Coming Soon: New Online Theme School Application

Grand Rapids Public Schools is in the process of transitioning to a new online theme school application. The new application will allow for better communication with applicants, decrease the amount of paperwork accepted students complete, and allow for improvements and enhancements to the overall application process. 

During the transition, interested families may apply using this form

More information

Applications are required for the following schools:

  • Blandford 
  • C.A. Frost Environmental Science Academy 
  • Center for Economicology @ City
  • City High Middle School
  • Coit Creative Arts Academy 
  • Gerald R. Ford Academic Center 
  • Grand Rapids Montessori 
  • Grand Rapids Public Museum School 
  • Innovation Central High School 
  • North Park Montessori 
  • Early Middle College @ Ottawa Hills
  • Ridgemoor Park Montessori 
  • Sherwood Park Global Studies Academy 
  • Southwest Community Campus 
  • University Prep Academy
  • Zoo School

Visit the "schools" page for more information on these and other school choices. 

Overview of Selection Process

Students are eligible to participate by completing an application and submitting supporting documentation, such as transcripts for grades 10th and up for those applying to a Center of Innovation. Selections are done using a computerized lottery process, one application per student. Selections will depend on space availability in a program. When applying for Prek, please contact the Early Childhood Office at (616) 819-2111 (does not apply for the Montessori programs).

APPLICATION DEADLINES FOR ALL THEME SCHOOLS AND CENTERS OF INNOVATION

Application deadline is January 31, 2018. Selections for all schools will start on February 5, 2018. As the Grand Rapids Public Schools, our obligation first and foremost is to those that live within our boundaries.

Selection process:

  1. GRPS district residents with a sibling currently attending the applied for school (Does not include test-in schools).
  2. GRPS district residents, regardless of the school they are currently attending; non-residents currently attending a GRPS school; and children of GRPS employees, who reside within the GRPS boundaries.
  3. Non-residents with a sibling currently attending the applied for school (Does not include test-in schools); and children of GRPS employees, who are non-residents.
  4. Non-residents with a sibling currently attending any GRPS school.
  5. After groups 1-4 have been selected, if seats remain, up to 15% non-resident students will be selected

WAIT LIST

If there are more applicants than available seats, those students will be placed on a wait list. If additional seats become available after the lottery has been conducted, the seats will be filled from applicants on the wait list.

  • Students who are selected will receive notification by mail.
  • Students who are not selected are placed on a wait list, notification will be sent by mail.

TRANSPORTATION

Transportation is provided only within the District theme school guidelines for every eligible child attending a theme school (see transportation policy).

Selection Criteria for Test-In Schools

City High Middle School

GRADE 7-9 SELECTION REQUIREMENTS

  • Selection is based on number of sections offered, anticipated class size, and building capacity.
  • As the Grand Rapids Public Schools, our obligation first and foremost is to those that live within our boundaries. Therefore, we are changing our process, effective immediately, to accept students for all theme schools and Centers of Innovation in this order: 1. GRPS district residents with a sibling currently attending the applied for school (not including test-in schools). 2. GRPS district residents, regardless of the school they are currently attending; non-residents currently attending a GRPS school; and children of GRPS employees, who reside within the GRPS boundaries. 3. Non-residents with a sibling currently attending the applied for school (not including test-in schools); and children of GRPS employees, who are non-residents. 4. Non-residents with a sibling currently attending any GRPS school. 5. After groups 1-4 have been selected, if seats remain, up to 15% non-resident students will be selected.
  • Qualifying math and reading test scores are used for selection. A random number is given to all applicants and will be used if there is a tie.
  • Selection is done ‘blind’ – no student name is used; special education students and students receiving language support are included in all phases. Students with IEPs or students receiving special education programs or services, if selected, are reviewed by the special education staff to ensure IEP services are provided at this location.

ROUND ONE SELECTION CRITERIA FOR CITY HIGH MIDDLE

All students with a qualifying score will be placed in a pool and randomly selected for an available slot. Selections will be ongoing until all slots have been filled. Selection is based on a combination of qualifying scores of 50 NP or higher in both reading and math. A score of less than 50 National Percentile in either test will not qualify.

