The messages surrounding the school and mottos that were created in previous years had good intentions, but the current school is a shadow of its former glory. The teachers have 10 year contracts; consequently, they don't uphold themselves to the "academic excellence" that our school supposedly stresses. Far more of the extra budget is directed at athletics rather than maintaining quality classrooms and teachers. If the average ACT score, which all Michigan students are required to take in conjunction with the MME, hovers around the national average, how can we possibly claim superiority? Furthermore, the mission statement of the district is "Educating and inspiring each student to navigate successfully in a global community", yet K-12 spanish and many other programs such as elementary art are being cut, while the athletic facilities continue to be renovated. I understand that hard economic times call for desperate measures, but I think we should keep in mind that 30 years from now, it is the innovations that we will be creating to stop global warming and public health issues that will matter, not how much weight we lifted in the overly- grandiose gym at football practice.
EGR is a small affluent insular 'tight-knit' community. Every September its schools system receive well above average intellectual & emotional raw material. It's no surprize educating this population is easy, since it comes from stable structured homes w/ capable & caring white collar professionals for parents, most w/ professional degrees. Parents expect - demand a better school public system. Predictably, test scores are above average & college placement is a given. The teachers & administrators are unionized, but wouldn't dream of striking, there are no gangs. Parents & their ordered households deserve the credit for the resulting academic achievement. (swap classroom from an outlying community & compare test results after 1 semester...) Arguably, EGR (& its school system) is not reality & leaves students unexposed to (& unprepared) for the real world.
The more exposure I get to public schools around the country the more I realize how phenomenal East Grand Rapids truly is. EGR has all of the offerings and extra circulars of schools 4-5 times its size, all while maintaining its "small town" feel of roughly 1000 students. The academics and athletics are second to no other public school in the state. The expectation of families and educators that nothing short of excellence is satisfactory is what gives EGR it's competitive advantage compared to other public schools. The mindset is not something that can be created by any administrator or educator. It is the product of sustained efforts of the district's employees, commitment from the community as a partner in education, and the unspoken pressure from the families that move into EGR to send their children to the school system. EGR's culture of excellence has been developed over time, and the current board of education, school leadership, and community that it serves will ensure it is the premier public school system in West Michigan for years to come.
My children have gone to East schools since kindergarten and they used to be wonderful schools. Now, they are just average schools surrounded by an expensive and beautiful neighborhood. They are very overrated with several districts, including Forest Hills, out performing East in all academic aspects. Shame on East for acting like they outshine everyone. All districts have their own issues but East has a bad issue-being conceited when they ARE NOT the best. My last child will be graduating from East with a 4.0 in June and I will never send another child there. Oh I forgot to mention, several minority students are treated differently because East and teachers are too stuck in their sheltered world to understand sensitivity and empathy.
As a former student in the late 1980's, I found East Grand Rapids, the city, and the high school, to be a rare, astounding combination of (1) friendly, close-knit neighborhoods with friendly, intelligent, socially mature people (and with streets packed full of houses right next to one another), (2) beautiful streets, parks, wonderful Reeds Lake and Fisk Lake, well maintained grounds throughout the city, residents concerned with the aesthetics of their property and neighborhoods, (3) a pleasant and fun city-center area with nice shops, people who like to be around each other, and a feeling of generational-history, as many residents have parents and even grandparents who lived in EGR, (4) a high school full of intensely devoted teachers and administration, who challenge students to improve and keep improving, both academically and athletically and artistically.
I am a former student and can't thank EGR enough for providing me with an excellent education. Being in college, understanding the fundamentals and being apply them to much more complex topics is so important. It is because of EGR's great teachers and programs that I have been so prepared and done so well in college. Socially I was very involved and any kid can be if THEY make the effort. There is extra curricular activities for all types of people. Arts, athletics, clubs, you name it.
Great and knowledgeable teachers, wide variety of EC activities and classes. Best school around - no doubt.
I enjoyed my whole high school years at East, there many wonderful clubs and all my classes were interesting providing me with many great opportunities. I liked most of my teachers because they were enthusiastic about what they shared with me.
We found that EGR schools are overrated in our opinion. We looked at Forest Hills schools and found that the overall test scores are higher. We enrolled in EGR because we liked the neighborhoods but now find that although parents are involved they are too permissive. So we are going to enroll our kids in Forest Hills
For all the hype & high taxes, East Grand High School was a disappointment. My kids would have done better academically & socially elsewhere. It used to be a great school, but other towns in Grand Rapids have better schools now than East.
East is a fantastic school that focuses on each individual student's success.
These schools are excellent. The academic programs are wonderful, every teacher is highly trained and knows exactly how to personalize the lesson plans. Insuring that every student understand the topic discussed. There are wonderful music, art and sports programs. There are three spearate orchestra/bands, both directed by the wonderful Mr. Kline. They have recently developed a new art curriclum that has allowed students the specify their art career. There are also many clubs, and sports available to keep your children occupied and happy. The level of parent involvement is outstanding. Parents are involved in everything from monthly planning to sports. East is a wonderful distric, that strives for excellence and has acheived it to the highest amount.
East Grand Rapids schools are top notch in every respect. The key is the parental involvement and support. The schools blend academics and extra- curricular activites very well. Students who graduate from EGR are high achievers in college and employment.
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The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.
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