Welcome to Northern Trails!
Northern Trails 5/6 School provides a superior late elementary and early middle level experience keenly designed to inspire curiosity and educational opportunities. We believe in a strong partnership with our parents and local community.
Northern Trails 5/6 School is located in the NE suburbs of Grand Rapids, Michigan and is one of 11 elementary schools in the award winning Forest Hills Public Schools. Northern Trails 5/6 School ranks amongst the top 5/6 programs in the state (Michigan Department of Education, 2011). As a school we are also proud to have earned an “A” on our 2011-2012 Ed YES! Report Card. Additionally, the Michigan Department of Education recognized Northern Trails as a Reward School honoring the top five percent of schools in the annual Top-to-Bottom ranking of all Michigan Schools (Michigan Department of Education, 2012).
Philosophically our educational program is based upon a belief in “Keeping children younger longer.” Students experience all aspects of a comprehensive core curriculum and also participate in a full Encore program which includes world language (Spanish or Mandarin), physical education, technology, art, and general music at grade 5 or orchestra, choir, or band at grade 6. Fifth and sixth grade students participating in the district’s Spanish Immersion program also attend Northern Trails.
Our school culture and bullying/teasing beliefs extend from our belief in the Northern mascot, the Husky. We define “Husky Pack Mentality” as…
Highly intelligent, sensitive and energetic. They are funny, playful, athletic and love, in face NEED to be with their pack and family. They were bred to run and need daily exercise. As part of the pack, they take care of one another and visitors. The pack’s strength has origins from all over the world. Their teachers are irrationally crazy about them.
We welcome you and your family to the Pack!
Dr. Susan Gutierrez, Principal
Points of Pride
- School wide our students read 9,309 books. Words read were 339,931,801. The numbers of students called Millionaires, who read a million words or more were 91. Seventy-two students participated in our March 4-10, 2012 “No TV Week,” encouraging students to read instead for March is Reading Month.
- Fifth grade students went to Camp Roger for team building activities in September. This is a great way to start the school year for our new incoming students.
- Our PTO Cultural Arts Committee provided many exciting programs for our students this year. In November our sixth graders were given a backstage tour of the Grand Rapids Symphony facilities. For Black History Month in February, Bright Star Children’s Theatre presented “Struggle for Freedom.”
- Sixth graders went to ArtPrize this year and were able to view their own art piece in the Forest Hills Art venue at Park Congregation Church. Students in the district decorated a stick (7,000 sticks altogether) representing an individual story of love. Together they form a harmonious chorus despite the differences in their designs. They also went to the Grand Rapids Art Museum to see the artwork from some of the artists that they have studied this year. Some students were able to learn techniques that the artist Robert Rauschenberg uses in his printmaking processes. All sixth graders also are working with artist Linda Ragsdale thru the TEDx Event called The Peace Dragon Project. Her message is one of peace and conflict resolution.
- Student participated in our International Fair with 100 student booths, representing cultures from around the world.
- For Authors Day, Kristin Nitz, Mark Crilly, the Brege’s, famous for their Michigan Chillers and Jackie Viol From the Kent District Library (String Stories) worked with Northern Trails students on writing and drawing for their stories.