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First day pushed back at GR Montessori Elementary

First day of school postponed due to construction delays, health concerns.

Grand Rapids — Grand Rapids Montessori Elementary will start the school year a few days late due to construction delays and reports of staff members experiencing mild respiratory illness after being in the building.

The elementary won’t open until Monday, Aug. 28 at the earliest, according to a recent statement from Grand Rapids Public Schools.

The delay is due in part to construction delays and supply issues arising from an extensive renovation project to add air conditioning and an upgraded hearing system to the building, at 159 College Ave. NE, Grand Rapids.

Safety was also a factor in the decision to postpone the first day, according to GRPS.

After receiving multiple reports of respiratory issues among personnel, the school district opted to close off the building pending air tests.

GRPS Superintendent Leadriane Roby said the hope was to keep the school on track to open with the rest of the district.

“Our team pushed really hard to keep the first day of school on schedule. We’ve made significant progress and are confident the building would have been ready in time for the start of school,” Roby said in the district’s statement.

The delay applies only to the elementary school; GR Montessori Middle High School, and the rest of GRPS, started the year as planned on Aug. 22.

The school district stated that families will continue to receive updates as they become available.

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Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley
Riley Kelley is a reporter covering Cedar Springs, Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids and Sparta school districts. An award-winning journalist, Riley spent eight years with the Ludington Daily News, reporting, copy editing, paginating and acting as editor for its weekly entertainment section. He also contributed to LDN’s sister publications, Oceana’s Herald-Journal and the White Lake Beacon. His reporting on issues in education and government has earned accolades from the Michigan Press Association and Michigan Associated Press Media Editors. Riley’s early work in journalism included a stint as an on-air news reporter for WMOM Radio, and work on the editorial staff of various student publications. Riley is a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He originally hails from western Washington.


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