Dear Rockford Community: I hope you and your family had a relaxing summer, and are now looking forward to an exciting 2015-16 school year. The RPS’ Board of Education and staff are looking forward to providing all of our students with an exemplary education, supported by the active involvement of our students, staff, parents and community. Recently the Detroit Free Press identified Rockford as one of the top ten (out of 100) communities in Michigan to raise a family. RPS played an important role in that ranking! We are proud of what we have collectively accomplished, and we also know there is much more work that needs to be done. We continue to thank you for supporting the May, 2014 bond issue, which generated $76 million for a multitude of capital improvement and construction projects. They include $11 million for school safety initiatives, $15 million for instructional technology improvements, and the remaining $50 million for building construction and renovations. As we begin the 2015-16 school year, you will be pleased to know that our promise to create a safer school environment for our students has been initiated. This fall, our schools’ entryways will have new vestibules, which will add another layer of protection for students, staff, and community. In addition, a road has been constructed between the high school and the freshman center, which will reduce school bus traffic on Kroes Rd. Extensive planning will continue this school year as staff pilots new technologies for teaching, learning, and information management. The purchase of new technology is a challenging task, simply because innovations occur so rapidly, requiring that we purchase the most reliable technology that will be relevant into the foreseeable future. In conclusion, while the projects included in the $76 million bond issue are very important, and should be concluded by the 2017-18 school year, our number one priority will always be the education of our 8,000 students. We are proud of the educational and cocurricular opportunities available to our students and community, but we also know that we can do better. The RPS’ Board of Education and staff are committed to an educational model of continuous improvement, defined by RAMS IX (Rockford Action Model for Success). I encourage you to contact me at 863-6557 or email@example.com with your […]
Dr. Michael Shibler
by TERRY KONKLE President, Rockford Area Historical Society Several people have contacted me asking if I could do a column about Thor. Because many readers may not know about Thor, let’s ask the following “Nugget of Rockford History” question: Who was Thor? Contact me at (616) 866-0530 with your answer and also with your Thor stories. With your help, the story of Thor can be presented and another positive part of our area history can be revealed. Last week I mentioned that the Rockford High School class of 1962 was inducted into the “Golden R” on Saturday, June 30, 2012. Many 1962 graduates attended the luncheon during the afternoon, and then the held their own reunion that evening at the Rockford Sportsman’s Club. As the advisor to the class, I attended both events. My wife also was at the two functions, and we agreed that the day was an enjoyable one for us. Both of us consider many of the members of the 1962 class our friends because we have known and remained in contact with many of them over the years. Some of them babysat our children while others worked in the area, and Bruce VanWingen became a teacher at Rockford High School and was a colleague for years. He even introduced me to computer possibilities in the year 2000. On the night of the reunion, we met many class members and shared lots of history. Their experiences were interesting to learn about and covered all facets of life. It did seem to me that laughter and good feelings were quite prominent. I spoke with many of them, and wish that I could have talked with more. The class to me was and always will be special. They have certainly made their mark on the world! Several members of the class were very interested in our new museum project and stated that they intended to make donations. I found this very positive because when they were in school, Rockford did not have a museum. They just want to help. Many offered auction ideas and wished us luck with it. Some, who live in the area, will hopefully donate their items. Last week, I was asked when the auction would take place. The answer is: […]
Contaminants found in multiple test sites on Wolverine property by BETH ALTENA About a hundred residents, including city officials and Wolverine Worldwide representatives, attended a public meeting held jointly by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) on Tuesday, April 24 at the Rockford Freshman Center. A presentation by a team of four representatives of the environmental agencies detailed the background of their investigation, where the testing stands to date, what possible future outcomes of the process may be, and answered questions well after the 9 p.m. expected close of the meeting. Comments from the public regarding the situation were about evenly mixed among those supporting Wolverine in their actions in removing the former tannery and those who appeared skeptical of the company’s actions or worried about contamination. Dave Novak, community involvement coordinator of the Superfund Division of the EPA, began the evening’s presentation, introducing the other representatives. “We are looking for conclusions based on good science, not speculation,” he stated. “We have a great deal of information in a relatively short period of time. We are letting good science lead us on our journey.” He then gave the floor to Naria Nunez of the EPA. Nunez said the EPA was contacted by a citizens’ petition June 21, 2011 describing concerns over releases during the demolition of the former tannery at 123 N. Main Street, Rockford. She said the petition indicated the demolition was of community concern and included photographs of discolored water running off the property and questions about the past use of chromium at the property. The EPA decided to investigate the site, and began testing in October of last year. Nunez said preliminary testing results found some contamination with potential of offsite contact. The investigation is still underway and is in the preliminary stages. At any time the EPA could decide no further response is necessary; could call for removal of contaminates or could refer the investigation to another government program. The EPA could also continue to investigate and at the end of the process could rank the site based on a system called a Hazardous Ranking System. This is an evaluation of the property based on evaluations of groundwater, surface water, air, ground, or […]
by CINDY M. CRANMER Photos courtesy of WZZM 13 Rockford school officials and police stated that a tire did not break loose from a Rockford bus as witnesses and early media agencies originally reported during a three-vehicle crash that seriously injured a woman. “A car struck the front tire of the bus, knocking off the lug nuts on the front tire, traveling down the side of the bus, scraping it and then hitting one of the outside tires and knocking it off,” said Dr. Michael Shibler, Rockford Public Schools’ superintendent. Photo courtesy of WZZM 13 According to Shibler, the driver of the white Ford Taurus was ticketed and responsible for crossing the centerline during the early morning accident that ended up involving three vehicles on Thursday, April 19. Early media reports and witness accounts stated that a tire came off the car, but police clarified that this was not the case. The bus was eastbound on Belding Road when the Taurus, which was westbound, drifted into the eastbound lanes and struck the front bus tire and side of the bus. Shibler said the car spun around colliding head-on with the eastbound vehicle, a Volkswagen Passat, which was traveling behind the bus. The driver of the Passat was taken to the hospital by AeroMed helicopter, Shibler said. Officials confirmed that the woman’s condition had stabilized as of Monday, April 23. The woman’s child who was restrained in a car seat was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital as a precaution to be checked out but was not injured. The bus had not yet picked up students, so there were no children on the bus. The bus driver was not hurt in the accident, which occurred near the Bostwick Lake Inn. The driver of the Taurus had minor injuries. The accident occurred on Belding Road near Kitson Road shortly before 8 a.m. as the bus driver was preparing to pick up the first students. “A tire did come off the bus, but only after the car sideswiped the bus and hit the back tire,” Shibler said. “The driver of the white car was ticketed. The driver of the bus was not ticketed or at fault. The bus driver was totally in the right and there were no […]
Rockford Community Federal Credit Union (RCFCU) is proud to announce its seventh year of selling the official “Ram Pride” checks. Profits from each box of checks are donated directly to the Rockford Public Schools. On Tuesday, Nov. 9, RCFCU’s CEO, Connie Taylor, along with financial teen advocate Emily Munslow and employees Cassandra Chartier and Josh Fortuna, with the help of the Rockford Rotary Club’s German exchange student, Julius Loebbecke, presented Superintendent of RPS Dr. Michael Shibler a check from proceeds of the 2009-2010 Rams checks.