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GRPS specialty schools offer lots of choices, but time to apply is now

Application deadline pushed back to Feb. 8 for Theme Schools, Centers of Innovation


Grand Rapids Public Schools is taking applications for close to two dozen specialty schools for the 2019-20 school year. But note to interested parents and students:  don’t delay – the application deadline is Friday, Feb. 8. The deadline was moved back due to the snowstorm that closed schools this week.

In addition to traditional neighborhood schools, GRPS offers two types of specialty schools requiring applications:

  • Theme Schools, which deliver the core curriculum through a particular focus, such as environmentalism, arts and music, and the Montessori Method. These include some schools requiring academic qualifications, such as City High/Middle School and Blandford and Zoo schools for sixth-graders.
  • Centers of Innovation, which are public-private partnerships offering specialized career skills, college or trade school credits, and ample opportunities for job shadowing and professional mentoring. (See list below for specific schools.)

Parents and students came to City High/Middle School for the annual School Choice Expo and Family Winter Carnival

Interested parents and students were able to meet principals and pick up information last week at the annual School Choice Expo and Family Winter Carnival held at City High/Middle. The event was rescheduled from the previous week due to an ice storm.

Openings are limited, but district residents have first priority for admission by lottery, with some seats available for non-residents. To apply online, go to apply.grps.org. Paper applications in both English and Spanish are available at any GRPS school or at the Administration Building, 1331 Franklin St. SE.

Theme Schools:

  • Blandford School (6th grade only, test-in)
  • C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy (PK-12)
  • City Middle High School (7-12, test-in)
  • Center for Economicology (6th grade only, test-in)
  • Coit Creative Arts Academy (PK-5)
  • Gerald R. Ford Academic Center (PK-8, admissions criteria)
  • Grand Rapids Montessori Academy (PK-12)
  • North Park Montessori Academy (PK-8)
  • Early Middle College @ Ottawa Hills (9th and 10th grade, growing to 9-13)
  • Ridgemoor Park Montessori Academy (PK-6)
  • Sherwood Park Global Studies Academy (K-8)
  • Southwest Community Campus Spanish-English Immersion (PK-8, admissions criteria)
  • Zoo School (6th grade only, test-in)

Centers of Innovation:

  • Academy of Business, Leadership, and Entrepreneurship @ Innovation Central (9-12)
  • Academy of Design and Construction @ Innovation Central (9-12)
  • Academy of Hospitality and Tourism @ Ottawa Hills (9th grade, growing a grade per year to be 9-12)
  • Academy of Health, Sciences, and Technology @ Innovation Central (9-12)
  • Academy of Modern Engineering @ Innovation Central (9-12)
  • Academy of Teaching and Learning @ Innovation Central (9th & 10th, growing grade/year to be 9-12)
  • Grand Rapids Public Museum School (6-9, growing one grade per year to become 6-12)
  • Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy (6-12)

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Charles Honey
Charles Honey
Charles Honey is editor-in-chief of SNN, and covers Rockford and Grand Rapids. As a reporter for The Grand Rapids Press/mLive from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years and its columnist for 20. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today, Religion News Service and Faith & Leadership magazine. Read Charles' full bio or email Charles.

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