Megan Persons, Molly Ketchum, and Chance Hamming are an amazing GRPS family.
Chance, currently a 4th grader at CA Frost Environmental Science Academy, transferred into Grand Rapids Public Schools 2.5 years ago. Chance’s mother, Molly, is a Strategic Account Manager for DRiV, and Megan, his “Bonus Mom,” is a GRPS School Improvement Facilitator at Westwood Middle School. She is also an esteemed graduate of Grand Rapids Public Schools!
Prior to Covid-19, the family worked outside of their home. Like many others, the pandemic forced them to shift. “The shift from face-to-face to remote to hybrid learning was pretty amazing,” shared Megan. “Being a GRPS educator, I was aware of the curriculum and educational platforms already. However, I never had opportunities to support Chance during the school day. The coolest part of working alongside Chance was the ability to see him engage as a student within the classroom.”
Chance has attended CA Frost since the middle of 2nd grade. CA Frost is a K-5 school that exposes students to the mysteries and wonders of nature. Students participate in environmental lab classes, otherwise known as E-lab, twice a week. E-Lab is project based and helps students become independent problem solvers who care for the planet. “The learning is hands-on, and we play games when we learn. For example, when I was in 2nd grade, I learned about physics, friction, and resistance through a live sledding activity. We go camping. And our rewards for meeting our goals are things like taking a hike outside.”
Since attending CA Frost, Chance has decided that he would like to become a Marine Biologist. His moms attribute his interest in marine biology to CA Frost’s curriculum and learning opportunities. As Megan said, “CA Frost is a school in which learning and play happen simultaneously. The students and staff are all in.”
Chance attributes his success to differentiation. “In GRPS, the teachers do extra things. They help me when I need help, and they also challenge me.” Chance proudly shared that while attending CA Frost, he has had opportunities to tutor his classmates. “I tone it down for some friends…and then they get it.” Chance also shared that since attending GRPS, his reading and math MAP scores have significantly increased!
When asked how the pandemic has changed the family, Chance said that he missed face-to-face interactions, and he was much more appreciative of physically attending school. “Chance had multiple opportunities to virtually connect with new and old friends during remote learning. He corresponded with his buddies through Google Hangouts, Google Classroom, and Zoom,” shared Molly. Both moms have been amazed by their son’s academic and social-emotional growth throughout the pandemic. As Molly said, “His learning has been immeasurable. He has learned how to share documents and maneuver the Google platforms, like Classroom and Hangouts, with ease. He now has a skillset so many adults are only just learning. Megan added, “Because of the pandemic, we’ve seen the full transition of technology as a toy to technology as a tool.”
We ended the interview discussing why families should choose Grand Rapids Public Schools. Chance responded, “Do it or die! It was a great decision for me!” Megan added, “The diversity of school offerings is as abundant as the diversity of students within the schools themselves.” Molly agreed: “Choosing GRPS was the best educational choice we’ve ever made. GRPS has
something for everyone. We cannot believe the multiple opportunities GRPS offers. Free public school like this…it is mind-blowing!”
We couldn’t agree more! Thank you so much, Megan and Molly, for speaking on behalf of your family and being our Featured Family this month. Do you know a GRPS family who should be featured? Nominate them using this easy form, and we’ll get in touch!