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Ada Connection – 05.31.23

Ada Connection

A Note From The Principal

An End and A Beginning

Our 8th graders did it! 

They enjoyed a “clap out” around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. Tonight they celebrate their graduation from ACS. Some have been here for more than a decade as they began in 3s preschool. Others joined us this year. No matter when they join the ACS family, they depart together. 

Graduations are a momentous occasion for ACS, one that is worshipful and celebratory all at the same time. It is difficult for us to say goodbye, but it is our duty and our privilege to prepare them for the next steps in their lives. Our number one priority is to grow their faith. While we can’t force this on them, we can provide them with opportunities to see where God has led them.

It is our joy to graduate them to the next level, to give them the tools they need to be confident in their ability to grow their mind, body and soul in Christian community.

Praise God for His provisions and plans. He knows their name. He holds them close. He knows their future!

Wildcats of the Month

Congratulations to our Wildcats for the month of May: Noah H.(5th grade) & Sebastian M. (6th grade)

Perfect Attendance

Congratulations to 7th grader, Joyce Yang, for having perfect attendance all year!

This Week

Market Cart

The market cart will be out after school on Thursday. Plenty of farm goods to go around!

We invite you to stop by each Wednesday throughout the summer at noon for our summer farm market.

All School Chapel

Join us on Friday morning at 8:10 for an all school chapel to celebrate God’s faithfulness this school year.

Action Needed

Got Shoes? Give Shoes!

Students will soon be cleaning out their lockers. If your child has outgrown their gym shoes this year, please instruct them to place them in a collection box in their hallway when they clean out their locker. Boxes will be placed in each hallway and the front lobby to collect the gym shoes which will then be donated to Baxter Community Center. Thank you.

    Now You Know

        Report Cards

        Report Cards will be sent home with Kindergarten - 7th grade students. Report Cards for 8th grade students will be mailed home this week. 

        MAP Reports

        Included with your student’s report card, you will find his/her MAP Growth scores, a parent letter, and an explanation for interpreting the data.

        Summer Office Hours

        Our summer school office hours will be Tue - Thurs 9:00am-2:00pm for the months of June, July, and August. The office will be closed July 3rd - July 7th. 

        Whatcha Doin' Out There!?

        We have had a busy spring in OE full of growing gardens, baby goats and chickens and so much fun! See what we've been up to: May OE News

        Supply Lists

        It’s never too early to start shopping for Back to School supplies. Check out the lists below and plan for fall:

        Middle School Summer Math Review

        To keep your student fresh on their math skills over the summer Mr. Stepanek would recommend you take a look at these resources: 

        5th Grade Summer Math Review (for students who have completed 5th grade)
        6th Grade Summer Math Review (for students who have completed 6th grade)

        Summer Worship Playlist

        Want to keep worship going into the summer months? You can listen to the Ada Christian Summer Christian Mix on Spotify. Happy listening!

        Job Postings

        Come join our team! We have severalemployment opportunities available:

        • 3rd Grade Long Term Sub
        • Substitute Bus Driver
        • Y5-1st Grade Music
        • Middle School Band/Music Assistant
        • 5th/6th Grade Science Teacher

        Summer Camps & Tutoring

        Every year it seems like our list of summer opportunities grows even bigger! Led by ACS teachers camp activities will ordinarily take place at ACS unless special approval has been granted. This summer we will offer the following camps:

        • Animal Adventure Camp (Preschool-1st)  FULL
        • Art Camp (3rd-5th & 6th-8th) FULL
        • Bible Journaling (5th-9th)
        • Farm Club (2nd-8th)
        • Forest Adventure Camp (2nd-8th)
        • Little Tikes Art Camp (1st&2nd) 
        • Preschool Camp (Preschool) FULL
        • NEW! Robotics
        • Spiritual Retreat (Middle School Girls)

        Several Ada Christian teachers will be offering tutoring this summer. These tutoring sessions will be hosted at Ada Christian School.

