One of my favorite quotes from Maria Montessori: The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, 'The children are now working as if I did not exist.'
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Elementary News

Weekly Update from HeadRat, Shannon Brunink - June 25, 2020

Today, we want to share with you our Operation Rat Return Task Force planning document. We are moving forward and you can rest assured that we are working hard to finalize the many details of our opening school plans by mid-summer and will share them with our community as soon as possible. As a parent myself, I am aware that you are seeking as much information as you can as we look forward to students across Michigan returning to campus. In the coming days we will have more information from the governor's Ready to Learn Task Force. We will also be sending a survey to families at the beginning of July which will give us more feedback and help shape our planning. Though this summer looks different from the past, one thing will remain constant, our commitment to ensure opportunities for all students to achieve academic success. This spring pushed us to adapt and we strongly believe we are better for it. Thank you for your continued trust in our BR family to ensure your students have a healthy and safe return to school. We are BR!

Printable flyer here.

Operation Rat Return Flyer


A Message from Shannon Brunink, Head of School - June 24, 2020

Dear Black River Community,

Over the past few weeks, we all have had the opportunity to clearly see how people in our country are affected by racial inequality.  The video footage and the stories that have come out have been difficult to watch, but offer us an opportunity for better understanding of all of the people in our country and community.

At Black River, we have always felt that the value and respect of others is paramount to the education and experience we work so hard to provide.  We all know that our mission statement begins with an emphasis on preparing students for "college and for life," but the second, lesser known sentence of our mission is: "We want to have our students discover responsibility for their own lives as well as empathy for all people and cultures."

While this has always been in our mission and has always been important to us, we must continue to do our best to understand and address these issues.  I am excited for the opportunities our students will have through clubs like Calling all Colors and be nice. to work to make our school the best that it can be in supporting every single student and family in our BR community.  This is our culture and our kids are already leaders in this regard.

We are BR, and we value every single child.

Shannon Brunink

GVSU K-12 Summer Tutoring is Available June 22-August 14

Grand Valley State University is pleased to announce the pilot of a free 1:1 Summer Virtual Tutoring Program for all K-12 students. GVSU K-12 Summer Tutoring is available for any student in grades K-12 from June 22 – August 14.  This pilot program was created and supported by the GVSU K-12 Network of Support to help with remediation and alleviate summer loss with extended time away from school.

Weekly Update from HeadRat, Shannon Brunink - June 18, 2020

Dear BR Community,

Thank you so much for your help in navigating the very difficult past few months.  I am amazed at the positivity that has shined through during this time of uncertainty.  Despite all of our fears and anxieties regarding everything going on, our community has been amazing!

It seems that we are now getting some information regarding what the upcoming year may look like for Black River.  In her press conference this morning, Governor Whitmer again stated that she is optimistic about face to face instruction returning to our school in the fall.  This is great news if it is indeed possible!  Governor Whitmer also stated that we would be receiving specific guidance from her office by June 30 regarding the parameters that will be put into place for all schools.

Since we are now receiving at least a small amount of information that is so important to all of you and your children, we will be providing weekly updates for our families regarding planning and what the fall may look like here at BR.  Some of these earlier updates may simply be a sharing of some of the ideas we are working on as we go through data from the surveys you will be receiving shortly or work being done in our committees for "Operation Rat Return."   As we get further along however, there will be a lot of new information as well as notifications for events that may be scheduled for parents to understand the options we are working with and how to navigate those.

These notifications will be posted each Thursday on our BR website.

A lot of work is being done for the fall and some really amazing ideas are coming from our teachers and staff.  I look forward to sharing what will be a fresh look at how we can best serve all of our students.

Thank you,

Shannon (HeadRat)

Black River Summer Camp Update - June 18, 2020

Summer Camps are canceled through mid-July.  We hope to resume our summer camp schedule on Monday, July 13.  Any camps scheduled indoors are canceled for the summer.  If you are interested in signing up for summer camp opportunities, please mail your registration form to the school. 

GVSU Charter School Office Digital Graduation Program

Graduates, we are so very proud of you! The Grand Valley Charter School's Office in collaboration with WGVU, (and our Class of 2020 Seniors, too) have created a digital graduation program.  

View the ceremony here!

Our Kids, Our Future Action Center

Our Kids, Our Future - Ask Congress to take ACTION for schools! Sign the petition here!

A Message from Shannon Brunink - June 11, 2020

Dear BR Families,

We wanted to let you know of the progress we are making regarding plans for the upcoming 2020-2021 school year.  While we will likely not receive guidance from the Governor's Work Group until some time in July, we have set a course for detailed planning.

Currently, more than 50 Black River teachers, staff members, and board members are working on "Operation Rat Return" through focus committees to understand how we can provide our incredible BR experience to students this fall. 

A Message from Caleb Fisher, Technology Director - June 10, 2020

For students who borrowed a school chromebook, please hold on to them through this summer!  We would like you to continue to have access to the materials and information through the website. Please contact me with questions at 

We Wish You a Safe and Happy Summer!