ROUND TWO SELECTION CRITERIA FOR CITY HIGH MIDDLE

All students with a qualifying score will be placed in a pool and randomly selected for an available slot. Students who were not selected in round one based on their MAP math and reading scores are considered in the round two Selection process. Selections will be ongoing until all slots have been filled. Selection is based on a combination of qualifying scores of 50 NP or higher in both reading and math. A score of less than 50 NP in either test will not qualify. Other nationally normed reference tests such as Discovery, IOWA, PSAT and SAT, Stanford, Explore, PLAN, ACT, etc. may be used in this round of selections. The 85% Grand Rapids residents, 15% non-Grand Rapids residents rule does not apply once selection moves to round two. NOTE: Only the math and reading test scores relevant for the grade to which the student is applying will be considered. (Example: Submit 7th grade scores for 8th grade selection)

IF ALL SLOTS ARE FILLED 

The remaining eligible applications will be placed on a wait list by school, by grade, and by qualifying test scores. Students with the same test scores are sorted by application date and random number.

NOTIFICATION
 

  • Students who are selected will receive notification by mail within a week.
  • Students who do not meet selection requirements are notified by mail of ineligibility within a week. Ineligible students may appeal to the Appeal Committee. Parents will be asked to submit documentation such as more recent test scores and/or extenuating circumstances that effected eligibility.

GRADES 10-12 SELECTION REQUIREMENTS

  • Students must have successfully completed the appropriate levels of English and social studies for each City grade level. Non-GRPS students must submit high school transcripts as part of their application.
  • Incoming 10th grade students may begin math sequence with geometry.
  • Incoming 10th-12th grade students must have completed grade level Spanish or Chinese in order to complete requirement of four years of the same world language by 12th grade. Students at City must take the same world language for the entire length of their enrollment.
  • Incoming students must have completed expected science classes required for the grade level. Biology, chemistry and physics requirements must be completed by 11th grade.
  • Only students coming from an IB Diploma Programme in 11th grade will be considered for entrance into 12th grade. Selection will be based on course alignment, etc.
  • Transcripts are required for grades 10th and up. submit with application (non-GRPS students only).

SECOND SEMESTER SELECTION

  • Selections may occur by November 1 for enrollment at second semester if there is capacity at grade level and no master schedule changes are required. Eligible students awaiting selection will be taken from the wait list by school, by grade, by qualifying test scores  as describe above.
  • City High Middle 7th-10th grade: Students are required to join the grade level math, science and language courses currently in progress per IB requirements; documentation will need to be provided.

11TH & 12TH GRADE SECOND SEMESTER SELECTION

  • Once school has begun, only students with IB Programme experience will be considered  for 11th and 12th grade selection.
  • Selections of eligible students due to extenuating circumstances, as defined by the district, may be considered on a case by case basis subject to approval by the Superintendent.

NWEA (MAP) TESTING DATES

GRPS will be offering the following NWEA (MAP) testing dates:

  • Thursday, December 7, 2017
  • Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Thursday, January 11, 2018
  • Thursday, January 25, 2018

All testing will take place at GR University, located at 1400 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI, from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Please contact the Student Services Department at (616) 819-2150 if  you need to register for this test. For additional information regarding NWEA (MAP) visit www.nwea.org.

SUBMITTING TEST SCORES

Students applying to City High Middle School who are NOT current GRPS students but have taken the MAP test at their current school are required to submit test scores with their application. Scores can be submitted in the following ways:

  • Email to: enrollment@grps.org
  • Mail to or hand deliver to: Community & Student Services, 1331 Franklin St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
  • Fax to: (616) 819-2017 (Attn: Community & Student Services)

STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT ELIGIBLE BASED ON ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS ARE NOTIFIED OF INELIGIBILITY, AND ARE PROVIDED THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAL WITH NEW SCORES (FROM SPRING NWEA AND/OR OTHER NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED TESTS).

