Grand Rapids Public Schools Employee Reviews in United States

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Very fun workplace with wonderful culture
Employment Training Specialist (Current Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIFebruary 4, 2016
GRPS is a wonderful employer. The particular staff in my building are more like a family than a group of colleagues. We have a fun staff who are very helpful and considerate.
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Great students but needs better management; Nepotism is definitely an issue
Youth Advocate Specialist/Academic Tutor (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIJanuary 10, 2016
I worked as a Youth Advocate for several years and greatly enjoyed the opportunity to serve within 4 schools (1 high school, 2 middle schools, 1 alternative school). The students have a great desire to succeed, and they will respond well when they see and know that you (as an employee) truly care about their educational advancement. Students also respond very well when they feel as if someone cares about their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. Don't believe the hype seen on TV about 'terrible students'!

However, the true problems come from administration. While they system has made some great strides over the past few years, it is VERY evident that the administration could use some updating. Layoffs are very common, and there are simple solutions to problems that aren't addressed, for some reason. Nepotism is huge, although it is never truly addressed (other than a survey from staff to see how about our thoughts- how else can a teacher from out of state find a job within a 2-week span compared to a highly qualified teacher living in the city who never received an offer over a 9 month period of applying? Maybe because that teacher's father has been a principal for a number of years?....and yes, both applicants were highly qualified and shared a very similar background in terms of experiences and licensing.) Also, the administration needs to do a better job of supporting employees rather than playing 'politically correct' games. My supervisor conducted an evaluation of me that I felt should have been rated higher based upon my work and the feedback I received from the school's
  more... administration.....but my supervisor didn't know what school had my placement and wasn't aware that I had been moved. How do you conduct an evaluation without knowing where your employee is??)

Overall, GRPS has a lot of great staff and caring parents that truly want better for the students. But the administration needs to really take an honest look at itself and make some changes, rather than simply cover things up and avoid difficult topics.
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Pros
Supportive staff, easy access to information, good students, access to helpful resources, decent pay, benefits
Cons
unstable placements, non-responsive administration (depending on issue)
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Rewarding and insightful
Substitute Teacher in many schools (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids Public SchoolsNovember 30, 2015
GRPS diversity makes its community, which becomes a rewarding and eye opening experience. I saw where some schools had all resources for the students and other schools had no resources at all (exmpl: books, workbooks, computers, lastest copy machine etc.) where others had more than needed...I worked one school where students needed to get caught up with credits for graduation...but no one was giving direction on how to get there...many students didn't even know how many credits they had or what they needed to graduate, some students didn't even need to be there. Overall the school system is a positive...but needs lots of help in protecting the education for ALL STUDENTS not just some.
Pros
Diversified with many races and cultures, which shows the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Cons
Attacked by outside money seeking greedy poachers, which causes the current superintendent stress in establishing a educational album, that caters to every sector of the education system.
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Not a good spot to work
Elementary and Middle School Teacher (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MISeptember 17, 2015
Twenty years ago it was all about the students and an enjoyable place to work. Now it is all about money and self satisfaction for administrators
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Rewarding Career
School bus driver K thru 12. Lead Driver (Former Employee) –  900 Union NE Grand Rapids MiSeptember 15, 2015
Overall Bus driver for 25 years. Worked for Grand Rapids Public Schools for almost 19 years.
I drove K-12 students to and from school.
I was also a Lead Driver.
As a lead driver, I trained new employees in driving skills, how to drive the bus.
I was one of 7 instructors for safety courses.

