January 10, 2023

Message to the Community from Superintendent Scott Grimes

GHAPS Superintendent Scott Grimes recently provided an update on district initiatives in a message to staff and families. Recognizing the Grand Haven community as a longstanding partner of GHAPS, Superintendent Grimes shares the following:

On behalf of Grand Haven Areas Public Schools, we thank the Grand Haven community for being an integral part of the GHAPS family. The strength of our district reflects the level support we enjoy from area businesses, neighbors, organizations, families and friends. It is with much gratitude that I wish you a happy and healthy new year!

At this midway point of the school year, I am pleased to share our progress on the GHAPS Strategic Plan which identifies student growth and success, school safety, and social and emotional wellness as three priority areas for the district this year.

GHAPS continues to invest heavily in student growth and success. We launched our new online specials program this year, which created opportunities for students learning remotely to pursue interests alongside community partners. Professional Learning Communities (PLC) at every school building continue to provide the tried-and-true backbone to address individual learning needs in the wake of COVID-19. Building on last year’s English language arts improvements, the district invested heavily in math this school year, adding three and a half Math Coaches, providing specialized training, and purchasing hands-on math manipulatives.

With school safety as an ongoing priority, we’ve created a new Safety & Security Director position and hired Trent Carithers, who comes to us with 20 years of experience in the Secret Service. His main responsibilities will be aligning all safety programs and training, supervise building conditions and coordinating emergency response teams. The district has identified health and safety needs such as improved security at building entrances, restroom upgrades, air-quality improvements and new buses, which are outlined in the May bond proposal. Aging infrastructure at the middle school is also on the ballot, as we aim to replace the deteriorating 70-year-old building with a physical environment that better reflects the excellence happening within. We are also looking at a new all-purpose building that will benefit athletics, band and our community.

Significant social and emotional wellness supports remain in place, and we continue to discover new ways to create an optimal environment for post-pandemic learning. The district now employs three Behavior Coaches who have been working with existing staff members to create and implement behavior processes, along with encouraging school-ready behavior in students. Combined with professional development on trauma-informed instruction and a renewed focus on each building’s Positive Behavior Interventions Support (PBIS) program, students are better understanding school behavior norms.

These examples provide a glimpse of how GHAPS continues to pursue Success For All through strategic, evidence-based initiatives. Thank you for being a supporter of Grand Haven Area Public Schools, and for contributing to the education of our youth.

Grand Haven Area Public Schools is a district of distinction for students in preschool through 12th grade. With a goal of providing exceptional educational experiences, GHAPS is committed to success for all students and strives to provide exemplary programs and opportunities to meet their diverse needs.