District News

BRPS Weekly Family Update - August 6, 2020

Dear Families,

We were very excited to find out that our hard work has paid off with GVSU accepting our Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan.  With that plan approved by GVSU, our BR Board of Trustees then accepted our plan at a special board meeting last night, allowing us to move forward with much more information for all of our families.

Sports Update from Kyle Lawton, Athletic Director

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 - lambo1958@comcast.net with your contact information.

Carpool Survey Information Released

Survey Link: https://www.formality.io/v/v9rCURU8f

If you would like to join a carpool, or are willing to drive another Black River student, please complete the following information. Updated lists will be emailed on August 17 only to families who filled out the survey. The survey is due by August 14, 2020.

FAQ Update from Shannon Brunink, Head of School - August 3, 2020

Dear BR Families,

We have had a number of questions come in regarding our survey and the option to select either on-campus or remote learning.  We appreciate the time you have taken to consider both options, and we want you to know that we are working hard to have all of the details released this week. We will continue to remain flexible as we create student schedules because we know each family has a unique situation. I hope this communication will answer some of the questions that many parents have asked.

BRPS Weekly Family Update - July 30, 2020

Dear BR Families,

The planning for the upcoming school year is going very well, and we have some updates to share with you today including new information for all families from Kindergarten through 12th grade.  We are submitting our Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan to GVSU for their input and approval on Monday, August 3rd, and our BRPS Board will be asked to approve that plan on behalf of the school very soon as well.  Today you are receiving the BRPS Learning Option Summary about what school will look like at BR for both our in-person and remote instruction offerings. You will also have a link to the Fall Learning Option Survey and will be asked to consider carefully and choose a learning option that best suits your student. This survey is due on Wednesday, August 5, 2020. More specific details about our changes to schedules etc. will also be released very soon.

Amazing Guest Teachers Needed!

sub teacher ad

New Families to BRPS - Don't Forget your Infinite Campus Parent Portal Form is Due!

Welcome to all of our new families! Don't forget that the Infinite Campus Parent Portal Consent Form should be turned in as soon as possible! This form allows you to access important school information. It is an online form and can be accessed here. Please contact Nicole Klunder, Director of Enrollment, if you have any questions. 

BRPS Weekly Family Update - July 23, 2020

Greetings Black River families,

We are entering the home stretch of summer and are eagerly awaiting the return of our Black River students, whether remotely or in-person.  The sentiments of the faculty and staff throughout this closure have been that...we miss our kids dearly!  It has been very difficult to be separated from them for so long.  The students are what, as they say in the elementary school, ‘keep our buckets filled.’  

In anticipation of the return of students in the fall, the Operation Rat Return committees are in the final stages of planning and will be completing the MI Safe Schools Preparedness Plan by early next week.  Black River families can expect another survey to come out very soon.  This survey will help us plan for how many students will physically be returning to school and how many are opting for a remote learning plan. 

BRPS Weekly Family Update - July 16, 2020

Dear Black River Families,

We are excited that nearly 400 families have responded to the survey we sent to you!  Thank you so much for taking the time to give us your feedback.  It is a very important piece of our planning on how to best serve our students and families.  If you have not yet filled out the survey, please take a moment to participate before that window closes tomorrow!

For this fall, our efforts are fully focused on planning and documenting how Black River will adhere to all of the requirements in the Roadmap for returning to school.  With that, we are also designing robust remote learning programs to allow the flexibility for our families who will rely on remote learning for their students if they are unable to return school in person. We understand that our families have many different realities that factor into the choice of a full-remote program and more information about how families will be able to understand their options will be coming to you soon as we continue to plan.

We are very confident that the many months of work being done by our amazing staff will allow for a truly amazing BR experience!

Thank you,

Shannon Brunink, Headrat

Sixth Grade Summer Reading Information

MIddle Schoolers - It is so important to keep reading, especially during the summer. There are so many books to choose from, and so many of you have different interests! I have put together a few categories of books that if you haven’t read, you may want to this summer!

