Jody Lawrence-Turner, SpokesmanReview

Jody Lawrence-Turner


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Past articles by Jody:

Spokane teachers approve May 27 strike

Spokane Public Schools teachers and staff voted Wednesday to have a one-day walkout on May 27 to protest a lack of state funding for schools. More than 65 percent of nearly 2,500 Spokane Education Association members cast yes votes. All schools and work sites turned in ballots. → Read More

Voting starts on Spokane teacher walkout

Spokane teachers will start voting today on whether to stage a walkout May 27 as a statement to legislators about funding smaller class sizes and pay raises. An unofficial vote taken last week showed Spokane Education Association’s membership is “overwhelmingly” in favor, union President Jenny Rose said. Before taking any action, “the leadership wanted to know if we should even go there,” Rose… → Read More

Five teen suicides have left ‘whole community hurting’

Five teen suicides this school year – including three in the past month – have jolted the community. It’s the highest number in the history of Spokane Public Schools, prompting parents, students and community members to ask what they can do to help. “There’s an increased need. I see the whole community hurting,” said Sabrina Votava, Spokane’s Youth Suicide Prevention Program field coordinator.… → Read More

Mobius reopens in temporary home inside downtown library

Youthful yelps of delight and discovery echoed from Spokane Public Library’s third floor Wednesday as children explored Mobius Science Center’s exhibits in its new, temporary location. The uncommon library sounds are a welcome interlude. → Read More

Head Start marks 50 years of lessons - The Spokesman-Review

Small lessons learned early helped three Spokane-area residents succeed. The three are graduates of Head Start, the federal early-learning program for low-income children that celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. → Read More

Medical Lake parents alerted to bullying on Burnbook app - The Spokesman-Review

A phone app that high school students have been using to post nude pictures and bully classmates prompted Medical Lake School District officials to alert parents and call police. The app is called Burnbook, and it allows students to post anonymously. → Read More

Buddy program bonds all kinds of kids - The Spokesman-Review

Camaraderie and joy filled a Madison Elementary School classroom where students came together to play table games last week. Laurelle Skipper playfully ignored William Johns when the fifth-grader warned her that her Jenga technique would lead to failure. Glenn Stites pretended not to notice Chance Schmidt moving the wrong game piece on their Hoot Owl Hoot game board. → Read More

Valley Tech nurtures curiosity at STEM camps for kids - The Spokesman-Review

The wiggling stops and their attention narrows. In almost no time, fourth-graders are identifying human bones, building circuit boards and coding video games. “If they taught this in school, I’d be listening more,” Adams Elementary School student Logan Sloane said. → Read More

Spokane’s On Track Academy fights poverty with education - The Spokesman-Review

Spokane students in a program for would-be high school dropouts groaned with disbelief on Thursday when they learned they’ve been labeled based on their socioeconomic status. Close to 75 percent of On Track Academy students live in poverty. Teens in the program designed to help students catch up on credits so they can graduate on time were told that growing up poor often means they are dumber,… → Read More

County voters back nearly all school levy and bond proposals, including Central Valley's - The Spokesman-Review

Spokane County voters sent a nearly unified message about education in Tuesday’s election by approving 18 of 21 school tax proposals. → Read More

Region taking steps to boost vaccination - The Spokesman-Review

Measles outbreaks during the past year have rekindled the national and Northwest debate regarding vaccines in an area with historically higher-than-average numbers of people who don’t have their children immunized against diseases. There have been some gains. The National Immunization Survey found that both Washington and Idaho meet the public health goal of having more than 90 percent of… → Read More

Spokane’s Jefferson Elementary kindergartners host pre-Super Bowl party - The Spokesman-Review

The buildup began long before the first snap. Kindergartners in teacher Andrea Sims’ Jefferson Elementary class have been wearing blue and green every Friday since September. They sent Christmas cards to Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. They’ve taken pictures with a poster of Wilson and written sentences about what they would do if they could spend a day with the quarterback. → Read More

Group targets Central Valley school bond, levy - The Spokesman-Review

Bright yellow fliers encouraging a “no” vote on Central Valley School District’s bond and levy are arriving in mailboxes this week. Bold, black lettering states that the district wants voters to approve $269 million in “new” taxes and lists alarming tax rates for homeowners without clear explanation or acknowledgement that tax bills likely wouldn’t increase if the bond and levy pass. The… → Read More

Spokane County will be part of UW autism intervention project - The Spokesman-Review

Diagnosing autism in children early is critical to how their lives unfold, yet it rarely happens. Most children are 4 years old before the neurological disorder is identified, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet, a diagnosis can be made as early as 18 months. → Read More

Finch Elementary opens after extensive rebuild - The Spokesman-Review

Slushy snow chilled their toes and rain drizzled overhead as students waited to re-enter their new old school on Monday in northwest Spokane. A crowd huddled outside Finch Elementary School on North Milton Street for a short, formal dedication before 600-plus children filtered inside Monday, high-fiving teachers and administrators along the way. → Read More

Changes coming to schools - The Spokesman-Review

Education is changing rapidly across the nation, and Washington and Idaho are no exception. State standards have become more rigorous, funding issues persist and technology is changing classrooms. Here are 10 things to watch for in 2015: → Read More

Spokane high school graduation rates hit 83 percent - The Spokesman-Review

High school graduation rates have soared to 83 percent in Spokane, a turnabout that has earned national accolades. Six years ago, only six in 10 students were finishing high school. The poor performance spurred a grassroots effort that has made a difference with Spokane Public Schools. → Read More

Stevens Elementary teacher gives STEM subjects a musical remix - The Spokesman-Review

Teacher Shawn Tolley combines his two passions – music and computer science – to show fifth- and sixth-graders how to mix and master music, record audio tracks, synthesize sound and create electronic music. The result is teaching creative right-brain thinkers how to engage in concrete left-brain activities while also using music to teach technology, and a little math. → Read More

School library’s late fees ‘Gone With the Wind’ - The Spokesman-Review

A 1946 copy of “Gone With the Wind,” long thought lost, was returned to Rogers High School’s library in the wake of a handwritten letter and a promise to waive a late fee that began accumulating 65 years ago. “Isn’t this awesome?” Principal Lori Wyborney said as she marveled at the vintage book that made it back into her hands. “It’s in pretty good shape, too.” → Read More

Spokane Valley Tech builds decorative trees for Winter Glow - The Spokesman-Review

Riverfront Park is lighting up this holiday season, and Spokane Valley Tech will shine in every display. The school’s aerospace and advanced manufacturing class made 95 steel Christmas trees – outlined in LED lights. Three of those will be in every display at the park’s first Winter Glow Spectacular. → Read More