Orchard View Schools District Information

District News

Subscribe to RSS Feed for District News View Archives

Messages from our Superintendent
2022-2023 School Year

March 29, 2023

Dear Staff and Community, 

This afternoon a staff member reported a weapon being found at the Innovative Learning Center. The building went into lockdown and Muskegon Township Police Officers responded. At the time this was reported, a K9 handler was conducting training in the building. The weapon was quickly discovered to be an inoperable training revolver used to train K9’s and the lockdown was lifted.   

At no time was anyone in immediate danger. Our staff and learners responded exactly as we have practiced for lockdown drills. Student and staff safety is always our number one priority.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact me at 760-1300 or jim.nielsen@orchardview.org. 


Jim Nielsen, Superintendent

Please read the attached letter from our Superintendent regarding an incident at the OVMS today.  Have that important conversation with your students and let's all work to keep our school and community safe.

PDF DocumentFeb 8, 2023 OVMS Safety Incident

Please review this important letter from our Superintendent regarding online safety and monitoring.  

PDF DocumentFeb 7 2023 Safety Letter from Supt J Nielsen - Online Threats and Consequences

Please read the attached complete letter from Superintendent Nielsen regarding drinking water safety in our schools.

PDF Document Water Quality Program at Orchard View Schools

To our Orchard View Community:

Please read the attached letter which explains the millage proposal which will be on the ballot at the November 8, 2022 election. 

PDF DocumentMillage Proposal Info Letter



District News - Prior Years

May 25, 2022

Dear Orchard View Staff, Students, and Community,

Collectively our thoughts are with the educators, students, families and community of Uvalde, Texas. Yesterday's tragedy, like many others experienced recently, is one no community should ever have to endure. As educators, parents, and community members this event resonates with us all. 

At Orchard View Schools the safety of our students and staff is always a top priority. We are grateful for the tremendous work our staff does to keep students safe. We have made significant progress in recent years providing an even safer learning environment. We will continue to assess and improve all aspects of our safety preparation, including mandated yearly training for all staff on active shooter situations with our current School Resource Officer Chad Wilson, as well as other members of Muskegon Township Police Department. 

Orchard View Schools is also very fortunate to have such a great relationship with MTFD Chief Dave Glotzbach, as well as MTPD Chief Tim Thielbar. Both are active members in our Orchard View District Crisis Team and always willing to assist in training and preparing our staff and students for events we hope will never happen. When it comes to the tragic crisis that unfolded yesterday, the best we can do is listen and learn from our local experts to make sure we are prepared to keep our students and staff safe. 

Thank you for being a loving and supporting community and making time to review these tips to have an age-appropriate conversation with your children about school safety and the importance of practicing the many drills we conduct yearly.

If you have questions or concerns please call me at 231-760-1300 or email me at jim.nielsen@orchardview.org.


Jim Nielsen, Superintendent

Orchard View Schools

It’s a Great Day to be a Cardinal!

Good Morning OV!

Last year Orchard View Schools spent $1.6 million from their general fund on mandated special education services. If the Muskegon County Special Education Millage is approved on May 3, 2022, $861,000 would be returned to Orchard View Schools each year for the next ten years. That is over $392 more per student each year for the next ten years.

If you or anyone you know would like to talk about this millage request I would be happy to arrange a time to do so or you can learn more at www.strongschools.org or the attachment.

March 22, 2022


Dear Parents and Guardians,


At Orchard View, school safety is very important and any threat made toward students and staff is taken very seriously.

This morning, administrators at Orchard View Middle School became aware of a video that a student allegedly posted over the weekend on social media. In the video, an individual wearing a mask and holding what appeared to be a BB pistol made a threat toward another individual. Local law enforcement and school officials are cooperating to ensure the safety of our students. The student who posted the video could face potential charges of domestic terrorism.

Please be aware that the individual involved is not at school. There was no evidence of a weapon or even a threat at school, and at this time, it appears to be strictly a social media incident from this past weekend.

The safety of our students and staff is always a top priority. We are grateful for our partnership with the Muskegon Township Police Department, Officer Wilson (School Resource Officer), and our local law enforcement agencies as we all work together to keep students and staff safe. Teaching children responsible use of social media is very important and this incident provides a perfect opportunity for parents to address this with their children in an age-appropriate manner.

