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A WGVU initiative in partnership with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation using on-air programs and community events to explore issues of inclusion and equity.

Student achievement and equity are the must-haves for the next superintendent of GRPS

In the last month, Kent County ISD gathered feedback from nearly 700 community members to find out what the most desired characteristics for the new superintendent of Grand Rapids Public Schools. The report was presented to the Grand Rapids Board of Education on Tuesday. 

“Holding people accountable is us being involved in the entire process, being very hands on, listening to the key stake holders at the table, listening to special education parents and teachers, listening to some of those minority groups which are actually the majority group when it comes to GRPS.” 

That is Kristian Grant, member of the Grand Rapids Board of Education, and a parent of a student in the district.  

A focus on equity and student achievement were the top-rated characteristics by community members for the new superintendent stated wanting have someone who is bilingual in Spanish and English, according to the community input report. 

Grant says she is committing to addressing equitable access in schools through the new hire. 

“To make sure that people are having equity around resources and the experience that they are having among the schools.” 

Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal has been with the district since 2012, and she will be retiring July of next year. The board has not yet decided if they will be hiring a firm to take charge of the search, or if the position will be open to internal and external candidates. 

Michelle Jokisch Polo, WGVU News. 

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