What Does It Take to Meet our Vision for School Culture: Potential, Inspiration, Connection and Equity in ACTION!

Dear Families,

For the last 2 and a half years, the staff at GRCDC have worked hard to build a strong foundation of consistent academic and culture/behavior systems, processes and programming.  This foundation represents “Tier 1” of our school. As a school, we think about 3 Tiers in all we do. Tier 1 is what everyone experiences across all grade levels and defines the life of the school.  Tier 2 is for students (10-15%) who might need something a little extra, either in academics or class culture/behavior and typically these extra supports are designed and delivered by the classroom teachers and paraprofessionals.  Tier 3 support, both academic and behavioral, is for a small percentage of students (3-5%) and is designed and delivered by specialists in partnership with teachers- academic interventionists, Mr. Trevor, Ms. Heyne, Ms. Cooper and sometimes our special education teachers and staff.

For our Tier 1 Positive Culture and Behavior focus, in the past two years we have:

We are so proud of the work that has been done so far and can see our students growing and learning everyday about what it means to be a contributing member of our school community.  In conversations with staff and parents, we have realized we have come to the point where we are ready to take our work to the next level! It is time to continue to strengthen our Tier 1 practices, while also building out consistent Tier 2 and Tier 3 processes for culture and behavior across the school and in each classroom.  This level of refinement will help us all be on the same page when students are facing either a one-off conflict or an ongoing issue.

In order to guide the next phase of this work, we have formed a Positive Culture and Behavior Team.  This team is lead by Ms. Heyne and will be working on 3 main issues which the team identified as the most important right now:

SEL/Responsive Classroom and bullying prevention Extension and Resource Group  Ms. Hegarty

Ms. Elly

Ms. Abby 

Mr. K

Parent Connection/Communication/Outreach/Learning Group Ms. Ruth

Ms. Aimee

Mr. Metcalf

Tier 2 and Tier 3 Programming, Systems, Communications and Accountability Ms. Amash

Mr. Trevor

Ms. Lantinga


I wanted to share this because our staff does SO MUCH behind the scenes work to continue our growth and school improvement.  This work is outside of school hours and teachers and staff generously volunteer their time and talents to ensure that our school is a place where every single child grows at least a year in a year’s time academically and feels safe and valued every day.  As a parent, I know that the “behind the scenes” work of the school is not always transparent and I want to make sure I use our Narwhal page and the Link to keep you updated on our continued progress. We will be asking for parent input in our work with the groups above, so be on the lookout for a survey and other ways to engage.  Without your participation, support, and ideas no system we build can be complete!  We each have something to contribute to the process as this school community pushes to reach our full potential.  As always, if you have questions or ideas, email me at heynel@childdiscoverycenter.org or call 616-459-0330 to set up a time to meet. 

Sincerely yours,

Lisa Heyne