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AP Classes Score Big with Students

The Advanced Placement U.S. History classroom was adorned with presidential posters that students have earned working on campaigns over the years. Teacher Kyle VanderWall challenged his students to consider why Lord Dunmore's Proclamation (to free slaves who would fight...

Laser Focus on Reading Produces Good Results

At Grandville's East Elementary School, their double-digits gains in the M-STEP third- and fourth-grade reading scores was driven home by Principal Ana Aleman-Putman's determination to push for excellence. That's despite 71 percent of East's students qualifying for free and...

From Geckos to Guava, Students Steep Selves in Spanish

When 34 high school students landed in June at Juan Santamaría International Airport in the Costa Rican capital of San Jose, the West Michigan teenagers entered a world of Spanish, from the airport signage and customs agents to dates...

Moving on Up, Combo Locks and All

The middle school's recent two-day welcome-back event felt more like a celebratory party than school function. The new crop of 475 seventh-graders beamed as they triangulated their new digs, the middle school. Definitely happy and excited, a bit nervous, but...

Solar Eclipse Mania: ‘It’s Officially Happening!’

On Eclipse Day 2017 -- also the first day of school -- South Elementary School families whooped-it-up as the moon made its move. The swim-suited revelers soaked up the sun and careened down an enormous slip-and-slide hosed down by...

When the Babe Met George Washington

It looked a little like several dozen time machines had collided inside the East Elementary gymnasium. Benjamin Franklin flew his -- or in this case, her -- kite back and forth as Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen, posed for photographs. Airplane...

A Gift Built to Last

Jared Duncan returned recently to the school he went to for kindergarten and left something for them to remember him by. A big something, in fact. The Grandville High senior constructed a 60-by-60-inch island worktable for the workroom in the...

Colonel Mustard in the Billiard Room with the Candlestick

Students in Elizabeth "Libbi" Ungrey's forensic science class spent the school year developing the skills to solve crimes of her making. For the end-of-year project, the tables were turned and students aimed to stump their teacher. "This pulls together their...

Soldier’s Letters Bring Civil War Close to Home

Eighth-grader Nevin Hooper says learning about a local Civil War soldier was "way more cool" than learning about the bloodiest war in U.S. history from a textbook. Libby "Fred" Rozema and Riordan McPhail agree. "You always get it from the textbook's...

Video Chat Piques Interest in Reading, Writing

Jaxson Wilder isn't sure he will ever become an author, but at least he now has an idea of what it takes. Jaxson and his fellow fifth-graders at Cummings Elementary were able to ask questions via Skype with California-based children's...

The Arts & Chocolate: What Could be Better?

Rowan Marshall posed next to one of her works of art displayed inside the Grandville Branch of the Kent District Library so her mom could snap a photo of the achievement. It was the second time her work had been...

It May Look Icky, but It’s Educational

Troy Reinhart held the pig's heart in his right hand and agreed it felt pretty much like he thought it would: "Slimy." But despite the initial tactile discomfort, the Grandview Elementary sixth-grader handily identified for a classmate the superior vena...

Students Do Battle with ‘Bots, Steampunk Style

Busy 'bots, moving gears and quick-thinking pilots converged at the For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology (FIRST) Robotics district finals at East Kentwood High School recently. Thirty-nine robotics teams, from as far north as Traverse City, south as...

Art for Heart’s Sake

Allan Milton really wants to go to prom. So the Grandville High School senior decided to put his artistic talents toward raising the $40 cost to attend and eat a fancy dinner, and to look snazzy doing it. His caricatures...

Can I Hear the Part About the Squirrel Chase Again?

Hayden Cole opened a book titled "Mr. Putter & Tabby Paint the Porch" and began to read aloud: "She had a bucket of pink paint, a big brush and some rags," began the East Elementary second-grader. At first, her listener...

From Downtime to Downward Dog Time

In her 25 years as a teacher, Sandy Brunett knows well the challenges of getting elementary students to switch gears from one area of focus to another, or from relatively unstructured time such as lunch and recess to time to...
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