GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - The attitude within the Grand Rapids School District is changing, according to Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal in her "State of our Schools" address Saturday. "I've seen it at the best and I've seen it at the worst; right now, probably within the last two years, I'm seeing a lot of people saying, you know what? Way to go Grand Rapids!"
Some changes over the past year include the implementation of school uniforms and consolidation of sports teams. There have also been improvement to school security and academics.
Mayor George Heartwell attended the address at Ottawa Hills High School. "Families are moving into Grand Rapids and putting their kids in the Grand Rapids Public schools because we've got so much; not only great academic options, but a wonderful array of progress they cannot find anywhere else," said Heartwell.
The Superintendent says she is also paying close attention to feedback gathered in community surveys. "They want more themed schools, more neighborhood schools, (and) they want us to focus more on academic achievement and attendance; we're going to continue to push it fast."
Next year will be another balancing act with the budget, she says. "We'll tweak a little bit around the academic plan based on student data and student needs. We're not going to do a huge upset in the district with removing people or adding people...we're going to try to hold it steady for a year."
Still, plans are already being made for 2015 including classes at the Grand Rapids Public Museum for sixth through 12th grade students.