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The Refugee Educational Experience: Conference Helps Educators Understand Newcomers

About 600 refugees from war-torn countries across the globe settle in Kent and Ottawa counties every year, and about half are children. One of them is Mohamed Ali, from Somalia, a seventh-grade student at Crestwood Middle School in Kentwood. "I...

Among Top 10 Grads, Girls Top Boys (Again)

Soon after arriving at Harvard University this fall, Kanon Dean realized he was going to have to buckle down big-time in order to hack it at the prestigious Ivy League school. But having graduated as valedictorian from Lowell High...

Great Teachers Make a Lasting Difference, Studies Show

The old adage that having one great teacher can make a big difference in a student’s life is true, research shows – especially for a student struggling with poverty. Not surprisingly, having more than one great teacher can make an...

Watch this Movie, Please.

One of the enduring principles of comedy is juxtaposition. Take, for example, this joke from actress Sara Silverman: "When I was 14, I started dating my father's best friend. It was weird." "But not as weird as my father having a best...

Students, Educators Show Off the Latest and Greatest in Teaching & Learning

More than 100 educators, business people and students from across the region are expected to participate in NovaNow, a two-day conference that spotlights innovations in teaching and learning, from new ways to battle bullying to teaching math skills through...

CSI Middle-Schoolers, as Reported by High School Newsies

This week’s edition is dedicated to the work of high school students from public schools across West Michigan, who attended SNN’s inaugural journalism camp in July, thanks to a grant from Gannett Foundation. Middle-schoolers Learn Real-Life Roles of Police at...

Why Pre-Labor Day? The Details

Ron Caniff, superintendent of Kent ISD, says he did what 20 local superintendents asked him to do when he filed for a waiver in January with the Michigan Department of Education to start school before Labor Day. The ISD...
Murphy Hossink, sixth grade, Highlands Middle; Camp volunteer Naideli Loyo, senior, Wyoming High; and James Dubin, eighth grade, North Rockford Middle, learn how to listen to the heart

Students explore, learn, create at summer camps

A pair of four-day “camps” at Kent Career Tech Center are giving students the chance to explore what it’s like to work in culinary arts, automotive repair, engineering, construction and more...

Overcoming Asperger’s, Becoming a Student Leader

Gage Schell led tours of the Informational Technology program at Kent Career Tech Center, articulately explaining the program to adult visitors. He served on the KCTC Leadership Team and taught as a volunteer instructor in digital animation and design for...

Hybrid School Celebrates the First Group of Grads

A unique group of graduates gathered on Kent ISD's campus a few weeks ago. Parents and faculty were there with a warm send-off to the very first graduating class of 64 students from MySchool@Kent, a hybrid online school offered...

“We The People” Not Deterred by a Snow Day

Imagine immersing yourself in endless hours of studying U.S. history, civics and government, with the goal of proudly representing your school and community at the annual We the People competition...only to be thwarted by a snow day! Teams from Kentwood...

Inaugural Festival Changes Lives by Just Adding (Clean) Water

Parents took their children to a free-flowing give and take at the inaugural River City Water Festival that demonstrated to them why they cannot take untainted water for granted. The Water Festival, held at the Grand Rapids Public Museum, was...

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,...

Whose Top Priority?

Education is my top priority. Our children are our future. Ask virtually any politician a question about education and those are the responses you’re likely to hear. Well, Michigan residents aren’t buying it. Seventy-six percent of respondents to a recent survey...

Coming Soon: Lessons in Thinking

Donna VonderHoff's AP computer science class learned how to solve a problem. While describing it that way may sound simplistic, it wasn't. The problem was how to help students struggling in school. The method used to solve the problem was...

Transcripts Should Tell More Complete Story, Leaders Say

John Kraus thinks high school transcripts ought to show both a student's achievement in the classroom as well as learning that happened outside school walls, which would convey career employability skills. Kraus, principal of Kent ISD Secondary Programs including Kent...
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