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Welcome to Center for Economicology (6)

Welcome to the Center for Economicology (CFE), a 6th grade only school that specializes in environmental and sustainability education. Scholars at CFE enhance their learning through experiential and hands-on projects focused on stewardship of the earth. CFE is known for its many field trips and outdoor experiences throughout our neighborhood, city, and state. We also pride ourselves on high academic achievement, diversity, and a tight-knit community environment. 

CFE exists to support learning centered around sustainability thanks to a partnership with the Wege Foundation. The term economicology is a combination of the words economy and ecology, and it can be used interchangeably with sustainability.  Scholars and families alike leave CFE better educated to be good stewards of our planet! We hope you will consider CFE as a top choice for the 6th grade experience of your scholar and family, and we encourage you to reach out with any questions you may have.

Charlotte Vandervliet

School Apps

Center for Economicology

1720 Plainfield Ave. NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49505
Phone: 616-819-2380
Charlotte Vandervliet
Patrick Westover
Physical Education
Michael Boosamra
Grade 6
Heather Phillips
Grade 6
Kara Degenhardt
Sharla Stearn
Matthew Beresford
Executive Director PK-12 Instructional Leadership (Northeast)

School Hours

Breakfast 7:45 a.m.
Start Time 8:00 a.m.
Dismissal 2:41 p.m.
Half Day Dismissal 10:45 a.m. 


At the sixth grade Center for Economicology (CFE), our mission is to increase ecocultural sustainability throughout all aspects of our scholars’ lives.

Our interdisciplinary curriculum engages scholars by encouraging wonder, creativity, cooperation, collaboration, and compassion while promoting and maintaining high academic and social expectations.

We are dedicated to helping students identify gaps between their stated values and their daily actions; we do this by promoting critical questioning, learning from mistakes, integrating reason and emotion, and reflecting on how our daily life decisions have ripple effects throughout our community and the world. We believe that in order to create a more balanced, sustainable world where all beings may flourish, learning communities must be created where individuals celebrate diversity; question; learn; and grow into open-minded, integrated, lifelong learners.

Coined by local business and sustainability leader Peter Wege, the term economicology is best defined as “reasoned, respectful, engaged stewardship of the Earth household in service of both people and the planet.” There are six guiding principles that drive the philosophy behind our program. The “Six Es” are: ecology, economics, empathy, environment, ethics, and education.

The school consists of two classes of sixth grade scholars, and is located in its own building on the City High Middle School campus. The projects and experiences students engage in through our interdisciplinary curriculum include camping and backpacking, field studies at Riverside Park, Great Lakes water studies, renewable energy units, green home design and more! Through diverse academic and enrichment activities, our sixth graders graduate from this program better equipped to be active, lifelong learners and stewards of the Earth.

We have incorporated distance learning for years and are poised to be a leader in the district as a blended model of new technologies and old practices, giving our students the best of both worlds. Our 1-to-1 student technology device approach ensures that every student has the opportunity to learn inside and outside the classroom.

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