleyball Tournament scheduled for Saturday, March 24, 2018 at 1:00pm
has been cancelled. Please contact Ana Brickley at brickleya@brpsk12.org with questions.

Travel to Australia/New Zealand for Project Term 2018

Students in grades 8-12 and their parent/guardian are invited to attend an informational meeting about the Project Term 2018 trip to Australia/New Zealand onSeptember 26 at 6:30pm in room 321. Please contact Marguerite Stephens, trip leader, at stephensm@brpsk12.org if you have questions or cannot attend.  

NHS Red Cross Blood Drive is on Tuesday, October 17. Please Give!

The National Honor Society will be hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 in the Main Gym from 9am to 3pm. This year, the Red Cross is implementing an online sign-up for donors. NHS students are working to recruit students, teachers and parents so that we can meet our goal this fall. We hope you will consider donating.

Sign up for the The Annual 3 V 3 Tournament

3 vs. 3 Tournament

High School Baseball Tryouts Start on March 12

Black River High School Baseball tryouts for the 2018 season will be on March 12th, 13th, and 14th from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM each day.  Tryouts will be in the main and auxiliary gyms at Black River.  For those trying out, please bring gym appropriate shoes, baseball glove, and bat if you have one.  Nobody may tryout without a current sports physical on file with the school!

If you have any questions or would like to know more please call Chris Timmer at 616.340.0250 or email at catimmer11@gmail.com.  

Lost and Found Clean-out

While attending conferences, don't forget to check the Lost and Found area in the main building located under the first floor, south stairwell for any lost items. Thank you! 

MS/HS Summer Reading Information

Click here for information on a fun summer challenge for student entering grades 6-8 in the fall.

Click here for information on summer reading suggestions for students in grades 9-12.

HS Students - Join the BRPS Youth in Government (YIG) Delegation!

High School Students - Are you interested in joining Youth in Government (YIG)? Stop by Mrs. Stephens, Room 321 after school on Monday, September 11 or during CAP on Thursday, September 14 if you would like information on how to participate in Youth in Government. Included will be information on the Fall and Spring Conference dates, conference prices, how to register and the forms that need to be signed by a parent or guardian. Please see Mrs. Witvoet or Mrs. Stephens if you cannot make one of the times above.

Youth In Government Application Update

Youth in Government students: Please get your application in to Mrs. Stephens or Mrs. Witvoet this week!  

Upcoming BRPS Fine Arts Events

Mark your calendar for these upcoming Black River Fine Arts events:

Interested in Playing HS Baseball this Spring?

High School students interested in playing baseball this spring should plan to attend a meeting on Wednesday, November 8 in Mr. Rowe's room during high school CAP.

Middle School Girl's Basketball Starts Soon!

Any middle school girls interested in playing basketball there will be a meeting on Thursday in the Main Gym during lunch. It will be a quick meeting collecting contact information. Practice starts January 4 from 3-5pm in the Main Gym. You must have a sports physical on file with Coach Ekdahl to practice. 

Phone Lines on 1/11/2018 - PLEASE READ

The phone lines were down in both the elementary and main building today and we appreciated your patience while we worked through this issue. We believe the problem has now been resolved. 

It's the Friday Show!

Check out the Friday Show by the BR Student News crew!





Experiential Learning at its Coldest!

Mr. Bittrick's Geoscience class ventured out to Lake Michigan to see the ice formations first hand. 

Geoscience Class

RatFest 2018 - Fun for the Whole Family

Rat Fest 2018 Poster

Attention Sailors! Sailing Club Information

If your daughter or son in 7th grade or above, is interested in sailing for the Black River Sailing Team this spring, here is all the information you need and more!  Sailing is a fun competitive team sport and the team has returning veterans who can teach and coach new sailors.  If you are interested and have some questions feel free to call Blair Nykamp 616-566-4665 or Matt Hemmelgarn 616-994-3001, anytime.  Our first informational meeting will be at the MBJA on Wednesday, March 28th from 6:30-7:00pm. Please read the team letter below.

FYI:  We have four local regattas on the schedule that are open to 7th & 8th graders.

