School Beat

Bus drivers adhere to rules of the road

May 7, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JACQUIE FASE Director of Transportation Rockford Public Schools Spring is in the air and new life abounds. With the warm weather comes a renewed spirit for all. Bus loads are lighter as more students become new drivers. The young drivers are hitting the roads, enjoying their new adult responsibilities, and they are excited! Although most of them have been transported back and forth to school via bus for most of their lives, they may not fully understand the significance of the school bus lighting system. There can be much confusion among all drivers-young or old, experienced or beginner. State guidelines are in place that school bus drivers must adhere to. I hope the following explanation of the guidelines will help clear up any confusion you or your new driver may have. MCL 257.1855 regulates school bus stops and associated procedures. The following list contains highlights of that statute: There are two types of school bus stops permitted in Michigan: (1) alternately flashing overhead red/amber lights stops, and (2) hazard lights stops.             The two types of school bus stops are further broken down to four types of stops:             1. Overhead flashing lights stop-pupils ARE required to cross the roadway;             2. Overhead flashing lights stop-pupils ARE NOT required to cross the roadway;             3. Hazard lights stop-maximum allowable speed for the street is 35 mph; and             4. Hazard lights stop-there is no speed consideration. All overhead lights stops require the bus to be clearly and continuously visible:             1. If the maximum allowable speed is 35 mph, the bus must be clearly and continuously visible for a distance of at least 200 feet from the bus stop;             2. If the maximum allowable speed is over 35 mph, then the clear and continuous distance requirement increases to at least 400 feet. At overhead lights stops where pupils have to cross the roadway, the school bus must stop completely on the roadway. At overhead lights stops where pupils do not have to cross the roadway, the school bus may pull off the roadway as far as practicable. At overhead lights stops where the stop is a combination of both types (pupils crossing and not crossing the roadway), the bus must stop completely on […]

School Beat, April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009 // 0 Comments

Enjoy the moment by DOUG HOOGERLAND Principal, Crestwood Elementary School               Last week I received approximately 400 e-mail messages. I am still trying to get back to everyone. It’s respectful-right?-to get back to someone immediately after a call or message. This is the digital age, and with the digital comes the instant. No more “pony express” for us! We expect Internet service in milliseconds, text message responses in less than 30 seconds, and e-mail responses within the day, if not the hour. We have checklists, to-do lists, sticky notes and Blackberries all helping us keep track of getting it all done, finished, wrapped up. It’s all about the finished product. Call me back. Text me now. Answer your phone because I do not leave messages and I need to talk to you NOW!             “Now” is the message we get every day. We are failures if we postpone or procrastinate. But what about being here now? What moments are we missing in our real lives, you know, the parts that don’t have buttons or touch screens, the parts of our lives who greet us after a long day or call us to ask us to go on a field trip with their class; the pieces of our day who look into our eyes and read what they see there? What about the people and the moments with them that might never happen if we don’t postpone that e-mail response, or procrastinate a bit out in the back yard?             One of my recent favorite song lyrics goes likes this, “I have been running so sweaty my whole life, urgent for the finish line, and I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete.” Maybe there is something to that. Perhaps we need to stop running so hard and stand still for a few moments while we let the world stop spinning around us and just BE HERE NOW.

Chandler Woods to compete in Science Olympiad state tournament

April 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

Chandler Woods Charter Academy is competing in the Science Olympiad state tournament for the first time. Over 500 high school and middle school/junior high teams competed at the Science Olympiad regional competitions during February and March, and 96 advanced to the 27th Michigan State Finals to be held Saturday, May 2 on the Michigan State University campus. The MSU campus will be host to 46 competitive events in various locations. Some events are Robo-Cross, Crave the Wave, Science Crime Busters and Forensics (CSI-type events), and a variety of events in between. Team shirts, medals and trophies are all part of the discovery hoopla. State champions and runners-up will go on to the National Science Olympiad Tournament at Augusta State University in Georgia on May 15 and 16. These young people, their coaches and teachers represent a strong dedication to science education and have worked hard all year to meet the competition of their peers and win.

School lunch is great value

April 23, 2009 // 0 Comments

by JOHN HENRY Food Service Director Rockford Public Schools   The school lunches are still a great value both nutritionally and economically! Nationally, the school lunch price is under $2.30 and is a well-balanced meal. Every school lunch includes five great choices: milk-fat-free or one percent vegetable-fresh to frozen fresh fruit of all kinds grains-more whole-grain items like rolls and sandwich bread meat or meat-alternate-white meat chicken, beans, lean beef Parents can save money when a student takes the school lunch. On average, it costs less to buy a school lunch than to bring a lunch from home. The estimated national average last year of a lunch taken from home was $3.43. Also, there is such a thing as a free lunch (and a reduced price one, too)! All children at participating schools may purchase meals though the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Families with incomes at or below 130 percent of poverty level are eligible for free meals. Families with incomes between 130 percent and 185 percent of poverty level are eligible for the reduce-price meals-these students can be charged no more than 40 cents per meal. Contact your food service department to fill out a School Meal Application. Healthy meals feed eager minds. Meals served under the NSLP must meet nutrition guidelines based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. No more than 30 percent of the calories can come from fat and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. School lunches provide one-third of the Recommended Dietary Allowances of protein, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium and calories over the course of one week of menus. Students who eat school lunches consume fewer calories from fat than students who bring lunch from home, based on recent studies. Compared to lunches from home, school lunches contain: three times as many dairy products; twice as much fruit; seven times the vegetable amounts. NSLP participants have substantially lower intakes of added sugars than do non-participants. For more information contact your district’s food service director.

Carry out God’s call in your life

April 8, 2009 // 0 Comments

Congressman Vernon J. Ehlers has nominated two students from Rockford for consideration by U.S. Service Academies. The nominees will be considered for acceptance into the 2013 class of the U.S. Military Academy, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. Students who desire to apply to U.S. Service Academies must receive a congressional nomination to be considered for acceptance, and nominees are not guaranteed admission. The nomination is a requirement of the application process at each academy. “I am pleased and honored to nominate these exceptional students for consideration by U.S. Service Academies,” said Congressman Ehlers. “I offer these future leaders the best of luck in the application process to attend these prestigious academies.” Tyler Carlson of Rockford was nominated for the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. Trevor Holloway of Rockford was nominated for the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., and the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.

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