Six Rockford Odyssey of the Mind teams participated in the world finals competition held at Michigan State University in East Lansing from May 26 to 29. Rockford has been involved in Odyssey of the Mind for 22 years and, for the first time, all teams competing at the world level placed in the top 10. Teams competing and their placements are as follows: • Cannonsburg Elementary: second place • North Rockford Middle School: second place • Roguewood Elementary: fourth place (honorable mention) • Rockford High School: fifth place (honorable mention) • Parkside Elementary: seventh place • North Rockford Middle School: 10th place.
Region 1 Special Education
Becca Ryan was recently awarded the R. Paul Nelson full tuition scholarship offered by Aquinas College. Based on high school grade point average and ACT scores, Becca was invited to the Aquinas campus to participate in the Spectrum Scholarship competition along with roughly 250 other students. The testing consisted of multiple choice, team dynamics and essay components. Becca finished fourth overall. “I have had many positive experiences while meeting with future professors and admissions counselors,” Becca said. “The small size of the college creates a personable atmosphere that I want to be a part of. I know that the academics will challenge me and push me to become the best version of myself.” Becca currently keeps herself busy as an active member of the Our Lady of Consolation Peer Ministry team, participating in many charitable causes, including working at North Kent Service Center, God’s Kitchen North, and a mission trip to New Orleans. Her other hobbies are running/exercise, spending more time with family, and being goofy with friends. She is a member of the National Honor Society. She looks forward to life on the Aquinas campus, particularly meeting new people and finding her niche in the work force. She currently plans to work toward a degree in psychology. Becca’s proud parents are Mike and Patty Ryan of Rockford. Her siblings are Mike, Christopher and Jessica.
They solved the Nature Trail ‘R Problem in Division I and took 1st place at States, following their 1st place at Regionals last month. The team is mostly fourth graders with one 3rd grader all from Roguewood Elementary. The team will continue on to the 2010 OM Worlds Competition held at MSU next month.
SCHOOL BEAT In three words by BOB SIEGEL, Principal Valley View Elementary Most of the good things that happen at Valley View Elementary School are not my ideas! That may seem like a startling admission for a principal to make, but it’s humbly true. We are blessed to have many talented, bright and creative staff members and parents who are always coming up with new programs and projects that make our school family even better. I’ve learned to “get out of the way” of a powerful idea and lend support! I was approached by a Valley View parent, Michelle Corey, to consider doing a Valley View project based upon the “In Three Words” piece done frequently on the Good Morning America television show. Michelle sent me a video clip from one of the shows as a starting point. Various individuals or groups of people show three words that capture the essence of their lives in many creative ways. For example, a new mother holding her baby holds a sign: “New Baby Born!” Michelle presented the idea to “Team Valley View” at a faculty meeting, and the project was completely embraced by our entire staff. For the past two weeks, Michelle has been filming every possible group at Valley View doing their “In Three Words” piece. The end product will be a “gift” to our departing fifth-graders and their parents, and the sale of the “In Three Words” CD to Valley View families will be a fundraiser as well. It’s been fun watching all of the various groups at Valley View buy into the concept and develop their three words. Everyone from the classroom teachers, to our cook, to the PTO Board, to our bus drivers were involved and did an “In Three Words” taping. In the process of preparing for their piece of the video, I have watched students spend time with their teachers discussing what three words they want to use to represent and reflect their classroom family—their “motto,” so to speak. The discussion about which three words to use has been powerful! Some examples of the “In Three Words:” • bus drivers: “Drive Precious Cargo!” • our secretaries Jo Beier and Wendy Carlson: “Different Every Day!” • a fifth-grade classroom: “Return with Honor!” […]
Rockford has a share in something new Region 1 Special Education has Region 1 Transition Services (R1TS) programs for students from ages 18-21. These Transition specific programs focus instruction on adult, independent living skills including social skills and employability skills. In March, 2006 the R1TS Resale Store made its grand opening. R1TS Resale is a “real” store, run by students and staff from various Region 1 Transition specific and high school programs. Goodwill Industries sponsored its development and continues to provide their coaching support. In the beginning, the R1TS students invested countless hours preparing the store for operation. The building, donated by Cedar Springs Public Schools, needed to be remodeled. The students removed old carpet, painted walls, and set-up the hardware before the opening. Having put in so much time and effort, the students feel a real sense of ownership and investment in the store. As one young adult participant stated proudly, “We did everything except for installing the carpet!” The student-run store provides an environment for them to gain valuable work skills. The students get practice with customer service, running the cash register, taking and keeping track of inventory, janitorial skills and leadership. Because they work as a team, each person has the opportunity to teach others certain skills that can enhance the daily operation of the store. November 2008 brought a new opportunity for Rockford High School students through an “Applied Transition” class run by teachers Dale Goossen and Linda Verhagen. This class is now partnering with R1TS Resale in two ways. A donation site is being developed right on the Rockford High School campus and student groups will volunteer for two shifts a week at the store as part of their Community-Based instruction. This exciting enterprise will provide more ways to create meaningful learning activities for our students. Please watch for further information on ways you can support their venture and please stop in at the R1TS Resale Store. You are certain to be awed! The R1TS Resale Store is located at 204 East Muskegon Street, Cedar Springs (located on Cedar Springs Public Schools Campus, behind Red Hawk Elementary) and is open Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.