BR Theatre Club Winter Musical Information

The next General Membership Meeting for the BR Theatre Company is on Wednesday, November 15 in the Small Ensemble Room from 3:15- 4:00pm.  Audition materials and information will be distributed for Man of La Mancha, the Winter Musical. Auditions will take place on Monday, November 27 after school in the Small Ensemble Room. That's the Monday right after Thanksgiving Break. If you have questions, please contact Mrs. Andrews. 

Check-out this Week's Student News

Please share the Thanksgiving episode of the Rat Trap: Student News with your students and family.  


Congratulations River Rat, First Tech Robotic Team

Please congratulate our Middle School, River Rat Robotics, First Tech Robotics team for placing 5th out of 37 regional teams at the state qualifying event this weekend. They were also earned the Judges Award for their gracious professionalism both on and off the field, as well as the Promote Award for their efforts in FTC's national and global promotion. Check out the video below for a peek at the robotics team in action.


Cheer on the Staff at the Faculty vs. Varsity Basketball Game

The yearly faculty basketball game will be played December 14th at 7:00p.m. Come watch your teachers, staff, and administration take on the varsity girls and boys basketball teams. Baskets for Kids will donate all proceeds from the event to Kids Food Basket. 

Sophomores & Juniors - Tech Center Informational Meeting

Have you thought about your future career and what options you have?  Careerline Tech Center offers quality technical training in many career areas, careers pertaining to business, visual arts, teaching, health care, culinary arts and building, to name a few.  If you are interested in learning more about Careerline Tech Center and what they have to offer, please come to an informational meeting on Monday, January 15th in room 229 during CAP.  During this time, you will receive information about registration and Tech Center tours.  If you have any questions please see Mrs. Schrotenboer at schrotenboert@brpsk12.org.  

Snowcoming Volunteers Needed!

The Athletic Boosters are looking for volunteers to help out during the Snowcoming Game on Friday, February 9th. Please sign up on Shiftboard at https://www.shiftboard.com/brps/

The Golden Age of the Senate H.W. Brands

Join Dr. Dykhouse on February 22, 2018 to travel to the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum for a special event entitled, "The Golden Age of the Senate", presented by H.W. Brands. 

The bus will depart at 6:00pm and return to Black River at 9:00pm.  Sign up with Dr. Dykhouse at dykhouseg@brpsk12.org or see him in room 419.

Space is limited; first come, first serve.

Congratulations, Eden Nykamp - Member of the GH/BRPS Ski Team

Congratulations to Black River student, Eden Nykamp. Eden skis with the combined Grand Haven/Black River Public School Ski Team.  Eden was one of two skiers on the team to qualify for the State Finals.  Eden qualified in the Women's Slalom Event and will ski in the State Finals on February 26.

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!


Yearbook Pick-up Information and Update

Yearbooks not picked up in July will be available for pick-up starting August 23, 2017. Please contact Katie Chester at chesterk@brpsk12.org with questions.

Grades 9-12: Create a Project Term Independent Study

Are you in grade 9-12? Do you work well on your own? Would you like to set your own schedule at the location of your choice? 

NJHS Candy Cane Sale 2017

Wouldn’t you like to help out a stray animal at the Humane Society or families devastated by the recent hurricane in Puerto Rico?

MS/HS Building Snowcoming Spirit Week Days

Monday: Pajama Day
Tuesday: 80's Day
Wednesday: Character Day
Thursday: Color Day
    6th - Orange
    7th - Pink
    8th - Purple
    9th - White
    10th - Red
    11th - Black
    12th - Blue
Friday: Space Day 



Rat Buck Shout-outs from Mr. Donnelly

A LOT of Rat Bucks were issued in January, and that is great news :)

The following students received an exceptional amount of Rat Bucks and deserve recognition for the month of January 2018.

6th Grade:  Eden Pomp
                   Honorable Mention, Soraya Kosters, Carter Koch

7th Grade:  Grah Russel 
                   Honorable mention, Avery Mangum, Hayden Mealy

8th Grade:  Benjamin Logan and Zachary Devereaux, 
                   Honorable Mention - Emily Hearn, Sophia Yost, Lily Beacham, Kylee Poulton, and                     Nora Best

Attention, MS/HS Sailors!