I want to reiterate that at no time this morning were staff or students in danger, and learning was not impacted. If you have questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 231-760-1300.


Jim Nielsen, Superintendent

Orchard View Schools

PDF DocumentMarch 22, 2022 Letter

February 8, 2022

Dear Parents and Guardians:

Thank you for your continued support as we enter the second half of another successful school year at Orchard View. Communication with our community is essential to ensuring the ongoing success, safety, and well-being of our students.

Toward this end, I would like to inform you that our administration received a report of potentially suspicious activity in our parking lot after our basketball team returned from an away game last Friday evening. One of our student-athletes was approached by an individual in a truck that they were unfamiliar with. The student was startled and did the right thing and contacted law enforcement. District officials, along with Muskegon Township Police Department are currently conducting a thorough investigation to resolve the situation.

While the intent of the individual in the truck is unknown at this time, precautionary measures are in place to ensure the safety of our students and staff. School safety and security will remain a top priority at Orchard View Schools.

I want to reiterate that we do not know if this student was in any danger, but this reported incident provides an awareness to parents to discuss the potential dangers associated with strangers who may try to make contact with them. If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate to contact me at jim.nielsen@orchardview.org or 231-760-1300.


Jim Nielsen
Orchard View Schools

PDF Document2-8-22 Letter to Parents

January 4, 2022

Dear Staff, Students, and Community,

I hope this letter finds everyone healthy and well as we head into the half-way point to our school year. As we look ahead to the second half of our school year, I want to thank all our staff, students and community members for supporting our COVID protocols to make our schools and buses safe.

To help keep our schools safe and keep up with Muskegon Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) guidance, please take a moment to review the following reminders about COVID-19 expectations relative to masking and quarantine:

1. Parents and guardians are asked to contact the school to report any positive (+) COVID test result.

2. The Federal Mask Mandate for Transportation was extended through March 18th. This Federal Mandate requires those riding a bus to wear a mask.

3. Orchard View Schools strongly recommends wearing a mask; generally speaking, if you wear a mask correctly (covering your nose and mouth) in school, you are not required to quarantine.

4. Please work with your child so they have a clear understanding of your family expectations for masks at school. We will not ask, nor expect staff to be responsible for family decisions about masking.

5. Starting second semester our role will be to identify individuals who may be close contacts, inform parents and guardians of close contact status, and recommend families follow the MDHHS guidance.

6. The official guidance for families will continue to be provided by an MHDDS contact tracer, who covers cases reported in Orchard View Schools.

As an educator, I never expected we would find ourselves navigating a global pandemic for over two years. So far, it looks like the COVID trend this winter closely mimics the same time last year. However, the new Omicron variant could be a game-changer, so we’ll continue to monitor over the next few weeks and communicate as needed.

Thanks for your continued support!

Jim Nielsen,

PDF Document1-4-22 Community Reminders for 2nd Semester

December 8, 2021

Dear Orchard View Community,

I am proud of the way our community handled the events of the last few days. Our entire community, from parents and staff to community and law enforcement partners, stepped up to keep our students safe.

The safety of our students, your children, guides every decision we make and every action we take . . . every day!

Our law enforcement partners have assured us that student, staff and school safety is their highest priority and we can be proud to live in a community where these trained professionals take that position. Even the vague and unsubstantiated threat we received on Sunday received their immediate and complete attention.

“If every law enforcement entity could have the relationship we enjoy with Orchard View, it would be amazing.” said Tim Thielbar, Chief of the Muskegon Township Police Department. “We support them and they are very supportive of our department.”

Our buildings are as secure as possible, our staff members are trained to address threats they might encounter, our student support staff stand ready to help students in crisis and our school resource officer circulates throughout our buildings and works to build a rapport with students. My grandson attends Orchard View and I am pleased that he has been in attendance this entire week; not once have I questioned his safety while at school this week, nor at any other time.

We all have a role to play to make our schools safe and supportive learning environments. I encourage you to speak to your children about the consequences of making threats and sharing threatening posts, even if they seem innocent. If you see any threats on social media, through text messages, or other platforms, contact 911.

I am always available to answer any question or concern you might have. Please call 231-760-1300 or email me jim.nielsen@orchardview.org.


Jim Nielsen

It's a Great Day to Be a Cardinal!

PDF Document12-8-21 Safety Letter