Back To School Information - 2019-2020

We are BR Logo                   

Back to School Information (K-12)         

2019-2020 School Year

The start of the 2019-2020 school year is right around the corner, and we look forward to seeing all of our BR families back on campus. As you begin to plan for the upcoming academic year, please use the following information as your main hub of answers for frequently asked questions. If you find yourself unable to find the information you are looking for, please know that we are always happy to answer questions or point you in the right direction. Thank you for choosing Black River Public School!

Brenda Seymour, Elementary Main Office Administrative Assistant
Phone: 616-355-0055, ext. 302

Kelli Heneghan, Middle School/High School Main Office Administrative Assistant
Phone : 616-355-0055, ext. 102


Update your Contact Information   

Please help us keep family and emergency contact information up-to-date. If you have moved or changed your phone number, please take a moment to email changes or verify information. Email the elementary main office at or the MS/HS main office at Please note that participation in the Black River Parent Organization Directory does not update your personal information on file with the school.  


Important Dates

Access the 2019-2020 School Year Calendar for all important calendar dates and the Black River Master Calendar with early dismissal times and event information. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2019: MS/HS Schedules Mailed  | Watch for your schedule!

MS/HS Families - Read this important message from Mr. Brunink regarding CAP changes for the upcoming school year.

Student schedules will be mailed on Wednesday, August 14. They will be available on students' Infinite Campus accounts on Thursday, August 15. New students can contact Caleb Fisher, Technology Director, at for Infinite Campus access information and password. Students who have an error in their schedule can make changes after August 15 between the hours of 9am-1pm, Monday-Thursday by contacting Jennifer Wise, School Registrar. She can be reached via email at or phone at 616-355-0055,  ext. 141. Please leave a detailed message.  

Middle School/High School Block Schedule 

 Middle School/High School Block Schedule

1st 8:00-9:26 A A B A C
2nd 9:33-11:00 B C C B D
3rd 12:00-1:26 D F D F F
4th 1:33-3:00 E G E G E


Mid-August Elementary Student Home Visits for the 2019-2020 School Year: Beginning Soon!

One way that the elementary teachers get to know their students is by visiting the child’s home prior to the beginning of school. Teachers will typically begin making phone calls to set up home visits in mid-August. Please read below to see who should be expecting a visit from their teacher.

Kindergarten: All NEW Kindergarten students.
Lower Elementary: All First Grade students and students NEW to Black River. 
Upper Elementary: Only students NEW to Black River. 


Monday, August 12, 2019:  *NEW* RightStart MATH Elementary Parent Informational Meeting |    5:00-6:30pm in the Large Ensemble Room, Lyceum Building

We have the amazing opportunity to hear about the Montessori-based RightStart Mathematics program that will be used this next year at Black River Public Montessori School. The program developer herself, Dr. Joan A. Cotter, will be here with us. She is a Montessorian who received her diploma from Mario Montessori, Dr. Montessori’s son. Dr. Cotter has created a research-based world renowned mathematics curriculum that will encourage your child to reach their greatest potential. Come hear why this program is so very successful and what you can do at home to enhance your child’s math education!


Tuesday, August 20, 2019: Middle School/High School New Student Orientation | 9-10am

This is an opportunity for students new to BRPS and new to the MS/HS main building campus to meet their CAP teacher, tour the school, find their classrooms and locker. Parents are invited to attend a Q&A session in the Lyceum Building. Please be on-time as students will break up in to CAP rooms to tour as a group. Meet in the Main Building Lobby.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019: Elementary Open House | 3-4pm

This is an opportunity for students NEW to BRPS, NEW to a classroom, and all kindergarten students to take a walk through the building and see their classroom before school starts. We hope this will ease the transitions for our new students, rising students, and kindergarten students on Wednesday morning.


HOORAY! Wednesday, August 21, 2019: First Day of School for Grades K-12 | 8:00am

The Lyceum building will be open at 7:30am for breakfast and early arrivals.
Students arriving to class after 8:00am
must stop in the main office for a tardy slip. 
Middle School/High School - 8:00am-3:00pm, Doors open at 7:50am
Elementary - 8:00am-3:10pm, Doors open at 7:45am


Wednesday, August 28, 2019: Elementary Parent Orientation Night and Family Picnic | 5–7pm
Meet with teachers as they explain the curriculum and expectations for the upcoming school year. The Elementary Parent Organization will be hosting a picnic and the Scholastic Book Fair will be open during this time. Stay tuned for more details!


