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Old 01-09-2013, 08:14 AM
 
2 posts, read 13,572 times
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We are moving from NJ to Grand Rapids this summer and are trying to decide where to settle down. We are considering either East Grand Rapids or Forest Hills schools (either Central, East or Northern), but are not sure what would be the best fit.

Our eldest daughter, who will be staring high school, is very sensitive and quiet, a bit quirky and non-athletic, interested in art and literature. She may have some learning disabilities (we are currently having her tested to see, as she has recently been struggling in school). Our youngest daughter, who will be in fifth grade, is athletic, friendly and easy-going.

I am very tempted by the charm and walkability of East Grand Rapids, but I have heard that East Grand Rapids schools can be less welcoming/accomodating to kids who are not athletic or who have learn "differently."

I have heard that Forest Hills Northern is the "friendliest" school, but I didn't get a good feel for the neighborhoods when we visited briefly and was left wondering where kids hang out/socialize, and what is the "heart" of the neighborhoods.

I would appreciate any comments. Thank you very much!!!!
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,871 posts, read 17,739,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TEBNJ View Post
We are moving from NJ to Grand Rapids this summer and are trying to decide where to settle down. We are considering either East Grand Rapids or Forest Hills schools (either Central, East or Northern), but are not sure what would be the best fit.

Our eldest daughter, who will be staring high school, is very sensitive and quiet, a bit quirky and non-athletic, interested in art and literature. She may have some learning disabilities (we are currently having her tested to see, as she has recently been struggling in school). Our youngest daughter, who will be in fifth grade, is athletic, friendly and easy-going.

I am very tempted by the charm and walkability of East Grand Rapids, but I have heard that East Grand Rapids schools can be less welcoming/accomodating to kids who are not athletic or who have learn "differently."

I have heard that Forest Hills Northern is the "friendliest" school, but I didn't get a good feel for the neighborhoods when we visited briefly and was left wondering where kids hang out/socialize, and what is the "heart" of the neighborhoods.

I would appreciate any comments. Thank you very much!!!!
There is really no "heart" of the community in FH Northern (or Eastern really). It's mainly rural/suburban area with the East Beltline and Celebration Village the closest thing to a downtown. I do see a lot of FH kids hanging out there, at the theater, Starbucks, Noodles, Panera, etc.. Forest Hills Eastern is a bit smaller and is actually a class B school in athletics (which means it's not as athletics-minded in my opinion).

In East, I see kids hanging out all the time in Gaslight Village. It almost seems a bit clique that way, like a John Hughes movie.

If you need any other help, shoot me a message. We live in the Eastern district (with kids in Knapp Forest and Eastern Middle) and love it.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:34 PM
 
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Hello, i personally go to FHN. I am a junior there. It is the friendliest place there is. Great staff, love my teachers. There was a basketball game vs eastern last night actually and then a combined dance after. So good competition, game came down to last seconds, eastern won by 2. But directly after there was a dance and everyone got along. Go to youtube and look up fhn lip dub. shows how much fun we have. EGR is nice, just doesnt have the same qualities as forest hills schools, they are all caught up in the "east grand rapids lifestyle" and think they are better than everyone else. That is my opinion.

edit, no advertising allowed

P.S. We have the best academics around at fun. A senior at our school just got accepted to Harvard. We have kids all the time go to ivy leagues. Plus, we finish very high in state ranking for academics. Our football team had the highest gpa average in division 3, this season. last year we had 40 kids transfer to northern, and 4 leave. Proof is in the pudding!

Last edited by magellan; 01-12-2013 at 02:28 PM..
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Old 01-16-2013, 07:28 AM
 
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Anecdotal, but the people I know that went to FHN are way more normal and grounded than the kids from EGR. Not all of them, but a lot of EGR kids just think they are the creme of the crop. It might be more difficult for your daughter to fit in there.
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Old 01-18-2013, 02:21 PM
 
85 posts, read 190,591 times
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Originally Posted by Jandur View Post
Anecdotal, but the people I know that went to FHN are way more normal and grounded than the kids from EGR. Not all of them, but a lot of EGR kids just think they are the creme of the crop. It might be more difficult for your daughter to fit in there.
Could you elaborate? I'm looking at EGR for the proximity, walkability to schools and perhaps smaller class sizes, unique home styles. However, this comment is concerning. My kids are not likely to be "jocks," one has special needs, etc. though they are all elementary and younger so who knows. What is the vibe around EGR schools - socioeconomically homogeneous? High pressure? Or down to earth despite being an overall affluent community?
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Old 01-21-2013, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,871 posts, read 17,739,660 times
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Originally Posted by dadr View Post
Could you elaborate? I'm looking at EGR for the proximity, walkability to schools and perhaps smaller class sizes, unique home styles. However, this comment is concerning. My kids are not likely to be "jocks," one has special needs, etc. though they are all elementary and younger so who knows. What is the vibe around EGR schools - socioeconomically homogeneous? High pressure? Or down to earth despite being an overall affluent community?
It's probably "down to earth" by East Coast standards. It is the Midwest after all. But it is a district where pretty much every kid graduates and goes on to a 4 year college, many of them getting into Ivy league schools or overseas, so there is a lot of academic pressure. In comparison to a lot of the other schools in the area, their sports program is relatively small (but the football team is a big part of school life, with a lot of alumni support and a winning record).

