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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...

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 --...

Education on Trial

Sometimes students learn best by trial. And in a recent unit on suspense, Leah Sajdak's eighth -grade language arts classroom took that concept very literally. One of the assigned literary works for learning about suspense was "The Tell-Tale Heart" by...

Student Suspense Story Excerpts

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

Special Honor for Special Program

Sparta has been named a National Unified Champion School for its dedication to establishing relationships between Special Olympics athletes and their peers without disabilities. Only three Michigan schools and 83 nationally have received this recognition, said high school Principal Matt...

Dads of Great Students Group Expanding

Four years ago, when Todd Yemc was laid off, he went "to work" volunteering every single day in his kindergarten daughter's classroom. Ridgeview's principal, Maryalyce Zerrip, asked him if he would be willing to try organizing a local chapter of...

Fred Thorne: 47 Years of Service to Children

Fred Thorne gave all but 30 of his 77 years to the children of Sparta and Kent County as a quietly competent and humble school board member who was supportive of staff and committed to creating new opportunities for...

Funky Friday Drumline Gets Students Moving & Learning

What do you get when elementary students are given a laundry basket, a big plastic ball and a couple of sticks? At Ridgeview Elementary, you get Funky Friday. The unique combination of music and physical education is based on an...

Reading Well Predicts Student Success

Ten-year-old Erika Bradford knows how important it is to find ways to make reading easier. "I think the reason kids don't like any subject is because they are struggling with it," Erika said. "I used to hate reading and I...

New School Year Brings Cool Stuff

Trying out the new "giant fidget spinner" and logging on to a personal computer were just two of the exciting changes Appleview Elementary students found when they returned to school the day after Labor Day. Facility renovations, like those that...

Students, Community Team Up to Protect Nash Creek

Students from throughout the area and Sparta community members recently worked together to protect Nash Creek from erosion and pollution, culminating a long-term project to keep the creek flowing clean and shore up its banks. Students in the Sparta community...

District Makeover, Spartan Style

Ground has been broken on various district improvements, including a new athletic complex and secure building entrances, all funded by a bond issue approved by voters last year. A ceremony was held May 30 as construction crews set to work...

Creativity to Spare

Sparta Lanes in downtown Sparta got a bit of a makeover recently with help from some local high school students. The alley is home to their bowling teams, and now bears original artwork from the bowlers themselves, with Kent City...

Undaunted by Disease, Staying the Course

Standing in a hall of Sparta High School, Steven Sevarns wore a smile that might suggest he wasn't headed to class that day. He had finished his last lessons before graduation, and all but the ceremony was behind him. A...

Principal: Teachers are ‘Doing Everything’ for Students

A pair of first-grade teachers at Ridgeview Elementary recently told two visiting Michigan legislators about the stresses of teaching under strained budgets, and the increasing demands on teachers to serve greater student needs. Meeting in a roomful of administrators and...

Fun for the Taking, but You Have to Earn It

A shakeup of the school day at Sparta Middle School has opened up new opportunities for students to reap rewards for good behavior and receive help when they're falling behind. Meanwhile, their teachers gain added time for collaboration. The change...

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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