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Students to Drivers: Put the Phone Down!

The image looms high above southbound U.S. 131, just north of the Burton Street exit -- a tear falling from a teen girl’s eye, a pair of hands clutching a cell phone instead of a steering wheel, and a...

‘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...

Providing Creature Comforts, on Their Own

Leopard geckos, degus, a sand boa, fishes and a painted turtle all call Steve McClintock's science classroom home. In the morning before the bell rings, the science lab at Kent City Middle School also provides sanctuary for students who want...

Math as Discovery, Exploration

Gathered on the floor around teacher Karen Swanson, her third-graders were not looking down at a worksheet or a pop quiz, but up. They watched Swanson as she used her hands, drew models on the board and asked frequent...

Confident and Empowered

A program that empowers parents with the skills to be their child's first teacher has come to Kent City Elementary School. Parents Are Teachers has found a new home here, where migrant families and other English-language learners can use a...

Watch Out for Spinning Tops and Catapults!

A group of middle schoolers formed a circle on the lab floor, while others leapt onto desks to avoid the trajectory of Beyblades -- spinning tops activated by a pull cord -- as students competed for whose would spin...

Building a Band Program, From Squeaks to Symphonic

If you talk to a sixth-grader or a high school senior from Kent City's band program, you will hear a similar story. For first-chair saxophonist and senior Zach Carlson, it began in elementary school during recess. "I would ask my...

‘Thanks for Protecting Us’

Students learned about sacrifice and service when schools throughout Kent County honored servicemen and women with special ceremonies on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Students saluted veterans with song and poetry, made thank-you cards and hugged parents and grandparents who...

Is it a Bird? A Whale? Oh Wait, it’s Both!

"Dear John Ball Zoo Committee," fourth-grader Neil Myers read aloud to his classmates. "I am Professor Neil. It has come to my attention that I contact you about what events I have witnessed." He continued with a fish story --...

Fashion Design for the Future

Kent City third-graders were given the task of thinking into the future at ArtPrize's Education Days, as they designed the fashion of the next 100 years. Inspired by the work of artist Saya Woolfalk, whose designs are on display at...

Students Become Local Historians

In 1907, a railroad spark was carried on a strong, northward wind through downtown Kent City, starting a fire that devastated many of its buildings north of the railroad tracks. Among the few surviving structures was a house that later...

‘I’ll Saw this Wood Up – I’m Not Scared of It’

From the courtroom to the archery range and beyond, a quartet of female high school students are breaking into fields dominated by males. Two Kent Career Tech Center students were among 32 students across Michigan to receive 2016 Breaking Traditions...

From Pirate to Picture Books

As a child, Floyd Cooper’s first dream was to become a pirate. As an adult, his career path veered toward advertising, but he ended up closer to his original goal, as an illustrator of children’s books. “It was just something...

Building a Better Back-Up

If engineers look at the world and ask, "What could work better?" Caleb Sible would probably say forklift driving. The pros must agree, since judges in The CAD Academy just awarded him a new laptop as the third-place winner of...

Library Remodel Includes New Books, Student Reviews

The Elementary School's library has been transformed. Along with a remodel, new initiatives brought books and reading to every corner and classroom of the building. The library has new carpet and paint, but along with structure and materials, literacy coach...

Class Dojo Connects Parents, Provides Positive Competition for Students

A new program in Kent City Elementary classes provides parents instant feedback on how their student is doing in class, while encouraging classmates to bring their A-game in a friendly competition to do their best. The free program, Class Dojo,...
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