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Hybrid high school graduates largest class

Kent ISD — MySchool@Kent had its largest graduating class to date this school year, due in part to the coronavirus pandemic, administrators say.

Recently, the hybrid online program offered by Kent ISD announced it had 157 students graduate, with a few more planning to finish up this summer.

“We have had more students each year, averaging about 80 to 100,” said MySchool@Kent counselor Deborah VanDyke. “We credit half of this year’s increase due to students moving to online learning because of the pandemic.” She said the rest of the increase comes from the steady growth from year to year.

Started in 2012, MySchool@Kent was developed by Kent ISD and local superintendents. Classes are taught online by certified teachers, and supplemented at the Kent Career Tech Center’s main campus on the East Beltline, and satellite locations around the county. Students typically have  time with instructors twice a week, often at the main campus.

But like other area schools, MySchool@ Kent had to develop fully online programs this year that included tests that could be proctored online. Despite the changes, MySchool@Kent had an increased number of students taking advanced placement courses over the 2021-2020 school year.

“We are very proud of our students,” VanDyke said. “They persevered through the challenges and got things done.”

MySchool@Kent does not host a separate graduation ceremony. Instead, many of the students attend their home high school’s graduation.

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Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma
Joanne Bailey-Boorsma is a reporter covering Kent ISD, Godwin Heights, Kelloggsville, Forest Hills and Comstock Park. The salutatorian for the Hartland Public Schools class of 1985, she changed her colors from blue and maize to green and white by attending Michigan State University, where she majored in journalism. Joanne moved to the Grand Rapids area in 1989, where she started her journalism career at the Advance Newspapers. She later became the editor for On-the-Town magazine, a local arts and entertainment publication. Her eldest daughter is a nurse, working in Holland, and her youngest attends Oakland University. Both are graduates from Byron Center High School. She is a volunteer for the Van Singel Fine Arts Advisory Board and the Kent District Library. In her free time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family, checking out local theater and keeping up with all the exchange students they have hosted through the years. Read Joanne's full bio


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