What snow day?

My 15 year old says he won $24.00 yesterday.  Apparently he wagered with fellow students that school on Thursday would NOT in fact be cancelled due to inclement weather.  Everyone else was sure they’d get a snow-day, but my kid just had a feeling.  I didn’t put any money down, luckily, but I definitely assumed the opposite. To be fair, the Rockford Public Schools Student Handbook doesn’t mention anything specific with respect to criteria for weather related closures.  What they do tell families is to wait and see if we...

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Food deserts – like it or not, Rockford has them

Chuck Sweeny’s recent post about food deserts missed the mark in both tone and in adequately defining what a food desert really is.  In lamenting his lack of easy access to a Costco, Chuck reduced an issue that deserves critical attention to a liberal buzzword.  The implication and implicit eye-roll are a reminder that people with power struggle with basic empathy, and locally, a sincere lack of understanding for a gigantic swath of Rockford residents. What is a food desert and do food deserts actually exist?  There’s a lot of debate over the...

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Washington State’s GMO labeling legislation – Not right for Illinois, or anywhere else

On Tuesday, November 5th, voters in Washington State will likely approve Proposition 522, the state’s attempt to mandate labeling on food products containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs).  I don’t support Washington State’s GMO labeling legislation for a number of reasons, but I will focus here on the issue I believe is the most egregious; if enacted, Prop 522 would deliberately leverage consumer fear and confusion and result in suppressed consumer choice. The key problem with Prop 522 is it would set an otherwise unheard of...

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College & Career Academies: Coming soon to Rockford public high schools

I’m excited. On May 22, 2012, the Rockford Board of Education approved  the concept of small learning communities for all district high schools.  The impact of the Board’s decision is every student attending a Rockford public high school will be enrolled in a College and Career Academy by fall of 2014.  What’s amazing and a leading cause for excitement is this transformation is well under way less than a year after its formal approval. Our public school district and our community moves that fast?  Who knew? Jefferson High School introduced...

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RPS 205 on the Right Track with Communications Efforts

Last summer when Rockford Public Schools unveiled their new website, there was little fanfare.  I have to say, I was disappointed at the lack of attention because the site is really great.  It was a vast improvement over the previous model and continues to be an excellent and well organized informational hub for the district.  I was impressed enough that I e-mailed administration to ask them if I could feature the web-site in one of my “back to school” blogs.  Since there was no news or comment about it anywhere, I really wanted to help get...

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