        • Elementary - Reading and Writing
        • Elementary - Language Arts and Math
        • Language Arts
        • Middle School - All Subjects
        • PreAlgebra, Algebra & Geometry
        • Private Lessons - Voice, Ukulele, Songwriting & String Lessons

        Details, Dates & Signups

        ACS Athletics


        PP soccer is done for the spring. Thanks for a wonderful year of PurePlay!!

        Thanks to all the parent volunteers who helped make our Field day a success.

        Sign up for Fall soccer.

        Calendar Reminders

        May 31 – 8th grade Graduation
        June 02 – Last 1/2 Day of School (Dismissal at 11:30am)

        Looking Ahead

        2023-2024 Calendar

        Below is the calendar for next school year. 

        Aug 22 - 1st Day of School (Dismissal at 11:30am)
        Sept 01-04 - No School (Labor Day)
        Sept 25 - No School (In-Service)
        Oct 18-20 - No School (Teachers Convention)
        Nov 22-26 - No School (Thanksgiving Break)
        Dec 23-Jan 07 - No School (Christmas Break)
        Jan 08 - School Resumes
        Jan 22 - No School (In-Service)
        Feb 15-19 - No School (Winter Break)
        Mar 28-Apr 07 - No School (Spring Break)
        Apr 08 - School Resumes
        May 03 - Grand Friends Day
        May 06 - No School (In-Service)
        May 27 - No School (Memorial Day)
        June 04 - 8th Grade Graduation
        June 05 - Last Day of School (Dismissal at 11:30am)

        Middle School Matters – Oct 28, 2022


        General Announcements

        Middle School Christmas Concerts 2022 - Please join our middle school to celebrate Christmas with our ACS Middle School Family on Tuesday, Dec 13.

        The Bands, Choirs and Orchestras will play and sing and we will worship Jesus and celebrate Christmas together.

        5/6ers - Call time 6:15pm, Concert at 6:30pm 

        7/8ers - Call time 7:15pm, Concert at 7:30pm

        5th Rice Week - (Nov 14-18) Please see parent letter for more details. If you have a rice cooker or instant pot that we can borrow OR if you are interested in volunteering to clean rice cookers this week please sign-up here.

        5th Water Walk - (Nov 22) Please see parent letter for more details.

        5th Auction - Our 5th auction will take place in December. We are looking for donations - these can be used items from around the house that you no longer want or need (sports balls, Nerf hoops, purses, stuffed animals, etc). If you wish to donate items to our auction, please send your child with the items to give to his/her homeroom teacher. 

        5/6 SEED Market - (Jan 27) More information will be sent out regarding SEED Market in late November.

        Whatcha Doin' Out There!? - May 31, 2023

        OE News

        Spring is a busy season for ACS in our great outdoor classroom.  It’s a time when the OE team finds themselves looking forward to summer while at the same time wishing it could hold off a while because there is some much to do.  The weather is inviting us back outside after months of cold.  New life is bursting forth all around in a way that can remind us of Christ’s resurrection.  The gardens are ready to be worked and we have baby animals on the farm.  On top of all this is grand friends day, Earth day, field trips and so much more.  But it is hard to complain about being busy when there is so much good stuff happening outside at ACS.  


        Over the two months kindergarten enjoyed a couple visits to the chicks to see them as they grew.  They also were able to visit the baby goats later in the spring after they were born.  Kindergarten students also enjoyed eating salads from lettuce they started from seed.  They planted, transplanted and ate their own lettuce.  Spring was the other big theme in Kindergarten OE.  We searched for signs of spring, hunted for various bugs, and practiced some letters while exploring all over ACS.


        One major theme of first grade in the spring is sound.  We search for sound and explore how it is used outside.  Then we spend time exploring different materials that we can use to make sound and music outside.  The class then spent time using sound to hunt for a camouflaged Mr. Sportel hiding in the woods.  We wrapped up sound by playing a few games that help us explore animals and sound.  In addition, first grade explored the beauty outside by looking for pieces of nature to add to their tape bracelet.  First graders also had a chance to help out at school by removing invasive species.  I was blown away when they filled enough trash bags of garlic mustard to fill the bed of our pickup truck!  They were great workers helping to restore God’s Creation!


