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Caledonia school board hires interim superintendent

Newly named interim Superintendent Dirk Weeldreyer recently retired as head of Fennville Public Schools
Katee Aubil, speech language pathologist, reads a book about anxiety as part of Social Thinking, with a little help from kindergartner Drake VanLente

Students Go for the Green in Social Learning

It's easy being green. But blue, yellow and red? That's another matter. Special education students are learning to express how they feel and to identify others' emotions through a curriculum that helps develop social skills. High school junior Heather Arney...
Dutton Elementary School teacher Heidi Kruizenga was surprised to become the center of a bubble map

Teacher Map Leads to Geyser of Gratitude

Much to her surprise, Dutton Elementary School teacher Heidi Kruizenga became the noun in the center of a gigantic bubble map, so her kindergartners could surround her with enough positive words to make her burst with happiness. Principal Shawn Veitch,...

Superintendent Resigns After Non-renewal of Contract

Randy Rodriguez, superintendent since 2012, resigned at a special Board of Education meeting Monday, effective immediately. Rodriguez’s decision to leave the post follows the board’s decision last month to not renew his contract, which was set to expire at...
Sharon Nelson helps grandson Asher Staskiewicz

Threading a Forgotten Skill Back into Class

The days of home-economics sewing projects may be far in the past. But in teacher Deborah Trent’s art class, stitching and stuffing provided a classic lesson in needlework.
Brayden Grant’s snow globe is in the “middle of nowhere”

Shaking Up a Writing Standard

To shake up a fourth-grade writing standard, Paris Ridge Elementary teachers Amy Dyksterhouse, Bari Cane and Sarah Cox challenged students to write persuasive letters to their parents about where they would like to live inside a snow globe.

Finding the Right Fit

How do you turn a would-be class clown into a productive student? How do you motivate a fifth-grader who just doesn't fit in or refuses to keep up with classroom assignments? Some area parents have turned to ATYP Junior --...

What’s Your Interest? Enrichment Programs Run the Gamut

Jameson Hemmerly popped into Elizabeth Alexander's classroom to ask for a little guidance. It was Wednesday, and the sixth-grader needed to know which after-school activity to go to: knitting, the mentoring program LEGION or Math Olympiad. Alexander helped him consider...

Think Deeper — Use a Map!

When it comes to digging deeper into reading, writing, vocabulary, science or math; giving details about the beginning, middle and end of a story or event; or explaining the cause and effect of an action, Dutton Elementary students are...

Healthier Options on the Menu

In their new cafeteria, high school students stopped by a demonstration table to sample California rolls packed with sticky rice, cucumber, avocado and cooked pollock, which were customized with ginger and wasabi sauce right before their eyes. "I like it...

A Lesson in Philanthropy, Taught by 6th-graders

How do you turn $2 into $8,500? Lemonade stands, cupcake sales, a backyard movie night, and peddling painted rocks and bracelets are just a few ways. Student-run businesses recently popped up around town as sixth-graders took $2 (plus some investment...

Learning Garden Opens

Kettle Lake Elementary students have a new place to appreciate the great outdoors while reading, performing skits and feeling the sunshine as they learn. Complete with rocks to sit on, a reading deck, a dry creek, five raised beds gardens...

Recycle, Reward, Recreation

Students at Kettle Lake Elementary soon will have a perfect example of what recycled materials can become: a new playground structure to be added to their schoolyard. Kettle Lake was the grand-prize winner of a new structure made from recycled...

‘We Inspire Each Other’

Johnny Agar and Duncan Lake Middle School sixth-grader Dakota Tomac share a unique perspective on grit and working to reach their goals. “I have CP (cerebral palsy) like him,” said Dakota. “I have a lot of dreams in my life.” Agar,...

South Campus Features New Space, New Ways of Learning

Throughout the new Caledonia High School South Campus, students gathered in groups, busy working in open spaces. The setting resembled groups of professionals from Google or Steelcase, as students worked on projects individually and together, plugged in their tech...

Learning History from Those Who Made It

Each spring, sophomores in Joel Diekevers' class interview veterans, documenting their stories and learning their history. Students personally invite veterans to participate and connect with those who served, sometimes closing the gap between generations and building mutual respect. Over the...
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