Arts & Entertainment and Education

GRPS school wins national $10M prize

September 23, 2016
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Grand Rapids Public Museum School students
Students at the Grand Rapids Public Museum School examine "an artifact" to compare it with a modern version and "predict a futuristic version." Photo via

A high school planned for downtown has been awarded a national $10-million grant to fund the renovation of its future home.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum High School was chosen from a pool of 700 applicants as one of 10 XQ Super Schools.

The $10-million grant from XQ: The Super School Project will be used to renovate the former Grand Rapids Public Museum building, at 54 Jefferson Ave. SE, which will house the Grand Rapid Public Schools, or GRPS, high school.

XQ Super School

Applicants for the XQ Super School grant underwent an 11-month application and evaluation process by XQ.

The 10 winning schools were chosen to serve as new models for re-making the high school education experience.

Each school was awarded $10 million, to be distributed over the next five years to fund school renovations, as well as facility and technology updates.

Museum schools

Grand Rapids Public Museum High School will focus on crafting a learning environment that leverages cultural artifacts, local impact projects and museum studies through place based and design-thinking education.

The existing Grand Rapids Public Museum School, which is a middle school, is a member of GRPS and works with several local business and partners to shape curriculum: Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Valley State University, Kendall College of Art and Design, City of Grand Rapids, and Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.

The middle school, a GRPS Center of Innovation, is currently based out of the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s downtown location, at 272 Pearl St. NW.

GRPS Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal said the museum school project exemplifies the GRPS Transformation Plan.

She added the XQ grant “gives much-deserved national attention to our innovative, collaborative efforts to provide high quality public school choices.”

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