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District Makeover, Spartan Style

Ground has been broken on various district improvements, including a new athletic complex and secure building entrances, all funded by a bond issue approved by voters last year. A ceremony was held May 30 as construction crews set to work...

Creativity to Spare

Sparta Lanes in downtown Sparta got a bit of a makeover recently with help from some local high school students. The alley is home to their bowling teams, and now bears original artwork from the bowlers themselves, with Kent City...

Teacher Travels the World to Enrich Lessons Back Home

The lights are off. A projector screen glows with a map of Berlin with a line dividing the former East and West sectors. Shayne Dove, perched on a table near the screen, sports a neat, long beard and a graphic...

Undaunted by Disease, Staying the Course

Standing in a hall of Sparta High School, Steven Sevarns wore a smile that might suggest he wasn't headed to class that day. He had finished his last lessons before graduation, and all but the ceremony was behind him. A...

Principal: Teachers are ‘Doing Everything’ for Students

A pair of first-grade teachers at Ridgeview Elementary recently told two visiting Michigan legislators about the stresses of teaching under strained budgets, and the increasing demands on teachers to serve greater student needs. Meeting in a roomful of administrators and...

Class, Meet Gator — 972 Miles Away

An giant reptilian eye stared, unblinking, at a room full of elementary students on a recent Monday. It belonged to a juvenile alligator, in the hands of an expert on the creatures at the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher,...

Student Artwork ‘Deserves to be Showcased’

The creative artistry of Kent City students was on generous display recently, when some 250 community members strolled through a broad collection of more than 900 artworks by K-12 students in the school district's fourth annual Visual Arts day. "The...

Fun for the Taking, but You Have to Earn It

A shakeup of the school day at Sparta Middle School has opened up new opportunities for students to reap rewards for good behavior and receive help when they're falling behind. Meanwhile, their teachers gain added time for collaboration. The change...

For These Seniors, Degrees Already in Sight

Three years ago, 25 district sophomores decided to get an early start on college. All are well on their way to graduating this fall, having already saved thousands on higher education. Enrolled in the district's Middle College program -- a...

Millage Approval a ‘Huge Feat’ for 20 School Districts, Leaders Say

Christie Ramsey was very happy for her three children in Rockford Public Schools, following Tuesday’s approval of an enhancement millage providing $19.9 million for local schools. But she was just as happy for all 94,000 students in Kent ISD,...

New Funds Would Go to Classroom, Early College, Arts

On May 2, voters in the Kent ISD region will be asked to approve a 0.9 mill tax for local school districts, generating $211 per student to maintain programs, improve services and meet other needs. School News Network is...

Vietnam Vets Bring Realities of War Back Home to Students

Speaking to juniors at their alma mater, a pair of Vietnam veterans provided students both with historical perspective and a lesson more personal. Chuck Smith and Tom Hoskins told a Cedar Springs High School history class of the war's gritty...

‘The Culture Has Changed’

After being placed on a list of low-achieving schools in 2010, the district's high school swung into action. Now, some of its practices are being studied as models of improvements for other districts. From its lowest point in the 14th...

Learning to Love Reading

After the school day ends, second-graders at Beach Elementary are still at work to become masters of the alphabet. In "super switch" groups based on reading level, they travel to other classrooms to receive extra help with reading. Most join...

Young Authors Learn from Published Ones — and Each Other

A room full of authors gathered at Cedar Springs Middle School. One was a guest speaker, author David Stricklen, and the rest were seventh-graders. Students in Amy Blauw's class have spent the past several months crafting their own page-turners through...

Providing Creature Comforts, on Their Own

Leopard geckos, degus, a sand boa, fishes and a painted turtle all call Steve McClintock's science classroom home. In the morning before the bell rings, the science lab at Kent City Middle School also provides sanctuary for students who want...
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