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The new school year has arrived and some families may still be undecided on the best education option for their child.

My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

My Town: Start of school filled with photos and well-wishes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- The 2014-2015 school year is officially underway for West Michigan students.

On Sept. 2, which was the official start of classes for most schools, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan released this statement: 

"It’s a great day to be Back to School in Michigan !

Let me take a moment to wish everyone a positive and successful school year.

Our team here at the Michigan Department of Education, the State Board of Education, and I appreciate the hard work and daily dedication teachers, administrators, school board members, and other school staff devote to our children in Michigan.

My Town: Lee High School awarded grant to improve learning atmosphere

My Town: Lee High School awarded grant to improve learning atmosphere

WYOMING, Mich.—Lee High School is getting more funding to improve student learning by improving the physical, mental and emotional climate of its school.

This is the fourth year of funding the school has received through the Safe and Supportive Schools grant titled “think. respect.”  Statewide, 22 high schools are receiving a fourth year of funding, based on the positive results they’ve posted over the first three years of the grant, including:

  • 83 percent of schools reporting an improvement in school safety scores
  • 61 percent of schools reporting a decrease in harassment/bullying incidences on school property
  • 57 percent of schools reporting a decrease in the number of students using alcohol

The goal of the grant is to develop strategies to counteract bullying, substance abuse, obesity and other issues that can impact a student’s ability to learn.

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

My Town: Four fun ways to prepare for heading back to school

The start of the 2014-15 schools year is just around the corner.

As a parent, don’t let the start of a new school year catch you off guard- start preparing your students now to hit the books this fall.  While some activities, like waking up early, may be met with less enthusiasm, back-to-school preparation can be fun. 

Educators at Michigan Connections Academy have developed four fun, yet educational, activities parents and students can do together to help prepare for a successful start to the new school year— and the best part is the students won’t even realize they are learning!

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

My Town: GVSU and DHS awarded research grant for family support program

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Michigan Department of Human Services is teaming up with Grand Valley State University to measure the success of a family support program in more than 150 Michigan schools.

A three-year, $1.05 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation will go toward measuring the impact of the Pathways to Potential program in Michigan.  The program places DHS case workers in schools to make it easier for children and their families to address barriers to their safety, health, education, attendance and self-sufficiency.

“We know that many children struggle in school because of outside of school challenges affecting both students and their families,” Gov. Snyder said. “The goal of Pathways to Potential is to reduce or eliminate those challenges by conveniently connecting families to the services they need to help everyone become more successful.”

My Town: Founder of Kids' Food Basket honored with highest award

My Town: Founder of Kids' Food Basket honored with highest award

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—   A Grand Rapids woman who pioneered a program to help feed children in need is earning recognition from the state.

On June 30, Mary K. Hoodhood accepted the Governor George Romney Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism.  The award is the most prestigious of the Governor’s Service Awards, honoring an individual who has made a lifelong commitment to their community. 

In 1980, a vehicle accident put Hoodhood in a wheelchair, but also started her on a path to volunteering, which began with the Meals on Wheels program at God’s Kitchen.  In 2001, she founded Kids' Food Basket to combat childhood hunger.  The program started by providing evening meals to 125 children at three Grand Rapids public schools; now 5,700 children at 32 schools in Grand Rapids, Kentwood and Wyoming rely on it, as well as 600 kids at two Muskegon schools.

My Town: School districts look to hire nearly 100 bus drivers

My Town: School districts look to hire nearly 100 bus drivers

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—The Kent Intermediate School District is looking to add to its team of bus drivers.

Kent ISD will be holding a bus driver job fair July 10, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nearly 100 positions are available, covering nearly a dozen school districts, including:

  • Caledonia Community Schools
  • Cedar Springs Public Schools
  • East Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Forest Hills Public Schools
  • Grand Rapids Public Schools
  • Grandville Public Schools
  • Kelloggsville Public Schools
  • Lowell Area Schools
  • Sparta Area Schools
  • Wyoming Public Schools
  •  Kent ISD Special Education

 The job fair will take place at the Kent ISD’s Educational Service Center, located at 2930 Knapp NE in Grand Rapids. Candidates must be at least 21, have a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record and pass a drug test and criminal background check.