Parents, teachers want more details about plan to close Grand Rapids school buildings - world News Update

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GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Parents and teachers are asking for much specifications from Grand Rapids Public Schools astir nan projected scheme to close 10 schoolhouse buildings crossed nan city.

On Monday, Nov. 20, nan Grand Rapids Board of Education held nan first of respective scheduled nationalist hearings to stitchery feedback from families connected nan district’s restructuring plan. Superintendent Leadriane Roby has recommended closing 10 schools arsenic portion of an effort to consolidate resources for a smaller student body.

Grand Rapids genitor Anna Johnson, who has children astatine Brookside Elementary School – 1 of nan schools recommended for closure – said Monday she wants schoolhouse administrators to further explicate why nan territory wants to consolidate its middle-high schoolhouse campuses, specifically Alger and Ottawa Hills.

The district’s restructuring scheme includes a proposal to adjacent Alger Middle School and move those students to a recently mixed middle-high schoolhouse field astatine Ottawa Hills High School, mirroring effective schoolhouse structures astatine City Middle High, CA Frost Environmental Academy and Southwest Middle High.

Johnson, who said her children would yet spell to nan consolidated Ottawa campus, wants nan territory to supply further investigation connected why a middle-high schoolhouse field is nan champion action for Alger, and really that will create nan champion schoolhouse situation for students and teachers.

“What are nan resources that are going to beryllium pooled connected that campus?” she asked nan board. “How do we foresee this being successful, beyond combining nan schools onto 1 campus?”

Sonja Ringlever, a schoolhouse societal worker astatine East Leonard, besides asked nan committee Monday astir what resources would beryllium put successful spot to thief students set aft they are transferred to a caller school. East Leonard is different schoolhouse that would beryllium connected nan chopping artifact nether nan district’s projected plan.

RELATED: What to cognize astir nan 10 Grand Rapids schools that could beryllium connected nan chopping block

Ringlever said investigation has shown students who person been forced to move schools owed to districtwide downsizing lag down academically erstwhile compared to their peers who didn’t person to move.

“Students who person had to move person besides tended to person semipermanent lagging skills and trial scores, higher rates of absenteeism and weaker relationships pinch nan adults successful their schoolhouse building,” Ringlever told nan schoolhouse board.

Ringlever said she has asked GRPS administrators what supports and resources will beryllium put successful spot astatine consolidated schools, but that she did not person immoderate answers. She asked nan schoolhouse committee connected Monday to postpone its last ballot connected nan schoolhouse closures until nan territory lays retired a much elaborate plan.

“I interest that, while location is simply a scheme of wherever students whitethorn go, location is little-to-no scheme of what those schools and students will request to make this consolidation process a success,” she said. “It is my belief that these schools will request much robust support unit for illustration behaviour specialists, world interventionists, schoolhouse counselors, and of course, an capable magnitude of teachers successful classrooms.

“I interest without a good constructed scheme that lays retired explicitly what nan territory plans to do, our students successful territory will look tremendous consequences.”

Mikaila Workman, who teaches typical acquisition successful 4th and 5th people astatine East Leonard, said she is concerned astir really her typical acquisition students will beryllium impacted by nan school’s closure.

East Leonard is nan only simple schoolhouse successful nan territory that houses Level 3 programs, which service typical acquisition students pinch higher needs. While nan district’s restructuring scheme says that East Leonard students will beryllium transferred to Kent Hills aliases Coit Creative Arts Academy, Workman said nan scheme doesn’t reside wherever her students will go, because neither of those schools person L3 programs.

“As a teacher, I should not person been put successful a position wherever I person had to show families that I don’t cognize wherever your kid is going adjacent year, erstwhile wide acquisition students cognize that they will either spell to Coit aliases Kent Hills,” she said. “Our L3 students should person received this accusation nan aforesaid clip that their gen ed peers received nan accusation wherever they would beryllium going. To me, it seems for illustration nan territory did not see each students erstwhile proposing this plan.”

GRPS spokesperson Leon Hendrix said location will beryllium typical acquisition services for East Leonard’s L3 students by nan clip they transportation to Coit aliases Kent Hills adjacent year, but that nan territory is still moving to hammer retired nan details.

“There’s galore layers to nan needs of our typical ed scholars that person to beryllium worked out, truthful this is each portion of nan process,” Hendrix said Monday. “Once nan committee approves this, erstwhile we are capable to tie caller attendance boundaries, we’ll beryllium capable to activity retired those specifications to make judge each of our scholars person nan services that they request to beryllium nan champion that they tin beryllium present astatine Grand Rapids Public Schools.”

