GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (GRPS) — Grand Rapids Public Schools is celebrating increased year-over-year enrollment numbers for the first time since 2016 — and the largest increase since 2001.

Figures finalized by the Michigan Department of Education put the GRPS fall student count at 13,773 — an increase of more than 100 scholars over last year’s count of 13,666.

“The increase in enrollment over last school year tells us that we’re making an impact,” GRPS Superintendent Dr. Leadriane Roby said. “Our families have choices when it comes to the important work of educating their children. At GRPS, we know we have to earn the opportunity to serve our children each and every day, and this shows that our team is doing just that.”

“Rigorous and relevant education in every GRPS classroom is a major part of this work, but we know that’s not it. Our teachers, principals and district leaders have taken seriously the work of ensuring that our schools are safe spaces that meet the holistic needs of our children — that our schools are places where they feel a sense of belonging and want to come to each day,” she continued.

Enrollment figures for the last ten years are as follows:

2023: 13,748.25
2022: 13,666.50
2021: 14,405.69
2020: 14,479.07
2019: 15,385.78
2018: 16,194.33
2017: 16,674.36
2016: 16,793.89
2015: 16,711.76
2014: 16,921.72
2013: 16,944.74


Enrollment at GRPS has steadily declined in recent history. District leaders cite the declining birth rate, a lack of affordable housing for young families, increased offerings from charter and private schools, and the growth of suburban schools as some of the reasons for the trend.

GRPS is also celebrating soaring graduation rates. The district topped the state’s graduation rate for the first time according to recently-finalized state figures for the 2023 graduation year. This marks the highest GRPS graduation rate in recent history.

“When we say ‘Scholar success starts at GRPS’, this is what we mean,” Dr. Roby said. “These numbers represent lives changed, a community impacted, and opportunities realized for our children. We’re just getting started.”