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GRPS announces partial funding restoration for four after school sites

GRPS announces partial funding restoration for four after school sites

The Grand Rapids Public Schools received good news from the Michigan Department of Education today that $307,035 has been tentatively awarded for four middle school sites for after school programming. The announcement comes less than a month after GRPS was informed that nine LOOP after school sites were not funded for the 2012-13 school year.

The nine sites were Congress Elementary, Palmer Elementary, Martin Luther King, Jr. Leadership Academy, Serhwood Park Global Studies Academy, Shawnee Park Math/Science/Technology Academy, Ford Middle, Burton Middle, Riverside Middle and Westwood Middle. Based on the state's announcement, after school programming will be partially funded with the $307,035 for Ford, Burton, Riverside and Westwood Middle Schools.

GRPS save over $726k due to bond rating, refinancing

GRPS save over $726k due to bond rating, refinancing

Grand Rapids Public Schools announced today the successful sale of $4,830,000 million in tax-exempt bonds that was directly purchased by PNC Bank through a competitive process. The district will use the proceeds to refinance its existing 2002 debt, which generates savings totaling $726,332 that will be realized over the next 10 years. 

The district will now pay 1.79% interest rate on the 2012 bond and replaces an approximate interest rate of 5% on the 2002 debt.  The 2002 debt was used to finance the construction of an addition and furnishings at Southwest Community Campus at 801 Oakland, S.W. Grand Rapids.  Southwest Community Campus, one of Grand Rapids Public Schools’ theme schools, houses a well established two way immersion (English/Spanish) program.

GRPS Students Running in AAU National Junior Olympics

GRPS Students Running in AAU National Junior Olympics

Grand Rapids Public Schools’ students quickly made an impact at the AAU National Qualifier track meet held on July 5-8 in Ypsilanti, MI.

Leading the way for GRPS was Sam Beal, a student at Ottawa Hills High School (OHHS). Beal won both the 100 meter dash, with a time of 11.0 seconds, and the 200 meter dash, with a time of 22.4 seconds, in the 15-16 year-old division. Beal is also the anchor leg for the winning 4x100 meter relay team, which currently holds the fourth fastest time in the country for that age division. Also qualifying for the AAU National Junior Olympics for the 15-16 year-old group was relay teammate, Alize Simmons, who took 5th in the 100 meter dash.

Three GRPS schools among top in region in ACT composite score gains

Three GRPS schools among top in region in ACT composite score gains

Last year, only six schools in the region had a 0.6 point or greater gain on the ACT composite scores. This year, three Grand Rapids Public Schools – Creston, Union and City High – rank among the schools with the most significant gains in the ACT composite scores.

A half point or greater gain may not seem like much, but in the education world steeped in assessments with schools judged by their test scores, a 0.5 gain is significant and notably higher than the average. For Union High School, the 0.6 gain they earned has even greater significance as they continue to implement the necessary reforms to get off the state’s so-called 5% list. Union High earned a 0.6 gain, Creston a 0.6 gain, and City High a 0.5 gain. The average gains typically are around 0.2 or 0.3 points. Overall, the district’s composite score remained flat, but have steadily risen from 15.6 in 2007 to 16.9 in 2012.

GRCC, GVSU and MSU College of Human Medicine sign articulation agreement

GRCC, GVSU and MSU College of Human Medicine sign articulation agreement

Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Grand Valley State University (GVSU) have agreed to establish a cooperative program of premedical/medical education by which Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) students who transfer as undergraduate premedical students to GVSU will have the opportunity to be granted an early assurance of admission to MSU College of Human Medicine.

The Early Assurance Program (EAP) became official at an agreement signing ceremony held on Monday, June 25, from 9-10 a.m., in GRCC’s Board Room, 5th  floor of the Main Building, 143 Bostwick NE.  GRCC Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Gilda Gely, GVSU provost and vice president for Academic Affairs Gayle R. Davis, MSU Provost Kim Wilcox, Ph.D. and Marsha D. Rappley, M.D., Dean, MSU College of Human Medicine, were joined by other school administrators for this important event.

Community conversation at Congress Elementary could contribute to policies

Community conversation at Congress Elementary could contribute to policies

by Emberly Vick in OPINION

Attendees of a community conversation asked questions about how we value: are they treated children equally and are we prioritizing their needs?

What letter grade would you give the statewide education system?

What letter grade would you give the local education system?

These were two inquiries asked during an open community dialogue on Wednesday June 14. The small community conversation was held in the Congress Elementary School’s gymnasium.

Local students welcome Third Michigan Volunteer Infantry Co. F, Civil War re-enactors

Local students welcome Third Michigan Volunteer Infantry Co. F, Civil War re-enactors

The Third Michigan Volunteer Infantry Co. F recently visited students at Excel Charter Academy to give students a first-hand history lesson and re-enact events from the Civil War. Take a look at these great photos taken at the event.