Grand Rapids Public Schools will be hosting the We Are GR School Choice Expo for parents interested in sending their kids to one of their theme schools or centers of innovation.

The expo will be from four until seven on Thursday evening at City High Middle School located at 1720 Plainfield Avenue NE in Grand Rapids.

A free dinner will be served throughout the open house.

Bounce houses, games and arts and crafts will be available to keep children entertained while parents are busy getting information.

Executive Director of Communications and External affairs for GRPS, John Helmholdt, told WOOD Radio what parents will find at the event. First and foremost the parents can expect some really great information about the theme schools and centers of innovation, Helmholdt said, "Every one of the schools will have a booth complete with informational materials.

Helmholdt said that parents who have students that currently attend the schools will be available for questions.

After looking over all the information, parents will be able to turn in applications for their children to the schools they are interested in.

The first round of applications for GRPS schools is opened from now until December 16. Parents will still be able to apply in the second round of applications, ending in February.

Helmholdt advises that parents apply as early as possible. All of our theme schools, all of our centers of innovation are highly competitive, that's why we encourage parents; apply early, Helmholdt said.

Parents who can't make it to the event can still apply. Online, paperless applications can be found at

Applications can also be picked up at any of the schools. At the expo, parents will also have the opportunity to learn about two new schools added to the GRPS district, the Gerald R Ford Academic Center and Innovation Central High.

Very strong college prep focused, It's a character and leadership education based on our good president Gerry Ford, Helmholdt said of the Gerald R. Ford Academic Center.

The new center of innovation where four of the centers were all combined under one roof to create this all-star cast of talent, partners and students, Helmholdt said of the Innovation Central High School.