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The Snow…er, Show Must Go On

Rehearsals at Sparta High School for the recent production of “The Diary of Anne Frank” have been challenging. On top of the difficult subject matter, the cast and crew have had to contend with unprecedented amounts of early November snow.  Despite...

Students get Close-Up with Native American Artifacts

Hands shot up as Sparta Community Schools fifth grade teacher Larry Carter asked 100 students what they liked to collect. “Marbles,” “Seashells,” “Shark’s teeth,” “Stones,” “Mainly Everything,” were some of the excited responses. None of them mentioned items such as umbilical...

Great Response to Watch D.O.G.S.

The Sparta Area Schools Watch D.O.G.S. organizers thought they would need about 30 pizzas to entice participation in the program. Instead, fathers, grandpas and stepdads joined crowded into the Sparta Area School's Appleview Elementary cafeteria, demolishing 72 pizzas while signing up...

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...

Students Lead “Be Nice” Lessons

“Are we doing Be Nice today?,” students asked eagerly as they took their seats in Kelli Jurek’s 8th grade seminar class. Many of them were clearly excited to have their peers leading that morning’s interactive session. Sparta Middle School...

Tech Center Students Awarded Breaking Traditions Recognition

Rockford High School student Sydney Bogard, who recently graduated from the Tech Center's Criminal Justice program, was one of 22 Michigan students recently honored with the Michigan Breaking Traditions Merit Award. The award is given to students enrolled in...

Historical Walking Tour Turns Whole Community into a Museum

"Let's try to make him laugh" giggled a crowd of Sparta's Appleview Elementary fifth-graders as they huddled around the "Live Statue," who today was posing as Johnathan Nash, who helped get Sparta Township going in 1846. It didn't work....

Educators Weigh in About Online Tests

As Stacey Cooper's second-graders at Sparta's Ridgeview Elementary completed an online test, several of them waited patiently with hands raised. They wanted help from Cooper and Principal Marialyce Zeerip, who helped out during the school's trial of new computer-based...

The Supes

When there's time – and usually there's not – Dan Takens will pilot his car the 10 or 11 miles from his office at Byron Center Public Schools to one of his favorite lunchtime eateries in Eastown. It's there, often...

Family Fun Fest Boosts Student’s Elementary Experience

Children skipped around with newly-won goldfish while parents mused over silent auction items at the annual Family Fun Fest at Sparta's Appleview Elementary. This day of clowns, carnival games, raffles, and laughter filled the school's gymnasium. The festival with...

Projects Help Special Needs Students Learn, Gain Confidence

Many people never get over the fear of public speaking. But not the five students from a regional program based in Sparta High School, who helped give an hour long presentation at the recent Council for Exceptional Children annual...

SMART Boards Engage Early Learners at Sparta

Who knew counting to 134 could be so interesting? Here’s how Sparta Area Schools first-grader Troy Jones does it: He uses his finger to pull a block of 100 squares onto a computer screen higher than he is. Then he...

Teacher Layoffs, Painful Cuts Result of Inadequate Funding

As a longtime veteran of public schools, Kent Swinson remembers all too clearly earlier days of drastic school funding cuts. But he says he’s never been as discouraged as he is today. The difference is you always hoped you...

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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