School Beat

Be nice… just do it!


Bob Siegel, Principal

Valley View Elementary



“BE NICE.” This is such a simple statement, yet can be very challenging to “live.” Rockford has developed a “Healthy Kids Campaign” to help grow our kids into adults who can make good decisions about both their physical and mental well-being. In the process of helping our families are successful in protecting our kids from both physical and emotional, Rockford Schools has partnered with the Mental Health Foundation.

I’m reminded by the Nike advertising slogan – Just Do it! The idea is to get people off their coaches and get them running. Of course, it would be nice if you were to purchase a pair of Nike shoes before you started running.

The “swoosh” advertisement from Nike was a simple call to ACTION….buy shoes and goes run! The key word here is action! Spend money and get out on the roads.

In our “BE NICE” efforts in all of our schools, we are trying to call our students to action as well – “Treat Others the Way You Want to be treated!” We’ve coupled this program of giving our children the tools with which to be KIND with our district “Anti-bullying” efforts. The “bar of conduct” has been raised through a very strict rubric for behavior and appropriate consequences for failure to make good decisions. The most severe consequences are when our kids are NOT nice to their peers. Simply, we WILL NOT TOLERATE MEANNESS in ANY FORM!

Though the Nike commercial campaign was successful, there are many who did not respond and rush out to buy a pair of Nike running shoes….in my case, I run in Asics. It was a choice whether people started exercising or not, and of course many have not.

However, being NICE at Rockford schools is NOT a CHOICE! There will be NO tolerance for children to treat their peers in any way but with respect and dignity! Every staff member in our schools has committed to both MODELING the behavior that we want our students to exhibit, and to intervene when bullying behavior occurs – skills that we are teaching our children to embrace and practice as well.

We do not expect our kids to be PERFECT, but we are raising our expectations of our kids and how they interact with each other. Our goal as educators in Rockford is that EVERY child feels safe in their learning experience in our schools, and as they grow into adulthood that they recognize that LOVE really does make the world go round. As the adult leaders in our community, let us…….you guessed it…. JUST DO IT and BE NICE!


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The Squire has been Rockford’s free weekly newspaper since 1871. Our loyal readership includes over fifteen thousand homes in the Rockford area, including the affluent Lakes area of Lake Bella Vista, Bostwick Lake and Silver Lake; Belmont, Blythefield, as well as Algoma, Courtland, Cannon and Plainfield Townships. The Squire is distributed through the U.S. Post Office every Thursday. We also deliver to in-town businesses and homes with paper carriers and news stands in our grocery stores and over thirty local shops.