GPPSS Update

January 25, 2022

Board of Education Update

At their regular Board meeting, Monday, January 24, the Board approved the minutes of January 10 and the Human Resources report. Two items of note in the HR report were the hiring of Ben Matteson as Director of Facilities (replacing Rich VanGorder who retired at the end of 2021), and the hiring of two social workers and three school nurses through 31o grant funds with a growing district match over the course of their employment.

Also approved 5-0 were these action items, all of which had been previewed and discussed at their January 10 work session:

  • Approval of North/South Baseball/Softball Field replacement through the sinking fund
  • Approval of 2022 Technology Project for classroom audio visual systems, video surveillance and door access systems, public address, bell and clock systems and end user devices through bond funds with end user devices quoted through a cooperative purchase agreement
  • Approval of ECF Chromebook Purchase of 600 devices through Universal Service Administrative Company grant funding totaling $205,626
  • Approval of 2022-23 Budget Parameters as the start to the annual process to develop a balanced budget in line with the strategic plan
  • Approval of a resolution developed in cooperation with the City of Harper Woods to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) to sell Poupard Elementary School. It was noted that students in the section of Harper Woods that falls within the GPPSS border will remain our students.

Under information and discussion, the board previewed a budget development timeline requested by Trustee Ismail, as well as the monthly financial report, check register, and health care report all of which were routine in nature.

Upcoming meetings include:

  • BOE Policy Committee, Thursday, February 3, 4 p.m., Morningside Board Room
  • BOE Facility Committee, Thursday, February 3, 6 p.m., Morningside Board Room
  • BOE Special Meeting, Superintendent’s Evaluation, Monday, February 14, 5:45 p.m., Brownell Library
  • BOE Work Session, Monday, February 14, 7 p.m., Brownell Multipurpose Room
  • BOE Special Meeting, Superintendent’s Evaluation, Thursday, February 17, 6 p.m., Brownell Library
  • BOE Regular Meeting, Monday, February 28, 7 p.m., Brownell Multipurpose Room

Response to Grosse Pointe News editorial

To the Editor:

I wanted to clarify a few points made in the Jan. 20 Our View, “2020 census: Population little changed,” which asks: “Why is the school district making such a big deal out of race and diversity? What has changed now vs. 10 years ago?” It also suggests the Grosse Pointe Public School System is “making race and diversity the pillars of its recently adopted three-year strategic plan.”

The GPPSS strategic plan provides a roadmap for the next three years, with cultivating educational excellence at the heart of our mission. While race and diversity, accompanied by equity and inclusion, serve as guideposts, the three focus areas below and their accompanying goals and objectives are the pillars, as clearly outlined at

  • Curriculum, Instruction & Student Learning – GPPSS will cultivate a robust and equitable educational community where all learners are empowered to reach their unique potential.

  • Global Competency, Real World Literacy & Readiness – GPPSS will provide learning opportunities that allow students to acquire the attitudes, values, knowledge and skills that prepare them to be contributing members of society in the real world.

  • Family & Community Engagement – GPPSS will develop and nurture strong connections among schools, families and the community to broaden opportunities for student growth and learning.

We are proud of our continuing work around race and diversity, as 21.63 percent of GPPSS students – more than a fifth – represent a minority race (Source: Michigan Department of Education 2020-2021 Racial Census Report). Moreover, diversity in our school system exists in myriad other forms, including ethnicity, socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, language, culture, national origin, religious commitments, age, (dis)ability status and political perspective.

Most importantly, we believe meeting the needs of every student in the five Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods is best achieved through equitable access and opportunity to our programs and services, from fostering and inspiring intellectual curiosity in our youngest learners, to empowering students of all ages to become leaders. By “equitable” we mean the process of ensuring that processes and programs are impartial and fair and provide opportunities for every student to reach their unique potential. Inclusion is the practice of ensuring that all students feel a sense of belonging.

While the demographic data for the broader community shared in your editorial may not indicate change, we as educators have experienced significant changes in the last decade. It is our responsibility to keep pace with and embrace those changes as we prepare students for the world outside our school walls and city borders and for the futures that await them.

M. Jon Dean
GPPSS Superintendent

PDF of Letter above

To learn more about the GPPSS Strategic Plan:

Access food over Midwinter Break with this form

GPPSS is again working with Chartwells to offer access to free meals over break. Here is a link to the mid-winter break food order form. Packages will include 7 breakfasts and 7 lunches per person. Please complete the form by the end of day on Tuesday, February 8. Only one form needs to be submitted per family.

Meals will be ready for pick up at North High School, 707 Vernier, Grosse Pointe Woods, on Friday, February 18, from 4-6 p.m.

COVID info and vaccine clinic

All district COVID information can be found on our website at this link and cases will be updated daily on the dashboard. It is critically important that we all continue to monitor daily for COVID symptoms per our Daily Screening Tool.

GPPSS is hosting a vaccine clinic

We will be hosting another vaccine/booster clinic for the Wayne County Health Department on Saturday, January 29 at Maire Elementary from 9 a.m. to noon.

This clinic will offer vaccines to those eligible (ages 5 and up) as well as boosters to those eligible (ages 12 and up).

Please click here to take the interest survey; this allows us to properly staff and supply the clinic.

Reach out to with any questions.

How to upload student vaccine records when complete

Parents and guardians can upload their student's COVID vaccine card using the MiStar Parent Portal by following the directions linked here. According to quarantine guidelines from the Wayne County Health Department, any student who is fully vaccinated will not be required to quarantine if they are identified as a close contact to a COVID positive individual. Uploading your student’s vaccine card will help the district quickly identify those students who will not be required to quarantine. Thank you for doing this once the shots are complete! And thank you for working with us to protect your child and our learning community, and having patience as we adjust to changing guidelines from CDC, MDHHS and WCHD.

Delay in Middle and High School grade reporting

In alignment with the change in midterm procedures shared last week, the reporting of middle and high school grades will be delayed. This will allow time for students who are absent the week of midterms due to COVID and wish to take their exams, to have those grades entered. Middle and high school grades will be available in the MiStar Parent Portal on Tuesday, February 8th. Elementary grades will still be available in the parent portal on Tuesday, February 1st.


Contact if you have questions or would like to submit story ideas or Pointes of Promise.