The head of Minnesota’s education department kicked off her statewide “Back to School” tour Monday at John Clark Elementary in Rockville. Commissioner Mary Cathryn Ricker and her team toured the school, met students and teachers, and learned about programs and activities specific to the school. Ricker says she was particularly impressed by a family-based activity that pairs fifth-grade students with their younger siblings and gives the older child an opportunity to lead lessons and classroom discussions:

“It was a joy to see and it just really reinforces that when we give meaningful leadership opportunities to our students they are eager to step up to them.”

Ricker will also be visiting classrooms in Cass Lake, Duluth and Minneapolis this week.