Grand Rapids Baptist Academy (the original name for NorthPointe Christian Schools) was founded in 1972 by a group of eleven Baptist churches. They wanted to establish a Baptist school even though there were already several other Christian schools in the area. George Berends was the first superintendant and founder. Initially, grades K-8 were held in rooms at Wealthy Street Baptist Church. In 1973 the school moved to its present site at 3101 Leonard St. NE. The academy continued to add an upper class each year until the first graduation in 1976. Thirteen graduates received diplomas that first year. Also that year, Crestview Elementary was purchased from the Grand Rapids Public Schools, and grades K-6 were moved to that building. Thus, the school system became known as Grand Rapids Baptist Schools. The school grew rapidly through the next five years.
By 1983 GRBS reached its peak enrollment of 1150. In the early 1990’s, after 10 years of great stability, the school began two phases of construction. The first phase included a new media center, six new classrooms, two full science laboratories, and a computer lab. The second phase included a cafetorium, a practice gym, a new tennis complex, and a new softball field.
In 2003, the Board decided to officially change the name to NorthPointe Christian Schools, while preserving the character and beliefs of the school. In 2005 a four-year old preschool program and in 2006 a three-year old preschool program was added. Enrollment numbers have forced us to change our room assignments and consider expansion plans.
The School & Home Hybrid program was started as a home school partnership that offered home schooling parents a chance to enroll their children in enrichment classes on Fridays. The concept grew to become a two-day school and optional day of enrichment classes. These classes, meeting two days a week, offer students instruction in core subject areas and require families to complete additional work on their two home instruction days.
Beginning in the summer before 2011-12 school year, the elementary school underwent major renovations to update the building. When school began, we welcomed the pilot classes of Spanish Immersion preschool and kindergarten. The school is dedicated to build the immersion program through 5th grade, and then will provide opportunities for students to enroll in middle and high school classes taught in Spanish to maintain a strong level of fluency.
During this same school year, the 6th grade classes were moved to the Middle School campus to join the 7th & 8th grades. This move was a great opportunity for students to benefit from both spiritual and academic opportunities at the school targeted for their age group. They also get the benefits of sharing the amenities like additional computer rooms, athletic facilities, and fine arts opportunities available at the Middle School and High School campus. This move also allowed for classroom space to open up for our Spanish immersion program to grow in years to come.
The main focus and purpose for the school, “Preparing students to impact their world for Jesus Christ,” has remained constant. A system of rigorous Bible training, consistent spiritual integration throughout the curriculum, and spiritually mature men and women who view themselves as mentors have made NorthPointe the school of choice for many families. NorthPointe Christian Schools will faithfully continue to train young people for the service of the King until he returns.