State Superintendent Visits Kalkaska Public Schools

The State Superintendent stopped by a Northern Michigan school district on Thursday.

He’s on a state-wide tour to see what’s happening inside classrooms.

The purpose of the trip was to engage with students, teachers and staff.

State Superintendent, Brian Whiston spent Thursday morning traveling around Kalkaska Public Schools to learn about their services and resources.

"We need to focus on preschool and student’s engagement.”

That’s what State Superintendent, Brian Whiston hopes to improve on in the state’s public school system in the upcoming years.

"I want the department to be active partners and help the districts solve problems. If we do have concerns based on their performance or how they’re spending their funds— we want to work with them to better align better meeting the needs of students,” said Whiston.

On Thursday he stopped by Kalkaska Public Schools— one of the 300 local districts he will be visiting across the state this year.

Whiston says he wants to reduce the amount of testing done.

"We have to find a fine line between testing kids to drive instruction. We need to test our kids to make sure the $13 billion is being spent on education, but we also need to lower the amount of testing, so the teachers can spend more time on the curriculum,” said Whiston.

And Kalkaska Public Schools Superintendent, Karen Sherwood is on board.

"I think that’s a positive move because with all the local testing and state required testing… it’s a lot of time that we lose in instruction,” said Sherwood.

Both say reading and writing will continue to be top priority in the schools.

"We need students working on their vocabulary, reading a half hour every evening and playing math games every evening. We only have the kids about 12% of the calendar year, so we need to work in partnership with our parents to make sure they are doing some things at home to back up we’re doing in the school,” said Whiston.