by TAMMY SCHOLLAART Vice President, Board of Education While this is the beginning of a new calendar year, we are actually about halfway through the school year, which means we are beginning to make plans for the 2009-2010 school year. Chief among those plans will be the budget. As you have been hearing in the news, the economy in Michigan is not good. The revenue hearing held on January 9 affirmed there is less revenue coming into the state. As of this moment, we don’t know what this news will mean for the schools, but chances are good that we will not see any increases, and we are really hopeful there will not be any reductions. We budget conservatively and will continue this same process. We will keep you informed as we learn what the impact will be to Rockford Public Schools. Another area of planning is the orientations for the fifth-to-sixth-grade, sixth-to-seventh-grade and eighth-to-ninth-grade transitions. These will be held beginning mid-February. Watch your newsletters so you don’t miss the opportunity to learn how to help your student select the best classes as well as learn what new opportunities will be available. The high school students will also begin selecting classes for the 2009-2010 school year. Realizing we are only halfway through the second trimester, I hope you are talking with your student about their experience with trimesters so far. You are strongly encouraged to let either the principals or counseling staff know if you have any concerns, as well as letting them know any positive comments. Finally, I want to take this opportunity to say what a great community we live in. Not only was there great support for the football state championship game, but the support and encouragement was also great for the landscaping project the Girl Scouts from North Rockford Middle School completed, which cumulated in the placement of a new Ram statue. If you haven’t seen it, drive through the parking lot at North Rockford Middle School on the corner of Ten Mile Road and Wolverine Boulevard – you can’t miss it!