If you are hoping to change your Project Term schedule before March 19th, we are looking for more middle and high school sailors to join the Double-Handed Sailing class for C block.  This class was not originally offered in the middle school course packet, but it is available during the schedule change window. Come spend two weeks at Lake Macatawa and improve your sailing skills! 

7th Grade Students and Families are Invited to the Asian Feast

It's time again to come together for another FEAST! The 7th grade Asian Feast is on Thursday, March 22 at 6:15pm in the Lyceum building. All 7th grade students and their families are invited. Students were given a flyer with all of the important details. You can also contact Marguerite Stephens at 616-355-0055 ext. 129 or email stephensm@brpsk12.org with questions.    

Cell Phones During the School Day

We'd like all BR families to be aware of the cell phone policy. Please read below, and be sure to take a look at the student handbook for all current school policies!


Cell phones are not to be used/visible during class time unless a teacher instructs students to use them for class work. If a student has a question regarding whether or not they may use a phone, they must ask a faculty member. If a phone is being used without expressed permission, a faculty member shall confiscate the phone.

Drop-Off, Pick-up and Parking Lot Safety Reminders

Student safety is always our first priority. Please read below for some important reminders to make our school drop-off and pick-up times as safe and time efficient as possible. 


We are looking for a few good sponsors to help make the Black River Fun Walk a success.  Please consider becoming a sponsor for this awesome community event.  Click here for a printable version of the form: https://goo.gl/24qMwn

Careerline Tech Center Open House Information

The Careerline Tech Center fall Open House is Tuesday, October 24 from 5:30-7:30pm. Learn more about Tech Center programs, meet the instructors and find out how you can become career and college-ready. Representatives from local businesses will be set up in the Commons area to talk about future careers. Food may be purchased from the Electric Hero food truck. Hope to see you there!

College Awareness Week at Black River begins Monday

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

Ski Team Update

Tuesday was the first meet for the Grand Haven/Black River Ski Team. In the Giant Slalom event, Eden Nykamp placed 4th out of 54 women. Duncan Elmer placed 16th out of 56 men. GH/BR women placed 9th/9 as a team while the men placed 3rd/9.     

Check-out the Student News Wednesday Show!
Student News

Happy Friday! Here is the link to the Friday show for BR Student News.


Spring Sports Information

High School spring sports begin on Monday, March 12.  Black River offers Boys Baseball, Girls Soccer, and Boys and Girls Track & Field.  

Middle School spring sports begin on Monday, March 19 (weather permitting).  Black River offers Girls Soccer for 7th and 8th graders, and Boys and Girls Track & Field for 6-8th graders.

Questions?  Contract your coach:

High School Baseball - Chris Timmer - catimmer11@gmail.com

High School Girls Soccer - Kyle Lawton - lawtonk@brpsk12.org

High School Track and Field - Kyle Morrisons - kyle.m.morrison@gmail.com

Middle School Girls Soccer - Marissa Seymour - marissa.seymour@hope.edu

Middle School Track and Field - Steve Lambert - steve.lambert@rolgroup.com


BR FAMILIES!  Here is an amazing opportunity for you to help the Michigan legislature make a decision that will mean significant $$ in our classrooms for your children. 

Come See the BRTC Fall Play: "The Crucible" Theatre Company Logo

Tickets are now on sale for the Black River Theatre Company production of The Crucible. Performances will be held in the Holland Christian Middle School Auditorium on Friday, November 10 at 7:00pm and Saturday, November 11 at 2:00pm and 7:00pm

Tickets are $6 for Students/BR Staff/Seniors and $8 for Adults. Tickets can be purchased online at https://blackrivertheatreco.ludus.com/

Student News

Happy Friday! Here is the link to the Friday Show.  


Middle School Dance

The second middle school dance of the year will be on Friday, January 26th in the main lobby from 6:00-8:00pm. The cost is $5.00. Please contact Jeanne Kane at kanej@brpsk12.org with questions.

