This Project… seeks to understand, affirm and disseminate the successful practices of one elementary school in Grand Rapids, Michigan. While other public schools are closing or losing students, the student population and the consistently improving test scores at Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center (GRCDC) can no longer fly under the radar. There is a vibrancy at GRCDC that is effectively weathering the storm that is hitting so many urban schools. In the March of 2011, the Kellogg Foundation generously awarded the GRCDC funds to conduct a two-year research study aimed at identifying the practices, programs and systems which result in outstanding student achievement.

A research team was assembled, a work plan was devised and the ultimate goal was to find out why GRCDC is one of the top performing schools within Grand Rapids, with the objective to facilitate other schools in learning from the work happening there. On the surface, the Discovery Center looks and operates very much like a traditional school. But for the last two years, the research team found that the school, the students, the approach and the results are anything but traditional. Here is what we have found…

a day in the life of a student

Watch this video and get a glimpse of life inside the Grand Rapids Child Discovery Center. It was designed, written and produced by five students with the guidance of Sarah Cooper, the school’s Pedagogista. This was an independent project taken on by the students to show a typical school day and highlight what they value most.

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