The Rapidian

GRPS to hold community meetings for proposed Transformation Plan

Parents, students and the Grand Rapids community are encouraged to attend public meetings to learn, ask questions and voice concerns about the proposed new plan for local schools.
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Attend a meeting regarding the Transformation Plan


  • Thursday, November 8th from 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at Southwest Community Campus (801 Oakland S.W.)

  • Saturday, November 10th from 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m. at Ottawa Hills (2055 Rosewood Ave, SE)

  • Thursday, November 15th from 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at Union (1800 Tremont NW)

  • Friday, November 16th from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. at Franklin Auditorium (1331 Franklin SE)


• Friday, November 16th from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. at Franklin Auditorium


• Wednesday, November 28th We Are GR School Choice Expo 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at City High-Middle


• Monday, November 19th – Presentation of Action Plan Version 2.0 to Grand Rapids Board of Education

• Monday, December 3rd Grand Rapids Board of Education Meeting / Public Hearing on Action Plan 2.0 6:30 p.m. at Franklin Auditorium

• Monday, December 17th Grand Rapids Board of Education Meeting Final Vote 6:30 p.m. at Franklin Auditorium 


Following the release of the proposed Transformation Plan from Grand Rapids Public Schools, the administration is holding a series of parent-student-community meetings to help those affected get informed and ask questions.

"Superintendent Neal will do a brief overview of the Transformation Plan, including how it was developed and what are the key elements and details of the plan. Then there will be structured format for public comment and questions. The presentation should be around 20 minutes and the rest open to public comment," says John Helmholdt, Director of Communications and External Affairs. "I know Superintendent Neal is committed to extending the time of the meeting to ensure every voice is heard and question answered. "

The meetings will be held an additional four times during the first half of November (see the full list of times and locations in the sidebar to the right), and each of the four remaining community meetings is planned to provide the same information to residents in the school district. 

The plan includes the proposed closing of 10 schools and the repurposing of many more, with an intention to reinvest in and strengthen what works and create a more efficient and targeted approach to meeting student needs.

"Certainly some really tough decisions but [we feel it is] necessary to free up funds to reinvest in what is working," says Helmholdt.

"Every child we serve has unlimited potential to learn, and as superintendent, it’s my job to make sure every child in our district has equal access to high quality schools with great principals, great teachers, and a positive culture for teaching and learning," says Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal. "I know we are not there yet, but we are on our way … and it’s time we double down on our efforts."

Neal says she spent the first months in her new position listening.

"I participated in literally hundreds of conversations to ask four questions: what’s working, what’s not, what are barriers to success, and what are solutions for improvement. As I expected, the wisdom we needed was in our community," says Neal.

Neal says the parent-student-community meetings are a continuation of that listening, as the plan at this point is a proposed plan that is still open to change.

"We want to know what you think. As students, parents, staff, and community stakeholders, you are the voice of this district," she says. "The future growth and success of our students, schools and the district is going to take all of us working together to develop and implement the transformation the must happen."


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