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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.

Hillyard Youth Collaborative granted $400K to work with at risk students

Hillyard Youth Collaborative granted $400K to work with at risk students

Students at Shaw and Garry Middle Schools will have some extra help over the next few years. The schools will be working with the Hillyard Youth Collaborative to utilize a $400,000 grant from the Community Partners for Middle School Success over the next three years.


“I think we’re very excited about this because it’s laced with hope and uniqueness,” said Mark Hurtubise, President and CEO of the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, one of the organizations funding the grant.

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.

Wilson (virtually) visits Wilson

Wilson (virtually) visits Wilson

Local students had their wish finally came true Thursday as youngsters at Wilson Elementary finally got the opportunity to meet another Wilson: Russell Wilson.

Thursday afternoon, nearly 400 pint-sized Seahawks fans piled into the cafeteria where they got the virtual opportunity to meet the Seattle Seahawks quarterback via Skype.

During 30 minute, one-of-a-kind assembly, the students got a chance to talk with Wilson and learn more about who he is as a team leader, stand-up guy and a role model to others.

It's not every day kids get to meet their heroes and spend 30 minutes with them on Skype, but that's just what happened Thursday when Wilson finally met Wilson.

The school principal said Thursday they're hoping to raise $12,000, in keeping with the Seahawks #12 theme, for the Spokane Guild School.

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.

Adjunct profs hope to form union

Adjunct instructors at Spokane's Gonzaga University are trying to form the college's first faculty union.

Such instructors work on temporary contracts and earn much less than tenured professors.

The Spokesman-Review reported Thursday that the Gonzaga adjuncts have no job security, no health benefits and little voice regarding the direction of their workplace. Adjunct and other temporary faculty make up 57 percent of Gonzaga's teaching staff.

Signatures are currently being gathered to form a union.

Gonzaga administrators have been meeting with union organizers, but the university has not taken an official stance on the effort.

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.