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Old 06-23-2009, 11:07 AM
 
2 posts, read 12,771 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello there!

I am looking into moving to the Grand Rapids area. I am interviewing for a position there, (yay!) and am trying to find out more about the area, of which I know relatively little.

I am a thirty-something mother of a six year old, so I would like to know about some of the schools in the area. I am moving from a suburb of New Orleans, a city with some of the worst public schools and crime in the nation. Having said that, I, like just about everyone else down here, am accustomed to sending my child to private school. Nevertheless I understand that the public school system in certain areas around grand Rapids are really nice. I have heard some areas mentioned, like Kentwood, East Grand Rapids, and Forest Hills. Can someone tell me what they know about how the schools in these areas compare, and what the neighborhoods are like?

If we move up there, sending my son to a good school would be a top priority, so my thought is to move to the right school district, and work around that. I am definitely used to living in the suburbs now, and would probably want a similar type neighborhood. For me, safety is also an issue, so I would want an area that is considered safe.

Any help you can give about the three areas I mentioned, how the elementary schools stack up, etc... (or any other suggestions you have for where I should look) would be great.

Thanks!
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Old 06-23-2009, 12:04 PM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,018,467 times
Reputation: 236
There was a fairly good, and still entirely accurate, discussion on this topic a year or so ago:
//www.city-data.com/forum/grand...-info-ada.html

Generally the schools in Forest Hills and East Grand Rapids are more highly regarded than Kentwood. That is certainly not to say you cannot get a great education in Kentwood.

I think you should try to find a way to tour the two areas (EGR & FH) because while their schools rate similarly, they are very different feeling locales. See the link I posted above for how I described it to someone else when they asked.

I posted a rather lengthy analysis here as well:
//www.city-data.com/forum/grand...pids-area.html

If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me.

Good luck with your move!
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Old 07-06-2009, 11:33 PM
 
28 posts, read 97,800 times
Reputation: 30
As long as you don't send him to Grand Rapids Public Schools, he'll be fine. I attended GRPS from kindergarten through 12th grade, and I know that it had it's good as well as bad aspects. I worked in the GRPS system about 5 years ago, and it has gone COMPLETELY down hill. My parents did not send my sister, who is 7 years younger than I am to GRPS at all for k-12. I would NOT send my kids to GRPS. They don't have money, therefore no resources, they don't have control over the students, so the classrooms are often chaotic, the curriculum leaves a lot to be desired. I believe they teach you the basics, but the system is not college prep at all.
I wish the school system was better, because most people that send their kids to GRPS can't afford private schools or the means to send them to a better school district.
If you decide to live within the GRPS school district (because GR has a lot of great areas), I would recommend any of the charter schools or christian schools.
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:29 PM
 
2 posts, read 12,771 times
Reputation: 10
Default Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by suydam View Post
There was a fairly good, and still entirely accurate, discussion on this topic a year or so ago:
//www.city-data.com/forum/grand...-info-ada.html

Generally the schools in Forest Hills and East Grand Rapids are more highly regarded than Kentwood. That is certainly not to say you cannot get a great education in Kentwood.

I think you should try to find a way to tour the two areas (EGR & FH) because while their schools rate similarly, they are very different feeling locales. See the link I posted above for how I described it to someone else when they asked.

I posted a rather lengthy analysis here as well:
//www.city-data.com/forum/grand...pids-area.html

If you have any specific questions feel free to PM me.

Good luck with your move!

Thanks! I had seen the posts from a year ago on the separate thread, but didn't know if that was still accurate. I guess I'm a little nervous about the state of the public schools in EGR and Kentwood since the recession. I didn't know if that had impacted the public schools yet in a negative way. It's good to hear that the schools in EGR and (some of?) Kentwood are holding up.
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Old 07-08-2009, 05:05 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,018,467 times
Reputation: 236
Quote:
Originally Posted by sstacy5 View Post
Thanks! I had seen the posts from a year ago on the separate thread, but didn't know if that was still accurate. I guess I'm a little nervous about the state of the public schools in EGR and Kentwood since the recession. I didn't know if that had impacted the public schools yet in a negative way. It's good to hear that the schools in EGR and (some of?) Kentwood are holding up.
I would say all schools are feeling budget crunches. Public schools have less revenue and private schools have fewer students coming in the door.

EGR is doing ok as evidenced by their recent #1 local ranking in G.R. Magazine. Forest Hill is #2 and probably your other best bet for schools. Next year the Magazine will swap those two districts (I predict) as they have alternated them in their rankings the last few years.

I cannot speak to Kentwood but I'm sure they're holding their own as well. It's a quality district with caring teachers and administrators.
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:15 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
65 posts, read 212,483 times
Reputation: 31
Coming from where you live, anywhere in the Grand Rapids area or its suburbs will seem like a God send!

However, as someone already noted, I would not live in the immediate GR area, or send my kids to school there. The GR public schools are in shambles and there is always constant battles between the school's teacher union and the administration. Its almost a nightly thing in the news. I have close friends who live in Wyoming, and currently send their kids to Grandville public schools because Wyoming is going down the tubes too. They are looking to move out of Wyoming as well because crime in that area is starting to go up as budget constraints keep the police force tied up.

I live in Zeeland and the schools here are great. Hudsonville schools are even better and Jenison Public schools are great too. These are all within 15-20 minuets of GR and are considered small towns ranging between 5000 and 7000 residents. Crime is very low with almost no violent crime as these towns fund the public safety very well and have great community involvement with the police.
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Old 09-01-2009, 06:28 PM
 
6 posts, read 18,284 times
Reputation: 11
It kind of depends where you work and how long of a commute you'd like. Spring Lake, Mi has some of the best schools and so does Grand Haven.
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Old 09-10-2009, 10:07 PM
 
Location: South Lyon, MI
6 posts, read 55,261 times
Reputation: 12
My husband got a transfer to Grand Rapids about 2 years ago. I like you researched, and researched the area with the same concerns....safety and schools. The kids where 9 and 10 at the time. We ended up settling in Spirng Lake and would NEVER take back that decision. The schools are excellent A++++++, amazing! I love being so close to Lake Michigan and seeing Spring Lake everyday. It's great to be able to take your child to the lake on a whim without having to spend time planning and traveling. You can go just about anywhere on a bike as the bike paths run everywhere. Many kids bike to school together. I love the small town feel and the awesome educations my children are receiving.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like more information.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:20 AM
 
1 posts, read 5,481 times
Reputation: 10
go to egr. I go egr schools and they are GREAT. I'm in 5th grade.
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