Frequently Asked Questions
Will students at the Public Museum School be able to participate in athletics?
Yes, students will be able to participate in athletics. At the middle school level, students will compete on Public Museum School teams against other GRPS middle school teams. In the event that there are not enough students to form a Public Museum School team, those students will be partnered with another middle school’s team.
At the high school level, students will not form Public Museum School teams, but will instead be able to join teams at their neighborhood high school, either Union High School or Ottawa Hills High School.
How many classrooms will there be in the school?
There will be 2 classrooms per grade level, with 6th and 7th grades open for the 2016-17 school year.
What is place-based education?
Place-based education gets students and school staff involved in real world problem solving. Place-based education is different from traditional text and classroom-based education because it uses the local community as one of the primary resources for learning. This way, learning is rooted in the unique history, environment, culture, economy, literature, and art of students’ own “place” or immediate neighborhood and community.
What is design thinking and how is it applied in a classroom?
Design thinking is a widely valued creative problem solving process where information is collected and expressed visually or physically (prototyping) in order to create new strategies, develop ways and methods to solve problems, create opportunities, or strengthen weaknesses. In the classroom, design thinking processes encourage students to be curious, creative, and collaborative.
Where will the school be located?
The Grand Rapids Public Museum School will be located at the Grand Rapids Public Museum at 272 Pearl St NW. Place-based education is a key component of the school, so students will also spend time at the historic public museum at 54 Jefferson, which houses its extensive archive collection, as well as at Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, and other unique places in downtown Grand Rapids.
Will there be a classroom?
Yes, students will have a classroom at the Public Museum. However, they will spend much of their time outside the classroom engaging in exciting and immersive educational experiences.
Can I visit the Public Museum to understand what my child’s environment would be like?
Is this a test-in school?
No, this is not a test-in school.
What is the application process for admission?
Families must fill out a Theme School/Center of Innovation application. Please visit the enrollment page for more information. Upon acceptance to the school, parents and students will need to participate in an interview and sign a “parent compact”, known as a Parental Involvement Agreement.
What are the important dates that I need to know for the application process?
Applications are due January 31, 2016. Families will be notified of acceptance in early March.
What grades will this school serve?
The Grand Rapids Public Museum School will serve students in grades 6-12. Enrollment includes 6th and 7th graders for the 2016-17 school year and will add one grade level per year after that.
Is the school’s curriculum a history only or history emphasis curriculum?
While the school will incorporate lessons in history, it is not a history only or history emphasis school.
Is this an art and design school?
While the school incorporates art and design lessons, it is not strictly an art and design school.
Does the school meet all state requirements for middle school and high school?
Yes, the school will meet all state requirements.
Is transportation provided?
Transportation will be provided to eligible students. Middle school students will utilize regional theme transportation, meaning they will be transported from a neighborhood school to the Museum.
Will a breakfast and lunch program be provided?
Yes, a breakfast and lunch program will be provided. More information will be provided at the start of the school year.
What is a School-Parent-Student Compact?
A School-Parent-Student Compact is an agreement between those three parties that outlines expectations for the parent’s involvement with the school, students’ responsibilities as learners, and commitments made by the school. Many parents find that the compact simply formalizes the involvement that they already have in their child’s education.