by RANDY GREGORY High school football teams across the country place highly divergent views on the importance of seven-on-seven passing competitions and the role they play in the success of the upcoming season. Many coaches stretch the rule to the limit and take full advantage of every opportunity that presents itself. Nike, Adidas and other sports-related firms have even gotten to the point of offering national events with players from across the country playing on teams comprised of several different schools’ players. A multitude of players who may have spent previous summers playing baseball, taking family vacations or just relaxing now find football to be a near year-round activity. Consider Rockford Coach Ralph Munger to be one of the coaches who place a higher value on letting kids be kids and getting something of a break from the potential monotony of so much football. “We really want the kids to be able to get a break from time to time,” said Munger. “The state of Michigan is one of the more restrictive states when it comes to how many of these events you can participate in, and we don’t even take full advantage of that. We ask so much of our players and coaches when the season begins and I think it is important for all of them to have some time to recharge their batteries and join with their families in doing other things.” This summer the Rams will have competed with Kenowa Hills and Forest Hills Eastern in one seven-on-seven, Greenville in another, and Belding, Wayland and Byron Center in a third event. There is the opportunity to ply their wares against Shelby and Ottawa Hills in another seven-on-seven, but Munger isn’t even sure that Rockford will take advantage of that. “We have had a fair share of success doing things this way for a long time now,” said Munger. “I think the benefit of how we do things has a far greater impact on the mental well-being of our kids as opposed to bringing them to one event after another. I think everyone knows that once the practices start, we are all football, but it can be a difficult task for 16- to 18-year-old young men to maintain that mental toughness necessary […]
July 19 2012
How to Help Prevent Summer Regression by KIRSTEN MYERS Executive Director of Special Services Rockford Public Schools While summer vacation is a highlight for any child and family, it is also a time when students forget a good deal of what they learned the previous school year. As a result, the first several weeks of each new school year is spent on assessing where students are in relationship to where they should be coming into the next grade level. This can be challenging to both parents and teachers alike as many weeks are spent reviewing and recouping literacy and numeracy skills lost over the summer vacation. Helping your child to retain what they learned last year doesn’t mean a summer vacation full of hours spent crying over worksheets, tutoring or taking classes. There are several ways, noted below, in which parents can help prevent their child from losing information that they learned during the previous grade. It is as simple as spending 20 to 30 minutes per day on a few mathematical equations coupled with time spent reading high interest books. Tablets or Computers—An easy and motivating way to retain skills is to have your child play educational games on a tablet or computer. The Educational Freeware website, www.educational-freeware.com, provides users with reviews of the best free learning games, software and websites. Additionally, Kahn Academy, offers over 3,200 videos on everything from arithmetic to physics and offers hundreds of skills to practice. With Kahn Academy, students can review previous skills and prepare for the next school year while working at their own pace. Free Worksheets—There are several numeracy and literacy websites online that offer free printable worksheets. You can find specific skill worksheets by typing your child’s grade followed by the term “free math/literacy worksheets” into your search bar, and you will have a plethora of worksheets to choose from. Simply print the worksheets and allocate a small amount of time each day to work on them. Workbooks—One of the easiest ways to help a child retain the information they learned last year is to purchase a skills workbook at your local bookstore. Educational workbooks are easy to find as they are nearly always labeled by grade level. The Library—Reading is critical for students as […]
