Grand Rapids Public Schools superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal will deliver the district's annual State of Our Schools speech on Thursday, May 4.

This is the sixth time Weatherall Neal will give the annual address before members of the community. This year, it comes on the heels of voters approving the Kent County schools millage earlier this week.

"For Grand Rapids, that is $3.4 million. Three and a half million dollars is a lot of money that we can invest in our district with books for children, curriculum, training for staff members," she said. "We are going to focus a lot on recruitment and retention. That is really important for us to continue our Transformation Plan.

"We are going to take those dollars and invest them in the classroom in teaching and learning."

Weatherall Neal credits the Transformation Plan, which was approved and implemented shortly after she took over the district, for helping move GRPS in the right direction. Tonight, she is expected to thank members of the community and those she call stakeholders for continuing to support the district's efforts.

During last year's address, Weatherall Neal reported that attendance, test scores and graduation rates had increased. Since then, enrollment numbers have also gone up, for the first time in a decade.

"From opening schools to creating new partners to some of our grants and working with parents, staff members and community members - it has taken us five years to really get the wind behind us," said Weatherall Neal. "We will talk about that and really go over what we've accomplished in this past year. And then, talk about where we are going."

The State of Our Schools address is from 6 to 7 p.m. this evening at GRPS University. That is located at 1400 Fuller, in Grand Rapids.

It is open to the public and can be viewed online here.

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