It's the Wednesday Show by BR Student News
Rat Race Volunteers Needed

The 13th Annual Rat Race is coming up - Friday, April 13th at 6:13pm. We always need volunteers to help the race go smoothly. If you are interested in helping please contact Jessica Reinartz at reinartzj@brpsk12.org.

The Rat Trap - Student News for this Week


The Rat Trap is shown to the students during CAP class on Friday. 

The Be Nice. Merchandise Fundraiser Starts Today

The be nice. leadership group is doing a fundraiser to raise money in order to continue supporting be nice. activities and awareness. Order form for t-shirts and other merchandise are also available in the main office. Forms are due by Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Orders will not be taken without payment.

MS/HS Students: Are you Interested in Performing at Ratfest?

Ratfest is on Saturday, February 17, from 5pm-8pm at Black River. There will be swing dancing, mock rock, a 50/50 raffle, crafts, food, and a live stage. If you are a student interested in performing on the live stage, please see any of the Fine Arts teachers to sign up. It is open to any Middle School/High School musicians, dancers, and actors.

High School Students: Math Field Day is Coming Soon!

Any high school students interested in attending the Math Field Day, hosted by University of Michigan, should come to the meeting in Mrs. Reinartz's room 308 on Tuesday, January 16 during high school CAP.

Geography Bee Winner

Congratulate Sam Dykhouse as the Black River Geography Bee school winner.  First runner up was Nick Wreschinsky. Way to go!

Sign-up for the NJHS Sponsored Red Cross Blood Drive

On Monday, March 5, Black River National Honor Society will be hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive from 9am - 3pm in the Main Gym. 

Ottawa Regional Spelling Bee Winner - Mary Catherine Leahy

Black River hosted the 2018 Ottawa Regional Spelling Bee Competition and it was a great experience for all. One of our own students, 5th garder Mary Catherine Leahy, won the competition and will be competing on March 27th at the Greater Grand Rapids Spelling Bee. Also, a great big thank you to the many staff members that helped make this event possible. Your support of Black River and our students is always above and beyond! 

Middle School Family to Family

Is your oldest finishing 5th grade and headed to the middle school?   Are you a veteran middle school family willing to share?  Join Family to Family!  

What: A pairing of veteran families and students with those new to the middle school.
Why: To build a strong MS community, create connections, and offer support in the transition to MS.
Who: YOU!  
When: Sign Up Now for this New Program starting in August.
Use this link to sign up electronically.  If you prefer a paper sign up, click here for a printable flyer and sign up sheet.  

Congratulations Rat Buck Earners!

Congratulations to our top October Rat Buck earners:

BR Student News for Fun Walk Week

Happy Friday! Check out the BR Student News for this week! It covers the Fun Walk tonight, and includes some playground fun with the elementary students. Enjoy!



Project Term Schedules are Posted

Project Term schedules, along with any associated fees for students in grades 4 -12 are now available on Infinite Campus. Please note that students will only be allowed to make schedule changes between March 5 and March 19.  During that time, Mrs. Wise, the school registrar, will post classes that are open outside of her office, room 207. She will also maintain wait lists for all students who were not scheduled in their first choice courses. She will notify students in writing if there is an opening in a class.  

Congratulations to Eden Nykamp (9th Grade) on Her All-State Finish

Ninth grader, Eden Nykamp, earned 20th place at the MHSAA D1 State Skiing Finals on Monday, February 26 in the Slalom Event. Her 20th place finish earned her a second All- State title. Congratulations, Eden!


Congratulations to the 2017-2018 NJHS Students

Congratulations to our 2017-2018 National Junior Honor Society students. Selection in to NJHS is based on five criterion: citizenship, service, leadership, scholarship, and character. These students should be very proud of their achievement.
 2018-2018 NJHS Student Group

Thank You, Fun Walk Sponsors and Participants!

Thank You, Amazing Black River Community!


Fun Walk Friday Logo - Print.png


Due to your incredible generosity the Parent Organization raised over $20,000 (after expenses) to help support our school!  And even more importantly, we all had a blast at the Fun Walk Friday event!

