Grand Rapids Public Museum School Wins XQ: Super School Grant

Last week, the Grand Rapids Public Museum High School was chosen out of 700 other applicants as one of 10 schools nationwide as a XQ Super School. Grant funds will go directly to Grand Rapids Public Schools for renovations and technology updates at 54 Jefferson SE, the former Public Museum building and future home of the Grand Rapids Public Museum High School, as well as professional development for the schools’ teachers. The Grand Rapids Public Museum Middle School is currently based inside the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s main location in downtown Grand Rapids.

“The Grand Rapids Public Museum School will give GRPS students a truly hands-on education, and the Museum is grateful to be a partner in this project,” said Grand Rapids Public Museum President and CEO Dale Robertson. “There is no better way for students to learn than to be exposed to the real thing. As an educational institution, we have the real thing in more than 250,000 artifacts and 6 sites at the Public Museum.”

Applicants went through a rigorous 11-month application and evaluation process to be chosen as a winning Super School by XQ: The Super School Project. Each school will be awarded $10 million over the next 5 years, which will directly fund school renovations, facility updates and new technology. All 10 schools will serve as new models for remaking the high school experience.

Of the 10 winning schools, Grand Rapids Public Museum High School is focused on creating a learning environment that leverages cultural artifacts, local impact projects and museum studies to spark student inquiry and creativity delivered through place-based and design thinking instruction.

“This is huge! Our Museum School truly exemplifies the success of our GRPS Transformation Plan. Being named as a winner for the XQ Super School Project gives much deserved national attention to our innovative, collaborative efforts to provide high quality public school choices. Special thanks to all our school partners – Grand Rapids Public Museum, GVSU, Kendall College of Arts and Design/FSU, the City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc., and the Grand Rapids Downtown Development Authority,” said GRPS Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum High School will leverage the unique cultural artifacts and museum archives of the Grand Rapids Public Museum to create a one-of-a-kind learning environment where students are pushed to take risks, guide their own learning and solve real world problems. The Grand Rapids Public Museum School is part of the Grand Rapids Public Schools and works in partnership with the Grand Rapids Public Museum, Grand Valley State University, Kendall College of Art & Design/Ferris State University, City of Grand Rapids, Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. and local businesses to shape the student curriculum. Students will work on projects that give them the opportunity to tackle real-world challenges in their community. For example, students will be involved in one of the largest urban river restoration projects in the United States by working with world-renowned scientists to remove and replace mussel species within the Grand River.

In the coming months, the 10 teams, selected from nearly 700 submitted proposals, will begin building and implementing their Super School Designs. For additional information about XQ: The Super School Project, or the selected Super School designs, contact John Joanino or (310) 735-7538.

About XQ: The Super School Project:

XQ: The Super School Project launched in September 2015 as an open call to rethink and design the next American high school. Thousands of School Builders, and tens of thousands of supporters from towns and cities across all 50 states have united to take on this important work. Teams of students, teachers, parents, community leaders and many more came together to conceptualize innovative models for 21st century learning.

Since its launch, XQ has proven to be more than a challenge to create innovative high schools. It is a growing movement to reimagine what is possible for public education in America, and a hub for community voices, cutting edge ideas and expert resources to create new pathways to success for students. For more information, visit, and follow us at @XQAmerica.

About XQ Institute:

XQ Institute is an organization dedicated to rethinking school in America in order to create new learning opportunities for young people and open up the possibilities of the wider world. The Institute’s board of directors is chaired by Laurene Powell Jobs, Chair of the Emerson Collective. The CEO and founder is Russlynn Ali, former Assistant Secretary of Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, and Managing Director of Education at the Emerson Collective. For more information, visit

Grand Rapids Public Museum School

The Grand Rapids Public Museum School is the product of an ongoing educational collaboration between the Grand Rapids Public Schools, Grand Rapids Public Museum, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University, Grand Valley State University, the City of Grand Rapids, and Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc.

The school is a Grand Rapids Public School Center of Innovation, and will serve grades 6th through 12th. The school will use progressive teaching utilizing design thinking techniques, an immersive environment, and real-life experiences that inspire passionate curiosity, nurture creative problem solving, cultivate critical thinking and instigate innovation.

The school currently serves 120 students in 6th and 7th grades. To learn more about the Public Museum School

Grand Rapids Public Museum

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is an invaluable, publicly-owned institution that is home to more than 250,000 unique artifacts that tell the history of Kent County and beyond, houses the only planetarium in the region, and is responsible for protecting the Norton Indian Mounds, a national historic landmark. The Grand Rapids Public Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, with its main location in downtown Grand Rapids, MI at 272 Pearl Street, NW. For additional information including hours of operation, admission fees and exhibit/event listings, please visit