SCHOOL BEAT Rockford Public Schools is developing healthy kids by KIRSTEN MYERS Executive Director of Special Services As Rockford Public School employees, we are faced with transporting, feeding, and teaching students that are dealing with trauma or crisis on a daily basis. We work with students that have a mental or terminal illness, have experienced a tragic or expected death of a family member or friend, have an unstable home life, have been physically or emotionally abused, are bullied, are homeless, or have contemplated or attempted suicide. As a result, our district and elementary and secondary buildings have done multiple things to educate and inform our students on adolescent pressures and the importance of taking care of each other. Over the past several years our district has provided activities such as small group counseling, student leadership groups, building wide initiatives, guest speakers and assemblies, bully prevention training, and the implementation of Capturing Kids’ Hearts district-wide. These activities and the continued crises that the district has faced over the years have inspired the district crisis team to continue what has been developed by the district and building administrators. Therefore, the crisis team which is comprised of K-12 building administration, counselors, social workers, and psychologists, has launched the Developing Healthy Kids Campaign which has been designed to con- tinue to address and educate our students, families, staff and community on relevant issues plaguing our youth today. For the 2012/2013 school year, the Developing Healthy Kids Campaign entails three major activities. The Rockford Public Schools Community Education and Prevention Series will offer students, staff and parents the opportunity to hear area experts speak about multiple topics plaguing our youth today. Additionally, all of our 6-12th grade students will be attending an assembly where Eric Hipple, a former Detroit Lion, will speak on the importance of being mentally and physically healthy. Eric provides a very personal message due to his lifelong struggle with depression and the tragic death of his son by suicide when he was a freshman in high school. Lastly, we have partnered with the Mental Health Foundation of West Michigan. They will be teaching the “Live, Laugh, Love and Be Nice” curriculum to our freshman and will be working with a leadership group at the high school […]
Rockford Public Schools
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!
Last April, five of Rockford’s public schools have earned a Green School Certificate in the Kent County and Kent ISD Green School Awards Program. There were 79 Green School awards given to schools within Kent ISD this year. Awards recognize the extensive environmental work of educators and students. Rockford earned this certificate for their work in recycling, energy savings and environmental awareness. Based on environmental projects conducted at the schools, awards are as follows: Green Award (10-14 green activities): Roguewood Elementary Emerald Award (15-19 green activities): Valley View Elementary, North Rockford Middle School, Rockford Freshman Center Evergreen Award (20 or more green activities): East Rockford Middle School Superintendent Michael S. Shibler, Ph. D., commended the staff and students, stating, “Our students and staff continue to help all of us become better stewards of resources. They use the passion and creativity of youth to teach and learn and, in the process, save money and reduce the district’s impact on the environment.” For further information, please contact Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Dr. Ryan Kelley at (616) 863-6556 or e-mail to email@example.com.
Welcome to the 2012-13 school year! by MICHAEL S. SHIBLER, Ph.D. Superintendent of Schools Rockford Public Schools Dear Rockford community and RPS staff: Now that we have all survived the hottest summer in recent history, it is probably appropriate to begin thinking about the beginning of a new school year. At least we know the days and nights must eventually become cooler! As our children enter through the school doors in September, we pledge to you that Rockford Public Schools will continue to build on the tradition of excellence and continuous improvement, providing students with an exemplary education. Our greatest, most important resource is people: our students, our employees, our parents, and our community. Without you, Rockford Public Schools would be just one of the 550 school districts statewide. With you, we can transcend the norm and become exceptional. Thank you! Even though current state funding per child ($6,996) is much less than it was in 2008-2009 ($7,316 per child), we are able to maintain most of our programs and retain most of our staff; even with the unfortunate state legislation requiring full-day, every day kindergarten to receive full funding. Why? In part because our employees have accepted four years of wage and salary freezes, coupled with paying the highest health insurance co-pays in Kent County. Thank you! As I begin my 24th year as Rockford’s superintendent, I promise we will do our best to provide an exemplary education for your children. We will also continue to work hard to encourage our state lawmakers to provide adequate funding for our children’s education. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please contact me at (616) 863-6557 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting in fall 2012, Rockford Public Schools will partner with Kent Intermediate School District (ISD) to provide a new option for at-risk preschool students. The Great Start Readiness Preschool (GSRP) will be housed in the Community Services Building, located at 350 N. Main Street. The program, administered and managed by the Kent ISD, provides services to at-risk four-year-old students for qualifying families. Students must be four on or before December 1. The program will have a morning session beginning at 9 a.m. and ending at noon. The afternoon session will run from 12:45 to 3:45 p.m. Rockford welcomes the opportunity to expand its preschool offerings through this consortium. Executive Director of Community Services, Lisa Jacobs, welcomes the opportunity, stating, “GSRP will be a great program to bring to the families of Rockford. The preschool option fills a void in the diverse range of preschool programs provided by the district.” In addition to the GSRP, Rockford offers Community Education Preschool, Child Development Lab Preschool, Hola Amigos Preschool, Montessori Programs, and Preschool Enrichment Child Care to our youngest learners. For information on the Great Start Readiness Program, please contact the county-wide preschool intake line at (616) 447-2409. For more information on any of Rockford’s preschool or child care programs, please contact the Community Services Department at (616) 863-6560.