        Second grade spends a lot of time on the theme of rocks. We first collected nice pieces of gravel and added them to a polisher to see the process of weathering in fast forward. Then we took time to observe sediments from around the world under a microscope to see the variety of colors and textures from the tiny rock bits. We also learned about panning for gold and had a chance to practice our own skills at school. Second graders also made bug catchers (called pooters) and had a bug hunt.  Lastly they spend time preparing and planting for the three sisters garden.  They will harvest the same garden next fall when they are learning about Native Amreicans. 


        3rd grade had a blast over the last 2 months making hanging baskets for mothers/grandfriends day, delivering over 600 Violas to the community on earth day, and diving deep into bird identification. They used a free app called Merlin to help them identify what birds migrate back to Michigan in the spring. We enjoyed comparing the data we took against our data from the winter. We also played OE Jeopardy to take a look back on all the neat things we learned over the year. The grade’s favorite activity by far seemed to be enjoying fresh baby goat and chick cuddles.


        Our fourth graders spent a lot of time learning about erosion. After the big rain on spring break we were able to explore evidence of erosion and consider what makes a place more vulnerable to erosion. Later we used that same knowledge to create erosion resistant mounds in the sand. The mounds needed to withstand the force of water from a garden watering can and the force of wind from a backpack leaf blower. It was fun to see the results. When erosion was not the topic, fourth grade spent time doing some important work in the garden and helping with mulch around school. Fourth grade is one of the most helpful grades at getting hard work done!


        The baby goats arrived! We dove head first into understanding goat anatomy specifically digestion this month. We also talked a bit more about birth and how that process works with the goats. We worked on a big dream project of how to expand and enrich our goat area. We researched why goats need to be able to climb, balance, jump, and scratch. Then drew up some blueprints of how we could make their environment even better. Of course, we made sure to get lots of baby goat and chick cuddles. In addition to our regular OE time we had a great time at spring camp with all sorts of great outdoor activities and learning.  What a fun way to wrap up the year!


        The chicks hatched! 6th grade learned all about the life cycle of chickens and got to experience the babies hatching. We learned about how to care for the chicks, how much space they need, and even how to identify sex at an early life. We spent lots of time cuddling the chicks and goats and we finished out the year learning about breeds. We identified all of the breeds of chickens that Got Yolk has. Each student submitted a fact sheet about a breed and its purpose!


        In preparation for salmon release day we spent time learning about water quality, primarily by studying the macroinvertebrates that live in our pond. Later we also took out the microscopes to take a close look at the tiny organisms floating around at the bottom of the food chain in our pond. Seventh graders also spent time working on their organism project. They studied one species of woodland organism, created a sign for the organism in art class to display in our woods, and wrote a first person narrative about it in LA. The signs are up and soon will have a QR code attached that links to the narrative they wrote.


        Our 8th had a variety of different schedules so for some of them it seemed like we hardly even met. When we did meet though, we worked on the legacy project. The 8th graders chose to work on adding challenges to the team challenge course for their project. We began our time by planning which challenges would be a part of the project. We ended up creating a few options.  One involves laying a series of planks on edge from stump to stump that the team would need to travel across.  Another challenge utilized a few platforms that have two goals. First seeing how many could fit on two platforms and second using planks to cross a gap between the platforms (but the planks are not long enough on their own). Students also added stumps for a future meeting location where classes can sit and discuss the results of the team challenges. Lastly, students began the work on a wire tightrope between trees that teams need to work together to get across. The 8th grade class did great work in the various tasks like burying and chiseling stumps, cutting boards to length, setting posts, screwing boards to the platform, moving stumps and much more. We really appreciate all the good work from the students as this project will have a great impact on classes as we use it for fun and teaching skills for working together.  

        To the ACS 8th grade class of 2023, THANK YOU!!

        Back to School Information


        Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year! 

        A Note From Principal Sall

        Welcome to the 2022-2023 school year.  We are honored to be partnering with you in Christian education as we work together to equip students for service in God’s world. 

        Last school year our theme was  “Standing on the Promises of God.” Various faculty/staff members, as well as parents and students, shared personal stories where they saw God’s promises remain true and steadfast in their lives.

