Grand Rapids: Education and Research
Elementary and Secondary Schools
Grand Rapids Public School District is the largest in the area. The distict's goal is that by 2007 all students will be at or above grade level in reading, writing, and math, and that 80 percent of incoming ninth graders will graduate.
The following is a summary of data regarding the City of Grand Rapids public schools as of the 2003–2004 school year.
Total enrollment: 24,219
Number of facilities elementary schools: 44
middle schools: 6
high schools: 5
Student/teacher ratio: 14.3:1
Teacher salaries average: $53,517 (2002)
Funding per pupil: $11,274
At least 122 parochial, private, church-affiliated, alternative, and specialty schools offer educational curricula from pre-school through grade 12 in the Grand Rapids area.
Public Schools Information: Grand Rapids Public Schools, 1331 Franklin SE, PO Box 117, Grand Rapids, MI 49501; telephone (616)771-2182. Kent County Intermediate School District, 2930 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525; telephone (616)364-1333
Colleges and Universities
A variety of institutions of higher learning offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in the Kent County; among them are Aquinas College, Calvin College, Central Michigan University, Cornerstone University, Davenport College, Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, Kendall College of Art and Design (of Ferris State University), Michigan State University, Spring Arbor College, University of Phoenix, and Western Michigan University. Two-year programs are available at Grand Rapids Community College and ITT Technical Institute. Colleges and seminaries providing religious training are Calvin Theological Seminary, Grace Bible College, Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary, and Reformed Bible College.
Libraries and Research Centers
The Grand Rapids Public Library is the second largest public library system in Michigan; it operates seven branches in addition to its main facility, which is a depository for federal and state documents. Library holdings consist of 660,000 books, tapes, films, maps, and compact discs; periodicals; and special collections covering several fields, such as furniture, foundations, and Michigan history.
Kent District Library maintains 19 branches and houses about 774,000 books plus magazines, videos, and compact disks. Lakeland Library Cooperative serves 1 million people in the area. Several libraries have in-depth collections in fields such as law, personal finance, business, art and architecture, antiques and collectibles, and materials for the blind and handicapped.
Research is conducted at Grand Valley State University in water resources, aquatic conservation, land use change, air quality, and waste management. At Steelcase Inc.'s $111 million Pyramid research center, behavioral scientists, designers, and engineers study emerging trends such as ergo-nomics and translate them into office products. The Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) opened its $60 million, 162,000-square-foot building in May 2000. Its Board of Scientific Advisors includes four Nobel Laureates; cancer research is the primary focus.
Public Library Information: Grand Rapids Public Library, 111 Library St. NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503-3268; telephone (616)588-5400; fax (616) 588-5420
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