School Beat

Rockford High School students are M.A.D.!

June 13, 2013 // 0 Comments

Katy VanCuren Assistant Principal Rockford High School   Not MAD like angry, but MAD as an acronym that stands for Making A Difference. Students throughout the school have adopted the acronym to further the efforts that began in the fall of 2012. This year Rockford Public Schools hosted 6 evening presentations focused on developing healthy kids. Through educating our young people, as well as our parents and other community members who attended this series, we at Rockford Public Schools are committed to teaching families about the importance of being healthy and tackling issues such as; metal health, depression, anxiety, and drug and alcohol usage head on. It didn’t take long for the students at Rockford High School to rally behind a cause that caught their attention. One of the evening presentations included representatives from the West Michigan Mental Health Foundation (WMMHF). The subject that evening was mental health and identifying the signs and symptoms of people suffering from a mental illness. The” benice.” organization, created by WMMHF, soon began working with student groups throughout the county. Rockford students were quick to jump on board. After a few meetings the groups focus began to take shape and in addition to wanting to spotlight mental health, students showed an interest in wanting to bring the student body together. The group wanted to be able to shrink the building and make each and every student at Rockford High School feel valued and important. Several staff members also attended a workshop sponsored by Josten’s regarding changing school climate and culture. It soon became evident that we were on to something and the group began to grow in numbers as well as ideas. Students and faculty also attended a TEDx event at Greenville High School in early May that furthered the discussion of climate and culture in our schools. We now have close to 50 students and nearly a dozen staff members who are ready to launch M.A.D. at Rockford High School this fall. We are planning on hosting several events designed to give every student at RHS a sense of belonging. The group hopes to encourage all students to reach out and connect with peers as well as adults in the building. We want students and staff to really […]

Message to the Class of 2013

June 6, 2013 // 0 Comments

Michael S. Shibler, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools   On behalf of the Rockford Public Schools Board of Education, employees, and Rockford area community, congratulations to our graduating seniors from Rockford High School, River Valley Academy, and Adult Education. You have reached a very important milestone in your lives, and we are proud of your accomplishments. Graduates, it is important that you take a moment to thank your family and friends for their support during the past 18 years. I also encourage you to recognize your teachers and other RPS staff who have had a profound influence on your education and preparation for success as an adult member of this community. I encourage you to use your Rockford High School diploma as a springboard to further educational opportunities that will prepare you for a quality life tomorrow and in the future. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that learning begins at birth and should not end until death. How true that is! Education will open career opportunities for you, but the most important characteristic for your continued success is perseverance. If you want to reach your full potential in life, you need to demonstrate a pattern of continuous improvement. You must take responsibility for your actions and learn from your mistakes, as well as from your successes. Research has shown that successful people demonstrate an inner strength while pursuing their lifelong goals, even when faced with incredible challenges. Bottom line: perseverance separates achievers from the average. In closing, I wish you the very best that life has to offer. • • •  

All Foods Sold in Schools – Proposed Nutrition Standards

June 5, 2013 // 0 Comments

By John Henry Food Service Director of RPS   As required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, all schools are required to meet very strict standards for school lunch. We were required to have all menus certified by the Michigan Department of Education / USDA as of October 1st 2012. The second part of that law, which will go into effect July 1st 2014, will require the whole school to fall under strict standards. This will include all of the following: school stores, snack & coffee shops, fundraisers, class room snacks, etc. Under the proposal, any food sold in schools must: • Be either a fruit, a vegetable, a dairy product, a protein food, a “whole-grain rich” grain product, or a combination food that contains at least ¼ cup of fruit or vegetable; or • Contain 10% of the Daily Value (DV) of a nutrient cited as a public health concern in the 2012 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA). (calcium, potassium, vitamin D, or dietary fiber) Additionally, foods sold must meet a range of nutrient requirements: • Calorie limits include: Snack items: ≤ 200 calories, Entrée items: ≤ 350 calories • Sodium limits include: Snack items: ≤ 200 mg per portion as packaged, Entrée items: ≤ 480 mg per portion as packaged • Fat limits include: Total fat: ≤35% of calories, Saturated fat: < 10% of calories, Trans fat: zero grams • Sugar limits include either: ≤35% of calories from total sugars in foods or ≤ 35% of weight from total sugars in foods The public can comment on this to the USDA, at  