Happy Summer Black River Rats! What an incredble end to the school year. We wish all our students and families a happy, safe, and restful summer break! We look forward to when we can return to school in the fall. Meanwhile, take a look at this AMAZING VIDEO created by our staff to send our rats off into the summer sun with messages of love and encouragement! We will miss you!

TTQ Taking Registrations for 2020-21 School Year

TTQ Flyer

Holland Sentinel Honors BRPS 2020 Graduates

Congratulations to our BRPS 2020 graduates! Great things are ahead and your BRPS family is behind you all the way! May these unique circumstances give you resilience and inspire you to make the world a better place when you go back into it. Onward and upward to our forever rats!

Prospective Families Can Now View a Video of the Parent Information Session

Take a virtual tour of the Black River Montessori Elementary School!

Open Positions for 2020-2021 Fine Arts Boosters

The Fine Arts Boosters (FAB) has the following open positions for the 2020/21 school year:

  • Chairperson
  • Art Parent Representative

Volunteering is a great way to...

  • Feel more connected to the Black River community
  • Help meet the needs of the Black River Fine Arts department
  • Support your child/friend/relative in a Fine Arts activity
  • Build on skills and talents you may already possess

What about the time commitment?

  • FAB meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month at 5pm in the Lyceum.
  • How much time you devote to volunteering is completely up to you. From a few minutes of putting flyers around the school to setting up for one of our two main fundraisers, you decide what fits best with your schedule.

Who do I contact to find out more?

Update: BRPS #1 Charter in Michigan - US News Best Schools Ranking Report

Our wonderful Black River Public School, Holland MI is in the news. Congratulations to our families, teachers and staff members that raise us up and keep us connected every day!

Recently, we received word that Black River Public School is the #1 ranked Charter School in Michigan, #3 of all open enrollment schools in Michigan, and #345 in U.S. schools. (That's #345 out of 23,000 nationally.) 

In addition, the 2020 U.S. News and World Report rankings show that overall in Michigan, the No. 1 open-enrollment high school was also a charter school, Black River Public School in Holland. Black River came in at No. 7 on the list, but the six schools that finished ahead were either selective-enrollment schools or schools that don’t accept students from outside the district. 

Read two articles below:

Community Service Requirement Update

While we want to encourage students to continue to do positive things for our community, the community service hourly requirement will not hold a student back from graduating this spring or from moving up in grade levels for next year. This applies to our current 3rd, 5th, 8th and 12th graders. 

Community service hours that students' have already completed for the 2019-2020 school year as well as new hours acquired can be submitted electronically by a parent and/or guardian through the Black River website > Quick Links > Forms > the Community Service Electronic Submission Form - Use During COVID-19 Remote Learning. Again, we would like to encourage students to come up with fun and creative ways to support our entire community during the Stay Home, Stay Safe initiative. Please use these service ideas and send us yours so we can continue to give back during these uncertain times.  

Infinite Campus Email Notification Tutorial

Black River Parents and Guardians - If you have access to Infinite Campus and are still not receiving email notifications, please watch this short video tutorial created by Mr. Jim on how to update your contact preferences. If you do not have Infinite Campus access or have forgotten your password, contact Kelli Heneghan at 

OK2Say Hotline is Always Open

Stop the Silence! Black River Parents and Guardians - If you are worried about a student, don't be afraid to speak up by contacting the Ok2Say Hotline to leave an anonymous tip - OPEN 24/7 including weekends and before/during school hours. Specially trained technicians receive the tips and filter the information to the appropriate agency. Please use this resource if you have a concern during a time school is not in session. Contacting 911 with a concern is also an option. These methods will be the quickest way to ensure student safety. Thank you! 

Phone: 855-565-2729     Text: 652729 (OK2SAY)     Email:

OK2Say Poster

School News Updates at a Glance - Download our Stay Connected Mobile App

Stay up-to-date on BRPS current events and news by adding the Stay Connected App to your phone! Features include:

  • Headline News and Information
  • Calendar of Events
  • School and Staff Directory
  • School Notifications for Closings and Delays
  • Push Notifications for Important Updates 

Please click on the preferred link below to download the website application:
Click Here for Apple SchoolPointe Stay Connected App
Click Here for Android SchoolPointe Stay Connected App

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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. 

School Code: 231963
District ID: PWHTPS

meet your new infinite campus apps


Download on the App Store

Get it on Google Play


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If school is to be closed or delayed, Black River Public School will make the announcement via web, voicemail and media outlets (WHTC 1450 AMWOOD TV8) prior to 6:30 a.m.  

NON DISCRIMINATION STATEMENT  Black River Public School admits students of any race, color, sex, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, athletic programs and other school-administered programs. 

513 Columbia Avenue
Holland, MI 49423
Phone: 616.355.0055 x302