Grand Valley State University (GVSU) announces the names of students who were placed on the dean’s list for the winter 2012 semester. The list includes those students who have maintained a 3.5 grade-point average and been enrolled in a minimum of 12 credits. The honor is noted on the students’ official records. GVSU is dedicated to providing a rich learning environment for students, offering a wide range of majors and hands-on research opportunities. Highly credentialed and responsive faculty and individual advisors and mentors promote a liberal arts emphasis that teaches students critical thinking and problem solving. Students honored for the winter semester include from Belmont: Alyssa M. Barteld, Matthew P. Belk, Ellen N. Borgeld, Cyril T. Casapao, Brady B. Cone, Kelly E. Cool, Kimberly K. Cowan, Peter Z. DeHaan, Andrew J. DeLong, Katelyn M. Fox, Jenna M. Fredrickson, Brittany C. Gengle, Jakob J. Koelewyn, Jared A. Lamp, Rachel J. Lamp, Ryan S. Majerle, Paige N. Mather, Ian G. McCormick, Megan E. Miles, Elizabeth R. Obetts, Geoffrey J. Ostosh, Nathaniel J. Roobol, Nicholle M. Schall, Mack E. Scudder, Michelle E. Slager, Karli P. Socall, Stefany J. Tucker, Samantha N. Vandriel, Aletha R. VanValkenburg, Megan A. Wernimont, and Travis A. Whitaker. Students on the dean’s list from Rockford are: Dustin T. Anderson, Charlie D. Anel, Erika D. Arndt, Amy E. Baird, Melissa M. Baker, John P. Baldwin, Forrest D. Basso, Derek A. Beemer, Courtney A. Benson, Jordan L. Berry, Marisa M. Bouwkamp, Andrew M. Christensen, Samantha L. Decker, Nicole M. DeHaan, Sarah A. Domico, Lisa M. Dunkelberger, Alexander J. Ebenstein, Caitlin G. Edwards, Heidi L. Fegel, Leah R. Froysland, Lucas J. Galganski, Bree D. Gannon, Justin J. Graff, Travis R. Guest, Kristiana L. Hagyard, William M. Hannay, Rebekah S. Hazel, Alexander P. Henderson, Eric P. Henderson, Alexandra K. Hickox, Adam J. Hoard, Lindsey M. Hutchings, Alisha A. Jacobsson, Sarah E. Jamison, Cailie E. Johnson, Erin M. Jurek, Megan R. Kellermeier, Stephanie J. Kladder, Allison M. Kwekel, Kevin R. Lang, Hannah J. Leitch, Lauren E. Longo, Madison O. Mabin, Liana C. Mazur, Shannon L. Mccormick, Timothy P. McGough, Micael Measho, Richard A. Michilli, Brittany M. Novak, Zachariah G. Oaster, Alexia B. O’Connor, Mackenzie D. Osbeck, Drew T. Pettinga, William M. Pitsch, Carly J. Pomarius, Cathleen L. Porter, Jarod […]
The 2011/1012 Academic Honor Roll of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) includes 199 student-athletes from Hope College. The academic awards program is administered by the faculty representatives of the MIAA member colleges. The 23rd annual Academic Honor Roll consists of student-athletes who maintained a minimum 3.5 grade-point average for the year. Among the Hope students from Rockford named to the Honor Roll are sophomore Katie Carlson (cross country, track), junior Rachel Doud (soccer), freshman Lauren Girard (swimming), sophomore Megan Kelley (basketball), freshman Sloan Ouellette (swimming), and freshman Peyton Wells (softball).
Reforms will save area districts nearly $9.3 million by 2014 The Michigan House recently approved legislation to save the state’s teacher retirement system, saving almost $16 billion for Michigan taxpayers and allowing more money into the classroom to benefit students, state Rep. Peter MacGregor announced. Senate Bill 1040 reforms the Michigan Public School Employees’ Retirement System (MPSERS) Act to eliminate almost $16 billion in long-term pension and health care liability for Michigan’s public schools. “Today’s vote to reform the MPSERS system was crucial to making sure that teachers’ pensions and health care exist in the future,” said MacGregor, R-Rockford. “Without these reforms, the unfunded liabilities that currently exist in the system would have continued to limit education funding from getting to the classroom where it belongs. The current system is unsustainable and without action would have continued piling billions of dollars of debt onto our children and grandchildren.” MPSERS is a statewide public employee defined benefit plan. The plan has debts that currently total more than $45 billion, which schools must eventually pay. Before 1994, schools paid a flat 5 percent of their payroll into the retirement system. Now, because of the growing debt and the need to pay retiring educators, schools are paying 27 percent, and their payments are expected to jump as high as 35 percent. The House plan will eventually take this rate back down to 5 percent. Under the reform plan, public school employees hired on or after August 1, 2012, would have the option to receive an existing hybrid defined-benefit, defined-contribution plan or a straight defined contribution (401k) account. Employees hired on or after August 1, 2012 would no longer receive defined retirement health care but would receive matching employer contributions up to 2 percent of compensation deposited into a 401k-type account. “These commonsense changes were absolutely necessary to keep our schools from falling further behind while also saving the retirement system so that Michigan educators can still have high-quality retirement options in the future,” MacGregor said. “These reforms give schools the ability to put the focus back on educating Michigan children while still giving teachers options for retirement and protecting the pensions that teachers have already earned.” Under these reforms, each of the districts within the 73rd House District […]