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My Town: U.S. News and World Report releases top high schools list

My Town: U.S. News and World Report releases top high schools list

KENTWOOD, Mich.—A charter school in Kentwood is the top West Michigan school on U.S. News & World Report’s latest list of Best High Schools.

The publication recently released its list of the top 500 schools nationally. The rankings are based on the student to teacher ratio, AP course involvement and math and reading proficiency scores.  The School for the Talented and Gifted in Dallas, TX took the top spot.

In Michigan, 60 schools made the cut, with International Academy in Bloomfield Hills taking the top spot.  Excel Charter Academy-Grand River Prep School in Kentwood ranked second among Michigan schools.  City Middle/High School and Black River Public School were the only other West Michigan schools to crack the top ten.

The list of local schools includes:

My Town: Wes Leonard Heart Team holds life-saving workshop

My Town: Wes Leonard Heart Team holds life-saving workshop

GRAND RAPIDS TOWNSHIP, Mich.--  Parents, coaches, teachers and others are invited to Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park next week to learn life-saving techniques for young athletes suffering from heart problems.

"Wes Leonard Sudden Cardiac Arrest Symposium: What Parents, Coaches and Educators Need To Know" will begin at 6:30 p.m. on May 1.  Pediatric electrophysiologist Christopher Ratnasamy, MD, will explain the risk factors and when students should be screened.  Visitors will also learn how to respond to a cardiac emergency, including proper CPR techniques and how to use an automated external defibrillator (AED).

It’s been three years since Fennville High School basketball star Wes Leonard collapsed on the court after making a game-winning shot.  He died from an enlarged heart.   The Wes Leonard Heart Team, formed after his death, with a goal to save other students’ lives by ensuring all Michigan schools are equipped with AEDs.

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

My Town: Kent Intermediate School District gets health program grant

KENT COUNTY, Mich.—  The Kent Intermediate School District is getting a federal boost to physical and nutritional education programs. 

 U.S. Department of Education has awarded 67 grants totaling more than $33 million to local education agencies and community-base organizations.  Only two groups in Michigan were awarded funding; KISD is getting $429,404 for programs to help K-12 students develop healthy lifestyles and meet state standards for physical education.

“A healthy, active lifestyle is an important ingredient of academic success,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “These grants are a resource to help schools and communities develop programs that teach students the importance of staying active and developing healthy lifestyles. We need more states, districts, schools and communities to recognize the critically important role of physical education in improving student engagement and achievement.”

My Town: Great Lakes Cyber Academy community celebrates rapid growth of new virtual high school

My Town: Great Lakes Cyber Academy community celebrates rapid growth of new virtual high school

Students, staff and supporters of Great Lakes Cyber Academy, a tuition-free statewide online public charter school that is redefining high school for 21st Century learners, recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the rapid growth of the new virtual high school. The school, which opened in September, has seen an impressive enrollment of nearly 400 students after only one semester and growth is expected to continue.

“As the education model continues to expand with new options, it is essential for us as a new virtual school to build our community and show our appreciation for those who have supported us,” said Heather Ballien, principal.

My Town:Students advance to Science Olympiad State Tournament

My Town:Students advance to Science Olympiad State Tournament

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—More than a dozen teams of West Michigan youth will head to Lansing next month for the Science Olympiad State Tournament.

The teams competed for a spot in the competition during the Region 12 Michigan Science Olympiad event held Saturday.  It was the 30th anniversary for the competition, held at Grand Valley State University.

Based on the results, the following teams will compete at the state Capitol:

            Middle School Teams (in order of place)

1.     Lakeshore Middle School

2.     Grandville Middle School

3.     Jenison Jr. High

4.     Chandler Woods Charter

My Town: Forest Hills Schools using technology to combat snow days

My Town: Forest Hills Schools using technology to combat snow days

FOREST HILLS, Mich.—As many West Michigan schools are preparing to extend their academic calendar into June because of snow days, one district is combating a longer school year with the help of technology.

Anticipating snow days, language arts teacher Kris Schrotenboer recorded two weeks of lessons at the beginning of the semester with Michigan-made TechSmith Relay.  Shrotenboer even recorded some of her lessons on a smart phone at her kitchen table.   The 20-year veteran teacher then assigned students to watch videos on snow days, keeping her lesson plan on track.  Schrotenboer says her some of her students loved spending a little of their snow day on schoolwork, so they don’t have to cram later on.

My Town: Forest Hills Community Expo March 15

My Town: Forest Hills Community Expo March 15

FOREST HILLS, Mich.-- Learn more about upcoming programs by the Forest Hills Parks & Recreation Department during the Forest Hills Community Expo this Saturday, March 15.

The event is free to the public.  Visitors can also enjoy live entertainment, food from area resstaurants and enter to win door prizes.  Grand Rapids Gymnastics will also set up a play area for children.

The Forest Hills Communty Expo runs from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Ada Christian School.