Frequently Asked Questions about the Center for Economicology

Here are some frequently asked questions about the Center for Economicology. If you have a question that you do not see answered on our website, please contact us.


Q. Where & when can I get the application for my fifth grader to attend the Center for Economicology?

A. Beginning in the end of November each year, a link to the application for the Center for Economicology is available at Applications can be completed online, or paper copies can be picked up at the Center for Economicology, the Grand Rapids Public Schools Administration Building, and any Grand Rapids Public School.

Completed applications, along with all required documents, must be received by deadline posted on applicationto be considered for the first round of selections.

Q. We live in the city of Grand Rapids, but my child is not currently attending Grand Rapids Public Schools. Can they still attend the Center for Economicology for 6th grade?

A. Yes! Any fifth grade student who wants to attend the Center for Economicology is welcome to apply.

Q. My child would like to apply for the Center for Economicology as their first choice, and another GRPS school as their 2nd and 3rd choices. Do we need to turn in one application for each school?

A. Please turn in only one completed application. You can indicate your child's first and second choice on the top of page two. All applications for Blandford, Zoo, and the Center for Economicology are reviewed by the same Selection Committee. Submitting two applications (one for each school) does not increase your chances of being selected.

Q. Is busing available?

A. Yes, busing is available for all Center for Economicology students who live in the city of Grand Rapids.

Q. How can parents help their children succeed at the Center for Economicology?

A. Before your child enrolls at the Center for Economicology, parents can help prepare their children for an unforgettable Sixth Grade year there by encouraging independent reading and by working on basic math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) with them on a regular basis. Parents can also sign their fifth grader up for GRASP (Grand Rapids Academic Summer Program), a correspondence program that requires about one hour a week per subject (Math and Reading are the available subjects, and parents can sign up for one or both). There are also summer reading programs at the local libraries that help challenge students during the summer months. The GRASP Enrollment Form can be downloaded from our INFO page. Prospective parents should turn their GRASP enrollment form directly to the GRASP Office.

You can apply math concepts by having your child help you measure ingredients when you cook (have them try to double or halve a recipe), or use a measuring tape to measure windows and objects in your home. Talk about the measurements, and ask questions about what they are learning.

After your child is accepted, they will still need your help in a number of ways.

Parents can help students by setting aside a place for homework that is quiet, well-lit, and free from distractions.

Students might need their parents to take them to the library occasionally for research, or to help them collect leaves for a leaf collection.

Parents can help their student to succeed by encouraging them to do their best, and not allowing them to give up or quit. Parents can also support their child by demonstrating an interest in their education. Many students find it helpful if their parent checks their student planner several times a week so that you can know what assignments they should be working on at home.

Q. How much homework should we expect?

A. Students can expect to have homework every day (and weekends, too). Students who focus and work hard can usually expect approximately one hour of homework each night.

Procrastination is a big factor that often makes homework seem far worse than it actually is. Sometimes our students are given two or three weeks to do an assignment or project, and wait until the night before it is due to begin. If they have homework assigned in the other class that day, their procrastination could cause them to work on homework from the time they get off the bus until the time they have to go to bed, and could lead to unnecessary and preventable stress, anxiety, and frustration.

We provide planners to our students free of charge to help them learn time management skills, planning stills, and organization. Assignments are posted on the board in both classes and students are given time to copy them into their planners. The planners are for the benefit of the students, and to keep parents informed of assignments and projects. We encourage parents to check their child's planner frequently.

Thorough directions are given in class, and time is given for the students to seek clarification if they did not understand a part of the directions. Students are expected to pay attention and listen carefully when directions are given, and ask questions if they do not understand.

We take homework and due dates seriously. Students are directed to call a parent/guardian if they have repeatedly missed due dates so that parents/guardians know their child is turning homework in late, incomplete, or not turning homework in at all.

For students who need ideas & suggestions about how to get organized, a parent of a former student recommends a short, funny book entitled, "Get Organized Without Losing It."


Q. What kind of supplies should my child have?
A.  The following are suggestions and are not mandatory:
- 3 ring notebook with subject dividers
- #2 pencils
- black or blue ink pens (not the erasable kind)
- white out correction tape or fluid
- a ruler
- a compass for drawing circles
- a wrist watch with a second hand
- graph paper
- 3x5 index note cards (about 100) & 2 book rings to keep them in order.
- 2 or 3 packages of lined notebook paper (can be wide-ruled or college-ruled based on the student's handwriting preference).
- a calculator (basic functions, doesn't have to be scientific or expensive).

- colored pencils
- colored markers
- scissors
- glue, glue stick, tape, or rubber cement

Q. What kind of clothing should my child have if they attend the Center for Economicology?
A. Recommended Clothing List

Because many of our activities are environmental (and therefore outdoors), we would like the students to be prepared to go outdoors every day in all weather conditions. We recommend the following clothing items to help keep your child warm and comfortable.

- hooded sweatshirts (good for layering in the fall & spring)
- warm outdoor clothing (for fall & winter)
- rain gear (durable and light weight for fall)
- waterproof gloves
- waterproof winter boots
- comfortable walking shoes (no canvas type tennis shoes in the winter)
- old clothing (for outdoor activities)
- warm socks (students can keep a spare pair in a Ziploc bag in their backpack and change socks if the pair they have on gets wet).

Q. Are Center for Economicology Students outside a lot?
A. YES! Because we are an environmental program, students should be prepared to go outdoors every day, in all weather conditions.

We recommend layers of clothing in the fall and spring to keep students warm and comfortable in the unpredictable weather.

Please check the clothing supply list.

Q. Is there a school lunch program?
A. Yes, the Center for Economicology has a School Breakfast and Lunch Program which is currently free for all students.

Q. Does the Center for Economicology have a PTA, PTSA, or PTO?

A. The Center for Economicology has a PTSA that formed in Winter 2010. Even before our PTSA was established, we have always had a very strong group of involved parents each year. At the beginning of the school year, we give parents a list of the main volunteer opportunities and ask parents to let us know which projects, programs, events, and activities they might be interested in doing.

Parents who indicate an interest are in no way obligated to help when those events arise, however, their indicated interest helps us know where to begin making phone calls when we need help, instead of randomly calling parents.

Some of the areas listed on the Parent Volunteer Form are: Perennial Garden, Library Research, Recess and Lunch supervision, Fundraiser Distribution, Box Tops For Education, Family Picnic, Pop Can Organizer, Chaperone Field Trips and Field Studies and Miscellaneous Classroom Help.

Q. Do Center for Economicology students go on any camping trips?

A. Yes, we go 2 camping trips, a Fall Camp and a Spring Camp.  Our camping trips are a mandatory and crucial part of our curriculum and serve as formative experiences for our 6th Graders!

The different things they learn and do at Camp are hands-on, and could not be learned by sending a book home!  Camp is often regarded as unforgettable and is a  highlight of the year!