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Schools a Hot Spot at Heated Town Halls

Editor’s note: This is a news commentary from SNN reporter and editor Charles Honey, whose children attended Grand Rapids Public Schools. It was democracy in action, and man, was it messy. Also invigorating. I’m talking about the recent town hall meeting...

Teachers Tap Into Online Learning Site, Many for Free

Four students gazed at their iPads to see lots of animals eating: squirrel, giraffe, camel, panda. Video over, teacher Heather Gauck asked them what they found interesting about how the animals ate. “The panda’s a little bit like us,” offered...

Enhancement Millage Message: Be Sure to Vote Today

If Superintendent Ron Caniff could deliver two messages to every registered voter in Kent ISD, they would be these: 1. please vote today; 2. understand what you are voting for. Much is riding on today’s ballot proposal requesting an enhancement...

Students march for their lives: ‘If others aren’t going to do it, I think...

Six teenage organizers from Forest Hills and Grand Rapids led a crowd of thousands in the March for Our Lives at Rosa Parks Circle

Thinking by Design, Solving Problems and Having Fun

Want to know how to prevent accidents in the winter on major highways? Getting refugees without transportation to the Refugee Education Center in Kentwood? How to water your garden from rain water in a more efficient way than you...

Understanding what the fuss is all about: A primer on the M-STEP

The new school year coincides with the release of the last school year’s state assessment data (2017-18) — the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP)...

Thank You for Reading

Politics. Policy. Finance. Standards-based accountability. NCLB. ESSA. Too often, this blog is about stuff -- the external influences on schools, teachers and ultimately, students -- that is a distraction and, at its worst, a detriment to the essence of education. That's...

Surprise! Good Vision and Learning are Linked

Marley Beauchamp slips on a pair of 3-D glasses, but it's not because she plans to munch popcorn while watching a popular animated film. Instead, Kent County Health Department vision and hearing technician Denise Knight holds in front of the...

Can teachers be trained to handle guns in crisis? Not likely, police vets say

Former Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Larry Johnson knows the lightning-quick thinking and split-second actions required to handle an active-shooter situation

Collaboration, Chords and Harmony: Girls Rock!

The four-girl rock band "Boltz" sang about the cataclysmic end of the dinosaurs. "Toodle-oo, T-Rex!" the fifth- and sixth-graders chimed in unison while rehearsing their original song, "Natural Disasters." The upbeat, lighthearted telling of a reptile apocalypse showed the band's...

A Challenge to West Michigan: 3-D Printers in Every School

Crestwood Middle School seventh-grader Beck Han’s bright blue earbud attachments, created on a 3-D printer, fit nicely over science, technology, engineering and math teacher Breanna Yarnott’s ears. She even modeled them in class. The attachments address the problem of earbuds...

Nose for News? Journalism Camp Lets Students Find Out

A group of high school students from across Kent County transformed a classroom into a newsroom for a week this summer. Over four days in July, students took part in a journalism camp hosted by School News Network and funded...

Superintendent Association committee zeros in on equity to improve gaps in education

A seven-member committee of local educators is working to address disparities in education that exist along along racial and socioeconomic lines. The group meets monthly with the goal of building awareness and working toward change...

Local students invite congressional candidates to March for Our Lives town hall

Having made known their demands for safer schools and stronger gun laws in the March for Our Lives, more than a dozen local students are hosting a town hall meeting with U.S. congressional candidates to address solutions to gun...

Through music and movement, students with disabilities learn life skills

At Lincoln School, students with autism, multiple impairments and cognitive disorders learn through movement, music and story thanks to a partnership with Grand Rapids Ballet...

Easing Fears and Teaching Respect

For many students, the election of Donald Trump as president provoked fear and uncertainty, especially in schools with large immigrant and Muslim populations. For others it was cause for celebration, though fraught with deep divisions between fellow students who...
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