March 26 2009
Rockford High School library Ram Café now open A warm wood grain floor and rich brown and orange colors adorn the walls, and dark cherry cabinetry with countertops mimicking granite welcome guests. And then, of course, there is the aroma of fresh roasted coffee filling the air. Is this a high-end coffee emporium so ubiquitous in the modern American urban landscape? No, it is a former workroom attached to the Rockford High School (RHS) library. Beginning this month, students and staff who visit the school library are also able to enjoy a nice beverage as they work or relax. Library patrons will be able order coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and even chai latté from smiling student baristas who will be earning credit in a business management course. Student café managers will have the opportunity to learn in a real world business setting. The curriculum for the course challenges learners to make daily management decisions such as controlling inventory, reordering, providing customer service, as well as managing the financial side of a small business. The Ram Café is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. with over 20 students serving as managers each trimester. The café is the result of the collaborative work of RHS Media Specialist George Wilson and Business Education Instructor Peg Schoenborn. With the support of administration and the generosity of several community businesses (Styles Cabinetry, RJ Countertops, and Rockford Floor Covering) a vision became reality in less than a school year. Several RHS students and staff volunteered for many hours after school and on weekends to paint, stain and set up the café. The café is outfitted with high-quality equipment provided by Gordon’s Food Service. It certainly is not your grandmother’s library. While some people might be puzzled by the concept of a library with a coffee shop, it is a growing national trend. Public libraries, college libraries and, yes, more and more high school libraries across the country are finding that their patron base really warms up to the idea that a “hot cup of joe” coupled with a good read makes for a quality library visit.
In 1993, Valley View Elementary became Rockford Public Schools’ first school to be recognized by the state of Michigan as a Blue Ribbon Exemplary School. At the time, we committed to having all of our schools go through the Blue Ribbon process and earn this recognition. Why? Because we want to be accountable to you for providing the very best education for our students and our community. The Blue Ribbon recognition confirms that commitment. The Blue Ribbon program is a very challenging and detailed process, requiring school personnel to complete a comprehensive report delineating the school’s student achievement, test scores, educational programs, opportunities available for all students, and parent involvement in the school. The report is then evaluated by three independent readers, and a score is assigned based on a rigorous rubric. If the school receives high marks, a visitation team is sent to confirm the accuracy of the report. If all goes well, the school is recommended to the State Board of Education as a State Blue Ribbon Exemplary School. On March 17, 2009, the State Board of Education declared Meadow Ridge Elementary as Rockford Public Schools’ final traditional school to earn this recognition. All of Rockford Public Schools’ elementary, middle and high schools have now received this prestigious recognition from the State Board of Education. Many of our schools also received National Blue Ribbon recognition from the U.S. Department of Education. However, the state of Michigan discontinued participation in the federal program several years ago. Listed below are the dates each of our schools received their Blue Ribbon recognition: 1993-Valley View Elementary 1994-Rockford Middle School* 1995-Parkside Elementary 1996-Rockford High School* (includes all 9-12) 1997-Roguewood Elementary* 1998-Sheridan Trail 1999-Belmont Elementary* 2001-Cannonsburg Elementary* 2003-Lakes Elementary 2005-Crestwood Elementary 2006-East Rockford Middle School 2009-Meadow Ridge Elementary *Also received National Blue Ribbon recognition from the U.S. Department of Education (Michigan’s participation in the U.S. program ended in 2002). The process to become a State Blue Ribbon Exemplary School District has taken 16 years, but was well worth the effort. Later this spring, Meadow Ridge staff, students and parents will be formally recognized by the State Board of Education during a ceremony held at the school. Congratulations to Meadow Ridge Elementary and the Rockford Public Schools!
