Category Archives: Student Program

Peer to Peer Participants Enjoy Whitecaps Win

Students from Grandville, Caledonia, Kenowa Hills and Kentwood who participate in their districts’ Peer to Peer programs went to a Whitecaps baseball game to enjoy friendship and some summer camaraderie. The Cap’s were victorious and a wonderful time was had by all. The annual outing is supported by a special grant from START, Statewide Autism Resource and Training and Kent CAN (Collaborative Autism Network). Continue reading Peer to Peer Participants Enjoy Whitecaps Win

Finding the Right Fit

Parents, Students Tout Benefits of Accelerated Math Pilot

Written by Janice Holst,  School News Network

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 — a Kent ISD pilot program that offers accelerated math for elementary students.

“Nolan’s experience thus far with ATYP has been nothing but positive,” said Mickey Larson, father of the Sparta fifth-grader. “The recognition that comes along with being part of such a select group has finally helped make him proud and appreciative of his intelligence. His newfound self-confidence leads him to see himself not merely as the ‘class clown’ – as he’s done in years past – but rather as the smart, witty kid that he is.” Continue reading Finding the Right Fit

Kent ISD Provides Resources for Accelerated Learning

Ever heard of the Academically Talented Youth Program (ATYP) at Kent ISD?

In 1999, at the request of superintendents from multiple local districts, Kent ATYP began . Why? Because these districts had middle school students who were way beyond their peers in readiness to learn math, but no one district consistently had enough accelerated students to justify developing a program to support their needs for acceleration. Continue reading Kent ISD Provides Resources for Accelerated Learning

CORE Program is Making a Difference

Originally posted on GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) January 2017 – Kent Transition Center (KTC) offers a new, innovative program designed to meet the needs of Kent County’s secondary students that are not yet prepared for independent, competitive employment, which is an enrollment requirement for KTC. Check out the video above where Maranda visited the CORE Program. Continue reading CORE Program is Making a Difference

Student Registration Open for Groundhog (Job) Shadow Day

“Young people who had mentors report setting higher educational goals and are more likely to attend college than those without mentors,” according to “The Mentoring Effect”, a January 2014 report from The National Mentoring Partnership.

Kent ISD’s Career Readiness Department is excited to announce that the student registration for Groundhog Shadow Day 2017 opens on December 1 (click here to register). This program will run on February 2, from 9:00 am -2:00 pm and will be open to all Kent County students grades 9-12 that register. Continue reading Student Registration Open for Groundhog (Job) Shadow Day

Local Peer to Peer Group Goes Out to the Ballgame…

Dear mom,
I have so much fun at the Whitecaps.
I sang the 7 inning stretch song.
I watched the game.
I saw a new part called The bubble drawl.
It’s where the bubbles charge after each other.
I can’t wait to talk about the Whitecaps.
I love you.
Your son,

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On May 18th, 2016, almost 400 local students boarded buses and went to Fifth Third Ballpark to watch the Whitecaps game.  To most this seems like a normal school field trip, but for these students, it was the chance of a lifetime.

For the past decade, Kent ISD has been working with local districts and charters to  develop and implement Peer to Peer Programs (P2P). P2P is a program that pairs a student with special needs with a general education student, who will model typical social and academic behaviors and provide greater opportunities to access the general education setting and curriculum. In many of the districts, there are so many general education students that want to be involved,  that the special education student is paired with more than one peer. The peers interact throughout the day in recess setting, lunchroom setting, and classroom settings where applicable.

This is the second year that Kent ISD has organized an outing  to see the Whitecaps for the P2P students. This year 389 students attended the game. There was a total of 8 districts represented (including two charter schools).

One of the schools that attended was Grandville Public Schools. They began their P2P Program in 2010/2011 school year. Since then P2P has grown exponentially and they currently have approximately 400 students from 3rd – 12th grade participating. Each building level program meets weekly during lunch to eat together and enjoy a social activity.  They also host two district-wide events each school year: P2P Bowling and P2P Family Night.

“Our staff has witnessed the benefits of P2P every year.  We see mentoring relationships form at first. Eventually, they grow into authentic and lasting friendships.  P2P establishes a mutually-beneficial partnership, in which the students with social challenges learn social norms and expectations while the peer mentors build their awareness of diversity, differences, and disabilities.  Furthermore, P2P shapes the character of our peer mentors by teaching them about acceptance, inclusion, tolerance, understanding, patience, and compassion.  P2P not only creates a better community in Grandville Schools, it also creates better people.  Our P2P theme in Grandville is “Together We Are Better” and we have observed this statement to be true time and time again within our P2P Program. ” Jill Kreuze, Grandville Public Schools.

Another school in attendance this year was Caledonia Community Schools. This year Caledonia brought 94 students to the Whitecaps game.  They have been offering an elective course to high school students for the past three years called LINKS. This spring several LINKS students went with students from the Cognitive Impaired (CI) program to the Winterfest dance. “It was incredible to see how students continue to build relationships amongst each other and care about each other.” Scott Bont, Caledonia Community Schools.

All of the districts that are involved in the P2P program are doing incredible work to change the lives of students.  If you would be interested in learning more about this program, please contact Rebecca McIntyre of Kent ISD. This event was made possible by the Statewide Autism Resources & Training (START) program from Grand Valley State University and Kent Collaborative Autism Network (CAN).


A Student’s Perspective on NovaNow

There is still time to register for NovaNOW! This unique conference will be held on Friday, February 5 and Saturday, February 6. Check out this this student’s perspective on NovaNow…

Kent ISD EdTech Blog

We are only two weeks away from NovaNow, a unique opportunity for educators, business professionals, and even students that focuses on innovations in education. As we ramp up for this event, we asked Ben Wieringa, a Kent Innovation High student, to share his experiences with NovaNow. We have included his response below.

Hello, My name is Ben Wieringa I have been a student at Kent Innovation High (KIH) for the past four years. I have also been involved with NovaNow since it started two years ago. For those that are not familiar, NovaNow is a conference that takes place in a school, where educators talk with presenters and everyone has a voice to share what they think is best for students in the classroom.

I spent the first year of NovaNow as a tour guide where I would show guests around the open, free-flowing workspace of KIH. From the feedback…

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Calculus: The Musical Coming to Grand Rapids!

A few years ago, Rusty Anderson, former AP Calculus teacher, took his class to experience Calculus: The Musical LIVE.   The show took his students through the history (Leibniz and Newton’s Contributions) and important concepts of Calculus in an interactive musical. This unique journey helped the students to interact with the content.

“During the school year, I incorporated the Calculus: The Musical Songs in the classroom when specific Calculus concepts were being mastered.  As they learned new concepts, the students truly looked forward to the songs that accompanied them.  Seeing the show live really brought the content and timeline of the subject to life for my students.” Rusty explains.

Continue reading Calculus: The Musical Coming to Grand Rapids!

Students Share Strategies to Improve Schools

Kent ISD StudentOn December 12, 2014, the Teen Leadership Team and The Healthy, Safe, Drug-Free Schools and Communities Coalition will host another Empowering Youth Leadership Conference.

At the conference, the students will learn to plan and implement strategies in their schools to promote youth leadership while reducing alcohol and drug use. Students will also be introduced to  Continue reading Students Share Strategies to Improve Schools