English Language Learners are placed into the appropriate language supported classes based upon their score on the WIDA assessment and staff recommendation.
The WIDA Assessment is given each spring. If the current year’s WIDA test results are not available, the most recent WIDA (or English Language Proficiency Assessment) score will be used for placement.
New students entering school between testing dates are given a shortened assessment (WIDA Screener) within 10 days of enrollment, which helps the District identify students for the appropriate support. Eligible ELL students are scheduled into appropriate core courses with language support provided. ESL or SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observational Protocol) strategies are used at Union High School, the District’s high school cultural center, to increase student’s English language proficiency and academic achievement.
Union High School is the District’s only high school cultural center. 9th -12th grade students from any high school attendance area in need of language services (based upon WIDA level) may attend Union High School. ELL students who enter high school after 9th grade are placed into the grade appropriate core classes, as well as the appropriate English as a Second Language course, based upon their WIDA level. Students, 15 years old or older, who have an WIDA level of “Entry” and are new to the United States with minimal or no education background, may qualify to attend the Newcomer’s Program which is housed at Union High School. The Newcomer’s Program is designed to help students new to the United States meet high school graduation requirements while acclimating to the American culture.
STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
The Special Education Department provides programs and services for students with disabilities per the Individualized Education Program (IEP). Instruction may be provided within the general education classroom with or without accommodations and/or in a classroom with a general education teacher with a special education teacher providing support. Additionally, some students receive instruction in a categorical special education classroom where core content instruction is delivered by the special education teacher as determined by the IEP with parent’s input. All courses that earn credit towards graduation follow the Michigan Merit Curriculum and sequence with appropriate modifications and accommodations per the student’s IEP or personal curriculum (see below).
For students with moderate to severe disabilities, an alternative curriculum will be provided leading to a certificate of completion in lieu of a high school diploma. The determination as to whether or not a student will work towards a diploma or a certificate of completion is made at the IEP team meeting prior to the student entering high school with parent input.
If a scholar has a technical problem at home, he or she should document the problem as completely as possible, recording any error messages, exactly what the scholar was doing at the time, and the application being used when the problem occurred. Report the problem to the GRPS Helpdesk. All repairs will be performed or managed by district personnel. Parents, guardians, scholars, or teachers are not allowed to attempt repairs themselves or contract with any other individual or business to repair any school-provided equipment. Every effort will be made to repair or replace the device in a timely fashion.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL LEARNING
Our community is dedicated to educating the whole child. This includes focusing on social and emotional learning (SEL) for scholars and adults by explicitly teaching and modeling attitudes and skills necessary to:
• Recognize and manage their emotions
• Demonstrate caring and concern for others
• Establish positive relationships
• Make responsible decisions
• Constructively handle challenging social situations
Many schools throughout the district will be implementing components of SEL over the next school year, including curriculum and classroom practices to build a greater sense of belonging, strengthen relationships, and foster a positive school climate and culture. This short video provides
more information about SEL. Opportunities for parents and caregivers to learn more about SEL and how to develop SEL skills at home will be made available through Parent University throughout the school year.
STRENGTHENING SEL AT HOME
• Social and Emotional Learning: Strategies for Parents | Edutopia
• 6 Strategies to Increase Parent Engagement in Social-Emotional Learning
• SEL at Home: Top Resources to Share with Families | Panorama Education
• A Guide to Self-Care for Parents
• Engaging Families with Social and Emotional Learning Strategies
ADDITIONAL CURRICULUM SUPPORTS
Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Curriculum Guide shares important information about academic preparation for students in grades 9-12. For information about graduation requirements, college and career readiness, scheduling, and much more, refer to the 2022-2023 Curriculum Guide by following this link.
- Common Core State Standards Parent Document
- Guide to Common Core Math for Parents
- Math & Reading Guides Created for Grades K-8 & Highschool
- Debunking Myths of the Common Core
- Michigan Department of Education
- GRPS Parent University
- Family Engagement Resources
- Family Engagement in Action
- Build your child’s vocabulary skills at home.
- Sight Words Teaching Strategy
- What are Dolch words?
- Tips for Parents
Reading Tips and Activities for Parents
- How Can I Help My Child Be Ready to Read and Ready to Learn?
- Helping your child with reading comprehension
- Phonemic Awareness activities
- Finding Help