Last week, the Grand Rapids Public Museum High School was chosen out of 700 other applicants as one of 10 schools nationwide as a XQ Super School. Grant funds will go directly to Grand Rapids Public Schools for renovations and technology updates at 54 Jefferson SE, the former Public Museum building and future home of the Grand Rapids Public Museum High School, as well as professional development for the schools’ teachers. The Grand Rapids Public Museum Middle School is currently based inside the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s main location in downtown Grand Rapids.
“The Grand Rapids Public Museum School will give GRPS students a truly hands-on education, and the Museum is grateful to be a partner in this project,” said Grand Rapids Public Museum President and CEO Dale Robertson. “There is no better way for students to learn than to be exposed to the real thing. As an educational institution, we have the real thing in more than 250,000 artifacts and six sites at the Public Museum.”
Applicants went through a rigorous 11-month application and evaluation process to be chosen as a winning Super School by XQ: The Super School Project. Each school will be awarded $10 million over the next five years, which will directly fund school renovations, facility updates and new technology. All 10 schools will serve as new models for remaking the high school experience.
Of the 10 winning schools, Grand Rapids Public Museum High School is focused on creating a learning environment that leverages cultural artifacts, local impact projects and museum studies to spark student inquiry and creativity delivered through place-based and design-thinking instruction.
“This is huge! Our Museum School truly exemplifies the success of our GRPS Transformation Plan. Being named as a winner for the XQ Super School Project gives much deserved national attention to our innovative, collaborative efforts to provide high quality public school choices. Special thanks to all our school partners – Grand Rapids Public Museum, GVSU, Kendall College of Arts and Design/FSU, the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., and the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority,” said GRPS Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal.
The Grand Rapids Public Museum High School will leverage the unique cultural artifacts and museum archives of the Grand Rapids Public Museum to create a one-of-a-kind learning environment where students are pushed to take risks, guide their own learning and solve real world problems. The Grand Rapids Public Museum School is part of the Grand Rapids Public Schools and works in partnership with the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Valley State University, Kendall College of Art & Design/Ferris State University, City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and local businesses to shape the student curriculum. Students will work on projects that give them the opportunity to tackle real-world challenges in their community. For example, students will be involved in one of the largest urban river restoration projects in the United States by working with world-renowned scientists to remove and replace mussel species within the Grand River.