You Make it a Great Day

There are a lot of naysayers in Rockford. We all know one. We’ve all heard from one, especially lately. But we also know plenty of people who make Rockford a great place to live, work, learn, and play. There are people who volunteer their time to help others. There are people who donate their money to provide services for others. There are people who teach, people who protect, people who heal, and people who make sure we get to work on time. And there are, of course, people who provide such great customer service, they make you a repeat...

read more

Let’s Keep Moving Forward

I recently had a couple different conversations with teachers from RPS205 regarding the teacher contract negotiations. Both teachers said they felt they have been misrepresented by the REA. The common theme in these convos was that they are ready to settle, and do not want to strike. They both believe that administration is offering a fair contract. While I can’t speak to the relationship between REA and the teachers, as a member of the business community, here is what I see happening to many of my peers: job loss, pay freezes, no employer...

read more

Boots and Socks Drive a Success

If you know about Next Rockford as a group, you know we are passionate about education. Over the years, we have been very active in education issues as they relate to the Rockford Public Schools. We have hosted school board candidate forums; we have advocated for charter schools; we have been heavily involved in passing the zoned school assignment program that took effect at the beginning of this school year; and we held a drive for uniforms just this past fall. We have a direct stake in our work in education as numerous Next Rockford members...

read more

Our Kids Need Boots and Socks and You Can Help!

It’s easy to forget sometimes the simple needs of many of the children in the Rockford School District. There’s extensive media coverage and community chatter about curriculum; educational policy; finance and budgeting; contract negotiations; long-term planning; and other important topics. However, right now, what might get lost amid all this is the fact that many of our kids are ill-prepared for winter. Many students walk to school on cold and snowy winter days with no socks or winter boots, often wearing the same shoes they wore all...

read more

Return of 7th Hour Vital to Rockford Schools

The Rockford Board of Education will vote next Tuesday whether or not to reinstate 7th hour for Rockford middle and high schools. Cut about ten years ago for budgetary reasons, 7th hour is an absolute necessity to move our school district forward. Next Rockford fully supports the addition of 7th hour to the school day. We believe that it has the potential to propel our school district to be the top choice for parents in our community. First, adding 7th hour would allow students better access to electives such as art, music, newspaper,...

read more