Here is nan afloat database of nan 10 schools GRPS is considering closing:

  • Aberdeen Academy (PK-8): 928 Aberdeen St. NE, successful district’s Northeast quadrant. There are 254 students enrolled, pinch a 46% building utilization rate. Aberdeen would adjacent successful 2027 nether nan projected plan.
  • Brookside Elementary (PK-5): 2505 Madison Ave. SE, successful district’s Southeast quadrant. There are 281 students enrolled, pinch a 65% building utilization rate. Brookside would adjacent successful 2026 nether nan projected plan.
  • East Leonard Elementary (PK-5): 410 Barnett St. NE, successful Northeast quadrant. There are 312 students enrolled, pinch a 51% building utilization rate. East Leonard would adjacent successful 2024 nether nan projected plan.
  • Grand Rapids Montessori Academy (PK-6): 159 College Ave. NE successful Northeast quadrant. There are 310 students enrolled, and a 68% building utilization rate. Grand Rapids Montessori would adjacent successful 2026 nether nan projected plan.
  • North Park Early Childhood Center @ Wellerwood (PK-K): 800 Wellerwood St. NE successful Northeast quadrant. There are 192 students enrolled for a 100% building utilization rate. North Park would adjacent successful 2026 nether nan projected plan.
  • Palmer Elementary (PK-5): 309 Palmer St. NE successful Northeast quadrant. There are 178 students enrolled for a 53% building utilization rate. Palmer would adjacent successful 2027 nether nan projected plan.
  • Sherwood Park Global Studies Academy (PK-8): 3859 Chamberlain Ave. SE successful district’s Southeast quadrant. There are 552 students enrolled for a 23% building utilization rate. Sherwood Park would adjacent successful 2026 nether nan projected plan.
  • Southeast Career Pathways (9-12): 1356 Jefferson Ave. SE connected district’s Southeast side. There are 93 students enrolled, for a 26% building utilization rate. Southeast would adjacent successful 2025 nether nan projected plan.
  • Stocking Elementary (PK-5): 863 7th St. NW successful district’s Northwest quadrant. There are 142 students enrolled for a 28% building utilization rate. Stocking would adjacent successful 2024 nether nan projected plan.
  • Westwood Middle School (6-8): 1525 Mount Mercy Dr. NW successful district’s Northwest quadrant. There are 151 students enrolled for a 19% building utilization rate. Westwood would adjacent successful 2028 nether nan projected plan.

Roby and her administrative squad released nan database of recommended schoolhouse closures connected Nov. 13. The superintendent said location is simply a request to adjacent schools because resources are stretched excessively bladed complete much than 40 schools crossed nan city.

The projected closures would prevention GRPS millions of dollars successful attraction costs, allowing nan territory to reinvest that money into a smaller number of schools and create a amended learning situation for each students.

No unit will beryllium laid disconnected nether nan accommodation maestro plan, Roby said. Teachers and unit from closed schools will beryllium redistributed to different area schools nether nan restructuring plan.

The territory shared nan imaginable closures aft passing a 20-year, $305 cardinal enslaved connection connected Nov. 7 to amended accommodation and supply a amended learning situation for students.

Related: ‘Thank You Grand Rapids!’ GRPS celebrates $305M schoolhouse bond

Parents and organization members tin proceed to springiness feedback connected nan closures astatine 5 upcoming organization engagement sessions nan territory is hosting. Here are nan dates and locations for nan sessions:

  • Nov. 27: Virtual gathering astatine 6:30 p.m. Join here:
  • Nov. 28: City High Middle Auditorium astatine 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 5: Ottawa Hills High Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 6: Burton Middle Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.
  • Dec. 7: Union High Auditorium, 6:30 p.m.

Roby said Monday that she will scheme to adhd 2 daytime meetings -- 1 in-person and 1 virtual -- for families who activity 2nd displacement and can’t be nan nighttime meetings. Details for those meetings are yet to come.

There are besides opportunities for nan nationalist to connection feedback during nan regularly scheduled 6:30 p.m. schoolhouse committee meetings connected Dec. 4, and Dec. 11, astatine 1331 Martin Luther King Jr. St. SE, formerly Franklin Street. The schoolhouse committee is expected to ballot connected nan last scheme connected Dec. 18.

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