Congratulations on the end of the 2019-2020 school year!
This has truly been one of the most challenging and unprecedented school years in the history of Grand Rapids Public Schools. Words do not begin to describe my thanks and appreciation for your patience, understanding, and support as we transformed teaching and learning in the face of a worldwide pandemic.
I am proud of what we accomplished, especially since March 12 when our traditional school year was turned upside down. In just a few short weeks, our GRPS team of teachers, school leaders, and support staff rallied together to ensure teaching and learning continued, students and families received the technology and print materials needed for distance learning, and more than 200,000 meals were provided.
As we close out the school year, I have a few important announcements:
Graduations: Just a reminder about our virtual graduations. While our goal is to ultimately provide our seniors with a proper in-person graduation, I am proud of the virtual graduation videos and hope that you will take time to watch them. Here is the remaining schedule:
- Thursday, June 4: City High @ 5:30pm and Ottawa Hills @ 7:00pm
- Friday, June 5: University Prep Academy @ 5:30pm and Union @ 7:00pm
We will be emailing links to the virtual graduations along with the graduation programs. They are also being posted to the GRPS YouTube Channel, Cable Channel 27/902, the individual high school Facebook pages, and the district Facebook page.
Student Locker/Class Close Out Reminder: Just a friendly reminder that student locker/class close out is scheduled for June 8, 9, 10, and 11 from 8:30am to 3:00pm. The days are staggered by grade level so please be sure to check the grades, dates, times, and the guidelines for accessing the school(s). A letter with detailed information was sent via direct mail, multiple emails, social media, and posted to the district’s website under Coronavirus Resources.
Summer Learning: Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of summer learning opportunities, including but not limited to, the following:
- GRPS Summer School (based on eligibility): Learn more at www.grps.org/summer-school.
- GRASP: A summer math and reading program for students finishing grades Kindergarten through 8th. Learn more/sign up at www.GRPS.org/GRASP.
- GRPS Optional Online Learning Resources: www.GRPS.org/online-learning.
- Kent ISD Universal Summer Learning: www.KentISD.org.
Parent Distance Learning Survey: If you have not already done so, please take a few minutes to complete the distance learning survey for parents. The purpose of this survey is to understand how to best serve our students moving forward as we consider how school should re-open in the fall. Please fill out the survey for ONLY ONE child attending our district. If you would like to complete the survey for any of your other children, you may do so by completing the survey again.
The ENGLISH version of this survey is at this link:
The SPANISH version of this survey is at this link:
Please note that your responses will remain anonymous and confidential, with survey findings reported only in aggregate. You may SKIP any question you do not wish to answer. The survey should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes to complete. Please reply by June 10.
2020-2021 School Year Calendar / Planning: I am pleased to share that we recently finalized the calendar for 2020-2021. Please see the attached calendar.
As we look to the fall, I want to assure you that we are working closely with leading experts from the Governor’s office, Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Kent County Health Department, City of Grand Rapids, Kent Intermediate Superintendents Association, and others to develop our back to school plans. Our top priority is the safety, health, and well-being of our students, staff, and all visitors entering our schools! It is very likely that the school year will look different - ranging from in-person, online/remote, or a hybrid of the two. Once we have more details, we will be sharing them vwith you and seeking input from our stakeholders.
Social Emotional Support: We recognize that this has been a very difficult time with the COVID-19 pandemic, significant changes to the school year, and recent events happening across our nation in response to racial injustice and inequality. First, I want to be clear that we take great pride in the diversity of our students and staff and will continue to stand up against racism! Second, I want to emphasize that the district is here to support your student’s health and social/emotional well-being. Parent/guardian(s) may call 616-819-2100, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., to access student support services. If support is needed after hours, parents may call 616-351-0002.
In closing, I want you to know what an honor and a privilege it has been for me to serve you as the interim superintendent. I am very excited about our new superintendent, Dr. Leadriane Roby. She has been actively engaged with cabinet and the Board of Education over the last few months and is ready to hit the ground running come July 1. I cannot wait for you to meet her. She is a rockstar!
I hope you have a great summer. Thank you!
Ronald Gorman, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools