The first Saturday semifinal match pitted Rockford against a very strong East Kentwood squad. The Falcons kept the Rams off balance for most of the game, pulling away in the third period and holding on for a 5-2 victory. “We didn’t perform the way we’re capable of performing,” McWatters summed up, “and we were outplayed by a very good team.” The final challenge for the Rams was to regroup and take on the Grandville Bulldogs in the consolation match. The Rams scored three early goals, but Grandville answered each time. Grandville then pulled ahead in the second period and carried a two-goal lead into the fourth period. That’s when Rockford senior Derik Bothma put on a performance for the ages. “I took it personally,” said Bothma. “I didn’t want to see our team lose another game, and wanted to do everything I could to help us avoid that.” Bothma first found junior Jeff Schmitt open in front of the net for a goal that pulled the Rams within one and gave the team some much-needed hope. He then went on a scoring tear, putting the Rams ahead for good with a trio of spectacular shots. Rockford ended up on top 10-7. Bothma finished with five goals, and fellow senior Connor Thelen added two. In addition to a goal, Schmitt chipped in with four assists. Three Rams were honored at the end of the tournament. Junior Pat Fase and senior Kyle Peterson were named All Region second team. Bothma was named All Region first team. “We had an up-and-down weekend,” concluded Thelen, “but we ended strong. Now we want to carry that momentum on to state.”
Rockford Public School
by ANA OLVERA A port-a-potty was stationed in front of Roguewood Elementary in Rockford on October 15. This all came about when Principal Michael Hibbeln told Roguewood Elementary students that if they met their fundraising goal he would do something wacky in return. The cause was to raise money for the school’s PTO by doing a walk. The school’s PTO funds transportation for field trips, after-school programs, start-up costs for teachers, and books for the library, among other things. One night while brainstorming ideas, Hibbeln’s two children suggested spending a day in a port-a-potty. He figured it would be a great idea. “They (kids) avoid them (port-a-potties) like the plague,” Hibbeln joked. The idea was a gimmick to help motivate students to collect pledges. Students actually met and rose over their $20,000 goal. Hibbeln stayed in the port-a-potty from 8:15 a.m. to 3:40 p.m. He spent the day reading, listening to a radio, and doing paperwork. When students met their goal last year, Hibblen sat in the school’s trophy case. He has yet to come up with any ideas for next year.
Technology update for summer 2009 by PETER YOUNG Director of Operational Technology On behalf of the technology department of Rockford Public Schools (RPS), I would like to thank the community for the support of the May 2008 bond issue and the difference this is making for students and staff in the district. Through the use of bond monies, last summer we installed new workstations and student computer labs and updated the district’s network infrastructure to support the demands of new technology. During the past few months, we have continued improving and expanding the use of technology in the district by installing projection systems in classrooms and sound systems in all K-8 classrooms for improved learning, have purchased new equipment for the auditorium and have also expanded and purchased adaptive technology for special needs students. Another of the concepts we researched and are now in the process of implementing is a device called a multi-function printer (MFP). What in the past was a one-function printer has now been expanded to include the functions of scanning, copying and faxing. With high speed networks, the ability to combine these everyday functions into one device makes great economical sense. We can reduce the space requirements with a smaller footprint of one device compared to four. For example, we are able to eliminate two printers, a fax machine and copy machine in each building by installing a multi-function printer. We also reduce the number of service contracts or calls from many vendors to one. Other economic savings are in the cost of printing consumables, such as paper and toner. Printing and copying capabilities on the network allows for many users to share the resources at one time, which in turn reduces our operating costs. The finishing capabilities of these devices allow users to create professional-looking documents right from their workstations. Scanning with these devices is a newer function that all staff members will have access to use in their buildings. The ability to scan a document introduces a whole new way of distributing material without having to print, copy and distribute manually. For example, we now have the capability of scanning a document and sending it directly to a shared network resource or we can e-mail the document directly to […]
Three issues demand attention, time by MICHAEL S. SHIBLER, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools Rockford Public Schools With the passing of each year, the summer months seem to fly by faster than in previous years even though each day of each year has the same number of minutes and hours! It is hard to believe that I have the privilege of beginning my 21st year as superintendent of the Rockford Public Schools (RPS). Where did the first 20 years go? While I realize we have together accomplished many good things for RPS kids, I also realize we have many more yet to accomplish. This summer has been very busy with many issues demanding our attention and time. In this article, I want to touch on three of those issues: bond issue projects, financial challenges, and the district’s new website. Bond Issue Projects If you will recall, the 2008 bond issue was designed to accomplish three major projects: add four to eight classrooms to six of our eight elementary schools, update instructional technology in all schools, and add 20 recreational/athletic fields throughout the school district. Many of these projects are either in the planning stages or nearing completion. For example, additional classrooms at Cannonsburg, Lakes and Roguewood elementaries are well underway. New carpeting is being laid throughout the high school—believe it or not, the high school is over 16 years old! The tennis courts at North Rockford Middle School and the high school are being replaced, and construction of athletic fields at the high school, East Rockford Middle School and Roguewood Elementary are ahead of schedule. Upgrades in instructional technology will continue throughout the summer. Comprehensive improvements to Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium took place this summer, with the installation of a multi-purpose synthetic field for use by the marching band, along with football, lacrosse, track, and other student-athletes. The new technology in athletic fields is called Mondo turf, which utilizes an environmentally friendly, bio-degradable substance called Eco-fill. The rededication of “The Ted” is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 3, prior to the Rockford-Holt varsity football game. I hope you can attend. All other 2008 bond issue projects are in the planning or early development stages. Please refer to the district’s webpage at www.rockfordschools.org for ongoing progress reports. Financial Challenges […]