Kirsten Myers


September 20, 2012 // 0 Comments

SCHOOL BEAT Rockford Public Schools is developing healthy kids by KIRSTEN MYERS Executive Director of Special Services As Rockford Public School employees, we are faced with transporting, feeding, and teaching students that are dealing with trauma or crisis on a daily basis. We work with students that have a mental or terminal illness, have experienced a tragic or expected death of a family member or friend, have an unstable home life, have been physically or emotionally abused, are bullied, are homeless, or have contemplated or attempted suicide. As a result, our district and elementary and secondary buildings have done multiple things to educate and inform our students on adolescent pressures and the importance of taking care of each other. Over the past several years our district has provided activities such as small group counseling, student leadership groups, building wide initiatives, guest speakers and assemblies, bully prevention training, and the implementation of Capturing Kids’ Hearts district-wide. These activities and the continued crises that the district has faced over the years have inspired the district crisis team to continue what has been developed by the district and building administrators. Therefore, the crisis team which is comprised of K-12 building administration, counselors, social workers, and psychologists, has launched the Developing Healthy Kids Campaign which has been designed to con- tinue to address and educate our students, families, staff and community on relevant issues plaguing our youth today. For the 2012/2013 school year, the Developing Healthy Kids Campaign entails three major activities. The Rockford Public Schools Community Education and Prevention Series will offer students, staff and parents the opportunity to hear area experts speak about multiple topics plaguing our youth today. Additionally, all of our 6-12th grade students will be attending an assembly where Eric Hipple, a former Detroit Lion, will speak on the importance of being mentally and physically healthy. Eric provides a very personal message due to his lifelong struggle with depression and the tragic death of his son by suicide when he was a freshman in high school. Lastly, we have partnered with the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. They will be teaching the “Live, Laugh, Love and Be Nice” curriculum to our freshman and will be working with a leadership group at the high school […]


July 19, 2012 // 0 Comments

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,, 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 […]