Congratulations to BRPS Student, Matthew Harrelson

A huge BR round of applause goes to seventh-grader Matthew Harrelson, for being honored at the High Achieving Talented Student (HATS) Off recognition ceremony. Matthew was one of 300 middle school students to earn the distinction for taking the ACT or SAT and achieving scores comparable to college-bound high school seniors! Way to go!

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!

Yearbook Senior Dedication Form Due March 12

Would you like to honor your graduate with a special message of dedication in the yearbook?

Please fill out the Yearbook Senior Dedication Form and bring it in to the main office.

Congratulations to Madeline Powers!

Madeline Powers was chosen by her classmates to be Black River's Daughters of the American Revolution Good Citizen for this year.

HS Students: Join the BR/Holland High CHAOS Robotics Team

High School Students: If you're interested in joining the award-winning CHAOS Robotics team or just want to see what they are all about, be sure to stop in for the Robotics Team Open House.

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.

Congratulations to the Varsity XC Team!

Regional XC Champions

Congratulations are in order for our cross country varsity boys and girls teams! This past weekend the varsity boys team won first place at Regionals for the third year in a row!  The girls team had a great finish to the season and placed fourth! Mia Phillips placed fifth and is an individual state qualifier and four of the boys qualified as individual runners for State, as well!  Please congratulate all of our cross country team members when you see them and wish them luck this weekend! Thanks go out to Coach Morrison for a great season!!!

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

GVSU College Prep Week Link
Rat Race Sign-up Link is Here!

The 13th Annual Black River Rat Race on Friday the 13th of April at 6:13 p.m., is open for registrations!


Fun Walk Friday T-Shirt Winner is Announced

The Fun Walk Friday committee is pleased to announce that the winner of the middle school and high school Fun Walk Friday T-Shirt Contest is Aiyana Hernandez in the 10th grade!

Fun Walk Friday Grand Finale is Here! FUN WALK


Families, please turn in your donations by Thursday, October 19 at 4pm to count for the prizes! Don't worry though - money can still be turned in after Thursday. A big THANK YOU to everyone who has already sent in their donations!

Please join us Friday, October 20 from 5:30-7:00pm at the Hope College Track behind the DeWitt Tennis Center at 301 Fairbanks Avenue, Holland.  

Student Artwork to be Displayed at the Saugatuck Center For the Arts

Two weeks ago in Foundations art, we had a local Native American artist, Jason Wesaw, come to our class twice to work with students on a symbolic identity drawing.  Students were asked to create a work based on the artist's style using shape, color, and line to represent their identity or family.  Around 10 student artworks were selected to be displayed at the Saugatuck Center for the Arts until the beginning of December.

Would you like to Purchase a Yearbook Ad?

Do you own a local business?  Would you be willing to help the Black River Public School Yearbook staff by ordering an advertisement? If so, please fill out and return the 2017-18 Yearbook Ad form with payment. Contact yearbook advisor, Joy Shirk at shirkj@brpsk12.org with questions. Thank you for supporting the yearbook! 

Congratulations to the Raticals, Black River's Middle School Team

Congratulations to the Raticals, Black River's Middle School Team.  They took first place at the Western Michigan Chapter of MathCOUNTS held at GVSU on Friday.  The team will continue onto the state level of competition in March.

Also congratulations to top individual finishers.  Elliot Lappenga placed 4th,  Madelyn Rynsburger placed 5th, and Matthew Harrelson placed 6th.

Here is a picture of the team with Bill Stefan who MC'd the event.  

Math Counts Team Photo

8th Grade Field Trip Information

The 8th Grade Field Trip to GVSU for The Tempest (Shakespeare) Performance is on Tuesday, October 3rd. The field trip permission form and performance details have been sent home with your student. Forms need to be returned with $5.00 to the main office by Wednesday, September 27.

Hank Meijer’s Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century Hank Meijer Image

Attention Middle or High School Students:

Travel to Loosemore Auditorium at GVSU's Grand Rapids campus with Dr. Dykhouse on November 2, 2017 to attend a presentation on Hank Meijer’s Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century.

