Kalamazoo Public Schools

Kalamazoo Picks New Superintendent

Feb 20, 2020
John McNeill / WMUK

Kalamazoo's School Board has unanimously picked the person they hope will be the district's next superintendent. Rita Raichoudhuri (pronounced "rye-CHOW-dur-ee") is now the head of early college and career education for the Chicago Public Schools.

Kalamazoo School buses - file photo by WMUK

Kalamazoo Public Schools reopened Loy Norrix and Kalamazoo Central High Schools as well as Linden Grove Middle School Tuesday under heightened police presence and other security measures. Meanwhile threats have closed three Portage schools. 

Kalamazoo Kids In Tune

The Kalamazoo Symphony and Kalamazoo Public Schools' after-school music program, Kalamazoo Kids in Tune continues beyond the school year, offering six weeks of summer programming. Artistic director Ben Gudbrandson says it's a time when the skills they built might otherwise get rusty, and just as importantly, kids benefit from the familiar routine of rehearsal and performing. Craig Freeman, a leading brass instructor for KKIT, added a jazz unit to the program this summer, and alongside the orchestra and its chamber ensembles, Kalamazoo Kids in Tune will give two public concerts this week.

On Tuesday, July 16, the orchestra will play at the Portage Public Library at 1 pm - 1:30 pm. On Thursday, July 18, they'll be downtown on the Kalamazoo Mall from 11:45 - 12:15 pm. 

Gordon Evans / WMUK

Asked to name what he is most proud of as Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent, Michael Rice says “I don’t know that I have a most proud, I have a lot of prouds.” Rice will soon become the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

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Kalamazoo Schools Superintendent Michael Rice says despite many “headwinds” the Kalamazoo district has been able to increase graduation rates. Rice says those challenges have included a reduction in “inflation adjusted funding” and a more difficult Michigan Merit Curriculum. Rice says it’s hard to know how much the increase in graduation rates is due to the Kalamazoo Promise, but he says it is a factor. 

Rice has been Kalamazoo Superintendent for the last 12 years, but he will soon become state Superintendent of Public Instruction in Michigan. The state Board of Education picked Rice for the job earlier this month.