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School Spotlight


SmartArt 2019


Here in West Michigan, art and renewable energy have more in common than you might think. So, today, we’re talking about the SmartArt competition. Here to tell us more is Lauren Youngdahl Snyder from Consumers Energy, and Maggie Malone from Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Ten Grand Rapids Public Schools students have been selected from a record number of entries in an annual art competition focused on energy-related subjects. The artwork will be on display this fall during Project 1 by ArtPrize through collaboration with the district and Consumers Energy.

On Sept. 7 at Rosa Parks Circle Consumers Energy will be announcing their SmartArt (GRPS students) winner.

Check out the full video on WoodTV 8!


City High Middle School Ranked 4th in State on 2019 SAT 

Magnet schools in Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw and Kent counties top the list of public high schools with the highest average SAT scores in 2019, according to data released last week by the Michigan Department of Education. 

See how City High Middle ranks as #4 in the state!

Governor Whitmer makes appointments to MI-STEM Council

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Friday announced appointments to the Michigan Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (MI-STEM) Education Advisory Council, and GRPS's own Wendy Winston was selected! 

Wendy A. Winston, of Grand Rapids, is a middle and high school math teacher at Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education in Mathematics from Western Michigan University. Mrs. Winston is appointed to represent K-12 and postsecondary educational institutions involved with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics career preparation or education, for a term commencing October 1, 2019 and expiring September 30, 2021.

Congratulations Wendy! Find out the other appointees here.


Celebrate Summer, Welcome Fall, and Experience Eastown at the 46th Annual Eastown Streetfair!

The Eastown Community and Eastown Business Association are hosting the 46th Annual Eastown Streetfair presented by Mobile GR and Parking Services on Saturday, September 7, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. This outdoor festival will take place along Wealthy Street between Giddings Avenue and Lake Drive and the first block of Ethel Avenue.

Join the Eastown community for an all-day, family-friendly celebration of arts, crafts, food, music, and the Eastown neighborhood. The 46th edition of Streetfair features over 100 booths featuring some of Michigan’s finest food, artists, makers, and community organizations—all free! The Eastown Business Association will be hosting a special kid’s activities area along with some kid-specific vendors onsite!

The Eastown Community Association and the Eastown Business Association invite residents and visitors to celebrate the end of summer and welcome fall at this highly anticipated event. This event is free and open to the public. For more information check out their Facebook page! 

Family Paddle Night

Join us Friday, September 6th for Family Paddle Night: A Kayaking Experience at Riverside Park! Bring your friends and family for a night of kayaking, beer, s'mores, food trucks and games! Event highlights: Check out the event on Facebook!

Back to School Relaxer at Joe Taylor Park

Join us for our end of summer celebration and picnic at Joe Taylor Park! Free admission and activities. We'll provide free hot dogs and hamburgers, you bring your family and friends! 

Activities include DJ, yard games, GRPS Cop Car Karaoke, GRFD fire trucks, football, and more!

Stick around for a special showing of Black Panther at dusk!

Explore Ken-O-Sha Park!

Exciting improvements are coming to Ken-O-Sha Park! Grand Rapids Parks & Recreation Department needs your input from you and your kids! Join us for an afternoon in the park with games and free food to share your vision for Ken-O-Sha Park. Together, let’s create a space for children and nature to thrive.
11 AM - 1 PM Rain or shine!
Saturday, September 14
Ken-O-Sha Park & Elementary 
1353 Van Auken St SE

Can’t make it, but want to share your ideas on how to
improve Ken-O-Sha Park? Online survey at, search “Ken-O-Sha”

Spots available for Creative Youth Center's Afterschool Programming

The Grand Rapids Creative Youth Center (CYC) is ready for another year of explosive ideas! Our program year begins with a 6 week session starting September 23 and runs through November 4. Priority will be given to returning students and students who attend Grand Rapids Public Schools. There are a few spots left, so apply today!
  • 1st-2nd grade = Wednesdays 4-6
    • 2 spots in Book Club
    • 8 spots in Creative Writing
  • 3rd-5th grade = Mondays 4-6
    • FULL 
  • Middle School (6-8th grade) = Wednesdays 4-5:30
    • 8 spots left 
  • High School (9-12th grade) = Wednesdays 6:15-7:45
    • 7 spots left 
At the CYC, kids become published authors, leading to a strong sense of identity and an enthusiasm for learning. Our programs are free for all students attending Grand Rapids Public Schools or living in Grand Rapids.

