Reed City finds stability in new school year

Reed City is one district in Osceola County that is fully stocked in staffing for the new year. 

Reed City is one district in Osceola County that is fully stocked in staffing for the new year. 

Pioneer photo/Olivia Fellows

REED CITY — Reed City Area Public Schools is ready for the new year. 

The administration has been working all summer on filling positions, following infrastructure improvement projects, and ensuring students have the support they need in the new year. 

The district recently had some improved secure entrances completed in an effort to bolster security measures for staff and students. 

Superintendent Michael Sweet said the district has had solid leadership for emergency preparedness. 

“We have really been ahead of the game, because our emergency manager in Osceola County, Mark Watkins, is superb,” Sweet said. “We have one of the best emergency operations plans in the state of Michigan. We're as prepared, I believe, as any district in the state of Michigan for any sort of emergency.”

The administration has continued with implementing refresher training for staff for emergency situations. The skills staff are required to learn are in-depth, broad and often life-saving in some cases.

Over the summer, the administration also got completed parking lot improvements and began work on a dust removal system. 

In the transportation department, things are also looking stable. The district is currently running eight active bus routes for families, but is looking at adding a ninth to cut down on travel time for students. 

“We’re looking at adding another route because some students are on the bus for upwards of 90 minutes,” Sweet said. “If we can avoid that, we certainly want to, but right now we have the staff to run the routes that we need.”

The district is also fully staffed, which Sweet said is largely thanks to the solid offers the administration was able to give applicants.

Next up, the district is looking at how curriculum and student support can be addressed as they attempt to fill in educational gaps created by the challenges and regulations of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Outside of staffing and curriculum, Reed City has some growing extracurricular activities for students, including band and robotics

The district is also looking for feedback from community members through a survey sent out to find out which areas the school can address in the area with its resources. 

An in-person session will be held Wednesday, Sept. 14, which will feature a Michigan Association of School Boards representative who will answer questions and address the roles of board members.  

Sweet said he is looking forward to a productive year. 

“We're continuing the same focus that we had last year that we've worked on instructional strategies,” Sweet said. “We work on curriculum, and we make sure that we have high-performing groups at all levels throughout our organization. We want to make sure everything that we do to improve and to keep moving forward fits into those goals so that we have a very clear focus about what we want to do and where we want to go to improve.”