851 Madison Ave SE
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49507
Phone: 616-819-2640
Fax: 616-819-2660

Breakfast 8:50 a.m.
Start Time 9:10 a.m. 
Dismissal 4:06 p.m.
Half Day Dismissal 12:20 p.m.

The Kent ISD COVID-19 School Dashboard provides parents, educators and the general public transparency on school-associated COVID-19 cases in local public and nonpublic schools throughout Kent County. Numbers are updated daily through a partnership with the Kent County Health Department. 

 View COVID-19 cases by school district on the Kent ISD School Dashboard.


Gerald R. Ford Academic Center offers a college-focused culture where students embrace the idea that college is important and prepare for this goal by building habits of excellent scholarship and leadership. Gerald R. Ford Academic Center, built in 2007 as a state-of-the-art 21st Century learning school, is located between the Madison Area and Southeast Community Association neighborhoods on Grand Rapids southeast side.

Consider Gerald R. Ford for your child if:

  • You are seeking highly qualified and dedicated teachers who believe in your child’s potential to learn and achieve.
  • You want your child to learn in a college-going culture of high expectations
  • You want your child to learn in small classes that foster civic and community leadership, develop character and integrity, and participate in service-learning projects.
  • You value the stability and consistency of a preschool-to-grade-8 community.
  • You want a Spanish language requirement.
  • You are willing to sign a contract and fulfill parent/guardian expectations.


Gerald R. Ford is proud to offer:

  • English as a Second Language (ESL) services
  • Ford’s partnership with Kent School Services Network makes it a “community school” that provides eligible parents and students with access to in-house health and social services to ensure that children are physically, emotionally and socially prepared to learn
  • Believe 2 Become
  • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
  • Grand Valley State University


Ford has shown a commitment to ensuring students experience an engaging curriculum and high achievement. Staff work with each student to identify their needs and help them take their learning to the next level. As a result, 93% of parents feel their child is challenged at school.


The teachers at Ford are committed to student success. They go above and beyond to ensure that student’s needs are met, that parents are involved in their child’s education and that students have a positive experience. In a recent survey, 100% of parents said they feel comfortable talking with their child’s teachers.


Parents are their child’s first teacher and Ford recognizes how important it is for parents to be an active part of their child’s education. 100% of parents said they have regular opportunities to be involved at Ford. Parents are welcomed as volunteers, at family nights, and in their child’s classroom.


A recent survey showed that 93% of students feel safe at Ford. Students participate in a program known as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS). Students are recognized for making good choices and showing positive behavior. The number of students being recognized for good behavior at monthly PBIS celebrations has consistently increased, while referrals to the office for behavior issues have steadily decreased.


Denishea Neal resized

Denishea Killingham Neal

Kimberly Ashton
Head Secretary

Bridget Cheney
Executive Director of Early Childhood, Elementary and K8 Instructional Support and District Philanthropic Liaison