All About Forest Hills Public Schools

Curious about the Forest Hills Public School District here in Grand Rapids, Michigan? Whether you’re looking to relocate to the Grand Rapids area, looking to make a move within Grand Rapids, or are just generally curious about the Forest Hills Public school district, we’re going to break it down for you. 

About the Forest Hills School District

A cool thing about the area is it’s a very large geographical area, and in fact, Forest Hills is considered one of the largest geographical areas as far as schools go in the state of Michigan. In 1956, there were 13 one-room schoolhouses in this large area of 68 square miles that they combined to create the Forest Hills School District.

Since then the population has grown and the district has over 10,000 students, but they’ve been able to remain focused on a small classroom size with 25 students to one teacher ratio. And since the district has so many students and covers such a large geographical area, it’s been split into three segments within the Forest Hill School district. There is Forest Hills Eastern, Forest Hills Northern, which is the smallest district within the district, and Forest Hills Central, which is in the central to the southern portion of Forest Hills. There are 18 schools within this larger geographical area that make up this larger school district. 

Forest Hills Eastern 

Let’s start off by talking about Forest Hills Eastern, the Hawks. This is the largest geographical area within the Forest Hills school system, located on the north side of the district. One of the reasons people move to Forest Hills is because they want a highly ranked public school system, and Forest Hills Eastern ranks number 29 in the entire state of Michigan as far as the education system. Forest Hills Eastern is a newer district, so you can expect some newer buildings and really nice facilities. There are two elementary schools in Forest Hills Eastern, there’s Orchard View on the north side and Nat Forest, right in the middle of the district. Then there’s Forest Hills Middle School and Forest Hills High School, where all the athletic programs are. It’s a beautiful campus at the corner of Nap and Peta Street. 

Forest Hills Northern

Moving on to Forest Hills Northern, the Huskies, is actually the smallest geographical area. It’s right in the middle to the west side of the district and ranks number 21 in public schools in the state of Michigan. Regarding schools within the district, there are two elementary schools, Meadowbrook, on the south side of Northern, and Collins Elementary, right in the middle. Then there is Northern Trails, which is the fifth and sixth-grade campus, located right off Leonard Street. There’s also Northern Middle School and Northern High School all on the same campus. This is another beautiful facility with newer buildings and top-of-the-line athletic facilities. 

Forest Hills Central

Now for the third district within the district, Forest Hills Central, the Rangers. This is the second largest area and is located in the central portion of the district and stretches all the way to the South. Forest Hills Central ranks in at number 28 in the entire state of Michigan as far as public schools go. There are three elementary schools in Forest Hills Central: Thornapple Elementary, Ada Elementary, and Pine Ridge. Similar to Northern, there’s a fifth and sixth-grade campus, which is Central Woodlands, right off of Ada Drive between Ada and Hall Street. Then there is the beautiful middle school and high school campus all in the same area with top-of-the-line athletic facilities.

Specialty Schools and Immersion Programs 

We can’t talk about Forest Hills Public Schools without highlighting some of the specialty schools and immersion programs that Forest Hills Public Schools offer. Starting with Ada Vista, the Spanish immersion program is located in the heart of Ada, then filters into Forest Hills Northern. Another immersion program that Forest Hills offers is the Chinese Mandarin program which is another highly acclaimed school within the Meadowbrook Elementary School. 

A specialty school that we have to highlight is Good Willy Environmental School. One of Josh’s daughters goes to this school and it’s such a cool school. Good Willy is just fifth and sixth grades and is located off of Two Mile and Honey Creek. It teaches kids how to work in the environment on a daily basis. Upon dropping your kids off in the morning, they literally walk through the woods to get to their classroom, and it’s an amazing experience for these kids. 

Fine Arts Opportunities 

There are 43 dedicated fine art teachers within the district focusing on all the fine arts, including choir, band, and theater. There is also the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center, which is a state-of-the-art designated theater and fine arts center for performances.


Forest Hills offers a wide variety of athletic programs and club sports for students. They have all the main staples and more, including basketball, football, volleyball, track and field, cross-country, swimming, diving, water polo, tennis, ice hockey, golf, bowling, competitive cheer, sideline cheer, gymnastics, wrestling, and skiing. There are endless opportunities for children to get in involved in athletics and club sports.

This district is absolutely amazing and if you have children in the Forest Hills Public schools, we’d love it if you’d comment on some of the things that you love about the Forest Hills public schools!