I would compare it to Northern Virginia, or perhaps some of the Northwest suburbs of Chicago (if that helps?). Affluent, educated, competitive with a lot of transplants.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:16 PM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,735,593 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadr View Post
Could you elaborate? I'm looking at EGR for the proximity, walkability to schools and perhaps smaller class sizes, unique home styles. However, this comment is concerning. My kids are not likely to be "jocks," one has special needs, etc. though they are all elementary and younger so who knows. What is the vibe around EGR schools - socioeconomically homogeneous? High pressure? Or down to earth despite being an overall affluent community?
Honestly, I wouldn't say EGR kids are bad by any means, but there probably is more social pressure there than elsewhere in the area. Also I would say is that some EGR residents are a bit snooty, and that translates down to the kids. Forrest Hills is obviously a well to do area, but it lacks sort of this snobby prestige that you can get from EGR residents sometimes. Also note that I came to GR in college, so this is all post-college observations.

I do think it's worth noting that the writers of American Pie wrote the script based on East GR, where they went to highschool. Obviously it's a stereotype, but it's based in some sort of truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
I would compare it to Northern Virginia, or perhaps some of the Northwest suburbs of Chicago (if that helps?). Affluent, educated, competitive with a lot of transplants.
As someone who is from Chicago, this is a very good comparison.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:26 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
8,218 posts, read 16,823,026 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandur View Post

I do think it's worth noting that the writers of American Pie wrote the script based on East GR, where they went to highschool. Obviously it's a stereotype, but it's based in some sort of truth.
And there is some obvious snark at Forest Hills Central in the movie because they were the biggest sports rivals at the time. His success puts him around the third or fourth most famous writer/journalist to graduate from EGR behind Chris Van Allsburg (Polar Express, etc.) John Hockenberg, and Patrick Maher.
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Old 01-21-2013, 06:04 PM
 
85 posts, read 190,591 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jandur View Post
Honestly, I wouldn't say EGR kids are bad by any means, but there probably is more social pressure there than elsewhere in the area. Also I would say is that some EGR residents are a bit snooty, and that translates down to the kids. Forrest Hills is obviously a well to do area, but it lacks sort of this snobby prestige that you can get from EGR residents sometimes. Also note that I came to GR in college, so this is all post-college observations.

I do think it's worth noting that the writers of American Pie wrote the script based on East GR, where they went to highschool. Obviously it's a stereotype, but it's based in some sort of truth.

As someone who is from Chicago, this is a very good comparison.
Thanks. Would you say snooty by Chicago North Shore standards, or just by the standards of the area? And by social pressure, are there issues with integrating special needs kids (one of mine is)? It seems like a nice little community to me, though the affluence could certainly play a part I'm sure. I'm looking for great schools that don't have huge enrollments and class sizes, so it looks like a good fit, but while I think my kids are bright I'm not into driving them into huge stress over school.
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Old 01-21-2013, 09:18 PM
 
2 posts, read 13,572 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by cartstream View Post
Hello, i personally go to FHN. I am a junior there. It is the friendliest place there is. Great staff, love my teachers. There was a basketball game vs eastern last night actually and then a combined dance after. So good competition, game came down to last seconds, eastern won by 2. But directly after there was a dance and everyone got along. Go to youtube and look up fhn lip dub. shows how much fun we have. EGR is nice, just doesnt have the same qualities as forest hills schools, they are all caught up in the "east grand rapids lifestyle" and think they are better than everyone else. That is my opinion.

edit, no advertising allowed

P.S. We have the best academics around at fun. A senior at our school just got accepted to Harvard. We have kids all the time go to ivy leagues. Plus, we finish very high in state ranking for academics. Our football team had the highest gpa average in division 3, this season. last year we had 40 kids transfer to northern, and 4 leave. Proof is in the pudding!
Thanks. I saw the lib dub and loved it!! The FHN kids seem to be having so much fun.
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