Thursday, September 5, 2019: School Picture Day for Grades K-12 
Black River is proud to partner with Geskus Photography for our school picture needs. Watch your elementary student classroom newsletter and your students backpack for more information. MS/HS picture packets are passed out in CAP class.

High School English Summer Reading Information

Did you know that your high school student was assigned summer reading? The English Department released the High School English Summer Reading Packet for the 2019-2020 school year to your students before the end of school. This packet explains all the summer reading requirements and where you can find the books on the reading list.  


Stricter Student Immunization Rules Mandated by the Health Department

Are your student's immunizations up-to-date? Michigan law requires that all kindergarten, 7th grade students, as well as transfer students, have current immunizations to be in attendance at school.        ALL students not compliant will be sent home from school. Please turn in any immunizations received over the summer in to the main office. If you are unsure of your child’s immunization status, please check with your family physician. Families that may be exempt for a medical, religious belief and/or a moral or ethical reason, will need a waiver signed by the Ottawa County Health Department. Please remember waiver appointments are being  scheduled several weeks out. Contact the Health Dept. today! 


Medications at School

If your student takes medication, uses an inhaler, administers insulin, or carries an EpiPen during school hours, an Administration of Medication form must be on file in the main office. The form will be available on the school website prior to the start of school. Copies of the form are also available in the main office. To ensure accuracy, a new form must be completed each year. Please note students may not have medication (prescription or non-prescription) in their possession at school. Medication is required to be held and dispensed from the main office.


Fast and Convenient! Infinite Campus Parent Portal Keeps You Up-to-Date

The Black River Infinite Campus Parent Portal is a web-based student information system that allows parents/guardians and students to monitor registration, schedules, attendance, assignments, progress reports, lunch balances, school-related email messages, and much more! If you already have a username and password, it is not necessary to sign up again. However, it is greatly appreciated if you can log-in and make sure your information is up-to-date. If you are new to Black River and would like to access Infinite Campus, please complete the Infinite Campus Portal Consent form and return it to the main office. Your activation information will be emailed to you. Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Infinite Campus.


Are you Volunteering on Our Campus?

Black River Public School requires a School Volunteer and Campus Guest Profile Form to be on file in the main office before a volunteer or campus guest can help in a classroom, chaperone a field trip, or be on campus for an extended amount of time. Standard school safety procedures require all campus visitors to sign in and out in the elementary or middle school/high school main office and wear a visitor badge while on campus. Please allow 72-hours before your visit for the main office to process your form and once completed your form will remain on file for the school year. 

Important Reminder: A new form must be completed by EVERY campus guest and volunteer every school year.


MS/HS Locker Information and Request Form

Grades 6-8: Lockers will automatically be assigned to students in grades 6-8. Locker details will be printed on schedules mailed in August.
Grades 9-12: Lockers are available upon request. Students who wish to have a locker need to fill out the Locker Request Form or stop by the main office by Wednesday, August 14. 


School Lunch     School Breakfast and Lunch Program Information

If your student plans to order breakfast or hot lunch during the first week of school, please make your food service deposit before Friday, August 16 to ensure your child’s lunch account has sufficient funds. Payments by check or cash (exact change only) can be made in person or mailed to the main office. Credit card payments can be made online through your Infinite Campus account. Breakfast and lunch menus and more information can be found on the website under Food Services.

Senior Off-Campus Lunch Form


Back to School Supply List     School Supplies for Grades K-12

Grades K-5: Watch for an invoice that will be mailed home in August. This fee covers the expense of all supplies as well as some school field trips scheduled throughout the year.
Grades 6-12: Students will be instructed on the first day of class with specific school supplies that are needed. Basic supplies such as folders, pencils, and paper can be purchased prior to school starting.