        This year, we will be focusing on the theme - “Clothed in Christ” based on Colossians 3:12-14. Throughout the school year, we will focus on multiple questions and aspects of this theme:

        What are you wearing?

        • Check your closet
        • Clothe yourself - check your heart - does it fit?
        • Wear it well - Ambassadors for Christ
          • Compassion
          • Kindness
          • Humility
          • Gentleness
          • Patience

        Thank you for the joy of partnering with you in educating the whole child - mind, body, and soul in Christian community! 

        Clothed in Christ,

        Principal Sall

        Clothed in Christ

        Theme Verse

        Colossians 3:12-14

        Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 

        And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

        Mark your Calendar

        Mon, Aug 22: Open House
        Wed, Aug 24: 4th-8th grade School Pictures
        Thurs, Aug 25: Kindergarten - 3rd grade School Pictures
        Tues, Aug 30, 6:30pm-8:00pm: All School Parent Orientation
        Thurs, Sept 08, 5:30-7:30pm: Back to School Party

        K-8 Open House

        Monday, Aug 22

        Teachers are looking forward to seeing your family on Monday, Aug 22 at your scheduled time. Students are invited to bring their school supplies and to put them in their lockers.

        Time Last Name
        1:00-1:40pm A-G
        1:45-2:25pm H-P
        2:30-3:10pm Q-Z

        First Day of School Details

        Tuesday, Aug 23

        Tuesday morning, Aug 23, will be a great time for teachers and their students to begin building community and establishing classroom routines that will set a strong foundation for a wonderful year of growing and learning together. Doors will open at 7:40am for students and parents. 

        We plan to begin classes promptly at 8:00am Students will be dismissed at 11:30am

        NOTE: There will be AM or PM bus transportation for our first day.

        2022-2023 School Year Dedication

        On August 23 at 10:45 am, parents are invited to join us in the South Gym  for celebration and thankfulness to God for a new year of school together. At the end of our chapel, students will return to their classes to pack up for the day. We ask that parents pick up students around the front of the building in the parking lot or car loops at 11:30am 

        Daily Drop-Off & Pick-Up Procedures

        The safety of our students and their families is a top priority.  Please review these important daily procedures. 

        Morning Drop-Off (7:40am-7:55am)

        • School doors will be opened at 7:40am
        • The bus loop and car loop will be open for parents to quickly drop off students. If more time is needed to gather items and say good-bye, please use the parking lot.
        • When using the drop-off loops, students must exit on the right side of the car.
        • No parking is allowed in the drop-off loops.
        • See the image below for which entrance your child should use. 

        Afternoon Pick-Up (3:00pm-3:10pm)

        • The car loop is for the pick up of preschool and kindergarten students only.
        • The driver must remain with the vehicle at all times and may not park in the loop.
        • The bus loop may be used for quick student pick up. The driver must remain with the vehicle at all times and may not park in the loop. It is important cars do not block the Fox Hollow entrance.
        • From 2:30-2:50pm the bus loop is for preschool pick-up only, please do not park in the bus loop at that time.
        • When parking, please back your car into a spot. It is too easy to miss seeing a child when backing out of a spot.
        • It is important that your child(ren) are picked up by 3:10pm.
        • All students not picked up by 3:10 p.m. will be asked to wait at the front entrance under the covered awning.
        • Please enforce our rule that students may not play on the playground without parent/adult supervision.
        • Remind students to keep their feet on the ground; no climbing on trees, flagpoles, light poles, snow piles, etc…
        • We ask that students do not walk through our landscaping where plants are trying to grow.
        • School employees helping to monitor the parking lot after school will be wearing orange vests. If you have questions, please ask one of them and remind students that the orange vested adults are friends who can help them if they need it.

        Mid-day Student Check In and Check Out 

        Please use the call button to the left of our main entrance doors to call the office or call from a cell phone to get assistance with checking students in or out during the day. 

        Mid-day Item Drop-Offs

        There will be a table near the front doors where parents can drop needed items off for students (i.e. - instruments, athletic equipment, computer, lunches) If you are dropping something off, please be sure your child’s name is on the item. Simply call the office using your phone or the call button to let us know that you are making a delivery.