BRPS Summer Camp Update

All Elementary Summer camps scheduled for July and August are canceled. Sorry for the inconvenience, and we appreciate your flexibility with our summer programs. We look forward to offering these great camps and more next summer. If you have signed up and paid for any upcoming camps, you will be refunded the full amount later this month. If you have any questions, please email Tim Witvoet at witvoett@brpsk12.org
Middle school and High School Team Soccer camps are still running. Please bring registration and payment to the first day of camp. Questions- please email Tim Witvoet at witvoett@brpsk12.org or Kyle Lawton at lawtonk@brpsk12.org
Thank you and we look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

BRPS Weekly Family Update - July 9, 2020

Greetings, Black River Families,

We at Black River hope that you all had a wonderful 4th of July weekend and that you are staying cool during this prolonged heat wave we are having right now!

As you may have read from our update last Thursday, the Governor’s Office released the Michigan 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap.  Here is the link for your reference: MI Safe Schools Roadmap

Since then, our BR task force committees continue to work to make sure that we are prepared for a safe return to school in August.  Actually, it has been truly amazing to see our talented staff rise to the current challenges we are facing with confidence and poise.  Black River is a special school with dedicated and passionate professionals who all LOVE what they do.

A Message from the Operation Rat Return Communication Team - July 9, 2020

Hello BR Families,

In an effort to ensure all Black River families are receiving important back-to-school information and weekly family updates, we have decided to update Infinite Campus accounts to automatically opt-in to email communication for general notifications, emergency updates and student food service account information. This update will be complete by Friday, July 10, 2020. After this date, you may log in to your account or the Infinite Campus app and change your communication preferences to opt-out of some or all BRPS email communications. Please note, if you opt-out of general notifications you will no longer receive email messages from Black River Public School regarding Operation Rat Return in the fall of 2020. Families will always receive all emails sent to their Inbox within Infinite Campus. In order to prepare for the upcoming school year, please take a moment to log-in to your Infinite Campus account, confirm the primary and secondary email addresses on file, make sure that your school project term fees from 2019-2020 have been voided and make a payment on your food service account if it is past due. If you have any questions, contact Kelli Heneghan, Main Office Administrative Assistant at heneghank@brpsk12.org.

Thank you!  

Ways to Stay Informed at BRPS

Communication Channels at BRPS

Printable flier here

Weekly Update from Headrat, Shannon Brunink - July 2, 2020

Dear BR Families,

We are excited to have some guidance from Governor Whitmer regarding what we should expect for the upcoming school year.  While there are still a lot of questions, we are happy that our committees have already been preparing for the fall and we are on track for a start-up that adheres to the requirements stated on June 30.  The following is a very brief summary of some of the things you may be wondering about.  There will be many questions and communication to you all does not include all of the requirements or strongly recommended practices.  More information will continue to come to you as we get closer to our next school year.

For this fall, all schools will be following the new Michigan Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap to have plans in line with the already existing MI Safe Start Plan.  

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

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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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.

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!

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 fisherc@brpsk12.org. 


With the cancellation of school, current 11th graders were unable to take the state-sponsored SAT test this past spring.  The College Board and the State of Michigan are making plans to offer the test at no cost to students at all high schools in September/October 2020.  However, students who would like to take the test on a national test date (in addition to the school day test) can now register for late-summer and fall tests through their College Board accounts.  Additionally, students who registered for the June test that haven't yet canceled their registrations can transfer to a later test. Go to www.collegeboard.org for more information and to register.  Fee waivers are available for those who qualify. As the fall SAT school day testing is solidified, information will be shared with students/families of the Class of 2021.

TTQ Taking Registrations for 2020-21 School Year

TTQ Flyer

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.  

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?

A Message from Coach Kyle Lawton, Athletic Director Regarding 2020-2021 MHSAA Sport Physicals

The MHSAA has provided us with a important update regarding sport physicals for the 2020-2021 school year.

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:



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 heneghank@brpsk12.org. 

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@mi.gov

OK2Say Poster

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


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

Fax: (616) 355-0057