School Beat

May 23, 2013 // 0 Comments

Jacquie Fase Director of Transportation   As you begin to close out another school year, RPS transportation is already gearing up for next year. We are preparing to say good bye to the graduates of 2013 and hello to the class of 2026! Though that seems like a long way off, it will be here before you know it! If you are the parent of a new incoming Kindergartner there are many things you may need to let us know. Our first concern is safety for these little ones. Where will your child be going after school, home or daycare? Who will be meeting the bus, parents, grandparents, siblings or daycare provider? Not all students can be picked up at their door step. There are many subdivisions that we do not enter. Your student may be required to walk to a common bus stop. Our routing program only allows for one pick up location and one drop off location. With nearly 8000 students being transported twice daily we simply cannot schedule multiple stops or buses for the students we transport. We do not deliver students to dentist appointments, after school employment or babysitting jobs. We cannot transport for scout meetings or after school birthday parties. The buses are simple to full to squeeze on entire groups. We cannot allow the students to bring balloons, live animals or reptiles, skate boards, large band instruments or snow sleds on the buses. Michigan state law requires all items be secured or held on the students lap. Given the amount of space required for the students, these large items cannot be accommodated. Each year the drivers bid on their routes according to their seniority. Though some drivers try to keep their route year after year, others enjoy the challenge of changing routes. Many times this is a bigger challenge than anticipated when addresses are not clearly identified. Is your number up? Meaning, of course, is your house number clearly displayed at the road? Whether it be a school bus driver or an emergency first responder, if house numbers are displayed in an obvious way, our jobs are much easier. Will you be moving over the summer? If so, the sooner you inform your school secretaries, the better prepared we […]

Sticking Your Neck Out! – The Giraffe Project

May 16, 2013 // 0 Comments

  Doug Hoogerland, Principal Roguewood Elementary   I remember crying the day my grandpa died when I was about eight years old.  As the funeral was ending, the priest said these words, “Now, please join us in celebrating Harold’s life.” I knew people were coming over after the funeral, but no way did I think we were going to “celebrate.”  I was expecting everyone to cry like I was.  When my mom explained the meaning behind those puzzling words, I understood immediately. For some reason I got to thinking about my grandfather after hearing about the Boston Marathon which led me to the question; Why is it when something tragic happens like the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings or the Boston Marathon bombing so much attention is placed on the negative? I do realize the need to attempt to understand the meaning behind such atrocities; to hopefully learn ways to prevent similar scenarios.  But does this have to be the centerpiece of the issue?  Great people, caring people, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, friends, lost their lives! First responders and caring bystanders ran to help.  These are the ones who should be the centerpiece. These are the people we should be “celebrating.” Schools across the country have been working hard to improve or implement anti-bullying procedures.  Rockford Public Schools has brought in experts on the issue of bullying. We have trained each staff member on techniques to help prevent bullying.  We have implemented new anti-bullying policies and have been sharing this information with our parents and students. I realize this is important and I will continue to fight against bullying, but like the people who ran to help the injured and wounded in the Boston Marathon bombings and the people who died trying to protect the children at Sandy Hook Elementary, people like my grandpa, let’s not forget to celebrate the good things that are happening every day. This is why at nearly every Rockford elementary school we work to recognize students who are demonstrating helping behaviors. At Roguewood our students and teachers watch for students “sticking their neck out.” We call it our Giraffe Project. Located in our tower area outside the library we have a ceramic giraffe and a box where students can place notes […]

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