Quality of Life
Residents and businesses value the excellent educational opportunities available in Grand Rapids. Public schools within the City of Grand Rapids are part of Independent School District 318 (ISD 318). The community prides itself on delivering outstanding early childhood through high school educational programs, including an International Baccalaureate curriculum and College in the Schools (CITS), a concurrent enrollment program in conjunction with the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Approximately 61% of teachers at the Grand Rapids Senior High School hold a master's degree, and approximately 66% have more than 10 years of teaching experience.
With growing enrollment and aging neighborhood elementary schools a community concern, voters approved a referendum in April of 2018 to construct two new 750 student elementary schools. Those schools are scheduled to be open in the fall of 2020. The St. Joseph's Catholic Church operates one private elementary school (K-6) by the same name.
The Robert J. Elkington Middle School (grades 5-8) is a state of the art, well equipped, educational facility which opened in 2003. The Grand Rapids Senior High, which is co-located with the Myles Reif Performing Arts Center, was expanded and fully remodeled in recent years together with the construction of a new track/athletic field.
Above and beyond the opportunity for a top quality education, Grand Rapids students enjoy many extra curricular options. Students benefit from the use of modern band, dance, and theater facilities, as well as, updated or new gymnasiums, track, football, soccer, and baseball fields near or on the High School grounds. In addition,modern tennis courts, a new swimming pool, and the City Sports Complex are located on and adjacent to the Middle School grounds.
Itasca Community College (ICC) is located on the eastern edge of of Grand Rapids. ICC is a two-year public college offering a wide variety of programs and courses. The College was ranked as the 5th best two-year college in the nation in 2010 by the Washington Monthly. ICC has a strong reputation for its associate arts degree which allows students to complete their first two years of a four-year degree. ICC is also nationally recognized for their engineering program which leads into an opportunity to complete a four-year degree through the Iron Range Engineering program. ICC, also, has quality programs in nursing, natural resources, psychology, class act teacher preparation, early childhood and customized training, among others. The school has an enrollment of more than 1,300 students and is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System (MnSCU) which is comprised of 32 state universities and community and technical colleges serving the higher education needs of Minnesota.
Additionally, the University of Minnesota-Duluth Campus and the College of St. Scholastica provide classes and degree programs at ICC. Adjacent to ICC is the University of Minnesota North Central Research and Outreach Center.