Kalamazoo Public Schools

KPS To Begin Search For New Superintendent

May 10, 2019
Kalamazoo Public Schools Superintendent Michael Rice - photo by William Edgerton, WMUK
William Edgerton / WMUK

Kalamazoo Public Schools are in the market for a new superintendent. Current Superintendent Michael Rice is leaving to become the state’s new superintendent of public instruction. 

C. Lieurance

On a late Tuesday afternoon in February, Cara Lieurance visited Milwood Magnet School, where Kalamazoo Kids in Tune is held four days a week. Young people, in grades 3 through 11, were lugging their instruments down the hall into the band room, finding their seats in what has been called the youngest orchestra in Michigan.

But for the last few weeks, the numbers have skewed older. Many of the kids had their parents with them. Not just to sit and observe; they are playing instruments too, some for the first time, preparing for a public performance at the Epic Center in dowtown Kalamazoo on Mar 1 at 5:30 pm. 

In this audio postcard of a Families In Tune rehearsal, you'll hear the voices of Kids in Tune artistic director Ben Gudbrandson; Duncan Waling and Tobin Waling; Meghan Cook; Jeannie and Natalie Glas, and Heather and Ariana McCord. Kids in Tune has around 80 student participants and is a collaboration between the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Kalamazoo Public Schools, and Communities In Schools. 


Kalamazoo School District Superintendent Michael Rice - Official photo, courtesy of Kalamazoo Public Schools
Courtesy Photo / Kalamazoo Public Schools

Kalamazoo Schools Superintendent Michael Rice says he thinks a different school calendar with a shorter summer break is likely the way of the future. Two schools in the Kalamazoo district started this academic year in July as part of an improvement plan required by the state to stay open.


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WMUK

Kalamazoo Schools Superintendent Michael Rice says the Kalamazoo Promise helped boost enrollment. But he says other programs have helped drive up the graduation rate. Rice says the increase in graduation has outpaced the rate of growth in enrollment. 

Two Kalamazoo schools started their academic year in July. Rice says he believes a different school calendar is likely the way of the future. He says both schools have the same number of days and hours of instruction, but don’t have the long summer break in the traditional school calendar. But Rice says any large scale change is still many years away.


Kalamazoo Public Library

Update: Peace Pizzazz, previously scheduled for Bronson Park, will be held at Winchell Elementary due to expected rain. Efforts to keep kids reading over the long summer break are gearing up in Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Public Library's annual Summer Reading Challenge offers kids tangible incentives to keep reading - free books. Library Executive Director Ryan Wieber says they earn them by reading at least 20 minutes each day over the summer.


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