Rockford Public Schools is a highly respected school district because the primary focus is on teaching and learning. In an effort to capture all that is taking place within the areas of teaching and learning, I have developed the first annual “Teaching and Learning Report”. This report will be presented annually to the Board of Education, administrators, staff and support staff. Additionally, the report will be presented to parent groups and will be available to the community. The overall purpose of this report is to reflect on the recently completed school year and to prepare for the start of the upcoming school year. As we place emphasis on teaching and learning, we understand that teaching and learning takes place before, during, and after school, and inside and outside of the classroom. As a result, the following are some of the areas of focus within the report: Student academic achievement, student behavior, student involvement in cocurricular activities, recognition of accomplishments and awards, professional development, parental involvement, district and building leadership, and identified needs and initiatives for the upcoming school year. It is our hope that we celebrate all the good things about RPS and remain committed to doing even greater things in the upcoming school year. Thank you to everyone for making RPS an exemplary school district. Ryan Kelley, Ed.D. Assistant Superintendent for Instruction
School Beat Learning with style by BILL AMITAGE, Principal Belmont Elementary School Perhaps this has happened to you. You are sitting around the dinner table with your family. Or, if you’re like my children who are now grown and parents of children themselves, you are taking your children to an after school function. The conversation usually turns to their day. You ask the time honored question, “So, what did you learn in school today”? This is usually followed by the time honored response, “Nothing”. Aside from the dynamics of parent-child relationships, in order to get a response that is more than a single word phrase, perhaps the question needs to be modified. Instead of asking what they learned in school, ask them what they enjoyed the most about school, and why. This question encourages responses that may give you some insight about how they learn best. There are three broad categories of learners that I see often in school. First, there are students who are auditory learners. They learn best by listening and responding during instruction. They have a great auditory memory, remembering what the teacher has said and the conversations in class. They have a good control of vocabulary and language. However, they can also be easily distracted by noise in the learning environment. Second, there are students who learn best through instruction that focuses on visual cues. They learn best by seeing what is being presented. Maps, graphs, movies and pictures help them retain the information presented in class. These students may struggle if they are in a class that relies heavily on lecture. Finally, there are the kinesthetic learners. They learn by doing. They are often good at athletics. They learn best through activities that allow them to get out of their seats, move about, and interact during their learning. t may be difficult for kinesthetic learners to sit still during lessons, and they may often appear fidgety or distracted. All three of these learning styles are evident in the average classroom. Students are generally not exclusively one learning style over another. The task is to plan lessons that address all three of these styles. Teachers differentiate instruction so that a single concept will be presented in ways that connect with the […]
This Student Run Credit Union is the “reel” deal! Red Carpet Events will be held in three Rockford area schools. Rockford Community Federal Credit Union is making savings fun in schools through a movie and celebrity themed, fully functioning “reel” Student Run Credit Union. Schools participating in programs are Belmont, Roguewood, and Our Lady of Consolation School. The schools recognize the need to teach students how to save for the future. In a partnership with Rockford Community Federal Credit Union the Student Run Credit Union was established. This program is now in its 6th year of operation. “By partnering with the schools, it provides the students an opportunity and a first hand experience with money management and financial education. Students learn as employees and as members who make deposits and withdrawals. Good habits learned early are more likely to last a lifetime,” said Connie Taylor, CEO of Rockford Community Federal Credit Union. These Credit Unions are now fully functional and run once a week for students to be able to make deposits, withdrawals and learn how to save money. The students get rewarded for good savings through games and prizes. As an added bonus, students in 5th grade have the opportunity to become an employee of the Student Run Credit Union. Lisa Smith, the Educational Coordinator for Rockford Community Federal Credit Union, oversees the Student Run Credit Unions. She says, “in these tough economic times our goal with the all Student Run Credit Unions is to provide a “reel” life financial literacy-based program that teaches students about saving money, decision-making and critical thinking while they are young.” The Credit Union hopes that by having the Credit Union, students will be more responsible with their money management and finances in the future. The Red Carpet was rolled out February 9, at Belmont Elementary, February 11 in Roguewood Elementary, and February 12 in Our Lady of Consolation School. These super star celebrations had snacks and Emmy pictures with celebrities for all student members.