Community Events

At Black River we understand that bringing school and community assets together will help our young people succeed. Check out our Community Page for opportunities that are emailed to the school by outside organizations wishing to keep students in the community informed. Please feel free to see if any of these opportunities would be helpful for your student.

Reserve your Spot to be in the Middle School Spelling Bee!

The Middle School Spelling Bee will be held on Tuesday, January 16th at 11:00am in the Small Ensemble Room.  If you have a student interested in participating please contact Jim Levering at leveringj@brpsk12.org to reserve a spot. Students will need to bring a lunch from home on that day. Please contact Mr. Jim if you have any questions. 

Congratulations to the Black River We the People Team

On Friday, January 12, 2018, Black River's We the People team of nine students placed second in state at their final competition in Lansing. Black River is incredibly proud of their hard work over the last four months and appreciate team leader, Mr. Alex Constantelos for his devotion to the team. We are so proud of you!

We the People team photo

Beth Kiurski Wins the Fox 17 Pay it Forward - Teacher of the Year!

We'd like to congratulate our very own Upper Elementary teacher, Beth Kiurski for winning the Fox 17 Pay It Forward: Teacher of the Year award! Please congratulate her next time you see her in the hallways or around campus. We are so proud of her!

Jim Levering and Beth Kiurski

2017-2018 Back-to-School Information Back-to-School Information

It might be summer, but here at Black River we're getting ready for the students to arrive. The first day of school for all students is Wednesday, August 23, 2017. Check out the 2017-18 Back-to-School Information Packet.

MS/HS Students: Japan Club starts Monday, October 2

The Japan Club will resume Monday, October 2, 2017 from 3:00-4:00pm in room 321.  This will be a place for students to come and talk about anime, draw, read manga, or learn more about Japan. If there are any questions, contact Mrs. Stephens at stephenm@brpsk12.org.

Yearbook Order Deadline is Monday, January 29, 2018

Yearbook ordering is coming to a close. Yearbooks may be available after the pre-ordered yearbooks arrive. Extras are sold on a first come basis and are not guaranteed. Follow the links below to order:

Elementary Yearbook Order Site and Enter Code 40125

Middle/School/High School Yearbook Order Site and Enter Code 40122

River Rat Robotics Competition Kick-off and More

Join the River Rat Robotics FTC Team in kicking off the 2017-2018 Competition season on Saturday, November 11 in Mason, MI. The team has designed, built and programmed a robot to perform a variety of tasks in the Relic Recovery game.  Check out https://www.firstinspires.org/robotics/ftc/game-and-season for more information.

2018 School Spelling Bee Winners

Winner: Mary-Catherine Leahy (5th)
Runner-up: Zac Honeycutt (4th) 

Black River Sailing Team Update

What a busy weekend it was for our High School sailors up in Traverse City! On Saturday, the Black River team competed in the Michigan State 420 Championships.

Yearbook Needs YOU!

Yearbook staff is looking for quality pictures of all age students to include in the 2017-2018 yearbook. Pictures must be submitted ina high-resolution jpg format. Submissions can be emailed to Alex Koch at kocha@brpsk12.org or Ms. Joy Shirk at shirkj@brpsk12.org. High School students can still join the Yearbook Club. Meetings are during CAP on Tuesday in the Computer Lab. Email Joy Shirk with questions.

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.

2018 GVSU College Prep Week

The 2018 GVSU CSO College Prep Week welcomes 150 high school juniors and seniors from GVSU charter schools to participate in a week of academic and cultural exploration.

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!

Interested in Playing Boys Middle School Basketball?

Calling all 7-8th grade boys interested in playing basketball this season!

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

Join the Annual BRPS Golf Outing Committee

Looking for volunteers to join the annual golf outing committee to help with this year’s golf outing on Monday, June 25 at Macatawa Legends!  If interested contact Ed Amaya at ed.amaya@kenowa.com to get more information.

Travel to Spain for Project Term 2018

It's never too early to start thinking about Project Term 2018. If you are an 8th grader or a high school student and are interested in traveling to Madrid, Spain, contact Senora Gaffney (gaffneys@brpsk12.org) or visit the following link for more information: www.explorica.com/Gaffney-7980


Does your Child Need Dental Services? Mile of Smiles Can Help!

