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China Tour Result: Opportunity for Kentwood Students

Touring one of the schools run by the Weiming Education Group in China, Kentwood Superintendent Scott Palczewski was surprised by the facility, the attentiveness of the students in teacher-led lectures and the school’s focus on the arts. But when...

Science Teacher Applies VanAndel Institute Principles to Classroom

A lot of noise comes from East Kentwood High School AP biology teacher Chad VanHouten’s class. Cockatiels may be whistling, students may be feeding the python and her babies or the class might be reacting to experiments. Snakes, a...

Chef Mo Nourishes Students with His Expertise;

I am driving home from a morning spent taking notes about the stellar food service program at East Kentwood Public Schools, and you might think my thoughts are revolving around the delicious garbanzo bean salad I ate, or the...

Discovery Zone Takes Classroom into Nature

Fifth grader Brooke Groce leaned over to smell a wildflower. “It doesn’t really have a smell,” she said, and recorded her observation on a sheet of paper as part of her science investigation in Discovery Elementary’s new Discovery Zone. Around her,...

Kentwood Students Sample Lamb on Pizza – and Loved It!

For centuries, lamb has been the predominant source of protein for much of the world, including Asia, Northern Africa and Europe. Yet in the U.S., children may go their entire lives without knowing what lamb tastes like and what...

Motivating Students: Educators Will Do Whatever It Takes

Getting inspired to do well in school might come naturally for some students. But for others, a little incentive, like seeing the principal getting a Mohawk or slowly putting a pie on a teacher’s face, might make school a...

The Superintendent: A Day In the Life

Standing by the door’s entrance, Kentwood Public Schools Superintendent Scott Palczewski greets every administrator with a handshake, making small talk as school leaders fill the room for their regular monthly meeting.“Nice tan, how was Florida?” he asks before starting...

Innovative Program Adds Technology and Changes Classroom Structure

Using the netbooks provided by the school, fifth graders Kelly Hung and Brandon Singer completed their research on zoology as a teacher pointed out key terms on the SMARTboard in front of the class. “We can do experiments,” said Kelly...

Livestream Turns Students Into TedHeads

Editor’s note: Nardy Baeza Bickel was among the core volunteer group for the TEDxGrand Rapids Livestream for Education. When veteran teacher and avid outdoors woman Lori Schneider was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, she could have given up on her...

Press ‘n Go

Buying lunch at Kentwood Public Schools will soon only take the press of two fingers on a scanner. A new biometric system, being phased in at schools this year, means faster-moving lines, more time to eat and fewer delays....

Diverse Dishes – Food Service Staff Learn Creative Ways to Mix Up Menus

Getting students excited about what’s on their lunch trays takes a mix of the right ingredients. Plus, it requires tapping into youthful curiosity, said Mo Shamali, child nutrition director for Kentwood and Kelloggsville public schools. “Kids are savvy,” he said, while...

Leading With Care

For one day each December, students in the Crossroads Alternative High School leadership class work in assembly-line format, packing hundreds of items into care bags for people in the community. It’s a culmination of months of work getting donations...

Her electrifying style

Abby Bolen stands alone in a small room, the vibrantly painted viper violin positioned on her shoulder, her bow moving fast and intense. She plays a song that sounds like rock and roll with a Celtic flair. Abby, 16, plays...

No Debate About it: Debating Skills are Valuable

The mere idea of debating on stage may cause some to break out in hives, but students are usually far from tongue-tied by the time they take their spots behind the podium, say local high school debate coaches. “Debate is...

Ninth-grade Students Connect with Second-graders through Books

“Waxy the Candle was very sad. He was teased and bullied until he went mad,” read ninth-grade student Kim Tran to Brookwood Elementary students. Tran’s story goes on to tell how Waxy lights up a room for all to...

Students Get To Know Each Other Over ‘Mixed-Up’ Lunch

While eating lunch with a random group of peers, Valleywood Middle School eighth-grade classmates discussed what they can’t live without. “I can’t live without my cell phone,” said Victor Eskew. “I can’t live without music,” said Reyna Delgado. “I can’t live without...
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