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City High-Middle School

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City High-Middle School
Grand Rapids, Michigan 49505
Coordinates 42°59′37″N 85°39′33″W / 42.99352°N 85.65916°W / 42.99352; -85.65916Coordinates: 42°59′37″N 85°39′33″W / 42.99352°N 85.65916°W / 42.99352; -85.65916
School type Public, magnet high school and middle school
Founded Early 1970s
School district Grand Rapids Public Schools
Principal Michael Pascoe[1]
Grades 7–12
Enrollment 714[2] (2012–2013)
Campus Urban
Color(s) Blue and white         
Mascot Pegasus
Feeder schools Greater Grand Rapids area schools

City High Middle School is a secondary school operated by the Grand Rapids Public Schools for academically talented students in the greater Grand Rapids, Michigan area.


City High School was established in the early 1970s as an alternative school for Grand Rapids Public Schools students in grades 9-12 who were "highly motivated and academically gifted" but were not being served adequately by the district's larger high schools. Enrollment in its early years was about 100 students. The school expanded in 1979 to include grades 7 and 8 as City Middle School, roughly doubling its enrollment.

The school was originally located on the campus of what was then Grand Rapids Junior College on Bostwick Avenue. It has since moved thrice: first in the 1990s, when GRJC separated from the GRPS, to a building adjacent to Grand Rapids Central High School and Fountain Elementary; in 2006, to the site of the former Northeast Middle School at 1400 Fuller Avenue NE; and in 2013, to the former Creston High School building at 1720 Plainfield Avenue Northeast.[3]

In 2009, after several years at the bronze level, U.S. News and World Report awarded City High a silver medal rating in its annual ranking of America's best high schools. City received the silver medal rating in 2012.[4] In 2013, the magazine honored City with a gold medal rating and ranked it #255 among the nation's high schools.[5]


Admission to City is competitive. Students are accepted based on mathematics and writing tests administered by the school. Teacher recommendations are also considered. Many students come to City following enrollment in the GRPS' programs for academically gifted sixth-graders: John Ball Zoo School, the Center for Economicology at City, and the Blandford Environmental Educational Program.


City's curriculum focuses on the humanities. The school's courses are accelerated and advanced in contrast to the courses of other high schools in the Grand Rapids area. The school is also notably smaller, with an average student body of about 600 students in grades 7-12. A sixth grade classroom was added to the former technology classroom in 2010.

The school offers core curriculum classes such as English, mathematics, sciences, foreign languages, and social studies. Students used to be able to take fine arts classes, such as drama, choir, jazz band, band or orchestra, and participate in government, debate (legislative and policy), broadcasting, and creative writing courses freely.

City maintained a block schedule for many years, but switched to a trimester system for the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 school years. This decision was reversed and the block schedule was reinstated in the fall of 2010. At this time, a sixth grade program was added to City's technology wing.

From 2006 to 2010, additional Advanced Placement courses in subjects such as United States history, English literature, French, Spanish, and biology, were added in order to bolster the competitiveness of City graduates. The school was accepted into the International Baccalaureate program and initiated an "Economicology" program for its sixth graders in the fall of 2008. As an IB school, City has phased out AP in favor of a full IB curriculum.

The middle school has sports teams in soccer, volleyball, cross country, football, basketball, swimming, cheerleading, bowling, wrestling, baseball, softball, and track, but City High School has no athletic teams of its own. Students who wish to participate in sports may play for the Grand Rapids Public high school nearest their home: Union, or Ottawa Hills. Students are no longer able to play for Creston due to Creston closing after the school year 2012-13, resulting in City's relocation to Creston's former campus.

The school's mascot, selected in the early 1980s, is a Pegasus.


Notable City High graduates include actress Gillian Anderson, a member of the class of 1986.[6]


  1. ^ "Welcome to City High Middle School". Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "City Middle/High School". Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "City High-Middle School ranked #2 in state". WZZM13. Apr 27, 2013. 
  4. ^ "City High/Middle Profile". 
  5. ^ "City Middle/High School Overview". US News and World Report. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "The Official Gillian Anderson Website". 

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