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Find the Right School District in Grand Rapids

Robert Antonini

If you have a family, one of the most important things to consider when searching for a home in Grand Rapids is the school district. Grand Rapids, Michigan, has several different districts spread throughout the city — but which one is right for your students?

If you have school-aged children or you're thinking about starting a family soon, you probably want to know which zone's schools correspond with your current or future home. This article will introduce you to some of the area's school districts and compare them to others within the greater Grand Rapids community.

East Grand Rapids Public Schools

Photo Courtesy of FOX 17
You’re probably familiar with the East Grand Rapids school district if you own East Grand Rapids real estate. Situated near the geographic center of Grand Rapids, this relatively small school district educates about 2,900 students with an 18-1 ratio of students to teachers. Of these students, 72% have proficient test scores in math, while 80% have proficient scores in reading. About 97% of students in East Grand Rapids will graduate, and they’ll likely have their choice of college, with an average SAT score of 1270 and an average ACT score of 30.

Forest Hills Public Schools

In the Forest Hill school district, which surrounds I-96, schools post a student-to-teacher ratio of 19-to-1. Some 68% of students test as proficient in math compared to a rate of 73% in reading, scores that fall just a notch below their East Grand Rapids counterparts. The overwhelming majority (97%) of students graduate, and recent data shows only 8% of Forest Hills teachers are in their first or second year teaching at the school.

Spring Lake Public Schools

True to its name, the Spring Lake school district abuts Lake Michigan some distance west of the Grand Rapids metro area. About 77% of Spring Lake Public Schools students are proficient in math, and 80% are proficient in reading. Together, the schools average an 18-1 student-to-teacher ratio. For parents, guardians, and children in Spring Lake, the most popular school choices are Holmes Elementary School, Spring Lake Intermediate School, and Jeffers Elementary School.

An impressive 98% of students graduate from Spring Lake High School any given year, and Michigan State University (a few clicks east on I-96) is a favored choice for these students after they graduate. Another good sign is that teachers like to stick around in these schools: only 1.5% of Spring Lake teachers are in their first or second year.

This district also spends a considerable amount on students, averaging around $15,000 per student. This is more than $3,000 higher than the national average. You can see why many searching for homes for sale in Grand Rapids will seriously look at homes zoned for Spring Lake schools.

Byron Center Public Schools

On paper, Byron Center Public Schools fall slightly short compared to other area schools. The Byron Center district is bound by 108th Street in the south and extends just past M-6 (Michigan highway-6) north. The student-to-teacher ratio is 21-to-1, with 71% of students testing as proficient in math and 77% in reading. A somewhat high 15.8% (or three in 20) of Byron Center teachers are in their first or second year at the school, and about one in four students receive free or reduced-price lunches. Still, 96% of students graduate, and many choose to attend Michigan State University or Grand Valley State University. Students in the Byron Center district score an average of 1230 on their SAT and 27 on their ACT.

Hudsonville Public School District

Photo Courtesy of Triangle Associates
Located in the southwest suburbs of Grand Rapids, the Hudsonville school district instructs  more than 7,000 students in grades K-12. The ratio of students to teachers is 17-to-1, which is slightly lower than the average of the other schools on this list. In terms of proficiency, 65% of the student body is proficient in math, while 74% are proficient in reading. About 95% of students graduate, and most choose to attend nearby Grand Valley State University. Around 5% of teachers are in their first or second year, which is on par with the averages of other schools on this list.

West Ottawa Public School District

More than 6,600 students are enrolled in the West Ottawa school district. This district is situated about 20 miles south of Spring Lake and quite close to Lake Michigan in the immediate west. All schools in this district feed into West Ottawa High School. Graduation and test scores are slightly lower in this district: nine in ten students will graduate, and only 41% are proficient in math, while 56% are proficient in reading. Close to half of the students receive free or reduced lunches, and nearly one in ten teachers are in their first or second year. The district spends a reasonable $15,000 on each student, and the student-to-teacher ratio is a healthy 16-to-1.

Black River Public Schools

Students get plenty of attention in Black River Public Schools, a district in Holland, Michigan. The student-to-teacher ratio is 15-to-1, the prize number so far on this list. About half of Black River students are proficient in math, and 69% are proficient in reading. Of these students, 92% graduate, and the most widespread college choice is the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Only 6% of teachers are in their first or second year, and the school district is ranked second on Niche’s list of school districts with the best teachers in Michigan.

Grandville Public Schools

Sprawling north and west of Byron Center district, their neighbors to the south, Grandville is one of the smaller districts on this list by population, with slightly more than 5,600 students enrolled in grades K-12. The student-to-teacher ratio is 18-to-1, and 54% of students are proficient in math, while 62% are proficient in reading. About 96% of students graduate, and most attend Grand Valley State University. Only 5% of Grandville teachers are in their first or second year.

Once you figure out which school district you prefer, and as you make many other moving-related decisions, Robert Antonini can help you start the buying process. Robert loves to connect with his clients, and he has more than 20 years of real estate experience. His website goes further into detail on the many school districts in and around Grand Rapids. So whether you’re looking for East Grand Rapids real estate or are interested in other homes for sale in the area, Robert’s experience and insight will prove to be helpful. Contact Robert today to get started!

*Header photo Courtesy of Owen-Ames-Kimball Co.

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