Black River Public School (Holland, Michigan)

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Black River Public School
"Preparing students for college and life."
491 Columbia Avenue
Holland, Michigan, 49423
United States
Coordinates 42°46′44″N 86°6′0″W / 42.77889°N 86.10000°W / 42.77889; -86.10000Coordinates: 42°46′44″N 86°6′0″W / 42.77889°N 86.10000°W / 42.77889; -86.10000
Type Public, Charter
Established July 1996
Principal Shannon Brunink
Grades K-12
Enrollment ~850
Color(s)      Green
Nickname River Rats

Black River Public School is a college preparatory charter school located in Holland, Michigan. The school has 850 students from kindergarten through 12th grade.[2] The head of school is Shannon Brunink, who followed David Angerer and the original head of school, "Jake" Jacobusse.


Black River Public School was founded on July 1996 after receiving a charter from Grand Valley State University. Its operations initially took place in the Federal School building on 8th Street and during its four years there, 14 portables were added due to growth. Due to the overcrowding, BASF Corporation donated a 50,000-square-foot (4,600 m2) building, originally occupied by the Holland Furnace Company, to the school in 1998.[2][3]

In 2001, Black River added a Montessori elementary program.

In May 2003, Black River was accredited by the American Academy for Liberal Education (AALE) and in 2004 by the North Central Association Commission of Accreditation and School Improvement.[4][5][6]

In the summer of 2003, Black River added two new 8 and 6 room modular buildings to accommodate more elementary students.

In the spring of 2007, Black River completed construction of a new 20,000-square-foot (1,900 m2) facility housing a gymnasium, lyceum (cafeteria), and music facilities. Previously existing facilities were remodeled to provide additional classroom space.

In the fall of 2011 remodeling was completed on a former storage/loading dock facility to house the kindergarten program following its transition to an all-day schedule.

Over the summer of 2015 a new building was added, to be used for Kindergarten through 5th grade.[7]


In 2014, The Washington Post High School Challenge once again ranked Black River among the top five high schools in the State of Michigan, a distinction it has enjoyed since 2005, including five years ranked #1.[citation needed]

Black River offers 18 Advanced Placement (AP) courses, with a participation rate that ranks in the top 1% in North America.[citation needed] 46% of the students who take an AP course achieve a score necessary to receive college credit, compared to the Michigan average of 11%.[8]


Black River is a member of the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) and is a Class 'C' program. Additionally, they are a member of the Alliance League. The school's nickname is the River Rats and colors are black and green. Black River's athletic programs include, but are not limited to, soccer, basketball, baseball, cross-country, and volleyball. The campus includes a soccer field directly behind the building.

A public funding campaign was successfully completed to raise money to construct a new building housing a gymnasium, lunch area and music facilities. The new building was completed and put into use in March 2007.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Black River Public School Mission". Retrieved 2012-02-09. 
  2. ^ a b "Black River Public School". Michigan Education Report. 2006-11-21. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
  3. ^ Barton Deiters (1998-09-15). "Black River School gets a new home". Holland Sentinel. Retrieved 2008-01-17. [dead link]
  4. ^ Institution Summary, AdvancED, Retrieved 2012-07-08
  5. ^ "School earns accreditation". Holland Sentinel. 2003-05-20. Archived from the original on 2007-08-18. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
  6. ^ "NCA CASI Accredited Schools (Michigan)". 2007-05-22. Archived from the original on 2007-04-27. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Just a click away". Holland Sentinel. 2005-04-12. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-05-22. 

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