Grand Rapids Public Schools are getting a $10 million grant to help create a new public Museum High School in the former Grand Rapids Public Museum building on Jefferson Avenue.
“This is an awesome opportunity for our students,” says Museum School Curriculum Director Kimberly Rowland. “It’s an awesome opportunity for GRPS and for our whole city.”
The XQ Super School Project announced the grant during a live Facebook stream Wednesday afternoon.
XQ is backed by Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs. She says high schools are stuck in the past and are not giving children the education they need.
Her team pledged $10 million to the 10 best proposals to re-imagine secondary school.
“It was an open call to re-think and design the next American high school,” explains Rowland. “Nearly 75 teams from 45 states participated in this competition.”
“And we won. We won,” says GRPS Chief of Staff Larry Johnson. “That’s a good thing.”
The Museum High School will be an extension of the 6th, 7th and soon to be 8th grade classes the district teaches at the Grand Rapids Public Museum on Pearl Street.”
“The opportunity it gives us is just amazing,” says parent Margaret Paige-Monroe. “New ways of learning, new ways of expanding our children’s minds and helping them think outside the box.”
“It gives us new areas to work in and we can explore the museum instead of just sitting in a classroom,” says 7th grader Sophia Almonte. “It’s changed everything. I like it better.”
The $10 million dollar grant from XQ, The Super School Project, will get the district closer to the $15 million dollars they say they need for the new high school.
“Overjoyed,” says Rowland. "Overjoyed.”
“Together we will show the nation what is possible when we dream big and we deliver on those dreams,” Laurene Powell Jobs told the audience watching on Facebook.