Helping our students become global citizens

Lissa Weidenfeller, NRMS Principal

The world is shrinking everyday due to increases in technology and transportation and becoming worldly citizens is becoming increasingly important. Traveling with school groups is an invaluable experience and something that teaches skills and builds on classroom knowledge. Not only does student travel add another dimension to their traditional classroom experiences but it fosters real life experiences which will increase college and career readiness skills along with future success in all areas of their lives. I have had the privilege to witness these benefits while traveling with a few of the school travel partnerships Rockford Public Schools has to offer.

Fostering Relationships:

During the school hours, students often navigate within the same group of peers. On school trips, students are able to interact with students they may not know or have communicated with in the past. Student travel incorporates team work, communication, cooperation, and mutual respect. Not only does student travel encourage peer relations but in addition, students are able to form stronger relationships with school staff and administration as well as take advantage of experienced and knowledgeable travel guides. The relationships students build while traveling with a school group are meaningful relationships based on a common interest.

Independence and Responsibility:

This is one of the areas where students experience the most growth. Students learn to be accountable for their own money, keep track of their belongings, share, and meet their overall personal needs. This includes organizational skills, time management, following a schedule, appropriate dress, and respecting the belongings and space of others.

Enrichment of Classroom Learning:

Through student travel, the lessons and skills acquired in the classroom are brought to life and experienced first-hand. Students are able to witness the history, languages, international exchange rates, and cultures they have read and learned about in their classrooms. Watching the realization cross their face as they are immersed in new opportunities is inspiring. Teachers are able to push student understanding to new levels by referring to past and future lessons while experiencing curriculum components and watching it come alive.

Becoming Ambassadors:

Just like in business, when you represent a company you are a reflection of that organization. Our students are taught how to be positive reflections of their community and school. In doing so, they are able to meet and interact with members of other communities and share our Ram Pride!

Rockford public schools partners with companies to provide our secondary students travel experience. At the middle school level, students are offered the 8th grade East Coast trip, the France Back-to-Back Exchange Program, and the NRMS Spanish Immersion Costa Rica trip. At the high school level, our students have traveled to China, Japan, Germany, Washington DC, and more. If you are interested in having your child participate in a school travel experience, contact your child’s school to see what travel opportunities are available at each grade level.




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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.