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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...

New Funds Would Go to Classroom, Early College, Arts

On May 2, voters in the Kent ISD region will be asked to approve a 0.9 mill tax for local school districts, generating $211 per student to maintain programs, improve services and meet other needs. School News Network is...

Lab Brings Farming, Ecology Lessons to Students

Crowded inside a mobile science lab outside Appleview Elementary, fourth-graders discovered how farmers use science to maintain clean water. Dropping purple food coloring from a pipette into water, then transplanting that water over and over to a more diluted reservoir,...

‘They Learn by Music’

A drum beat echoes down the halls of Sparta's Appleview Elementary. The source: a boisterous bunch of musicians keeping a beat and dancing to the rhythm. Students with cognitive impairments from across the district are stepping in line with Artists Creating...

Bowls Full of Giving

Second-grader Noah Leija stood at the countertop with a utensil in his hand, eyeing a smooth, round slab of clay. A student next to him had already carved his way across his clay with a complicated pattern. Noah began with...

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...

So Long Till Next Year

Eighth-grader Luis Montes is accustomed to change. This year, that change may be a lack of change, as his family debates whether to make the annual November migration to Georgia to pick onions, pecans and peanuts -- or, for...

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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