May 3 2012

Rockford Superintendent against implementation of all-day everyday kindergarten programs

May 3, 2012 // 0 Comments

by CINDY M. CRANMER As schools in the Rockford Public Schools (RPS) district prepare for kindergarten round-up meetings, the superintendent has continued to raise concerns about the proposal for all-day, everyday kindergarten classes as it would cost the district an additional $1.8 million. Rockford Superintendent Michael Shibler, PhD, said Rockford will continue “to work hard to provide the best possible education to the students we serve.” However, he said, in times of the state of Michigan’s financial crisis, a proposal to go to all-day everyday kindergarten will put additional challenges on the school district. Shibler explained to The Rockford Squire how, despite initial indications that there would be no further cuts, the proposal for all-day, everyday kindergarten would mean additional hardships on districts. One year ago, the state legislature passed and Gov. Rick Snyder signed a two-year School Aid Bill for 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 that actually results in less funding per child in 2012-2013 than during the 2005-2006 school year. School funding was at $6,875 per pupil in 2005-2006 and reached a high of $7,316 in 2008-2009 before being decreased to $7,146 for 2009-2010 and 2010-2011 then $7,046 for 2011-2012 and cut to $6,846 for the 2012-2013 school year. “As you can see, from the highest funding level of $7,316 per child in 2008-2009, Rockford Public Schools will drop $470 per child next year. When factoring in the rising costs of daily operations due to inflation, RPS has been forced to cut $9.6 million from its operating budget since 2009-2010,” Shibler said. The freeze in wages and salary, which was instituted three years ago, will continue into the 2012-2013 year. Employees also are now contributing 18 percent toward the costs of their health insurance premiums, he said. “Individually and collectively, Rockford Public Schools has participated in ‘shared sacrifices,’” Shibler said. Snyder has now publicly stated that he believes cuts to public education are over and schools may start experiencing a slight increase in funding. This, Shibler said, should mean that there would not need to be cuts. Within the current School Aid bill is a provision to require all school districts to implement all-day everyday kindergarten beginning in 2012-2013, Shibler said. He said many school districts offer kindergarten programs half a day every day or […]


May 3, 2012 // 0 Comments

HELP WANTED Customer Service Representative (part-time)—Weingartz is looking for a part-time Customer Service Representative in our Cedar Springs location. Responsibilities include assisting customers with finding the proper parts for various outdoor power equipment, writing service orders and following up with customers. Must be very friendly, patient and have some familiarity with small engine and power equipment components. Computer skills are a plus. Position could be seasonal or year-round with more hours available in the spring and summer. EOE. Please apply in person at 11875 Northland Dr., Cedar Springs, MI 49319. (616) 696-2913.       b19 ______________________ Service/Set-Up (part-time)—Weingartz is looking for a part-time Service Technician in our Cedar Springs location. Responsibilities include maintenance, prep and light repair of various outdoor power equipment and various shop maintenance duties. Position could be seasonal or year-round with more hours available in the spring and summer. EOE. Please apply in person at 11875 Northland Dr., Cedar Springs, MI 49319. (616) 696-2913.       b19 ______________________ General Cleaning—accepting applications for a part-time position in Rockford. The position starts at 8 p.m. and is Monday thru Friday. Must be at least 18, have your own car and have a clean criminal background. Please apply online at       p18 ______________________ CRAFTS West Catholic Spring Craft Show—Saturday, May 12, 2012, info at Large, well-established show.       p18 ______________________ NOTICES To the person who dropped off a bag of bras to a home near the Michigan State Police post: It went to the wrong address; owners there are baffled. If anyone can solve this mystery, call the Squire at (616) 866-4465, ask for Beth.       f18 ______________________ FOR SALE John Deere 2001 riding lawnmower. Model 335, hydraulic lift, cruise control, power steering, tilt steering wheel, new belt, 54″ cut. 550 hours on machine. $2,500 o.b.o. Cash only. Call (616) 520-1609.       p18 ______________________ Farm fresh eggs. $2 a dozen, free-range hens, multi-colored eggs. (920) 222-3534. Local farm in Rockford.       p20 ______________________ WANTED TO BUY Buying Cars!—Bel air Auto Service is looking to buy running or non-running vehicles for repairable projects or parts. Please call us for a chance to buy your unwanted cars and trucks, (616) 647-8699.       p20 ______________________ Large garage sale—7096 Silver Lake Dr., Thursday-Saturday, May 10-12, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Lots of boys and girls clothing 0 […]

