GRPS: Uniforms improved school culture

GRPS continues implementing student uniforms that will eventually be worn district-wide.
GRPS continues implementing student uniforms that will eventually be worn district-wide.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — About 10,000 GRPS students made the move to uniforms this school year and the district’s calling the uniforms a great success.

All elementary and K through 8 schools are doing the uniforms right now.

GRPS said they asked their staff for feedback and 82 percent said they want to continue with the uniforms.

24 Hour News 8 asked whether they saw fewer incidents with students when it comes to bullying or issues in the classrooms due to the uniformed look.

“It’s really hard to track that, there’s so many X factors that go into that,” GRPS Executive Director of Communications John Helmholdt said. “The school culture and overall improved climate generally that school pride that brings kids together, you could sense that there was a different feel in the classroom.”

Helmholdt said parents shouldn’t have any problems finding the uniform clothes.

Two Meijer stores will now offer the gear, at both the Alpine and Kalamazoo Avenue locations.

Helmholdt said the district is also in talks with Land’s End and other vendors to make sure there’s plenty of uniforms available year round and not just during the back to school season.

All GRPS middle schools will implement the uniforms in August, with high schools joining in the fall of 2015.

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