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A Grand Rapids charter school founded by gospel singer Marvin Sapp announced Monday that next school year it will offer classes in grades pre-K to 5, a move administrators say is aimed at meeting demand for the school’s arts and technology driven instructional approach.

Grand Rapids Ellington Academy of Arts and Technology, which opened in fall 2012, currently has about 140 students in 6th-8th grades, meaning its total student body could grow substantially when the new grade levels are added.

“A number of parents expressed interest with their younger students,” said Cynthia Springer, CEO of GREAAT Schools, Inc., which operates the school.

The curriculum at Ellington integrates performance art and technology, including areas such as instrumental music, vocal music, dance, mix-media arts, creative arts and theater arts.

The school is located near the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Burton Street SE at Kingdom Square, which also houses a ministry led by Sapp. This fall, when the new grades are added, all classes will be held in a new, larger building on the property.

Building renovations will be funded through private donations, Springer said.

Applications for parents looking to enroll their children in the school are now being accepted. If applications exceed the 75 available seats per-grade level, a lottery will be hosted where spots will be awarded randomly.

Springer said a principal for the elementary-level grades has not yet been chosen. The school does not charge tuition.

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article courtesy of MLive.com

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