On June 19, 2015, 16 North Rockford Middle School sixth and seventh grade Spanish Immersion students, accompanied by parents Stacy Anderson, Jeyvon Fiveash, Jennifer Gluth, and John Hoyle, teacher Maestra Clare Adamus and principal Lissa Weidenfeller, set off for an 11 day trip to Costa Rica. This was the second trip for the middle school Spanish Immersion program and is different from other district trips in that the students were completely immersed in the Spanish language. Through this experience, the students grew as world citizens as they formed relationships with Costa Rican students. They also were empowered as Spanish speakers as they were exposed to new vocabulary and interactions, and became environmentalists as they saw another country utilize its natural resources. The trip was contracted through EF Tours and had the benefit of a Spanish speaking guide who accompanied the group throughout the entire experience. The group’s guide, Antonio Cedillas, stated that it had been ten years of leading tours since he had led a tour completely in Spanish to this degree. He was so impressed with the group’s dedication to Spanish use and the fluency level the students have obtained and utilized during the jam-packed trip. The students participated in activities that included cultural experiences, outdoor sports that highlight the Costa Rican ecology and biodiversity, and interactive activities with locals. Whether it was zip lining through the rainforest, kayaking on Arenal Lake next to a volcano, hiking through Santa Elena Cloud Forest, or chasing monkeys and hermit crabs on Manuel Antonio beach, the students were exposed to native speakers and navigated the new experiences in Spanish. While the adventures flooded the students with new vocabulary, the most eye-opening experiences were with local Costa Rican students. The Rockford students visited a small school called Escuela La Guaria in La Fortuna in which the principal was also the teacher and balanced instruction for 23 students in grades first through sixth. Rockford students discussed pop culture, clothes, school schedules, sports, and foods with the students, and learned more about their worldly neighbors than they ever could have from a textbook. The Costa Rican students could not believe how fluent the students were and stated how excited they were to visit with American students who could actually communicate […]
North Rockford Middle School
It was never a pleasant task to unfurl the old wooden bleachers at North Rockford Middle School (NRMS). The bleachers have seemingly been at the site of the old Rockford High School since the building opened up. It is a task that has gotten progressively more difficult as the wood and accompanying hardware aged together. The maintenance staff and other school personnel have put in a yeoman’s effort in keeping the equipment functional. But those days are thankfully over according to Rockford athletic director Tim Erickson. “That was sometimes a major undertaking just getting those things to work properly,” said Erickson. “The new plastic bleachers that were installed will make it easier for everyone concerned. It is like night and day and the students, staff and community will benefit greatly with this particular improvement.” The new bleachers are another added bonus to favorable interest rates from a successful millage issue that enabled the district to improve building and athletic facilities over the last several years. The improvements to the weight room at the high school were another add on. “It got to the point where we almost dreaded having to open the bleachers,” said NRMS Athletic Director Kevin O’Rourke. “We have some great people here who have pulled out every trick they could to keep them functional and safe, but this was something that was long overdue. They are a most welcome addition.”
New School Year—Many New Chances to Get Involved by AL REICKARD Assistant Principal North Rockford Middle School Summer is over and a new school year is starting. Rockford middle schools’ administration and staff are eager and ready to start another great and successful journey with our students. The start of a new school year marks a chance for students to get involved in a variety of different offerings. At both Rockford middle schools, we know and believe that success in school comes from participation inside, as well as outside of the classroom. It is very important for students to be involved in co-curricular activities for a variety of reasons. Studies have proven that students who are involved in at least one co-curricular activity experience more overall success in school. Students who are involved in co-curricular activities have fewer absences, higher GPAs, and are more likely to attend higher levels of education than students who do not get involved. It also gives kids a sense of belonging to a group which has many social benefits during a somewhat awkward time in life. The administration and staff at the Rockford middle schools strongly encourage each and every student to get involved in at least one co-curricular activity. Rockford middle school students have many different opportunities to get involved. The athletic seasons are divided into four competitive seasons which include 13 different sports for boys and girls. For the students that choose not to compete for those sport teams, there are many different intramural sports offerings that students can take part in throughout the year. There are also various clubs and programs such as the LEO Lions, student council, and RAM Buddies that students can become a part of. We challenge you to try something new and get involved. Middle school is the perfect time to try many different sports and clubs. It’s a great way to meet new people, explore your interests and to provide structure outside the classroom. Once again, welcome to what will prove to be another exciting school year. Go Rams!
Family friend with cancer inspired idea The Rockford Squire has shared the news of many generous and caring girls who have donated hair to Locks of Love for those who have lost their hair due to medical treatment. Eric Carey, 12, is the groundbreaking first young man to send the Squire his story of donating. Eric donated two eight-inch ponytails to the charity just before spring break. Great Clips, 5150 Northland Drive cut his hair. Eric is no stranger to working to help others. The North Rockford Middle School sixth-grade student is in the Community Services Magnet with teachers Pamela Hodges and Jonathan Bates. He also plays soccer in the Ole Soccer Club in Wyoming, Mich. Eric is the son of Scott Carey and Carol Wagen. His mom said he started growing his hair in fifth grade when he was a student at Roguewood Elementary School. He let it grow mainly because he disliked haircuts. When it started getting long, he decided to let it keep growing to donate to Locks of Love. “Last year a close friend of the family was diagnosed with brain cancer,” reported Carol. Eric said the experience of having someone he knew greatly affected his decision to grow his hair out. “I know he probably won’t get my hair, but it still felt good to donate with him in mind,” Eric stated. “I’m just glad to help in any way I can. I’m glad I started when I did so it’s ready now.” Carol said Eric is a great role model for his brother Lucas, 7, and sister Grace, 6. “He’s always been a supportive, caring big brother.”
Breaking all records previously set, 14 Rockford teams competed at the state finals on Davenport University’s campus against the brightest and most creative students in Michigan. Teams traveled from all over Michigan to compete, from Suttons Bay to Brighton, and creative teams converged to compete for the top two places that will reward them with a trip to the world finals competition in late May. All 14 Rockford teams that competed placed seventh or above. The Roguewood, Cannonsburg and Parkside elementary teams received Honorable Mention status, while the Cannonsburg Elementary and two teams from North Rockford Middle School both received bronze medals for a third-place finish. The teams who will represent Rockford at the world finals are: three teams North Rockford Middle School, two teams from East Rockford Middle School, and two teams from Rockford High School. In addition, two Rockford teams received the highly coveted Ranatra Fusca award which, if chosen, will automatically advance a team to the next level. Cannonsburg Elementary School and Rockford High School each received this award, boosting the world finals team count to eight. To round out a wonderfully, creative, sunny and successful day, two senior Odyssey alumni received the Michigan Odyssey of the Mind scholarship. Congratulations go to Evanne Zainea and Alexis Lawton. Congratulations also go to all the hardworking Odyssey of the Mind teams, coaches and parents, who represented Rockford successfully. They are wished the best of luck at the world finals competition in May.