This is not my father’s classroom teacher by DAN WARREN Principal, East Rockford Middle School Certainly, many baby boomers can remember the days at school when you could convince that certain teacher to spend nearly an entire class period talking about any topic of interest other than the subject matter. Go ahead and admit it—you had at least one or maybe two of these teachers. My favorite was an eighth-grade history teacher who served on a Navy ship during WWII. He was a good citizen and great guy, but certainly his memory was questionable, as he prefaced his stories with, “Did I ever tell you about this time back in the Navy?” Of course, being the budding leader that I was back in those days, I made sure all my classmates never admitted we had already heard him tell the story several times. We learned a lot about life on a Navy ship from a very caring and interesting educator, but we probably could not have been successful on a state social studies curriculum assessment similar to what is required of secondary students today. Some 40 years later, I fondly remember the Navy stories with much more detail than, let’s say, the political causes of the Civil War. Although I have many wonderful memories of my eighth-grade history teacher, I’ve grown to realize that he would have struggled in today’s classroom. Current classroom teachers, unlike my eighth-grade history teacher years ago, have many more responsibilities sitting on their teaching plate. We can start with the existence of state curriculum standards. In Michigan, just like most states, grade-level content standards exist for all core teaching areas. Teachers spend many hours working collaboratively with their colleagues to map their subject area curriculum, ensuring these content standards are present and taught. Often this is similar to throwing a dart at a moving target, as the state continues to change and modify these standards. Nevertheless, it is imperative that every teacher teach the standards, and we are mandated to give our students state assessments over these very standards. These state mandated assessments are given each year at identified grade levels and at identified times of the year. Since we have multiple buildings in our district that include many teachers […]
East Rockford Middle School
Rockford art students participate in ‘Children Make Art For Children’ by MIKE WESTGATE Assistant Principal East Rockford Middle School “Children have a very, very uninhibited point of view,” said Linda LaFontsee, who, along with the LaFontsee Galleries staff, will provide and frame all artwork for the $286 million 14-story Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital slated to open in 2011. With this mission in mind, LaFontsee Galleries is partnering with local schools in a project entitled Children Make Art For Children. “The goal is that when kids walk into this hospital, they feel this is for them, and children can tell the difference,” added LaFontsee. East Rockford Middle School (ERMS) art teacher Sara Mullen established a connection with LaFontsee Galleries while studying with Linda LaFontsee at Kendall College of Art and Design. Excited about the opportunity to contribute and involve Rockford students in donating art for the project, Mullen met with gallery organizers to discuss the possibilities. They were very enthusiastic about Mullen’s ideas and more than willing to include our ERMS students’ artwork in the hospital. In addition, our sixth-grade art teacher Tami Appleby and Mullen collaborated to include over 600 students from both ERMS and North Rockford Middle School (NRMS). With 14 floors to fill with original art, the gallery and students have been busy. The gallery started gathering art last year at the Celebration on the Grand and is even supporting our schools with materials. Art II and Advanced Art students made fruit and vegetable paintings that will be on display in the Health and Education Lobby. Other students are working on underwater Lake Michigan landscapes that will be converted into linoleum tiles and Grand Rapids city landscapes with paint and tissue paper. Sixth-grade students are making 6×6-inch squares with a numbers-and-letters theme that will be worked into a larger mosaic mural. This experience has provided our Rockford middle school students a wonderful opportunity to see the value of their art and the importance of community service as they help to create an interesting and healing environment. The hospital plans to hold two “open houses” in December for the local student artists to view the displayed art. For more information visit LaFontsee Galleries at 820 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids, or online at www.lafontsee.us.
Rockford Intramural program offers many opportunities by MIKE WESTGATE Assistant Principal East Rockford Middle School A comprehensive education calls for learning both in and outside the classroom. Co-curricular activities are not a diversion but rather an extension of a good educational program. Study after study shows that students who participate in these types of activities tend to have higher grade-point averages, better attendance records, lower dropout rates and fewer discipline problems than students generally. For these reasons (and many more), Rockford Public Schools offers a wide variety of co-curricular activities to promote active student participation. An opportunity you may not know enough about is our outstanding secondary Intramural program. Rockford’s Intramural program started in 1992 as an after-school basketball league at the high school. It has since evolved into more than 20 organized activities at all four secondary buildings in the district. Some of the successful opportunities have included: water polo, dodgeball, “Forrest Gump” Ping-Pong, snow football, golf, cross country, Guitar Hero, and archery, just to name a few. The philosophy is to maximize participation and accommodate a wide range of interests and abilities by offering team and individual activities to all secondary students. District Intramural Coordinator Adam Burkholder continues to look for ways to meet the needs of our students and provide these types of co-curricular activities. His primary objective is to increase student involvement with a safe, fun and positive experience. Most of these activities are organized and supervised by Rockford teachers and coaches who share that passion for getting our kids involved. For more information on Rockford’s many Intramural opportunities, check out the Intramurals page under Athletics at www.rockfordschools.org.