SCHOOL BEAT — May 3, 2012

May 3, 2012 // 0 Comments

Reading is a Treat by CINDY KITZROW Principal, Cannonsburg Elementary School Director of Library and Media Services Rockford Public Schools March is designated as National Reading Month. Each year the library services staff of Rockford Public Schools offers a fantastic reading program to encourage reading with our PreK through eighth-grade students. This year, for our 15th annual reading celebration, we were pleased to announce our theme was “Reading is a Treat.” During the month, we invite students and parents to become involved in reading thousands of hours or a million pages. The students keep track of the time they read (or parents read to them). As the students read their allotted amount of time, they bring the reading slips to their library staff. The staff then records the hours and promotes the times throughout the building. Each library had a number of exciting events going on throughout the month in all of our buildings. We have several quest readers from the community to share their love of reading with our students. Dr. Michael Shibler, our superintendent, as well as Peter MacGregor, our state representative, read their favorite books to a number of students. Each building principal adds their encouragement for reading with many different reading incentives. For one building the class that read the most had an ice cream sundae party. One of the  principals and cooks dressed up as Fiona and Shrek when the students met their reading goal. The students loved spending the morning with them. Another principal became an ice cream sundae. The students draped him with all their favorite toppings. Each building met and surpassed their building goal. Lakes Elementary set a huge challenge for their students to read one million pages. They read over a million pages—what an AWESOME accomplishment. On March 2, our buildings celebrated the birthday of Dr. Seuss. As part of the national program “Read Across America,” we joined the nation’s biggest reading party ever. We gave parties and read our favorite Seuss books. The movie the “Lorax” came out on Dr. Seuss’ birthday. Thanks to Cannonsburg’s PTC we were able to take the whole school to a special viewing of the movie. It was an exciting event for all of our students. We have much to celebrate […]


May 3, 2012 // 0 Comments

Recent developments by DAN VOS Vos Energy Concepts I will take a break from the green design articles to talk about some recent developments in the renewable energy field. First, Consumers Power is offering a program that will pay you twice what you pay them for your electricity, if you install a solar electric system. They do this occasionally, to get people to become producers of electricity. The contract that is signed lasts 15 years. This program is called Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP), and takes all of the energy you produce and sends it through a separate meter so it is measured accurately. This program, along with the 30% tax credit and the cheaper pricing of the solar panels these days, makes this a deal for those of you who have been sitting on the fence waiting for this technology to be cost effective. Second, micro-inverters are a new option. The inverter changes the solar panel power to that which can be used to power our homes. Normally one large inverter is wired to all of the panels. A micro-inverter is wired to each panel on a one-to-one basis right on the roof. You can get a monitor that will look at each inverter to see how each panel is performing. The advantages to this system is that if there is a problem, the troubleshooting time is minimal, but troubles are rare. Mainly the biggest advantage is that if you have some shading issues, one shaded panel will not drag down the whole system output as it would otherwise. You see normally each panel works like a cell in a battery. When one cell goes bad, it can affect the system output dramatically. So if you have some shading issues, micro-inverters are the answer. Third, solar panel pricing has dropped dramatically in the past few years. The world recession and Chinese pricing have been the cause of this for the most part. Before the recession, many countries were installing many solar electric systems and new companies were popping up while others were expanding. When the money dried up, many panels were built and orders were cancelled. This led to failing companies and lots of product. We are still in this mode. So instead of […]

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