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Letter to the Editor from Grand Rapids Public Schools


We want to thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work through a fluid and ever-changing situation related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).


Governor Whitmer has declared a state of emergency and closed all public and private schools now through April 5, 2020.


We want to assure you that we will be providing a series of communications to give answers and clear direction over the course of the next days and weeks. Today, we are focused on organizing, planning, and communicating with our stakeholders.


Here are a few immediate items we can report on:

For parents:

  • Schools are closed until April 5. There will be no building access unless otherwise communicated. We will send a future communication about Spring Break.

  • Resources for supporting student learning are being considered and future updates will be provided.

  • Resources to address student nutrition and food insecurity are being considered and future updates will be provided. We are seeking direction from the state and attempting to coordinate with external food service providers.

  • We are not accepting donations of food, clothing, or supplies at this time.

  • There will be ongoing updates and communications over the coming days and weeks. A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document is being created and will be posted to the website, social media, and future emails.

  • Qualifying high school students have The Rapid WAVE cards that can be used for emergencies and extenuating circumstances.

  • Of the four school-based health clinics, only the Burton Health Clinic is open.

  • Questions or concerns may be directed to 616-301-1111 or emailed to [email protected] Please allow for a 48-hour response time.

For staff:


All employees will be compensated for the state-mandated school closure days, including all hourly workers. The following staff do not report: GREA, GRESPA, GRPSPA, GRACEN, GRAEOP, GREOA, and school-based support non-exempt. The superintendent and cabinet will be working. Cabinet will contact all exempt staff and public safety staff to determine if they need to report. District emergency response team (DERT) members must report. Staff should monitor their GRPS emails for future communications.




John Helmholdt
He/Him/His Executive Director of Communications & External Affairs
Grand Rapids Public Schools
Sign up for GRPS E-News www.grps.org/enewssignup

March 12, 2020



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