​Blandford School, Zoo School, and Center for Economicology

SELECTION REQUIREMENTS

  • Selection is based on openings - 60 openings at each school
  • Students must re-apply and re-qualify for (7th grade) at City.
  • As the Grand Rapids Public Schools, our obligation first and foremost is to those that live within our boundaries. Therefore, we are changing our process, effective immediately, to accept students for all theme schools and Centers of Innovation in this order: 1. GRPS district residents with a sibling currently attending the applied for school (not including test-in schools). 2. GRPS district residents, regardless of the school they are currently attending; non-residents currently attending a GRPS school; and children of GRPS employees, who reside within the GRPS boundaries. 3. Non-residents with a sibling currently attending the applied for school (not including test-in schools); and children of GRPS employees, who are non-residents. 4. Non-residents with a sibling currently attending any GRPS school. 5. After groups 1-4 have been selected, if seats remain, up to 15% nonresident students will be selected.
  • Qualifying math and reading test scores are used for selection. A random number is given to all applicants and will be used for selection.
  • Selection is done ‘blind’ – no student name is used; special education students and students receiving language support are included in all phases. Categorical special education students, if selected, are reviewed by the special education staff to ensure IEP services are provided at this location.

ROUND ONE SELECTION CRITERIA FOR BLANDFORD SCHOOL, CENTER OF ECONOMICOLOGY, AND ZOO SCHOOL

All students with a qualifying score will be placed in a pool and randomly selected for an available slot. Selections will be ongoing until all slots have been filled. Selection is based on a combination of qualifying scores of 50 NP or higher in both reading and math. A score of less than 50 National Percentile in either test will not qualify.

ROUND TWO SELECTION CRITERIA FOR BLANDFORD SCHOOL, CENTER OF ECONOMICOLOGY, AND ZOO SCHOOL

All students with a qualifying score will be placed in a pool and randomly selected for an available slot. Students who were not selected in round one based on their MAP math and reading scores are considered in the round two Selection process. Selections will be ongoing until all slots have been filled. Selection is based on a combination of qualifying scores of 50 NP or higher in both reading and math. A score of less than 50 NP in either test will not qualify. Other nationally normed reference tests such as Discovery, IOWA, PSAT and SAT, Stanford, Explore, PLAN, ACT, etc. may be used in this round of selections. The 85% Grand Rapids residents, 15% nonGrand Rapids residents rule does not apply once selection moves to round two. NOTE: Only the math and reading test scores relevant for the grade to which the student is applying will be considered. (Example: Submit 6th grade scores for 7th grade selection)

IF ALL SLOTS ARE FILLED

The remaining eligible applications will be placed on a wait list by school, by grade, and by qualifying test scores. Students with the same test scores are sorted by application date and random number.

NOTIFICATION
 

  • Students who are selected will receive notification by mail within a week.
  • Students who do not meet selection requirements are notified by mail of ineligibility within a week. Ineligible students may appeal ineligibility to the Appeal Committee. Parents will be asked to submit documentation such as more recent test scores and/or extenuating circumstances that affect eligibility.

SECOND SEMESTER SELECTION

  • Selections may occur by November 1 for enrollment at second semester if there is capacity at grade level and no master schedule changes are required. Eligible students awaiting selection will be taken from the wait list by school, by grade, by qualifying test scores as described above.
  • Selections of eligible students due to extenuating circumstances, as defined by the district, may be considered on a case by case basis subject to approval by the Superintendent.

NWEA (MAP) TESTING DATES

GRPS will be offering the following NWEA (MAP) testing dates (No additional test dates will be offered):

  • Thursday, December 7, 2017
  • Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Thursday, January 11, 2018
  • Thursday, January 25, 2018

All testing will take place at GR University, located at 1400 Fuller Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI, from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. Please contact  the Student Services Department at  (616) 819-2150 if you need to register for this test. For additional information regarding NWEA (MAP) visit www.nwea.org.

SUBMITTING TEST SCORES

Students applying to Blandford School, Zoo School, or Center for Economicology who are NOT current GRPS students but have taken the MAP test at their current school are required to submit test scores with their application. Scores can be submitted in the following ways:

  • Email to: enrollment@grps.org
  • Mail to or hand deliver to: Community & Student Services, 1331 Franklin St SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49501
  • Fax to: (616) 819-2017 (Attn: Community & Student Services)

STUDENTS WHO ARE NOT ELIGIBLE BASED ON ALL OF THE REQUIREMENTS ARE NOTIFIED OF INELIGIBILITY, AND ARE PROVIDED THE OPPORTUNITY TO APPEAL WITH NEW SCORES (FROM SPRING NWEA AND/OR OTHER NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED TESTS).

