July 21 2011

73rd District Representative Peter MacGregor

July 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

Time has come for reasonable tenure reform by PETER MACGREGOR State Representative 73rd District One of the first few meetings I scheduled after taking office was with all the school superintendents in my district. Over and over, one of the issues that kept coming up, in addition to budget cuts, was the fact that the tenure process needed reformed. Additionally, I had meeting after meeting and countless e-mails and phone calls from actual educators. Some educators wanted to maintain the status quo, but there were also many who privately conveyed they agreed it was time for reasonable tenure reform. There is an example in almost every district of a teacher who has lost their passion or isn’t really qualified to teach children, but seems to be untouchable because they’ve obtained “tenure.” In fact, there are districts all across this state that have educators who probably need to be removed from the classroom, but it is cheaper for the school to pay their salary to not work at all—and pay their replacement simultaneously—than to go through the long, litigious process of terminating a teacher with the Teacher Tenure Commission. I asked those in the education field, both administrators and teachers, what it typically costs a school district to terminate one teacher and was told estimates anywhere from $100,000 to $250,000 per teacher. It’s no wonder we all have had those experiences mentioned above of someone who taught us or taught our kids, who we all knew shouldn’t be there, yet remained year after year. I am well aware that we have some of the best teachers in the state, probably even in the country, right here in West Michigan. Effective teachers are the most important variable in a student’s success. However, those good teachers should not take offense to the legislation passed this past month on tenure reform. In fact, the legislation that was passed will protect good teachers. No longer is it acceptable to fire a lower seniority teacher to keep a teacher who has more seniority and who may not even teach the subject needed—which is now the current practice. Rather, educators will now be employed based on performance. If the teacher with less experience happened to be a better teacher, they shouldn’t automatically […]

Cooling shelters up

July 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

There are currently three cooling shelters operating within Kent County. Mel Trotter Ministries is open for the homeless and is distributing water in downtown Grand Rapids. Wesley Park United Methodist Church (32nd and Michael Ave., Wyoming) and Rockford Reformed Church, 4890 11 Mile Road, are open and staffed by church volunteers from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Friday this week. The Red Cross will be supplying water, ice, snacks, and personnel as needed.

Rockford hosts summer track & field events

July 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

All ages are welcome to compete in as many events as they would like or to just come and watch. The Greater Rockford Area Summer Track & Field Competition will be held at Rockford High School’s Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium on Monday, July 18. Gates open at 5 p.m. with field events beginning at 5:30 and running events starting at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, whether an athlete or spectator. If there are enough entries, races will be broken down by the following age groups: 6-under, 7-10, 11-14, 15-18, Open, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-over. The order of the events are as follows, with the field events running simultaneously:  pole vault discus (6-under and 7-10 Frisbee throw) long jump 5,000-meter run 110/100-meter hurdles 55-meter hurdles (6-under and 7-10) 400-meter dash 800-meter run 100-meter dash 100-meter dash (6-under and 7-10) 4×400 relay For further details, please contact Ben Watson at (616) 826-7293 or bwatson@rockfordschools.org.  

Kids invited to free Rockford water polo program

July 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

Water polo is a challenging, yet exhilarating sport that is growing in popularity throughout the country. Boys and girls in grades first through eighth are invited to come and be introduced to the sport Monday, July 25 at North Rockford Middle School pool. The free program runs from 1 to 2:15 p.m. and will be staffed by the Rockford High School coaches and players. This community is known throughout the Midwest for its excellent high school water polo program, which includes 11 state championships, eight for the boys and three for the girls. But there’s no need to wait until high school to get involved. This summer event is a great opportunity for kids—and parents—to learn what makes Rockford water polo special. In addition to this summer program, watch for announcements of Rockford Community Education polo for grades first through sixth this fall. And middle school student are invited to consider joining the successful boys and girls teams that practice at the North Rockford Middle School pool in the spring.

CLASSIFIEDS — July 21, 2011

July 21, 2011 // 0 Comments

NOTICES Baseball tryouts—Powers baseball is having tryouts (ages 8-18) for the 2012 spring season. For ages 8-13: Saturday, Aug. 13 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. For ages 14-18: Sunday, Aug. 14 from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. Tryouts will be held at 8181 Graphic Dr., Belmont 49306. Call (616) 570-8537 for more information.     p29 ______________________ GARAGE SALES Cedar Springs—Garage sale, Thursday-Saturday, July 21-23, from 8:00 a.m.-??, 155 North 7th St., Cedar Springs. Weather permitting. Tools, clothes, household and decorative items. Don’t miss our big sale! Something for everyone!      p29 ______________________ ESTATE SALES Rockford—Architect is selling his furniture, artwork, accessories, kitchen ware, etc. to serious buyers on Friday, July 22 and Saturday, July 23 from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., 4306 Millpond Dr. NE, Rockford, off Jericho.      p29 ______________________ FOR RENT Rockford—lakefront, 2-bedroom, 1-bath, washer/dryer, and dishwasher. No pets. No smoking. (616) 844-7260.     p29 ______________________ PUBLISHER’S NOTICE: All real estate advertising in this newspaper is subject to the Fair Housing Act and the Michigan Civil Rights Act, which collectively make it illegal to advertise “any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, age or marital status, or an intention to make any such preference, limitation or discrimination.” Familial status includes children under the age of 18 living with parents or legal custodians, pregnant women and people securing custody of children under 18. This newspaper will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in advertised in this newspaper are available on an equal opportunity basis. To report discrimination, call the Fair Housing Center at (616) 451-2980. The HUD toll-free telephone number for the hearing impaired is 1-800-927-9275. ______________________ SERVICES Do you want a sparkling clean home weekly, every other week, or just a one-time cleaning? Give me a call! I can also help with gardening. References available. Call (616) 433-8124.        f29 ______________________ LOST AND FOUND LOST—VW remote key on the White Pine Trail near Belmont. (616) 401-7363.       f28 ______________________   FOUND—jacket in downtown Rockford. Call to identify (616) 916-6778.    f27 ______________________   LOST—Yorkie terrier, dark brown. Last seen near Porter Hallow Dr. NE. Reward. Call  (616) 438-5718.     f27 ______________________   LOST—female Jack Russell/dachshund mix last seen June 25 in the Russell and White Creek Road area. She […]

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