If you are interested in learning more about how to enroll or have questions about programming, send Kait an email at  

Mayor Bliss is Looking for High School Students to Join the Mayor’s Youth Council

Mayor’s Youth Council (MYC) program provides youth leadership and civic engagement activities to GRPS high school students who reside in the city of Grand Rapids. Council members are diverse in the schools they attend and in the social and political points-of-view they hold.      

What makes the MYC unique and rewarding for its participants is the monthly meetings with the mayor in which they discuss the issues of the day as well as agenda items that come before the City Commission. In addition, members of the MYC also participate in community service projects and plan the annual KidSpeak youth forum that takes place in the spring.   

Applications for the 2019- 2020 MYC are due on September 20th.

The MYC is managed by Our Community’s Children (OCC), a public/private partnership between the City of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Public Schools, and community partners. For more information, please contact OCC Program Coordinator Shannon L. Harris at (616) 456-3558 or

Back to School Night at City Built Brewing Company

City Built Brewing Company (820 Monroe Ave NW #155) is celebrating the new school year and donating a portion of all sales to the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation on September 25, 2019, from 6-9 pm!


Thank you! 

This year, Dr. Tim Conroy, and a great staff of health professionals, once again provided our middle school student-athletes and their families the opportunity to get low-cost athletic physicals to participate during the 19-20 school year. Over 250 student-athletes received physicals over the course of two nights. This year, we were able to have 5 to 6 doctors each night, which helped to decrease the wait time for our families.

We would like to thank the administration from Alger and U Prep for allowing us to use their facilities. Middle school athletic directors were instrumental by volunteering for the physical nights as well. Thank you to Pat Charity (Alger), Lanita Hobson (Burton), Ed Drosky (City), Kellie Kieren (North Park), Katey Cook (CA Frost), Teresa Green (Westwood), Tendai Reed (Riverside), Donald Zomer (SWCC), Jolinda Lucas (Museum, U Prep, GR Montessori), Rojeana Calvert (Harrison), and James Peacock III (MLK). 

Thank you to the following health professionals for their time and effort in helping to make this so helpful: 
  • Dr. Tim Conroy - Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
  • Kara Pearce - GRPS Nurse
  • Jennifer Lundgren - GRPS Nurse
  • Jenna Buchman - Physician Assistant
  • Dr. Daniel Beutler - Metro Sports Medicine
  • Dr. Caesy Yarling - Metro Sports Medicine
  • Karen VanderLaan - DeVos Pediatrics
  • Dr. Jeri Kessenich - Devos Children's Hospital
  • Sophia Gwasdacus, Alexis Bozek, Sarah Gillis, Natalie Carlson - Aquinas Nursing Students
  • Becky Nauta Ph.D. - Detroit Mercy Nursing Professor at Aquinas College
  • Suzanne Keep, Ph.D. - Director of Prelicensure Program Detroit Mercy Nursing at Aquinas College
  • Dr. Elizabeth Luce

Turkey Trot 2019

Help kick off the school year by registering for the 27th Annual Grand Rapids Turkey Trot! Proceeds from this family-friendly 5K run/walk support GRPS K-12 Student Athletics.
Use code:  BTS19 for $5 off your registration!
For more information and to register, visit:
Click here for all of our news from the week.

Foundation Link

Some of our best years are spent in high school. And for most of us, we look back at that time and feel a deep connection not only to those we grew up with, but also the school we attended. From sports to classrooms the Grand Rapids Student Advancement Foundation is excited to connect with GRPS alumni to help build a stronger GRPS for all students.

Take time today, to visit and let us know who you are. #GRPSAlumni

School Spotlight

Buchanan Elementary

Thank you to VanDyken Mechanical, Consumers Energy, DTE Energy for coming out to Buchanan Elementary today to present this rebate check! Interim Superintendent Gorman, Principal Evelyn Ortiz, and students from Buchanan Elementary were very excited to receive this gift.

A rebate for $32,780.07 was provided by Consumers Energy and DTE Energy because of green building and energy efficiency. Thanks to the taxpayers and voters of GR! Not only did this bond project result in a rebate check to be reinvested in our schools and classrooms, it will also save taxpayer dollars due to the reduced energy costs in the long run.


Click here for the full GRPS event calendar. Have an event to share? Add it with our event submission form.
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