Eighth Grade Brandon Ausbrooks Cameron Baines Jeffrey Baldwin Stephanie Barton Cameron Bathum Megan Bean Olek Berezecky Kayla Bergeron Michael Best Anna Beurkens Andrew Bingel Kira Brown Christopher Coles Katelin Cornelius Nicholas DeWitt Paige Deyoung Jessica Dickinson Ryan Donley Tyler Dykstra Halle Dymowski Samantha Ericksen Michael Farris Amanda Glaza Lauren Golsteyn Kara Greenberg Joshua Henderson Nathan Hill Robert Holmes Iii Jacob Kaiser Elizabeth Kim Kathryn Kreske Jessica Levin Claire Martin Nathan Middlebrook Sarah Militello Todd Millar Alec Nault Jamie Nelligan Jack Northman Rachel Raab Kyle Rinzler Mikinzy Russ Adam Sageman Nicole Spaeth Timothy Spehar Iii Tristan Vanfossen Jennifer Vlas Bradley Wallsteadt Heather White Samantha White Lexie Wobma Christian Wojtowicz Elizabeth Wuopio Seventh Grade Jenna Andrews Bobbie Augustine Colleen Berry Andrew Boatright Madison Butler Megan Chrisman Kate Counterman Hailey Delongchamp Lane Dubes Megan Engelbrecht Chase Hankins Mitchell Hendershott Dillon Herried Ryan Herron Hailey Huffman Ryan Jerrils Connor Kovack Kelsey Larsen Jason Lenon Tyler Linsley Ashley Mengyan Erin Munger Nicklaus Nance Tessa Paul-Cox Amy Plambeck Ryan Savara Mallory Sciamanna Jessica Sims Jarett Sobkowiak Drake Strehl Paul Van Ess Dylan Vanderwal Lindsay Waddell Craig Wasberg Lauren Werkema Sixth Grade Gage Afton Sidney Arcidiacono Talen Baltazar Trent Belmore Jared Bennett Justin Blough Riley Bullinger Allisyn Burke Courtney Butler Ryan Carley Alexis Chisholm Brooke Cojeen Nathan Cunigan Noelle Debold Taylor Dejonge Taylor Evans Walter Felver III Shelby Freeman Caleb Gillis Griffin Hall Nicholas Hart Sarah Jamgotch Macklyn Kovack Adam Kovacs Tyffany Lamos Bennett Lane Jamie Levan Foster Leverett Jacob Lindemer Laura Mackie Austin Markward Parker Marsh Drew Marvin Mazie Marvin Rachel Morrow Dakota Noble Kyle O’Hare Ricky Otto Mason Pant Tanner Phillips Seth Pierce Marilyn Preisner Cole Randall Nathan Rick Elise Robertson Alicia Rojas Avery Scheidmantel Christian Schutter Victoria Shingola Trevor Smith Allison Starr Joshua Stephan Hanna Tolhurst Brent Trewhella Perry Williams Lauren Wolford PRINCIPAL’S HONOR ROLL Eighth Grade Casey Aman Grant Aman Tyler Aman Aaron Bainbridge Jacob Barclay Erik Barker Grant Beach Kaitlin Belmore Lynsey Bettig Steven Bilski Andrew Bleeker Hannah Bodnar Christopher Bosch Shawn Bowser Erika Bradfield Nicholas Braun Mitchell Brummel Carley Bryant Aubree Buschert Carolyn Byl Mackenzie Cargill Colleen Conroy Madison Couch Connor Coughlin Austin Crowell Connor Darby Christopher Despres Avory Devries Tiffany Devries Matthew Dickinson Mitchell Dickinson Robert Dickinson Julia Dillard Jacob Dornan Rachel Feinauer Mackenzie […]