Calvin College has announced its winter 2008 Dean’s List, requiring that a student maintains at least a 3.5 grade-point average for the semester and has at least a 3.3 cumulative grade-point average. The following Rockford High School graduates were named to the list: Sarah Robinson of Belmont, a sophomore majoring in speech pathology and audiology, is the daughter of Daniel and Burnetta Robinson; Cassaundra Bell of Rockford, a freshman majoring in English, is the daughter of Hal and Karen Bell; Denise Britton of Rockford, a senior majoring in Spanish, is the daughter of Daryl and Dorothy Britton; Jennifer Erickson of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in Spanish, is the daughter of Timothy and Carole Erickson; Rachelle Grandia of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in business/math group, is the daughter of Roger and Diane Grandia; Paul Haverkamp of Rockford, a senior majoring in biology, is the son of Phyllis Haverkamp; Lauren Kelley of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in biochemistry, is the daughter of Michael and Kathleen Kelley; Jessica Roodvoets of Grand Rapids, a junior majoring in art, is the daughter of Diane Roodvoets. Also named to the list are the following Northpointe Christian High School graduates: Lindsay Bailey of Rockford, a senior majoring in elementary education (three minors), is the daughter of Michael and Sue Bailey; Sarah Bratt of Rockford, a sophomore majoring in nursing, is the daughter of David and Ruth Ann Bratt; Deborah Gray of Rockford, a senior majoring in English, is the daughter of Charles and Jeanette Gray; Samuel Lefurge-Mcleod of Rockford, a freshman majoring in communications A&S, is the son of David and Tamalette Lefurge-Mcleod; Luke Pettinga of Rockford, a senior majoring in geology, is the son of Ross and Jonell Pettinga; Andrea Waldo of Rockford, a junior majoring in music, is the daughter of Carl and Gerdina Waldo. Central Michigan University’s fall semester honors list includes students from Rockford and Belmont who earned 3.5 (on a 4.0 scale) and higher grade-point averages. Rockford students include: seniors Gina Boscarino, Brent Buesking, Jamie Bylski, Kristine Charais, Christopher Dedinas, Joel Fehsenfeld, Rachel Knott, Samantha Miller, Mathieu Putterman, Andrea Skeels, Angela Lynn Smythe, Christina Somerville, Christopher Vitton; juniors Bryan Anderson, Chelsea Blackmore, Tara Clark, Katherine Gielczyk, David Hammond, Conor Lynch, Christen Marsh, Colleen Scheidel, Danielle Schmutz; […]
Debt solution We’re all a bit nervous about the billions of federal dollars being shelled out to the investment and credit industries and the trillions of national debt that will follow. Well, I have a solution to America’s problem of raising money: sin. This idea isn’t new with me. “Sin tax” is the fun name for the extra taxes we pay on liquor and tobacco. Liquor and tobacco consumption doesn’t seem to be affected by taxes. I say, crank up those taxes and look for additional popular sins. Here’s one: Native Americans have managed to find a way to get back at the immigrants who stole their country from them: gambling casinos. They are popping up all over the country and paying off like crazy. (Build them and they will come.) I’ll give you three-to-one odds that casino clients would hardly notice bigger taxes on gambling. The state of Michigan also does well with its various lotteries. People enjoy gambling so much that I’m proposing a new “Deficit Lottery.” Ticket holders may win big bucks, but half the money would go to reduce the federal deficit. How about that combination: feeling patriotic while feeding your urge to gamble. Let’s get started! April 1 might be an appropriate day to kick off the big push for more sin. Help at hand When you go to casinos, the most ridiculous sign you see is the one that says: “If you have a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER.” A friend of mine noticed the sign and thought about it for a moment. Then he dialed the number. When they answered he said, “I have an ace and a six. The dealer has a seven. What do I do?” Daddy’s girl Another tale from a friend: One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me. I was maybe a little over 2. Someone had given me a little tea set and it was one of my favorite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in a ball game on TV when I brought him a little cup of tea, which was just water. After several more cups and lots of praise from Daddy for such yummy tea, my mom came home. Daddy made her […]