New school year begins

Ishpeming students have begun the academic year with a new superintendent.

Dan Paul says he and staff members are waiting for the state to make a decision on how teachers should be evaluated.

“There’s four different type(s) of tools that they’re looking at, and they’re going to assess the effectiveness of the best one, and then we will be using that as a district template,” Paul said.

He says there are no new state mandates to deal with right now like the full-day kindergarten mandate last year.

“Speaking of kindergarten, I just found out that our enrollment is up another five more students than we anticipated just today,” Paul said. “So, our enrollment is going up, and all positive things are happening.”

Paul was expecting Ishpeming’s enrollment to be up this year by about 15 to 20 students. Today’s larger-than-expected kindergarten class pushes the estimate up by 20 to 25 students instead. Final numbers aren’t available yet.

Where a new school routine is concerned, you can expect the possibility of a little fear if your child is younger.

“It is anxiety-producing, not only for the child, but the parent most likely will have some anxiety, too,” Kansas State University family studies professor Bronwyn Fees said.

It’s OK to recognize that anxiety in both parent and child, but kids take their cues on how to handle unfamiliar situations from their parents.

“How they’re handling the transition will be important for the child to see, so if a parent is confident and has a smile on their face, it’s going to be a little easier,” Fees said.

If your child doesn’t seem to be adjusting, family experts say working with the teacher to figure out a solution should help.