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Arts and Academics

New approach lifts struggling students’ math scores

Thanks to streamlined coaching, students are filling in gaps in their basic skills so they can move forward in math
Members of the Cedar Springs Division II Odyssey of the Mind team are, from left, parent coach Traci Slager, seventh-grader Aiden Lake, sixth-graders Annalise Elliott, Brielle Sarniak, Nate Slager and Coryn Wiles, eighth-grader Jade Yowtz, and long-term coach Michelle Wiles

Mind Sports Roundup

School News Network will be running roundups of events including Odyssey of the Mind, Science Olympiad, MathCounts and robotics

Student mural takes learning out to the hall

When the the art class moved into new semester, students who preferred painting to other media took to decorating the hallways
Students in art teacher Debra Kreuyer’s interior design class create spheres that are attached for a collaborative group mural called the Legacy Project

Students Leave a Legacy to Last, in Clay

By making hundreds of clay tiles utilizing form, line, shape and texture, high school students unleashed their creativity in creating a hallway mural
James Hissong, Kent ISD grants and development coordinator, tried his rather unsteady hand at welding, using a machine designed to teach welding skills using virtual reality technology

Grant Gives Students Welding Skills, Virtual-style

Whether you are in high school attempting to settle on a career, an adult back to school to upgrade skills or a young child dreaming of what to be when you grow up, equipment coming soon to Kent Career...
Claudio Sanchez, education correspondent for NPR, and Mike Nassar, director of the Community Literacy Initiative

Reading Law Adds Urgency to Literacy Summit

As a National Public Radio education correspondent, Claudio Sanchez is used to asking the thorny questions and then questioning the answers. He spied an opening during an interval at the Literacy Center of West Michigan's sixth annual Community Literacy...
Linda Nelson, violinist with the Grand Rapids Symphony, shows Meeah Fisher how to hold a bow

Students Play a Happy Tune with Symphony Pros

The three strings musicians who visited Pine Island Elementary this week didn't have to do a whole song and dance to hold the attention of teacher Wendy Hawes' fourth-graders. The songs were enough. Jonathan Copsey's hand shot up during the...

Reading initiative shows early positive results

Where there is a problem, there is a solution. So when scores indicated that many Cedar Trails Elementary students would not meet state of Michigan reading guidelines, the school implemented a Reading Now Network program customized for its students. With guidance...

Portraying History Through Art

Freshman Daniel Zawodny can tell you about a courtyard confrontation between artistic rivals Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. And while freshman Brock Sweezie admits he’s more into modern art than that of the Renaissance, he still knows about the work...

Librarians Ready to Share ‘Joy of Reading’

Chelsea McCoy dives headfirst into imagination: wildly, enthusiastically, getting right on the floor with youngsters. It’s clear she wants to help them cultivate a love of reading. McCoy asks a lot of questions: about the last book they read, their...

At Home on the Range

"Zinga, zinga, zinga, zoo." "Higher ... now higher ... still higher," said vocal teacher Linda Tata. The boys repeated the melodic phrase in higher and higher tones -- and then lower and lower -- until each reached the end of his...
From left, Diamond Johnson, Madisyn Rogers and Jamya Sanders work on their outdoor classroom prototype

Planning an Outdoor Classroom, for Real

Three classrooms, a memory bench and a sidewalk. Those are elements in ninth-graders Diamond Johnson, Madisyn Rogers and Jamya Sanders’ design for a greenhouse-themed outdoor addition to their school. “(Students and teachers) said they’d rather be outside and get fresh...
Kent ISD early literacy coach Katie Momber works with a Godfrey-Lee student (Photo courtesy of Kyle Mayer)

Grant Project Aims to Boost Third-grade Reading

In an effort to improve third-grade reading proficiency, the district will receive $20,000 to implement instructional practices recommended by Reading Now Network over the next two-and-half years. An instructional team of about a dozen literacy experts from all over the...

Super Readers Save the Day!

There are new superheroes in town, and with the point of a popsicle stick, the zoom-in ability of hyper-focused eyes and ears, and the ability to know words in a "snap," they are flying through their reading levels. Districtwide, kindergartners...
Art teacher Amber Warren shows, from left, Alexiana Ochoa and Alexis Odelin, how to make a name monster

Necessity, Not Luxury

Art teacher Amber Warren sees the difference in students who have had experience in art and those who haven't. The latter have little faith in their artistic abilities, she said. "They are not confident." After offering art at reduced levels...

From Construction Class to Happy Homeowners

Talk about being invested in your students' work. After students spent last school year building a house through the East Kentwood High School residential construction class, Principal Omar Bakri bought it. "I wasn't planning on it," said Bakri. "I stopped by...
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