Frequently Asked Questions

What does the Steering Committee do? 
And, who is on it? 
The Steering Committee is a group of parents and grandparents interested in starting a new Protestant Reformed school in the Holland/Zeeland area. We, as a Steering Committee, see the need for a school in our area. One of our main goals as a Steering Committee is having a Pre-K through 12 school West of Hudsonville, located so that there is greater opportunity for deeper engagement of students, parents, grandparents, and supporters in the life and programs of the school. 
The job of the RCS Steering Committee is to organize the creation of a school society that elects a school board. It is the school board that will carry out the wishes of the society. It will be the society that ultimately decides the direction of the school. So, to be part of defining what this school becomes, stay informed, join the society when it forms, and give input to the shared vision and direction for the school. 
It is also the job of the Steering Committee to gather interest in forming the new school society. To do that, we need to inform future potential society members of our purpose. We intend for RCS to be a fully Protestant Reformed Christian school, teaching our children with Christ at the center of all courses of study. We intend for RCS to be Pre-K through 12, and to be located in the Zeeland area. However, beyond these three things the Steering Committee recognizes that this is a time when the RCS society will be able to determine the future of RCS. 

The RCS Steering Committee
Chris Dykstra, Wes Koops, Jayna Streiff, William Streiff, Jack Warner, Anna Wassink
Thomas Newhof (advisor), Rev. Justin Smidstra (spiritual advisor)
When will RCS open it's doors?
We started planning for Redeemer Christian School almost 2 years ago. At that time, it was our hope to open for the 2021-2022 school year. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have not been able to utilize our time as we had hoped. It has been difficult being unable to gather in-person to spread information about this new school. It will be the society that ultimately decides the direction of the school, even the start-up date. We prayerfully hope to start September 2022. 
What is a School Society? And, how is it formed? 
The Redeemer Christian School society is being formed to establish and maintain a non-profit organization with the purpose of providing a system of Reformed, Christian education from Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12. The administration and instruction in the school will be based on the Holy Bible (the school will use the King James Version) and the doctrine contained in the Three Forms of Unity: the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Cannons of Dordt. The curriculum will be Christ-centered. 

Forming the Society
The Steering Committee is working closely with the RCS legal team to ensure that the proper steps are taken to form the school society. The RCS Steering Committee will seek membership applications from male persons desiring to be members of the RCS society. The applicants can be parents, grandparents, singles. They will be asked to sign a form subscribing to the Christian basis of the school. 
Following the meeting, applicants will be briefly interviewed by the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will hopefully approve their request and propose their membership in the society. 
At the second meeting, the RCS Society will have been formed and the new body of members will vote on the new School Board members. Once the RCS Board is in place, the Steering Committee will step back and will take on an advisory role to aid in the transition process. This will continue for as long as the School Board deems necessary. 

Full membership, with the right to vote, will be granted to male members in good standing within a Protestant Reformed Church. Associate membership with the right to speak, but not to vote, will be granted to parents and guardians that are not members of a Protestant Reformed Congregation.

The Board
The members will elect a school board of 6 members nominated by the Steering Committee. These must be full members of the RCS society. The board will propose the by-laws and the constitution, naming the RCS society and describing the administration of the RCS society for adoption by the RCS society. The constitution and by-laws contain descriptions of the duties of the board members and the responsibilities of the Society members. The usual duties of the board are: to determine the various school policies, to select an administrator and teaching staff, to assure that the educational purpose of the school is being carried out, to govern the finances of the school, and to assure that state requirements are met in alignment with the purpose of the school. 

Society Meeting
Annual meetings of the RCS society members will be called by the RCS Board. Special meetings may also be called as necessary. The annual meeting (usually between the school years), is called for the purpose of electing board members and providing various reports regarding the school. 

The funding needed to carry out the purpose of the RCS society is raised through tuition, donations, fund raising, and gifts given through the Redeemer Christian School Foundation (to be formed).
What is hybrid curriculum? And, what are the benefits? 

Blended learning or "hybrid learning" is a learning model that combines both formal (traditional classroom) and non-formal (online courses) methodologies. What interests the RCS Steering Committee is that blended learning integrates technology into the instruction to enhance learning. Being able to use technology to our advantage will only benefit a student as he/she enters college, since most college courses utilize technology. 

Much has been learned, both positive and negative, about remote learning through the pandemic. Momentum has been building in education for blended learning for quite some time. In Zeeland, iCademy has developed and used this method for over 10 years. What intrigued us most is how the learning materials can be easily fit for use in our Christian education. Content is editable and is more suitable for use by our Protestant Reformed teaches than text books in delivering information in accord with our Reformed, Christian standards. Also, we saw how the blended model can be used by small, remote groups to operate a school where land, building and teacher availability creates hurdles. This especially caught our interest in the furtherance of the Protestant Reformed Christian school movement in our denomination. 

Some benefits: 

1. It is cost-efficient. (Less lost learning time due to students missing classes. Transportation costs can be reduced if scheduling creates study days at home. Portions of some courses can be delivered live-online including quizzes, tests, and reading assignments.)

2. Technology and online materials can increase student engagement. (Teachers can creatively combine online instruction materials and face-to-face instruction. More insight is available about the student's progress and adjust individual instruction as needed. Education is more accessible - Educational materials are available outside of the classroom hours, anywhere. This accessibility could translate to a much greater interest in learning and more successful outcomes. 

3. Blended learning is efficient. (Teachers are able to more accurately assess the student's knowledge and help to teach concepts more efficiently.)

This is such a small beginning of an explanation of blended learning, but it is not home schooling. It is easily seen that parents have to be on board to make blended learning work. There is more expected on the home-front; parents need to be active in the process. This system is already used in several of our Protestant Reformed schools to varying degrees. 

We believe that for this model to be used in our school, it must be done in a way that upholds community among the students, facilitates building of personal relationships with the teacher, maintains the benefits and value of face-to-face (or as we say, soul-to-soul) instruction, upholds the standards of Protestant Reformed Christian education, and delivers excellent learning results.