What if normal was weird? That was the question asked by Valley View fifth graders during a recent school assembly. Mr. Derksen’s class put on a fabulous play written by one of the parents and led by student teacher Brad Ingersoll. The performers showed the entire school what it would feel like to be different, inspiring the kids to remember, “We’re all the same where it matters… on the inside.” Mr. Ingersoll stated that he was forced outside of his comfort zone for this project, yet felt the kids did an amazing job. School principal Bob Siegel spoke before and after the skit, reminding students of their social contract and requirement to treat others as they want to be treated themselves. Overall it was a good reminder that it is our differences that make us special. Good job Mr. Derksen’s class.
Valley View Elementary
Students in Mrs. Icabone-Berg’s fifth-grade class at Valley View Elementary invent some crazy burgers as a response to a contest sponsored by Red Robin restaurants. Students worked as a team to design and create original burger recipes using a total of eight unique ingredients. Teamwork was not the only focus area. With the help of student teacher, Kim Belles, students also wrote a process paper with directions for building their unique burgers as well as a persuasive paper to influence the Red Robin judges. All entries were sent in for this national competition, but the fun didn’t stop there. Students ran their own “taste test” at the school, with teachers as guest judges. Even though the Baconlicious Burger won, all students had a chance to be a master chef for a day.
Valley View Elementary School fourth-grade teacher, Megan McCall, recently developed and implemented a 10-day “detox” program for students leading up to the M.E.A.P. testing period, which took place in September. Valley View students and their families were encouraged to follow the program prior to the testing. The “detox” entailed a commitment to no audio-visual exposure, including TV and video games, and instead playing board and athletic games with their families, and eating healthier during the 10-day stretch. McCall’s passion for coordinating this healthy life change for students has been infectious. Nearly 200 of Rockford’s third-, fourth- and fifth-graders participated in this volunteer program—most of it being done after school, when students were involved in activities until their parents picked them up from school. McCall and an army of parent volunteers led the children in everything from kickball to cooking healthy treats in the kitchen. Students were also supported in their effort by area merchants who provided incentives to those who earned their “detox” tattoo. “In the true spirit of education, we hope students have taken away lifelong lessons on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle,” said Superintendent of Schools Michael S. Shibler, Ph.D. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact Valley View Principal Bob Siegel at (616) 863-6366.
by BOB SIEGEL Principal, Valley View Elementary Being a Michigan State University (MSU) alumni and HUGE fan of the Spartans, when I first heard the phrase, “GO GREEN!” I instinctively shouted out loud, “GO WHITE!” (Green and White are MSU’s school colors—in case you missed the NCAA basketball tournament.) This past fall, Valley View Elementary School, along with other schools in Rockford, focused on educating our students about the importance of protecting our environment on our “one and only” planet Earth! At Valley View, teachers Nancy Berg (fourth grade) and Brad Davison (fifth grade) invited fourth- and fifth-graders to be leaders of this effort by joining our school’s newly created “Green Team”—a hands-on experience at helping safeguard Mother Earth. What started out as a simple group of students looking to engage in fun activities under Nancy and Brad’s leadership, became a group very serious about their efforts and highly organized. The experience culminated in the reception of the “Green Award,” given by the Kent County Intermediate School District. Valley View’s upper-elementary students truly embraced the concepts of conservation and recycling to the point where they gave up recesses to organize their tasks. A “tree-hugger” I am not, but one can no longer overlook the need to be conscious of the environment around us! As a leader of future leaders, it’s incumbent upon us as educators—and parents—to teach our children the importance of considering how and what we USE, from material goods to electronic devices. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned as a parent and educator, it’s that whatever we place a high priority and focus on is what our children will grow up to place importance on when they are adults. The way that I view this topic is analogous to how we should treat our bodies. We get ONE shot at taking care of our earthly “temples,” as the Greeks used to say. If we mistreat our human bodies by eating poorly, failing to exercise, and abuse chemicals, the result will probably not be a long and prosperous life. Unfortunately, once our body begins to malfunction, we do NOT get to trade it in for a new one! The same goes for “Mother Earth!” I’m not sure we’ll ever truly know the extent […]
Valley View Elementary students wrapped up the year with a beautification project made possible by donations of supplies by Rockford Ace Hardware. According to organizer Katy Nelson, fifth-graders there worked hard putting in eight bags of cedar mulch, eight bags of peat moss, six bags of topsoil, one crab apple tree, two lilac bushes, two spirea bushes, 10 perennials, and two flats of snapdragons. The school also purchased flats of annuals for the project. Visitors to the school will see a plaque thanking Rockford Ace Hardware from the class of 2016.