In 2005 Grand Rapids Public Schools, privatized our department with Dean Transportation. Shortly after that I moved to Florida until I retired.
Pros
very rewarding experience
Cons
none
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Productive Active Day Goes by Quickly
Childcare Worker/Non-Certified Teacher (Current Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MISeptember 7, 2015
The day has a consistent schedule, which starts by greeting students as they get off the buss and enter the classroom. Then assisting student with following their daily routine to work on goals lined out by an IEP (Individual Educational Plan). Plans include one on one work with individual students at their level. The position requires team focus, patience, emotional balance and empathy. I've learned that people with disabilities are teachable and can achieve and learn everyday basic life skills through educational, family, and community support.
The hardest part of my job is getting others on board, when advocating for a change to fit specific needs of a student.
The most enjoyable part of my job, is getting to see a student meet a goal at which they struggle the most to reach. For example, when a student who as a social goal and out of know is spontaneously social and does it with intent. Watching a student grow is an feeling that can not be explained.
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Productive
Administrative Assistant (Current Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIAugust 24, 2015
I like working with students, staff, parents and community. I make sure that the students get help with attendance and homework, when needed.
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Working with K-12 was a great experience
Teacher (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIJuly 9, 2015
It was most enjoyable working with K-12 students.It gives you experience and I had the most fun working as a physical education teacher.The system had co-workers that provided helpful instruction.
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Loved the summers off, salary rates for teachers, free parking,evaluation from adminstrative was positive
Teacher (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIMay 17, 2015
I enjoyed working for Grand Rapids Public Schools until the year before I retired.
At that time with a new superintendent and a new principal at the high school where I worked the direction of how they viewed veteran teachers were negative and undocumented.
I had 30 years in and was going to stay longer but the drive to push teachers out that was on top of pay scale was there.
I had my first negative evaluation in all my years of teaching. So I just retired.
Pros
Great Health insurance, Paid sick leaves, A spring break and Christmas break with pay
Cons
Politics
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A professional atmosphere with a variety of experiences
Special Education Teacher (Current Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIApril 13, 2015
GRPS is a very large district that has a very diverse population. Students from many different socio-economical backgrounds. That staffing is very large and can be difficult to work with a times.
Pros
Lots of opportunities
Cons
Lack of leadership and organization at times.
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Sub. Teacher
Substitute Teacher (Former Employee) –  Grand RapidsMarch 6, 2015
I love working at Russ' on Alpine. I loved the employees and the customers. I worked mostly morning shifts and lunch shifts.
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May-field Public School
Cook (Former Employee) –  Race St Grand Rapids Public Schools, MichiganAugust 28, 2014
It was very tough working at that school due to the fact the children at that school had behavioral problems. But the job itself was good I had to cook and serve the food to those kids. I had to be cautious and smart about to protect myself as well as the rest of the staff. I had to leave that school for better paying job.
Pros
i enjoyed serving the kids
Cons
better paying job
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Family Oriented
Family Support Specialist (Current Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIMay 1, 2014
Great District to work for! The Pay is great and everyone is wonderful to work with. There are always numerous trainings to attend and many opportunities to give back.
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A diverse and dynamic school system to work for
sUBSTITUTE TEACHER, GRADES 7-12 (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIFebruary 21, 2014
Substitute teaching was a challenging and rewarding experience, daily. I enjoyed working with learners in grades 7-12, in many courses of study.
Pros
diversity
Cons
parking was a problem occasionally, otherwise none
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GRPS was great place to work. Team work was the mission.
Office Manager/Administrative Assistant (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIFebruary 21, 2014
I had the opportunity to become a better person being part of Grand Rapids Public Schools. I gave me opportunity to continue my education and learn to be a life learner.
Pros
multiple job level opportunities, educational opportunities, home with my children when they were home.
Cons
cut backs in the education made us take on more responsibility with frozen pay rates.
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Productive and fun workplace, liked the field trips.
Public Safety Officer (Current Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIJanuary 9, 2014
The most enjoyable part of the job was watching the children grow in their academics. I dont like that there was not room for advancements.
Pros
feild trips
Cons
no advancements
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I love working with Students,parents and the community...
Secretary/Paraprofessional (Current Employee) –  Grand Rapids,MichiganDecember 11, 2013
I have enjoyed working for grps. I love working with the students,parents and the community. You never know how your day will go and that is the great thing about my job. I have learned many thinga from many people including my Principals, students,staff. I have grown so very much and I believe it is time for me to make a change in my life. The hardest thing is I will miss all the students and the staff.

I love that I have touched so many lives and watcch those students grow and come back and tell me that I touched their lives. That is so rewarding.
Pros
working with sudents, parents and the community.
Cons
i am as far as i can go on the pay and would love to work 40hrs insstead of 32hrs.
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Teaching from the heart
Biology Teacher (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIOctober 1, 2013
I have always enjoyed working with the GRPS district. I love the diversity in student population throughout the district. I enjoyed working with colleagues who have drive and desire to accomplish district goal when time calls for it. The hardest part of the job is seeing the student I have a for a semester leave to go somewhere else. The most enjoyable part of the job is knowing I ignite something new in each child mind, the "aha" moment. That is the most rewarding moment.
Pros
big class size
Cons
diverse student population
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Management/Administration is unresponsive and unsupportive
Special Education Teacher (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIJuly 28, 2013
Over-all, administration/management is not interested in the concerns of the staff working directly with the children. Bullying of staff is not addressed, even when it is brought to those at the administrative level. At the teacher level and support staff level, salaries are inadequate, while administrators are well paid. The work environment was intense on a daily basis, allowed for hostile relationships, required an unrealistic workload and lacked in resources to support expectations of staff.
Pros
great kids
Cons
see review above
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GRPS can do better
Tutor and Mentor (Former Employee) –  Grand Rapids, MIJune 4, 2013
Working for GRPS was a challenge due to more discipline issues, high lay off, and low parental involvement.
Pros
some building have good principals
Cons
lay off too much, more behavior issues than surrounding school districts.
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Overall rating

3.8
Based on 33 reviews
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