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Issues in Education

Let’s review center-based special education programs, say superintendents

A study will bring in an outside consultant to evaluate whether GRPS center-based programs are providing best practices compared with other districts in Michigan and beyond...

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...

Students Speak Out About Mental Health

For students battling anxiety and depression, sometimes the greatest stress comes from seeking success. In today’s culture of high-stakes testing, high-cost college and all-everything excellence, getting anything less than an A on an exam can push a student’s panic button....

School Leaders Help Migrant Students Realize Possibilities

The contribution by migrant workers to the economy is undeniable, with the literal fruits of their labor evident on grocery store shelves and in the millions of bushels of apples harvested and cherished in Michigan each fall. Migrants come...

‘They’re right. We are just a bunch of kids. But we’ve also been the...

Students at City High/Middle School joined others demonstrating across America Wednesday, a month after the massacre that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida

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

Officer looks out for students’ safety, shares life skills, lends a caring ear

Officer Todd Summerhays’ main role is to ensure safety by securing buildings, monitoring surveillance videos and responding quickly and appropriately to anything amiss...

Teachers and School Open Doors of Possibility to Migrant Children

Esteban and Maria Ordaz, parents of Kent City Elementary third- and fourth-grade sisters Romalda and Rufina, immigrated from Mexico 12 years ago. They spend summers and early falls in Michigan picking apples at orchards, but leave for southern climates...

Teachers learn alongside students in ‘read-aloud’ classroom tour

A quartet of literacy coaches from Kent ISD recently led a trio of early literacy essentials read-aloud field trips for teachers, administrators and other K-12 staff...

Helping with Stress at the Holidays

When Karen Hoekstra was in high school, there was no "be nice" committee, and talking about mental illness just didn't happen, she said. "Had there been those sort of programs they have here today, it would have saved me a...

Why Are Kids Hurting & What Can We Do?

While school counselors do their best to help students struggling with mental-health problems, some need more intensive professional help. Lately, agencies providing that help have stepped up capacity to meet an increasing need. At Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services,...

Students Suffer as Schools Struggle with Budget Shortages

When Christie Ramsey's son Michael was in first grade in Rockford Public Schools, there were about 20 students in his class and a paraprofessional to help the teacher. This year her daughter, Abigail, has 25 students in her first-grade...

Building a Talent Supply Chain

West Michigan rebounded from the 2007-09 recession by exceeding job growth in the nation as a whole by 500 percent.  To continue that trend, business and education must work hand-in-hand to help students get a better understanding of the...

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...

‘I’ll be Forever Grateful,’ Single Mom Says of Community’s Help

Flossie Bliss has a strong faith in God, but her faith in people has been renewed. The Cedar Springs single mother of four was astonished by the generosity of community members who came to her aid after they read of...

‘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...
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