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Full day kindergarten: One year later

Full day kindergarten: One year later

This year Spokane Public School's youngest learners spent much more time in the classroom. In just a few weeks the district's first year of full-day kindergarten will be over.

Before, 15 of the district's elementary schools had all-day kindergarten. Now, all 34 do.

KXLY visited with kindergarten teacher Beth Calkin at Franklin Elementary as she geared up for the move to full-day. On Wednesday we went back in her classroom to see the progress made with her kids.

"They have come a long, long way," Calkin said.

The kids in her class are almost ready to jump to first grade, but you might think they're already in first grade judging by their progress this year.

"The most exciting thing for me is watching them read and I have some great readers in this class. Some of them came in recognizing a few sight words, but a lot of them came in not even having their letters and sounds connected," said Calkin.

Going from half day to full day was a big change. The school day more than doubled for kindergartens. It also came at a cost of $3 Million since the district had to hire 20 new teachers.

Spokane schools encouraging healthy lifestyles with students and their families

Spokane schools encouraging healthy lifestyles with students and their families

Spokane Public Schools will be adopting a new marketing campaign in the fall called Power Up that is designed to encourage not just students, but the whole family to live a healthy lifestyle.

Doug Wordell is the Director of Nutrition Services at Spokane Public Schools, he said they were working on a phrase that would get kids and their families excited, and Power Up seemed perfect.

With months of work put into advancing their healthy eating mission, the nutrition department will roll out a marketing program this fall.

"It's a nutrition education awareness for great foods, fresh foods, and kids making great selections in schools," said Wordell.

He said they reached out to families to determine what their concerns were.

"We did focus groups with students. and we did parent surveys to talk about, what are their needs," said Wordell.

They are encouraging the whole family to get involved, because it's not enough to just educate the kids.

Ask Spokane Schools during Educating Spokane

Ask Spokane Schools during Educating Spokane

From Spokane Public Schools:

Is there something you’ve been wondering about Spokane Public Schools? Watch “Educating Spokane” on Thursday, May 22, at 7 pm on KSPS channel 7.

Spokane Arena fills with music at the annual Band and Strings Spectacular

Spokane Arena fills with music at the annual Band and Strings Spectacular

The annual Band and Strings Spectacular was Tuesday night at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena. More than 2,600 students played their instruments in front of thousands of proud parents.

Most teachers and parents would agree just getting to this point was nothing short of a miracle.

"It's a lot of work getting it all put together and there are so many people that work together and pull it off," said band teacher Karen Budge.

The musicians were made up of 5th and 6th graders from Spokane Schools. For many of them the concert was an hour to prove to themselves what they're capable of, and to make their parents proud.

"It's fun because you get to do all these songs and it's really pretty amazing," said Chloe from Brown Elementary.

"Her playing tonight is a fantastic opportunity for her to grow as a person and grow as a musician," said Chloe's mom Tammi.

KXLY'S Kris Crocker emceed of the event.

Spokane Tribal College creates community for students

Spokane Tribal College creates community for students

Spokane Tribal College might be one of Spokane’s best kept educational secrets. Located at Indiana and Monroe it’s easy to miss, but the school is helping students who might otherwise fall through the cracks find their way to a degree.                                                                      


Athletes shine at 13th annual Developmental Olympics

Athletes shine at 13th annual Developmental Olympics

As temperatures soared into the 80s Thursday a special group of kids from the Mead School District got their shining moment on the track during the 13th annual Developmental Olympics.

The Olympics hit Mead High School Thursday, where 105 athletes participated and everyone got a ribbon for their effort. They were also cheered and encouraged on by sophomore Tatum Eames, the ultimate cheerleader leading the bowling station at the district's Developmental Olympics.

"It's so awesome, I was really excited, I couldn't sleep last night because I was really just pumped to be out here with all the kids," Eames said.

Dressed in jerseys with their numbers pinned on, these kids spend the morning moving through different stations and competing in various events.

"For the parents, you see a lot of emotion out here because they don't get to see all the things their students can do necessarily, what they see is the struggles, the daily struggles," Lindy Terry with the Mead School District said.

Thursday wasn't about struggles. It was about succeeding, about trying your best.

Teams needed to run the TC50

Teams needed to run the TC50

It's time for runners to sign up for the 4th annual TC50 Relay Race! The name “TC50” stands for Teen Closet and... 50 miles! The race consists of a 50 mile course, consisting of 10 legs (they are not equal in length).  Spokane area high schools are used as start/finish, water stops and transitions. The focus is on the high schools, because that is the age group most served by Teen Closet.

The race is Saturday, June 14th.  Teams of up to 10 can compete.  All ages and athletic abilities are welcome. The cost is $300 per team up to 10 runners, $200 for high school teams. There is an increase in registration fee if your team signs up after May 31st.