        Note for New Students

        Birth Certificate: 

        Any student new to Ada Christian School, Kindergarten – 8th  (2021-2022 school year) must bring to the office a copy of his/her birth certificate. This is required by law in the state of Michigan. You may email a copy to Kimmie Brander () If you need a copy made please stop into the office and we will be happy to help. 

        Immunization Forms:

        Immunization forms are due by Aug 23. By state law the school must have this form on file for your child by the start of school. If you have any questions please call Kimmie Brander in the office at 616-676-1289

        Supply List and Calendar

        K-8 Supply List       [FILE '737']2022-2023 Calendar[/FILE]

        Who’s New?

        Kimmy Bloemers
        Inclusion Aide

        Tammy Butch
        3rd Grade Teacher
        Emma de Jong
        3rd Grade Teacher

        April Hoeksema
        Student Support Services

        Hannah Merrill
        Outdoor Education
        Katelyn Persenaire
        Covenant Care Director

        Betsy Rybarcyzk
        56er Social Studies

        Alexis Schenck 
        3rd Grade Teacher

        Parent Orientation

        Please join us Tuesday, August 30 for our K-8 Parent Orientation. During this evening, teachers will share important information with parents about the upcoming school year. Please do your best to be in attendance. 

        Please arrive a few minutes early so you can fill out a name tag and get to your destinations on time for a prompt start since our time is limited.

        Time Who Where
        6:30-6:45pm Session I: Grades K-4 Student Homerooms
        6:45-6:50pm Passing Time
        6:50-7:05pm Session II: Grades K-4 (repeat of Session I) Student Homerooms
        6:50-7:05pm 5-8 Athletics (AD, Casey Meyaard will share) Band Room
        7:05-7:10pm Passing Time
        7:10-7:45pm Grade 5 Media Center
        7:10-7:45pm Grade 6 Band Room
        7:10-7:45pm Grades 7 & 8 Commons

        Back to School Party

        Thursday, September 8, 5:30pm-7:30pm at the ACS Track & Field. Sponsored by our ACS Promotions Committee, this event is sure to please with bounce houses, obstacle courses and other fun activities. Food will be available for purchase from one of the many food trucks on site. No tickets to the event are needed.  


        PurePlay (Y5’s - 4th grade) 

        This fall we plan to offer our soccer program for Y5-4th graders.  The games take place Saturday mornings beginning Sept 10, at 9:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.  For 1st-4th graders, there will be one practice during the week.  Y5/K is only one hour on Saturdays. Registration ends Aug 26.

        Wildcats (56’ers & 78’ers)

        ACS offers boys soccer, girls volleyball, and boys/girls cross-country for all 5-8 students during the fall. Fall sport seasons are scheduled to start the week of Aug 22 (some starting Aug 15) for students in grades 5-8.

        All 5-8 athletes must complete an MHSAA physical/concussion form prior to the first day of practice. These forms and other important information can be found at the ACS Athletic Webpage.

        School Lunch Program

        School lunch will be available daily beginning Wed, Aug 24. 

        There will be two options each day and a fresh fruit and salad bar. Students place their orders each morning for that day and deductions are made from their lunch account. Before your student can order lunch, an account must be created on Send Money To School.  Visit for details or to apply for lunch assistance. 

        Times to Remember

        Student Arrival   7:40am-7:55am
        Instructional Hours 8:00am-3:00pm
        Student Pick-Up 3:00pm-3:10pm
        Office Hours 7:30am-3:30pm

        Tardy Talk: Please help our days get off to a smooth start by having your child arrive no later than 7:55 a.m. Tardies cause disruptions to important morning routines for individual students and classrooms as a whole. A student entering class after 8:00am is tardy. Parents will be notified by letter when their child reaches 5 tardies in one trimester and for every 5 tardies following. 

        Absences: We learn in community so when a student misses class, it impacts the learning of the individual student and also the learning of others. Sharing in class discussions, collaborating in group settings, and participating in activities cannot be duplicated outside of class or replaced by individual study.

