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What Do We Want For Our Kids?

This is not a column about school funding.  Let's get that out of the way right now. Instead, this is a column about what we want for our kids today, and tomorrow. Our policy makers have done a lot of talking...

A Clean Sweep: Voters in Seven Kent Districts Approve Funding Requests

Tuesday was a good day for schools and students in Kent ISD, as voters approved tax proposals in all seven districts that requested them. Residents supported requests ranging from $3.6 million to $76.1 million in Caledonia, Comstock Park, East...

Year-round School Calendars May Not Suit All Districts, Administrators Say

Michigan students have gotten used to clearing out lockers during the first week of June with a long summer stretching lazily ahead. A post-Labor Day return to school is not only the norm, but the law. While many students spend...

What’s the Problem with Math? Series to Show Kent Teachers Seeking Answers

Editor's note: Teachers have strived for years to improve the math performance of American students, who consistently test below the average of other developed countries. This week, School News Network begins a multipart series on why so many area...

New Machines Aim to Reduce Injuries, Respond to Growing Concerns about Concussion

Kenowa Hills sophomore Faith Swieringa carries a fingernail-size scar above her right eye. Lacrosse? Nope, cheerleading. She got it from being accidentally whacked during Homecoming week, requiring eight stitches. She's sustained two concussions in competitive cheer, where blows from...

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...

TV Security Report Prompts Corrected ‘Mistakes’

Although a recent TV report revealed weaknesses in Rockford schools' security system, Superintendent Michael Shibler said he's not sorry he cooperated with the project. "I don't see this as we failed miserably," Shibler said after the Feb. 11 WOOD TV8...

TK Bond Request to Focus on Security, Technology

Enhanced security, technology upgrades and necessary maintenance are the focus of a "no frills" $6 million bond issue for Thornapple Kellogg voters May 6. A steep decline in per-pupil funding, compounded by increasing fuel costs and student support expenses makes...

Security, Technology Upgrades Key to EGR Bond Request

Student safety, maintenance and district technology improvements would be funded by a $30.9 million bond issue that will be put before East Grand Rapids voters on May 6. All are necessary enhancements and all are beyond what the district can...

‘I Did That Too’: Child of Migrant Camps Helps Hispanic Students

Another day at Alpine Elementary is winding down when Sylvia Saucedo-DeVries looks up to see a young man come in the office. Miguel Vega, 18, attended this school as a child and wants to say hi to his former...

How Are Districts Meeting the Needs of Gifted Students?

Challenged with designing a structure to safely hold a raw egg when dropped from several feet above the floor, Oriole Park Elementary School third and fourth-grade students started brainstorming in groups. "We can use the six cotton puffs under the...

Helping Schools Prep for Online Testing

Nearly $100 million in grant money is helping school districts across the state update their technology so students can take standardized tests like the MEAP online.  The switch to online tests means students will get more help where they...

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...

Third-grade Reading Legislation Could Hold Back Thousands

Brown Elementary School students discussed the actions of a boasting rabbit and patient tortoise in Gayle Corey’s third-grade class as they considered characters, setting, problem and solution in Aesop’s classic fable. Then Corey challenged them to write a summary. “Go back,...

Superintendents Join Forces to Improve Regional Reading Scores

West Michigan educators are taking a collaborative approach to boost third-grade student reading proficiency up to the 80 percent mark in five years. Superintendents are joining forces in the new Region 3West Michigan K-3 Reading Now Network to glean knowledge...

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...
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