Students and their parents have educational options when
it comes to school of choice.
Grand Rapids Public Schools spokesman John
Helmholdt says next year, those choices include classes at the Grand Rapids
“In the grand
scheme of things, this is Grand Rapids schools’ transformation plan at its
"This is where we’ve said we are going to start to look at what’s working
in the system – what are those schools that are academically successful, that
are attractive to parents and students – and that are school choices that you
want to replicate or expand.”
The Museum School is part of the GRPS Centers of
Innovation. That’s a public/private partnership, or collaboration, with area
universities and municipal entities.
It includes the John Ball Zoological
Garden’s Zoo Middle School.
For students, the Museum School and others like it offer an
active, hands-on method of learning.
And from the district’s perspective, Helmholdt says it helps
GRPS stay relevant in today’s educational marketplace.
“This is a chance for us to kind of go on the offensive.
There is a new, very aggressive educational marketplace with online academies,
unbridled charter schools, and more and more districts just being very
aggressive in how they recruit students or increasing the number of school of
"So in this marketplace, we have to play ball differently.”
The application process begins in mid-October for students going
into sixth grade. It eventually expands into a full middle-and-high school program.
And a few years down the line, it includes extensive
renovations to the former museum site on Jefferson.
That multi-million dollar
project transforms the building into classrooms for high school students. But
we’re not quite there yet.
The majority of seats at the Museum School are held for GRPS students, but there are some available for those outside of the district boundaries.
You can get more information at GRPS.org