Grand Rapids Public Schools Release Data Collected During Community Engagement Sessions

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GRAND RAPIDS, Michigan – Grand Rapids Public Schools have released the results of their community consultation sessions. Nearly 1,400 parents, teachers and other community members commented on ways the school district can improve.

The data show that there are 12 areas that many want to see improvement made first.

Of all participants who commented on the survey, 94% said they wanted the focus to be on hiring, retaining and supporting teachers.

FOX 17 / Canvas

Kevin Davis and his family were among dozens of families who checked out what Grand Rapids public schools can offer their children. Some were fortunate enough to meet their future teachers at the District School of Choice exhibit Thursday night at Ottawa Hills High School.

“Our oldest boy will be entering 6th grade next year, so we’re looking at some of the choices that might be available to him, some of which are Blandford Zoo School and Museum School. He’s really looking to find what makes him happy. Fits best. It looks like the Center for Economicology might be a good choice. He enjoys being here and checking out all the options available here for him, “Davis told FOX 17.

After several community sessions held this year, the focus on increasing enrollment ranked two places below teacher retention.

“We are in a national teacher shortage crisis and we are in a national talent shortage crisis,” said Executive Director of Communications and External Affairs John Helmholdt.

Information from the community session played a crucial role in the school district’s strategic plan that was unanimously approved earlier this week.

“Now we are entering the next phase where the strategic themed teams made up of internal and external stakeholders will come up with initiatives,” Helmholdt said.

Like many other families, Davis is looking forward to how the district plans to bring their children into the next school year.

“Kids bond with teachers over time, and it really helps them in their education because they can relate to and truly appreciate the person they work with as a teacher, instructor and mentor; it really improves their educational experience. Overall really contributes to their success, “said Davis.

The school district plans to complete its initiatives by January. They say the idea is to roll them out from February.

View the strategic plan framework here:

GRPS strategic plan framework for Council voting 11.8.2021 through WXMI on Scribd

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