GRPS Board Votes to Transfer Programs to Kent ISD

At the Grand Rapids Public Schools Board meeting on August 6, 2018, the Board voted 7 to 1 to transfer operation of the special education center based programs to Kent ISD beginning July 1, 2019.

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The following is a letter sent to special education stakeholders by Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal following the Board meeting:

Dear Center Based Special Education Stakeholders,

I am writing as a follow up to my July 15th communication to inform you the Grand Rapids Board of Education approved a resolution to transfer operations of center-based special education programs and related services to the Kent ISD or another educational entity on July 1, 2019. 

GRPS will continue to operate the center-based special education programs and related services for the 2018-2019 school year. 

The following is a list of schools and programs that will be part of the transfer agreement: Ken-O-Sha Home Community, Grand Rapids Oral Deaf Program, Early Childhood Special Education Center at Campus, Lincoln Developmental Center, Lincoln School, Pine Grove Learning Center, Community Transition Campus (7 sites), Kent Education Center at Oakleigh, Kent Education Center at Beltline, and Project SEARCH. 

I want to assure you that we are committed to working closely with the Kent ISD, local school districts, and all students, parents, staff, and other stakeholders to ensure the transition is as smooth and seamless as possible. 

The Kent ISD currently provides shared educational support services for all 20 school districts in various other ways. Kent ISD is also in the process of conducting their own independent review of center-based special education programming which should help inform the transition plan to improve academic outcomes for center-based students. 

Their independent consultant has scheduled a series of listening sessions that will include information, questions, and answers about the transition of center-based program operations to the Kent ISD. Please see below for more information.

I firmly believe that this is in the best interest of our students attending center-based as it will ensure greater access, inclusion, and a more direct stake from all twenty districts in center-based special education programming. Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we work throughout this school year to facilitate a smooth transition.


Teresa Weatherall Neal, M.Ed.
Superintendent of Schools