SNN: Minimizing Polar Vortex affect

Feb 11, 2019
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Two weeks ago school administrators made it to work every day while snow-clogged roads and sub-zero temps forced them to call a week-long snow day event for students. Last week, ice is hampered efforts to dig out of a learning-time deficit.

Of Kent ISD’s 20 districts, only East Grand Rapids held classes at all last week during the polar vortex, and East was only open on Tuesday. It was the longest period of time school has been called consecutively, according to Rockford’s Mike Shibler, West Michigan’s longest-serving superintendent.

Dr. Philomena V. Mantella portrait

President Donald Trump dedicated one sentence to education during his State of the Union Address.

Incoming Grand Valley State University president, Dr. Philomena Mantella, attended the joint session of Congress as a guest of Michigan U.S. Senator Gary Peters. Monday before leaving for Washington D.C., Dr. Mantella told WGVU she was hopeful President Trump would highlight higher education’s role in America’s future. What did she make of the President’s brief remark?

“I would have liked to have seen education take a broader role in the conversation.”

Dr. Philomena V. Mantella portrait

Grand Valley State University’s board of trustees has unanimously approved the university’s next president. Philomena V. Mantella will be the first woman leading the institution in its nearly 60 year history. She’ll become GVSU’s fifth president replacing Thomas J. Haas.

SNN: KTC Core YMCA Cooking Matters

Dec 17, 2018
KTC YMCA Cooking Matters
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Using fresh ingredients and basic kitchen techniques, students with learning challenges are gaining skills for independence and potential. Like most young adults, students attending a “Cooking Matters” class at the Visser Family YMCA knew what snacks and treats could be found in their refrigerators and cupboards at home. But after the class, they now know how to stock those shelves with healthy food they can prepare themselves. The class was presented through Kent Transition Center’s CORE Program for students with disabilities.

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Monday’s weather gave many area students an extra day off following their Thanksgiving holiday. It also extended a series of GRPS superintendent search input meetings into next week.

Kent County’s largest school district, Grand Rapids Public Schools, is looking for your input on their next superintendent. Town hall meetings are being held this week and next so people can share their thoughts on the characteristics they’d like to see in a new schools chief. That person will succeed Teresa Weatherall Neal who is set to retire at the end of June.

Grand Rapids Public Schools receives a high segregation index

Nov 8, 2018

Nearly 17,000 students living in the Grand Rapids metro area attend Grand Rapids Public School. ProPublica, an investigative publication, said GRPS is high on their segregation index. 

“Schools that have higher levels of segregation that means that you might see elementary schools which are predominantly black and other elementary schools which are predominantly white. Or you might have middle schools or high schools where there are more black students in one or more white students in another.” 

Daniel Boothe

Over 700 hundred students packed the auditorium of Reeths-Puffer High School in Muskegon Wednesday morning for an up close look at the Michigan Supreme Court in action.

The event is all part of the Court’s “Community Connections Program” that takes Supreme Court Justices out of Lansing and into various cities and townships across the state where students get to see firsthand how the legal process works at the state’s highest level.

SNN: Kenowa Hills Security

Oct 10, 2018
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Kent County voters passed a 55-million dollar bond last year, enabling school districts to create stronger schools and stronger communities. One district is using those dollars to strengthen security.

Students in Kenowa Hills Public Schools are getting used to entering their buildings in a brand new way. Buzzer systems with updated features allow better communication between the person wanting in and the office staff who can open the doors.

SNN: GRPS U-Prep celebrates its 10 Anniversary

Oct 8, 2018
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Building a bridge between high school and higher education is one of the goals of an innovative approach to education in Grand Rapids. School News Network recently attended a tenth anniversary celebration for a partnership that’s putting students on a path to success.

When Chyna Figures was a sixth-grader at Grand Rapids University Preparatory Academy, she and her friend Maya Thompson agreed they wanted to start their own law firm someday. Now both in college, they’re still on track for that plan.

Daniel Boothe / WGVU NPR

Grand Rapids Public Schools Superintendent Teresa Weatherall Neal announced Monday morning that she will be retiring at the end of the 2018-2019 school year. At a press conference held at The Gerald R. Ford Academic Center Monday morning, Weatherall Neal said it’s the very same building that she stepped into as a kindergartener back in 1963, bringing her story full circle.

“Grand Rapids Public Schools has been part of my life for 55 years,” Weatherall Neal said. “It truly is a remarkable story, one that I could never have imagined.”