Miles of Smiles (MOS) mobile dental unit is scheduled to be in Holland throughout the school year.

New 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.

Snowcoming Details

Black River's Snowcoming Game will be on Friday, February 9th! Please come help us cheer on the Boys and Girls Varsity Basketball teams as they take on Holland Calvary. The Girls game begins at 5:30pm and the Boys game will follow at 7:00pm. Admission is $5 for the general public and free for current Black River students and staff. Concessions and Athletic Boosters gear will be for sale on site, and there will be games and prizes throughout the evening. Hope to see you there!

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.

Congratulations Upper Elementary First Lego League!

Black River Public School Upper Elementary students are thinking like engineers while participating in First Lego League. They designed, built, and programed a robot and took home two trophies at the regional competition. 

Thank you to the City of Holland for this great video and to all of our Lego League volunteers! 


Join United Way Club!

Students in grades 9-12 can join the United Way Club. Meetings are held during HS CAP in Mrs. Stephens Room, 321.

Box Tops...New App!!!

Earn more cash for school with the new Box Tops App!

Join the Black River Swing Dance Society

The students have started a new BR Club - BLACK RIVER SWING DANCE SOCIETY

Join them in the Auxiliary Gym, Thursday from 7:00-8:00pm

Image result for swing dancing silhouette

Senior Year Information Packet

Senior year is an exciting and busy time! Check-out the Senior Information Packet that was mailed to each senior in September. This packet was designed to assist you in planning for the upcoming year.  

Join the Black River High School Sailing Club!

Students in grades 9-12 interested in joining the BRPS Sailing Club can contact Karen Rowe at rowek@brpsk12.org or BRPS sailing parent liasion, Matt Hemmelgarn, at matthew@jesco-llc.com.   

Black River Middle School Wyldlife Club Information

Are you a middle school student interested in joining the Black River Wyldlife Club?

Athletic Boosters $50 for 50 Home Games Fundraiser

The Athletic Boosters are hoping to raise an additional $2500 in funds to provide athletic training services at all appropriate home athletic contests.  Will you please be one of the families willing to donate $50 per athlete or more to provide this important service at 50 home games during the 2017-18 school year?  Please drop checks off in the MS/HS Main Office made out to BRSP Athletic Boosters with Athletic Trainer in the memo.  Thanks for you support.

Volunteer for the MS/HS Peer2Peer Program

Middle School and High School Students: Support and encourage a fellow student, while earning community service hours. Volunteer for the Black River school-wide Peer2Peer program. This program is open to ALL middle and high school students.

High School Students: Dutch Dance Details are Here!

If you are interested in participating in Dutch Dance, please contact Darcy Logan at Darcy@theloganfamily.net. High School Dutch Dance will meet on Tuesday at 5:00-6:00pm and Thursday 4:30-5:30pm. Practices begin SOON!

Join the BRPO: Connect with your School and Community!

If you'd like to get more involved at school, we would love to hear from you!  The BR Parent Organization is all about making a difference.

BRPS Middle School/High School Bittersweet Ski Club Forms are Available

Attention Skiers and Snowboarders! The 2017/2018 Bittersweet Ski Club forms are now available in Mr. Bittrick's room 211. 

HS Students: Be Nice. is more than a phrase. It's an Action Plan!

Are you a high school student interested in promoting a positive school climate and encouraging your fellow classmates?

Get the BR Mobile App

Staying connected is even easier with our new mobile app.  Just access the web site through your mobile device and you'll be offered a link to download the app. If you are not offered a link, download the "Schoolpointe Stay Connected" app in the App Store. News, calendar, directory and more - plus push notifications for important items like weather closings or delays.  Download today!

HS Students - Join the Black River Ski Team!

Head to Main Gym during HS CAP on Monday, November 13 for an informational meeting if you are a high school student interested in joining the Black River and Grand Haven Co-op Ski Team.  Please contact Kyle Lawton at lawtonk@brpsk12.org with questions.

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

Fax: (616) 355-0057