Archive for academics

Welcome Back, MCS!

Updates to the Building and Grounds

Every summer we try to get some projects done around the school, and this year we accomplished some pretty major updates.

  • We are SO excited that our ‘original’ upper elementary bathrooms received a remodel, including new stalls and sinks, as well as freshly painted walls. Our Friday Guys took on the demo (thanks, gentlemen!) and we were able to keep on budget.
  • We were able to repave our south parking lot, and extend it as well.
  • SERVE volunteers visited us for a week in July and were able to spread mulch, clean out lockers, and other tasks.
  • Our music and band room received new carpet, band chairs, and technology upgrades. Our music teacher Brenda Oosterhouse also volunteered to paint and decorate the entire room. It looks great, Brenda!
Band Teacher Nick DeBone teaching Band to 5th grade students

New Faces in the Classroom

We not only welcome a new batch of preschoolers to MCS this fall, but new staff as well!

Our new 3 year-old Preschool teacher is Penelope DeWeerd. She moved to the area recently with her husband and LOVES working with preschoolers. She is musically gifted (plays 5 instruments) and loves to paint as well.

In our Spanish Immersion Kindergarten class, Betty Fernandez brings over 20 years in Christian education experience with her from the Dominican Republic. She loves to spend time with her husband and 3 kids exploring new places.
She was first inspired to become a teacher by a cousin who was a Kindergarten teacher.


I loved to see how much fun she had with her students and how much love she gave them and received from them. As a teacher, we are able to mold and shape the lives and hearts of our students. This is the main reason why I became a teacher: to make a difference in their lives and hearts. Teaching is my passion!

Katie Kalvaitis, our new Spanish Immersion 5th Grade teacher, grew up in Fremont, MI and attended Aquinas College. After graduating college, she did mission work in Bolivia for 14 months where she participated in community outreach & taught English. For the last 5 years, she has been teaching kindergarten, first, & second grade Spanish immersion at Fremont Christian School.
She is excited to teach 5th grade here at MCS. “God gave me a heart for working with youth!”

We also added a new part-time Spanish Immersion 6th grade teacher this fall. Erika Mariglia grew up in Frankenmuth, MI and attended WMU for her bachelor’s degree. After that, she lived in Honduras for 7 years doing mission work and helped to build a bilingual Christian school.
Back in Michigan now for over 5 years with her husband, Erika and her husband just adopted a baby boy and also have 3 pets – so they’re a busy family!

We are thrilled to have these wonderful new teachers join our MCS family this fall. If you run into them in the halls, please join us in welcoming them!

Enrollment Season has Begun!

We know that families are busy, so instead of just one traditional ‘Open House’ night, this spring we are offering many different ways for you to come explore MCS!

Tour Anytime (Really! Just call ahead)

We really love to have families experience our school when it is full of students and provide them with a personalized tour.  Call ahead to schedule a time and our principal will give you a tour and can answer any questions you might have.

OPEN HOUSE FRIDAYS any Friday in March

Come between 8am and 3pm any Friday in March to visit classrooms, meet teachers and tour the school.  (We do ask that you RSVP so we that we can give you a VIP experience:)  Just contact us!

STEM and Storytelling Night on March 21st from 6-7:30pm

Explore classrooms filled with fun STEM activities based on classic stories your child will love.
Meet our teachers, engage with current families and see the many opportunities available for your child to grow and thrive at MCS.  We will also have enrollment information available this evening, and staff on hand to answer all your questions.  No registration required – just show up!
Current families are encouraged to bring along friends or neighbors to join us on this night.  We offer a special gift for current families who share MCS in this way too!

We’d love to meet you!  So contact us today and arrange a visit in the way that suits you best.

The Power of Stories

Stories Worth Telling

What makes a story worth telling?  Miss Potts’ fourth grade class has spent some time this winter focused on this question.  As a starting point, Miss Potts’ grandma Mrs. Haak (a former teacher) came in and shared her story with the class. She helped the kids to think about God’s faithfulness and how, despite the fact that life has a lot of changes, God never changes.  The Bible is full of stories of people not so different from us who had amazing stories.

Short Stories

The class of students brainstormed some reasons that stories are worth telling, and after more reflection, started creating their own autobiographies.   Being on average 10 years old, their autobiographies were rather short.  Once they finished their stories, they shared them with some of the residents at Christian Care.

Longer Stories

After sharing their autobiographies, the students each interviewed a resident so that they could write a biography about their (considerably longer) stories.  In preparation for this phase of the project, Grandma Haak came back and shared with the class a little bit about Alzheimer’s disease. She helped the kids understand the disease and shared a story about her friend with Alzheimer’s.  She shared that even though the disease changes the person’s life, they are still the same person inside.  Grandma Haak prepared the kids a little bit of how to talk to people at Christian Care or what to do if they don’t respond in ways we might expect.

We asked the students to share what they learned from the stories that the residents shared.  Here are a few their responses:

Bryson: You can learn a lot from older people because you might ask them about it and they can help you with what to do.
Braeden: Their lives are kind of like us. (He liked games and basketball and baseball too).
Mia: Even though they may have disabilities they are still the same person.
Ny’Asia: Even if a person is having a bad day or eats different they are still a lot like you.

Future Stories

Miss Potts asked the students to think about what they hope for as they get older.  A few of their responses:

 Leah  “I can’t wait to see what God has planned for me in the future. I hope I live an amazing life with God, and a good relationship with my friends. I love my family, friends, and God and I count on them to help me at hard and good times through my life. I think life is going to be amazing with them.”

Becca  “I’m so thankful for all the gifts that God has given me. I hope that when I get older I can use my gifts to serve others right now I can use my gifts to serve my family by baking cakes”.

Our students were inspired by many of the stories that the residents shared.  As Isaac summarized, “They have experiences that we haven’t and they can give us advice to help us. Because they might have learned it the hard way. Maybe when I’m older I can do that (give advice to younger people) – because I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way.”

Unconventional Measurements

Sure, we use rulers and other traditional measurement tools in our classrooms. But learning can be much more engaging – and fun – when our teachers explore subjects with a more unconventional approach.

How many Kindergarten Body Length’s Long is a Walrus?

In Maestra DeEsteva’s Kindergarten class, students learn how they can use different units such as book lengths, straws, etc. to approximate the length of a larger object. They discovered that the walrus they painted was approximately 17 straws in length, which is also about three Kindergarteners long!

In Kindergarten, our students are learning patterns, shape and size attributes, position and comparison words, counting forward to 100, counting by 2s, 5s and 10s, recognizing patterns, time to the hour and ½ hour, money, measuring, graphing, estimation, addition and subtraction.  Maestra DeEsteva loves to have students work together in groups as much as possible.  “My students are most engaged when they get to explore the curriculum together.”

How many Outfits Could Mr. DeKam Enjoy Wearing?

Measurement becomes a little more complicated and sophisticated in Mr. Bonnema’s 5th Grade class.  Students were asked to determine how many possible outfits Mr. DeKam could have with 4 different shirts and 4 different pants.  As you can see,  they discovered that there were a total of 16 possible outfits for Mr. DeKam to enjoy.  And they had a lot of fun turning the principal into a math problem!

In math and other subjects, we pride ourselves in exceeding academic expectations, while teaching and applying a Christian perspective in all we do in and outside the classroom.  We use standardized testing and other State and National standards as we develop a Christ-centered and academically challenging curriculum.  While we do not make standardized test taking a focus of our curriculum, MCS consistently scores well above the average and is consistently the highest or among the highest in the area.

All this ‘adds up’ to a great academic experience for our students!