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Laughter, gratitude, memories and art featured at reunion with retired art teacher

A retired Sparta art teacher hosts a reunion for reminiscing and allowing former students to pick up artwork she has saved through the years...

Finding the Right Fit

How do you turn a would-be class clown into a productive student? How do you motivate a fifth-grader who just doesn't fit in or refuses to keep up with classroom assignments? Some area parents have turned to ATYP Junior --...

Parents Celebrate Son’s Life through Giv

It had been several years after losing their son, Mason John, unexpectedly. Parents Nicole and Ryan Kober decided it was time to host a community fundraising event in his memory. Initially conceived as a humble get together for family...

Dedicated Volunteer Finds Purpose in “600 Grandchildren”

Dale Allers isn't related to anyone at Sparta's Ridgeview Elementary School, but he's "Grandpa Dale" to the 600-plus students who affectionately greet him every week with smiles, fist bumps and hugs. "That's why I do it. I love the kids...

A Perfect Picture of Learning

“It is not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” These words from Henry David Thoreau sum up why middle school language arts teacher Steve Duyck wanted to add a photography class at the middle school. He...

Students With Visual Impairments Cook Up New Skills

Cookies? Check. Apple crisp? Check. Camaraderie? Check. These are the ingredients that make up the fun-filled after-school cooking class for visually impaired students from neighboring districts in Northern Kent County. Twice a month, students from Kenowa Hills Public Schools, Sparta...

Grant Brings Books to Music, Art, Phys Ed Classes

Reading may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about an elementary physical  education, art or music class, but for three teachers at Sparta Area School’s Ridgeview Elementary, books are a large part of their...
First-grader Jordan Eshraghi enjoys it when Grandpa Dale reads with him

Tying Shoes, Zipping Coats, Giving Hugs: ‘Grandpa Dale’ Does it All

Dale Allers has three grandchildren, but more than 500 children from ages 5 through 15 who call him grandpa. Allers has worked in same two first-grade classrooms at Ridgeview Elementary for 10 years. He always looks forward to family events...

A recipe for celebrating hometown memories

Elementary students honor former Sparta students with hometown greetings and goodies for the holidays...

Inspired Teachers Foster Young Leaders

Students at Sparta's Appleview Elementary are setting leadership goals this year, with the help of teachers who have spent the past two summers mastering the skills it takes to succeed. When third-grade teacher Tammy Singleton and fifth-grade teacher Jenny Frazier...

Teachers Engage Students, Parents in Using Technology for Learning

With new technology initiatives, gone are the days that the dog can eat your homework, or the letter home to parents about slipping grades could be intercepted at the mailbox. A pilot program in Sparta Area School’s classrooms is...

Construction of new middle school gets under way

The groundbreaking celebration for a new middle school included participation by fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders, who will be the first users of the new building when it opens in 2020...

District named to AP honor roll for second time

Sparta Area Schools has been named to the ninth Annual AP ® District Honor Roll. The district is one of only 373 in the U.S. and Canada named by the College Board to the honor roll...

Figuring out problems, not just learning about them

Third-grade teachers in Sparta, Northview, Kentwood and Wyoming are participating this year in a pilot program that ties Next Generation Science Standards-aligned lessons with lessons in math and literacy...

Sculpting Real Helping Hands

A trio of Kent Career Tech Center 3D Animation students from Comstock Park and Sparta high schools recently had the opportunity to turn their class project into a life-changing helping hand – two of them in fact. Five-year-old Baylee Sherman...

Don’t want to lose your smartness? Catch Books on the Run

Books on the Run, in its third year in Sparta, makes 20-minute stops throughout the district’s community every two weeks. Other stops this year included the Ida Red Apartments, Sparta Townhouses, Glenwood Estates and Dietrich Farms...

School resource officer wants to make personal connections

A student’s article about the school’s new resource officer, which originally appeared in the school news publication, 'Bell Ringer'...

Student Suspense Story Excerpts

Leah Sajdek’s eighth -grade language arts classroom studied concepts involved in suspense writing, and found their 'inner Poe'
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