4 Weather Alerts //
- Weather Alert 1 - Winter Weather Advisory issued December 10 at…
- Weather Alert 2 - Winter Weather Advisory issued December 11 at…
- Weather Alert 3 - Winter Weather Advisory issued December 10 at…
32 Closings //See All >>
- Bauer Communit…
- Berkley Hills…
- Blue Heron…
- Care Resources
- Casino Club
- Central Reform…
- Church of…
- Equest Center…
- Gospel Taberna…
- Grant United…
- Holy Trinity…
- Kentwood Commu…
- Lemmen Health Center
- Muskegon Heigh…
- New Hope Bapti…
- New Life Taber…
- Peace Reformed Church
- Prince of…
- Ravenna Free…
- River of God Church
- South Wyoming…
- St. Paul Luthe…
- St. Stanislaus Church
- Texas Corners…
- True Light…
- Unity Church…
- Westside Bapti…
- Widowed Person…
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Every single Grand Rapids Public Schools administrator will receive a pink slip in the coming days, and due to the district's transformation plan some of those administrators will be let go.
The board on Monday approved telling more than 150 administrators their contracts may not be renewed after 90 days, a GRPS spokesperson told 24 Hour News 8. At least some of those will not be returning for the next school year.
"We will have fewer administrators because we are closing 10 schools. As a result, there are going to be position changes throughout the district," said GRPS spokesperson John Helmholdt. Helmholdt is among those who will be getting a pink slip.
"Certainly it's a reality of being in public education, we continue to do the job whether or not were getting letters like that," said Helmholdt. "Everyone's focused on students and improved student outcomes, and implementing the transformation plan. As it should be, that's our focus. We're not going to let these letters get in our way."
The district's transformation plan, passed in November 2012, will save an estimated $4.4 million a year and $22 million over the next five years.
Though a few schools will be expanding the grades they serve and Stocking Elementary will be reopening, about a quarter of the district's schools will be shutting their doors as a part of the transformation plan.
Helmholdt said administrators include employees from public safety employees to athletic directors and every school has at least a few administrators. Creston High School alone -- one of the 10 schools slated to close -- has five administrators.
"I think we've been very open, very transparent. This is the reality. We knew that going into the transformation plan that the district needed to be very bold and aggressive and as a result were not going to have as many positions for our employees," Helmholdt said.
So 24 Hour News 8 asked GRPS if the number of administrators is high.
"It seems like a lot, but for a district our size, that's a pretty lean number compared to what you'd see in other districts," said Helmholdt.
2011 state reports from both the Michigan Department of Education and the Center for Educational Performance and Information, show GRPS employs more administrators than several other districts of a similar size.
GRPS is the fifth-largest district in the state. Three of the four larger districts had fewer administrators but more students in 2011. Detroit Public Schools, the largest district in the state, was the exception.
Helmholdt said administrators are employed for many different reasons.
"We get a lot of federal grant dollars and typically with those dollars comes strings that require mandatory administrators reporting. Usually there's a position assigned to that it is unique, but we a a large district," he explained.
24 Hour News 8 looked at other urban districts in West Michigan and the ratio of administrators to students. All districts in West Michigan are smaller than GRPS.
Battle Creek had a slightly lower ratio of administrators to students in 2011 than GRPS. Kalamazoo has about twice as many students for every administrator compared to GRPS.
2011 Numbers from the Center For Educational Performance and Information
Muskegon Heights (now a charter academy)
- Administrators - 25
- Students - 1,779
- Students to Administrator ratio - 71:1
- Administrators - 55
- Students - 5,445
- Students to Administrator ratio - 99:1
- Administrators - 81
- Students - 8,386
- Students to Administrator ratio - 103.5:1
- Administrators - 748
- Students - 7,7594
- Students to Administrator ratio - 103.7:1
- Administrators - 154
- Students - 7,091
- Students to Administrator ratio - 110:1
East Grand Rapids
- Administrators - 19
- Students - 3,005
- Students to Administrator ratio - 158:1
- Administrators - 81
- Students - 13,399
- Students to Administrator ratio - 165:1
- Administrators - 99
- Students - 16,946
- Students to Administrator ratio - 171.2:1
- Administrators - 109
- Students - 18,965
- Students to Administrator ratio - 174:1
- Administrators - 63
- Students - 11,479
- Students to Administrator ratio - 182:1
- Administrators - 60
- Students - 12,451
- Students to Administrator ratio - 207.5:1
- Administrators - 132
- Students - 29,052
- Students to Administrator ratio - 220:1
- Administrators - 45
- Students - 10,140
- Students to Administrator ratio - 225.3:1
- Administrators - 78
- Students - 19,063
- Students to Administrator ratio - 244:1
The search continues for a male, 17 to 20 years old, accused of robbing a Little Caesars restaurant in Grand Rapids.
An 18-year-old Kalamazoo resident is in jail, accused of robbing a driver at gunpoint.
Eight of 20 units were destroyed.