Once again for the 2015-2016 school year, Rockford Public Schools will use an electronic system for verification of student information. Parents will enter changes to demographic information by utilizing an electronic system by means of Family Access. In August, parents will receive an email outlining the steps to be taken to review and submit any changes to phone numbers and other relevant information. As we have the last few years, parents will be notified electronically of their child’s upcoming placement for the 2015-2016 school year. The placement notification will be sent electronically to all elementary families around the third week of August and will provide the name of your child’s teacher and room number for the upcoming school year. Due to regulations under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), we cannot provide the names of other students in your child’s class. Note: For families who do not have access to the internet, the computer lab at your child’s school will be open a couple of days prior to the start of school. We highly encourage all families to set up a Family Access account, as it is the district’s main source of communication to parents for progress reports, attendance, emails regarding building events, etc. Please visit our website at www.rockfordschools.org and click the Family Access link (upper right-hand side) and then click the Question and Answer link. The Frequently Asked Questions will pop up. “How do I get an account for Family Access?” (Question 4) is answered. Please feel free to contact the secretary in your child’s building for additional help in setting up a Family Access account. We appreciate your attention to this very important matter and look forward to seeing you in September to start another awesome school year! Dr. Doug VanderJagt Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
SCHOOL BEAT MEAP results set to be released with new cut scores by DOUG VANDERJAGT District Assessment Coordinator Rockford Freshman Center Principal Within the next few weeks, detailed MEAP results with adjusted cut scores are scheduled to be released to districts as they brace for this highly anticipated event. For years, these results would arrive over the summer, as parents and students relish in three quiet months away from the school system. Now, in the cool winter months, the results are on the brink of full disclosure in the same year in which the tests were administered. The MEAP is our annual assessment that is used to gauge how our students are performing on state-approved content standards. This test helps us define what students should know and be able to do in English, writing, math, science, and social studies in grades kindergarten through 12. In the previous years, we would obtain our district scores and relish in the fact that our students score near the top in every area across the board. This will continue to be the case, although the scores may look different for each individual student. New higher cut scores have been set for the MEAP, as well as the MME that is administered to our 11th-graders in the spring. With these new cut scores, proficiency now means that students are progressing appropriately toward college readiness. This could likely change how the public views the performance of districts, schools and students throughout the state. Cut scores represent a judgment about the percentage of questions that a student needs to answer correctly to meet some type of performance standard. While the cut scores have changed, the actual test has not, thus students’ actual raw scores are not affected. In the past, cut score levels were set for a manufacturing-based economy. With more students heading to college after high school, and with new national tests on the horizon, state education officials felt that it was the time to revisit what levels of performance would be needed to be “proficient.” The new cut scores reflect a determination about the point a student will be successful in the next grade or in college. It is important to understand that the “proficiency” label from the MEAP is […]
SCHOOL BEAT RPS to utilize SchoolMessenger, another form of communication by DOUG VANDERJAGT, Principal Rockford Freshman Center Starting in March, Rockford Public Schools (RPS) has signed on with SchoolMessenger, a California-based company that provides notification services for emergency broadcasts, parental outreach and student attendance communications for K-12 education. The system is programmed to call the primary phone number of parents for a variety of reasons that impact the safety of your students. SchoolMessenger will be used to complement our emergency preparedness procedures and to inform parents of upcoming school events such as statewide testing and parent meetings. After evaluating several notification solutions, we selected SchoolMessenger because it offers a real value to the district and is proven to measurably impact student safety, parental involvement, staff communications and student attendance. With the use of bond dollars, RPS was able to purchase this hardware, which in turn will increase communication without additional personnel. Look and listen for more information from your child’s school on this exciting new tool for improving communication. This system will not replace current modes of school communication. Principals are still accessible for live visits and we will still send home paper-based memoranda. Acquisition of the SchoolMessenger system is intended to reinforce the district’s commitment to remain personally connected to parents.