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Old 12-23-2010, 08:19 PM
 
171 posts, read 416,019 times
Reputation: 50

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So what's the deal with Grand Rapids Public Schools? Are they really as bad as so many of these posts suggest? Why? What about the charter schools, specifically the Montessori K-12 program or the Zoo School program? If you are the parent or a student yourself who has ADD or a learning disability do you feel that any of the schools in the GRPS system would be a good fit? What school system in the outlying areas are great in your opinion? We are looking for an alternative to a traditional public school education, i.e. something like Montessori or possibly even homeschool if we couldn't find a good fit for our children's learning needs. Ideally, we would prefer not to homeschool at this point and are looking for some options in the GR area and would like some input.
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Old 12-25-2010, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,836 posts, read 17,341,799 times
Reputation: 3732
Quote:
Originally Posted by aquadejoe View Post
So what's the deal with Grand Rapids Public Schools? Are they really as bad as so many of these posts suggest? Why? What about the charter schools, specifically the Montessori K-12 program or the Zoo School program? If you are the parent or a student yourself who has ADD or a learning disability do you feel that any of the schools in the GRPS system would be a good fit? What school system in the outlying areas are great in your opinion? We are looking for an alternative to a traditional public school education, i.e. something like Montessori or possibly even homeschool if we couldn't find a good fit for our children's learning needs. Ideally, we would prefer not to homeschool at this point and are looking for some options in the GR area and would like some input.
"GRPS" refers to the school system just within the city limits. There are a ton of districts other than GRPS as options, as well as a lot of private and charter alternatives.

Here's a school district map to show you the boundaries:

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/CG...T_103412_7.pdf

I know a couple of people who send their kids to GRPS' Montessori school and like it.
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Old 12-29-2010, 05:41 PM
 
171 posts, read 416,019 times
Reputation: 50
I guess I am looking for something more specific: what is going on that gives the schools within the city limits such a bad reputation? Is is crime, lack of funding, poor test scores . . . ??? We have children who have learning disabilities and will likely not be a good fit for a "traditional" public school. Should we look within GR for schools like the Montessori program or others that we are unaware of(not being from the area) or are there other systems in more rural areas near Grand Rapids that offer great charter schools or other alternatives to a traditional setting?
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,686 posts, read 16,121,603 times
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Really poor management decisions and some nasty racial politics at the central office level.

The specialty programs for gifted and talented (Zoo school, Blanford, City School) are quite good, as are some of their special education programs, but the middle of the spectrum is an utter mess because of some really horrific leadership over the past 15 years.
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Old 12-29-2010, 07:33 PM
 
39 posts, read 90,981 times
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Grand rapids schools are almost the crappy quality of schools as detroit, heres some good area school districts

Godfrey-Lee
Kelloggsville
Godwin Heights
Comstock Park
Kenowa Hills
Northview
Forest Hills
East Grand Rapids
Grandville
Kentwood
Rockford
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Old 12-29-2010, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,836 posts, read 17,341,799 times
Reputation: 3732
Quote:
Originally Posted by 313er View Post
Grand rapids schools are almost the crappy quality of schools as detroit, heres some good area school districts

Godfrey-Lee
Kelloggsville
Godwin Heights
Comstock Park
Kenowa Hills
Northview
Forest Hills
East Grand Rapids
Grandville
Kentwood
Rockford
Those first 5? No. Godfrey Lee is just as bad as GRPS.

One big issue I have with GRPS is the poisonous atmosphere between the union and the school board and administration. No one in their right mind would put their kids into that mess (unless they had absolutely no choice).
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Old 12-29-2010, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,686 posts, read 16,121,603 times
Reputation: 7711
I'd put the first three as bad, and Cornstalk Park and Kenowa as merely mediocre. Godwin's actually got some decent staff, but they don't have the financial resources to really thrive these days.

And the unions-administration relations have been tanking ever since the Newby 'leadership' days. It really all started to fall apart when GRPS decided to not hire Kevin O'Neil because he was a bit too pale for those who screamed the loudest.
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Old 12-30-2010, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Cumming, Georgia
808 posts, read 2,910,892 times
Reputation: 334
I graduated back in 1988 from Ottawa Hills High School. At that time, it was a decent school. One of my classmate went to Harvard. Another went to West Point. When I graduated, it was about 50% white/black. I haven't checked the numbers but kids in my old neighborhood in the Indian Village are attending private or charter schools.

I attended my 20th class reunion little over 2 years ago, most of my classmates that stayed in the area are sending their kids to suburban schools. A few regretted staying within the GRPS boundaries.

I do hope that the GRPS bounce back and become stronger, it will benefit the metro areas as a whole.

Besides the administration and the board, the GRPS parents HAS to be involved in their kids' education. Take a look at FH, EGR, and Rockford: parents are very involved.
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Old 12-30-2010, 10:12 AM
 
1,426 posts, read 2,594,673 times
Reputation: 828
You've heard of the 'H' grade fiasco in GRPS?

Grand Rapids Public Schools staff under more scrutiny as administrators try to boost student performance | MLive.com
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Old 12-30-2010, 02:46 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,686 posts, read 16,121,603 times
Reputation: 7711
Back in the 80s, the people who lived in the nice areas zoned for Ottawa Hills HS (Indian Village, old Ottawa Hills, the suburbanish subdivisions south of 28th street, etc.) both black and white had no problems sending their kids to OHHS. I remember that the GR City Manager's daughter was an excellent diver for their swim team. Same went for a lot of the other nice areas in the district boundaries- Central HS even drew some pretty affluent students.
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