3/13/2023: KPS superintendent listening sessions this week

Monday, March 13, 2023

High 34°/Low 20° Snow

A series of listening sessions to be held this week will give KPS officials a better idea of what the community wants out of a new superintendent. Also: Galesburg officials plan to ask voters for a new millage to fund public safety services. And the CDC has picked Kalamazoo County as one of 15 communities to participate in its annual health survey.

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KPS superintendent listening sessions scheduled this week

As the Kalamazoo Public Schools board of trustees launches into its search for the district’s next superintendent, they want to hear what the community’s priorities are for the new leader. The board will host a dozen listening sessions this week beginning tomorrow morning. They will be held in churches, school auditoriums, and even online – anywhere they think they can get people to attend. “The way that we do education in this community is about to change and we want to make sure that the community has a voice in what that change should look like,” said board President TiAnna Harrison.

There will be one online listening session each day for the next three days. The rest of the sessions will be held in person, including evening sessions in each of the district’s three high schools. The goal is to get an idea of what community members think is most important to consider when interviewing applicants for the district’s top job. The board will use what they gather from these sessions to help prepare the materials and questions that they will use when choosing a new superintendent later this spring. You can find a full list of session times and locations on the district’s website.

More News You Need To Know

Galesburg plans public safety tax

The City of Galesburg is bringing back its police department after dissolving it in 2018. Officials are using $130,000 of federal stimulus money to get it up and running, but they’ll need more to fund operations. City Manager Sarah Joshi told MLive that a proposed millage to fund public safety is a separate issue from the new police department, but if it passes it would help fund the department. The millage would likely also fund fire services. It’s yet to be decided exactly how much the city will ask for in property taxes, but they expect they’ll need $187,500 to fund two police positions: a chief and a patrol officer.

The city is also looking to hire somebody to be the chief of the new police department. The candidate being considered is Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Training Officer Jeff Crouse. Crouse was charged with drunken driving in 2018 and pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. [MLive]

Kzoo picked for CDC health survey

Later this spring, a team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will set up shop in Kalamazoo. Their task will be to interview residents about their health as part of the agency’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The survey is conducted each year in various communities to give medical professionals and policy makers an idea of what health issues are impacting Americans. Kalamazoo is one of 15 communities picked for the survey this year.

About 700 households in Kalamazoo County will be contacted by mail and invited to fill out an online questionnaire. CDC representatives will contact a portion of those respondents to interview by phone and to undergo a health examination. All identifying data they collect will be kept private, but the aggregate data will be used “to develop health policies, direct and design health programs, and expand the health knowledge of the nation,” according to a press release. [WWMT]

5th grader wins local spelling bee

The winning word was “cyclone.” A fifth grader from Kalamazoo’s Northglade Montessori Magnet School, Clara Mervak, correctly spelled that word in order to win the area’s first Scripps Regional Spelling Bee on March 4. In all, 31 students from the Kalamazoo Public Schools participated in the competition. As the winner, Mervak will get to travel to Washington, D.C. to represent Kalamazoo in the national spelling bee. The trip is being fully funded by donors.

Kalamazoo’s regional spelling bee is the first of its kind in the area. Deborah Droppers, executive director of the Kalamazoo Experiential Learning Center, told MLive that it’s an important event for an area known for the Kalamazoo Promise. “We are really trying to elevate Kalamazoo as an education city that values the growth and the development of kids that grow up here and our residents,” she said. [MLive]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

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Author Talk with David Epstein: Bestselling author of RANGE and THE SPORTS GENE – Kalamazoo Public Library
1:00PM 3/13

Making Pizza with Mel – Pizza Katerina
6:00PM 3/13

Mary Robinson Lecture – Climate Emergency Month
7:00PM 3/13

Artistry and Innovation in Japanese Ceramics and Printmaking – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
12:00PM 3/14

Floor Repairs Workshop – Community Homeworks
6:00PM 3/14

Eco-Bricking – Climate Emergency Month
10:00AM 3/15

“Metropolitan Stories” by Christine Coulson – Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
2:00PM 3/15

Connecting to the Culture – The Kalamazoo Promise
4:00PM 3/15

Environmental Ethics Talk; Grasslands, Garbage Islands, and Plastic Trees: Working Towards a Future Ecology – Climate Emergency Month
6:00PM 3/15

Trivia Night at the Bookstore – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
6:00PM 3/15

Board Game Night – Main Street Pub, West Main
6:00PM 3/15

Out of Favor Boys – O’Duffy’s Pub
7:00PM 3/15

GD Funny! – Green Door Distilling Co.
7:00PM 3/15

The Travelin’ McCourys – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 3/15

See more upcoming events here.

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