        We understand that students may have to miss school due to illness, appointments, and family emergencies. Some absences may be unavoidable; however, please help limit the number of days our students miss school. When possible, please provide a doctor’s note for absences.

        Dress Code

        The basics are listed below and more detailed information is available in our policies and procedures.

        • Shorts/Skirts that reach to the bottom of the student’s middle finger when arms are relaxed at the side are permitted.
        • Leggings, jeggings, and yoga pants are not to be worn as pants. If worn, they are to be covered with skirts/tops and must cover “bottoms”.
        • Tank tops must have minimum 2” straps.
        • Clothing must cover underclothes and the mid-section of the body.
        • Flip-Flops, for safety reasons, are not allowed for students kindergarten through 4th grade.
        • Hats are not to be worn in class.

        Students will be asked to change their clothes if their attire does not meet our dress code. Thank you in advance for your support.

        What Does it Mean to be an Inclusive School?

        Being an inclusive school means that our students with special needs are welcomed in our school, participating in regular classes with support to learn, contribute, and participate in all aspects of life at our school.

        All children benefit from inclusive education. It allows all students to:

        • Develop individual strengths and gifts, with high and appropriate expectations for each child.
        • Foster a school culture of respect and belonging.
        • Enjoy opportunities to learn about and accept individual differences, lessening the impact of harassment and bullying.
        • Develop friendships with a wide variety of other children, each with their own individual needs and abilities.
        • Better understand and appreciate diversity and inclusion on a broader level.

        Parent Class Coffees

        Moms and dads - join us and meet fellow parents of your child’s classmates! It only takes an hour, and it is a great way to connect with other parents. Led by our Promotions Committee, we will meet from 8:00am-9:00am in the outdoor “WoodshED” for coffee, refreshments, devotions, and time to chat. 

        Parent Class Coffee dates to pencil in:

        Sept 19  Kindergarten (all sections)
        Sept 20  First and Second Grades
        Sept 21  Third and Fourth Grades

        Ada Christian School Education Foundation proudly presents:

        Night at the Museum
        November 10, 2022
        Grand Rapids Public Museum

        Mark your calendars for a Night at the Museum on November 10, 2022. Come enjoy a magnificent evening at the Grand Rapids Public Museum as we gather together to celebrate Ada Christian School. Our annual fall gathering is the signature fundraising event for the Ada Christian School Education Foundation, which provides essential support to our school. 

                   -FORMAL INVITATION TO FOLLOW-

        Student Information Forms

        Several student information forms (K-8) are ready for you to complete online (emergency contacts, student health, school policy agreement, etc). These forms must be completed by Friday, Aug 19. 

        To complete the forms:

        • Log into your PowerSchool parent portal (
        • Select Forms
        • Complete all forms under the category Student Information Forms.
        • Please note that some forms need to be filled out for each child while others may be submitted for the whole family.

        Fun with Elementary (K-4) Recess

        Beginning on Aug 24, volunteers for recess will be needed. At lunch recess (12:05pm-12:30pm & 12:30pm-1:00pm) four people are needed daily. On Fridays we also need four people for morning recess (9:55am-10:15am). 

        Younger siblings may join parents for this volunteer opportunity. Sign up for K, 3rd & 4th grade recess or 1st & 2nd grade recess. Digital signups will be released in the Ada Connection later this month.

        If you have any questions about volunteering for elementary recess, please email Sharon DeKleine.


        We are grateful to our PTO and all the work they do to support the teachers and students at ACS. Take a moment to learn more about our PTO and how they support our teachers.

        Transportation News

        We rely on Forest Hills buses for those living in the district. For families who registered for transportation with Forest Hills, information will be sent to your homes.  If you have not contacted them, please call Forest Hills transportation department at 616-493-8785 as soon as possible.

        If your family indicated during enrollment that you planned to ride the bus, this email was sent to you.  Please call the school office if you were planning on using our buses and you did not receive the email.

        ACS Transportation Questions?

        Please direct ACS Transportation questions to our Transportation Supervisor, ,

        ACS Hub Stops