Peer reviews offer perspective for RPS 205 schools

Ten times a year in the Rockford Public Schools, a group of educators visits another school for two days. The Quality Peer Review is a chance to step back, exit the whirlwind and get energy and ideas to take back to their own school. The QPR can offer the same benefits to the school being visited. For that school, it’s a rare chance to get feedback and perspective on the systems and processes that are so automatic, they go unnoticed. Susan Fumo, Executive Director of School Improvement at RPS 205, says the best description of a QPR she’s...

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‘Band grandpas’ help instill a love of music in RPS 205

Leave it to two doctors to note the slightest progress in a sixth grade Beginning Band class at Lincoln Middle School. It was the third week of school, and Dr. Arnold Rosen and Dr. Paul Christensen were helping 35 students in the class. Their job was to check for good playing posture. In order to do that, they had to ignore the squeaks from clarinets and other assorted off-tones coming from 10 types of instruments. Rosen, a retired gastroenterologist, and Christensen, a retired cardiologist, were not discouraged. “It’s early days here,” Rosen...

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RPS 205 student wins scholarship as Jefferson freshman

Edgar Gaytan was just a high school freshman when he won a college scholarship. His mature way of thinking, one of his teachers says, makes him stand out from his peers at Jefferson High School. He has stood out in his country as well. Edgar, who is now a sophomore, was one of only five students in the United States to win a $1,000 529 College Savings Scholarship. More than 1,100 students submitted essays to compete for the scholarship. The contest is sponsored by EverFi, which offers financial education courses in schools. At Jefferson, the...

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Capstone teaches networking skills in RPS 205

There is an antidote to senioritis for students of the Rockford Public Schools. It’s called Capstone, and the kickoff event was held Wednesday morning at the Discovery Center Museum. The Capstone is a class for RPS 205 high school seniors. The goal is a finished project—the Capstone–that combines research and problem-solving to demonstrate a high level of readiness for college and careers.  It goes hand in hand with the principle of college and career academies in district high schools. Wednesday’s event featured speakers as well...

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Home visiting program in RPS 205 paves way for first school day

Carolina Rodriguez prepares children for preschool long before they enter a school building. Today is the first day for Rockford Public Schools preschool at Dennis, Fairview, Nashold and Summerdale early childhood centers.  But it’s like any other day for Rodriguez, who makes home visits year-round as part of the Prevention Initiative program of RPS 205. The goal of the program is to promote school readiness. It begins with building awareness for pregnant mothers, continues after birth and lasts through the child’s third year. Rodriguez’...

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Local engineer helps RPS 205 students meet challenges

Chris Underwood knows the stakes are high for his volunteer work in the Rockford Public Schools.  He has been part of a math tutoring program at Lincoln Middle School since it began as a pilot in 2010. For four of those years, he has organized the program. This past year, Underwood, a systems engineer at UTC Aerospace Systems, joined 20 of his colleagues as tutors and mentors. Chris Underwood is a UTC Aerospace Systems engineer who tutors students in math at Lincoln Middle School. Underwood (third from right) at a RPS 205 volunteer...

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