Attendance matters

K-12 School Attendance Procedures

If your student will be late, absent from school or has a scheduled appointment and needs an early pick-up please call the automated attendance line by 9:00am the day of the absence:
Middle School/High School Attendance Line: 616-355-0055, ext. 228 
Elementary School Attendance Line:  616-355-0055, ext. 328
Students or parents can request homework directly from their teachers via email or phone. Homework can be picked-up in the main office after school.

Please read the District Attendance Information & Procedures for more detailed attendance information. We are your partner in attendance success!

In order to maintain a consistent attendance policy as students move through their academic career, Black River has adopted the Ottawa County attendance policy and absenteeism protocol. Please see the important Attendance section in your student's handbook below:

Elementary Handbook
Middle School Handbook
High School Handbook

Any pre-planned absences over two days requires a signed Extended Absence Form approved by the Dean of Students. This form is available in the main offices or on the Black River website.

Tardiness  - School begins at 8:00am for all students. A student who arrives late must report to their main office and be signed-in by a parent or guardian. 

Student Drivers - If your student is driving to an appointment during school hours, please contact the MS/HS Attendance Line (ext 228) by 9:00am to inform us of the release time and when/if your student will be expected to return to campus.  


Student parking   Student Parking - Permit Required               

Each year students are responsible for purchasing and displaying a valid permit if they will be driving to school. Students should fill out the Student Parking Permit Form and once submitted pick-up a permit in the main office. A parking permit costs $15. In order to be good neighbors, we ask that students use the designated Main Building or Lyceum parking lots and not the streets surrounding the school or the lot at Baker Lofts.


Carpool Survey

If you would like to join a carpool, or are willing to drive another Black River student, please complete the carpool survey. Updated lists will be emailed mid-August only to families who filled out the survey. The survey is due by August 9, 2019. The school acts as an information source only and is not responsible for organizing carpools.


BRPS Car Line - Confusing at First but SO EASY and it Builds Student Confidence

Please click here for more information regarding car-line.


Head back to school in BR style. Shop the school Spiritwear Store 24/7 for all of the latest BR gear including t-shirts, jackets, hats, backpacks, duffels and more!!  



All high school fall sports athletes and their parents should plan to attend an informational/parent meeting on Thursday, August 22 at 7:00pm in the BR gym.  Meet the coaching staff, parent-coach meetings, purchase sports passes, and get all your athletic questions answered. 

High School Cross Country - High School Cross Country practice begins on August 12.  For exact times and locations, please contact Coach Lambert and ask to be put on his email distribution list.  Student athletes should be able to run 30 minutes without stopping before August 12.  Summer group runs have been happening several times a week.  To be added to the team emails and text communication, please email Coach Lambert with your contact information.

High School Girls Volleyball - Tryouts for all HS volleyball players will be August 14-16 from 5pm - 7pm in the BR gym. Questions? Contact Coach Ansley-

High School Boys Soccer - Tryouts for all HS soccer players will be August 12-14 from 6-9pm at the BR soccer field.  Bring cleats and shin guards to each session. Team practices will begin on August 15 and 16 from 6-8pm. Questions? Contact Coach Lawton at 

Middle School Cross Country, Volleyball, & Soccer - Begins on Monday, August 26. Students will receive information about times once school starts on August 21. Please remind your student athlete to listen during CAP announcements for information regarding meeting locations and times.


Join the Athletic Boosters!

The Black River Athletic Boosters club is dedicated to supporting all athletic programs at Black River. Please check-out the Booster page to find out the many ways to get involved!

Did you know that we have a Sailing team here at BR?!! Students in Grades 7-12 interested in joining can get more information here. Mrs. Rowe is always looking for more participants. 



Black River Public School does not sell or share you or your child’s personal information outside of the school unless required by law. However, a few instances do occur each year when parents have the right of refusal regarding the child’s information. If you would like to remove your child’s name, information, and/or picture from any BRPS publication, please submit your wishes via email to Nicole Klunder at no later than August 21, 2019. This may include, but is not limited to, social media sites, yearbook, media outlets, and for 11th and 12th grade students, military listings. This request is valid for the 2019-2020 school year only. Requests must be made each year to ensure accuracy.