Selection Process for Select Schools

SOUTHWEST COMMUNITY CAMPUS

Procedures for accepting students at Southwest Community Campus our dual immersion program after the 1st grade:

2ND GRADE

Students need to be bilingual

3RD-8TH GRADE

  • Parent meets with the Principal to go over Dual Program, which include the SWCC Facts sheet.
  • If the parent states their student is not Bilingual and Biliterate, then they would be advised that our Dual Immersion Program  would not be the best placement for their student. We always give parents other GRPS options.
  • If the parent states their students are Bilingual and Biliterate, then according to their grade level we have students read a script and they are assessed on their reading comprehension. Scripts dependent on age can be taken right from our Spanish Reading Street.

EARLY MIDDLE COLLEGE PROGRAM AT OTTAWA HILLS HIGH SCHOOL

Grand Rapids Public Schools is providing a collaborative project between Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS) and Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) as a school-within-a-school five year entity offering students attending Ottawa Hills High School the opportunity to experience the best of high school and college simultaneously. The project will allow students to complete the requirements for a high school diploma by completing a rigorous college preparatory course of study while gaining valuable college readiness skills, and earning up to sixty transferable college credits towards their undergraduate degree and/or an Associate Degree program from Grand Rapids Community College FREE OF CHARGE. This opportunity provides each Ottawa Hills High School student enrolled in the Early Middle College Program a free “jump start” on their four (4) year college education, or completion  of an Associate’s degree, or a certificated program of study. The program enrollment is limited to 50 high school sophomores in the Fall of 2017.

The Early Middle College at Ottawa Hills High School is a unique program that will eventually be comprised of Sophomores (grade 10), Junior (grade 11), Seniors (grade 12) , and 5th year (grade 13) students who are maturing, self-motivated, and demonstrate a readiness to learn in a college setting. The Early Middle College students are offered an academically challenging environment providing an opportunity for students to exhibit their best academic work. Enrolled students will have full access to GRCC’s onsite and/or online range of student support offerings and opportunities, and will be able to be involved in all aspects Ottawa Hills High School life, including opportunities for leadership, honor society, student government and fine and performing arts. The program of study traditionally will lead students toward acquiring a liberal arts degree, but will work towards assisting each student in working towards their individual area of interest.
After grade 13, students have the opportunity to acquire a high school diploma and an associate’s degree from college free of charge.

Grade 10 only.

SELECTION REQUIREMENTS

  • Selection is based on cohorts of 25 students. There will be a maximum of two cohorts (50 students) in the first year.
  • Students and parents must agree to completing the program through “year 13”
  • As the Grand Rapids Public Schools, our obligation first and foremost is to those that live within our boundaries.
  • Students must have a minimum of 2.5 Grade Point Average at the end of first semester 9th grade year.
  • Students must also take the Accu-placer, facilitated by Grand Rapids Community College to assist predicting college readiness  and success

NOTIFICATION

  • All students with a qualifying score will be placed in a pool and randomly selected for an available slot. Selection will begin March 12, 2018 to allow for acquisition of college faculty and scheduling.
  • Students and parents will be notified by mail within a week of being chosen
  • Students not chosen, and who do not meet selection requirements are notified by mail of ineligibility within a week.

ACADEMY OF TEACHING AND LEARNING AT INNOVATION CENTRAL

Accepting applications for 9th grade only (limited to 25 students/cohort) In partnership with Ferris State University College of Education, students will explore and prepare for a career in education through mentoring with Master teachers, real life experience in classrooms, Ferris education courses for college credit, and professional preparation for the field. Successful program graduates will be offered admittance to Ferris to complete a bachelor’s degree and teaching certificate. These graduates will also be first in line for hiring in Grand Rapids Public Schools with tuition reimbursement available. This is a first of its kind “grow our own” teacher development program.