If you would like to receive an email notification of pesticide applications on Black River Public School property, please email Nicole Klunder, using "Pesticide Information" in the subject line. Please include your student name and grade in the email. Application emails will be sent out 24 hours in advance.  In certain emergencies/situations, pesticides may be applied without prior notice, but you will be notified following the application. This request is valid for the 2019-2020 school year only. Requests must be made each year to ensure accuracy.


Get an eye exam picture

A Note from Ms. Fran the Title One/Reading Specialist

Dear Black River Parents and Guardians,

Getting ready for your children to go back to school should not only mean buying new clothes and school supplies, it should also include an updated eye exam. Did you know that one in four children have subpar eyesight, while a whopping 60 percent of “problem learners” have trouble seeing. If you can’t see well, you won’t read well, and that makes school extra hard. I shared these statistics with the parents whose children are my students. The students who did have eye exams ALL needed glasses, and what a positive difference it made in our lessons. So please parents, if your children have not had a thorough eye exam, recently, I strongly encourage you to schedule one for them. Please contact me if you need extra help with the Ottawa County community resources available.

Frances Olesen


                        follow us on facebook find us on twitter



For more BRPS news and updates, we encourage you to follow us on Twitter @blackriverrats.
We are also on Facebook




Submit your Student/Parent Directory and Volunteer Forms online! A new form must be submitted each year.

2019-2020 Parent Organization Student/Family Directory

2019-2020 Parent Organization Volunteer Form


Senior Graduation Party Logo    Calling all Class of 2020 Parents/Guardians

Senior Party planning is underway. Help us keep organized by sending in your senior party deposit and Senior Class of 2020 Party Form as soon as possible. Make sure to turn it in to 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


Join the Middle School Parent Organization

We are seeking parents who would like to participate in the MS Parent Organization! We have many opportunities to help serve the school - from research, to planning trips and community service events, to helping organize teacher appreciation lunches. If you’re interested in helping, no matter how big or small, please contact Mary Rynsburger at  

Stay Informed! The MSPO wants to help you stay connected and informed of announcements, activities and volunteer opportunities pertaining to middle school.  If you'd be interested in receiving emails, please send your name and email address to And please join our Black River Middle School Parent Organization facebook page entitled: Black River Public School MSPO.

Middle School Back-to-School Night - Monday, August 19, 2019 | 6:30-8:00pm

Please join the Middle School Parent Organization at Rosa Parks Green in Holland for a meet-and-greet with other Black River middle school families. Ice cream provided!


Parent Organization Sponsored Field Trips - Thank you BRPO!

Sixth Grade Camp Pendalouan Field Trip - Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Field trip information and a permission form will be mailed home in the next few weeks. Forms can be returned by mail, or brought to the main office on the first day of school. Details will be posted to the website when they are made available by the Parent Organization.

Junior Class Field Trip - Wednesday, September 4, 2019 

Black River Juniors are headed to Chicago! Students will explore two museums and enjoy lunch together. Please drop off or mail the Junior Class Field Trip Permission Form to the main office by August 26, 2019.


Join the Black River Fine Arts Boosters

Do you have a student who’s interested in one of the Fine Arts at Black River? Would you like to be part of supporting the Fine Arts program, the teachers & their goals? Come join us and share your enthusiasm and ideas!

The FAB is made up of volunteers who support the teachers and educational goals of the Fine Arts department including art, band, choir and orchestra.  We host two annual fundraisers during the school year: Ratfest in the fall and Spring Fine Arts Night held in April.

FAB Team:  

  • Made up of the FAB chair, faculty liaison and parent representatives for each Fine Art group.

  • OPEN POSITION for 2019/20 School Year:  Band Parent Representative

  • Interested in volunteering?  Contact Terree Brncick, FAB chair at


  • All are welcome to our monthly meetings 

  • Held on the third Wednesday of every month  

  • First meeting of the 2019/20 school year:  Wednesday, September 18th at 5pm in the Lyceum

Interested in learning more?

Go to and look for Fine Arts in the Quick Links 


ATTENTION!  Ratfest is moving to the Fall Semester this year!

Ratfest Poster




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. 

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

Fax: (616) 355-0057