‘Then and Now’ museum trip helps modern learning

Freshman Academy students at Jefferson High School took field trips to Midway Village Museum this week. More than fun and games, the trips illustrate how community partnerships benefit students and enhance the Rockford Public Schools curriculum. The museum visits Oct. 5-7 were part of Jefferson’s interdisciplinary unit, “Quality of Life in Rockford: Then and Now.” Each Freshman Academy team visited the museum to experience life in Rockford during the mid- to late 1800s. There were fun activities such as making butter, pumping water, washing...

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Students drill down on manufacturing work

Students from all five high schools in the Rockford Public Schools got an up-close look at the work world during National Manufacturing Day. Each of 177 students who participated Oct. 1 visited two manufacturing companies in the region, including J.L. Clark, Rockford Toolcraft and SPX. A total of 30 companies hosted students. “You really get to go in depth, you really get to see what’s done, how it’s done, what kind of environment you’ll be able to work in, what you need to get into this sort of field,” Gabriel Loury, a senior at Jefferson,...

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Lesson: To be happy, never give up

Born in the Congo, Erica Bibalou came to the United States three years ago. English is not her first language – in fact, it’s her fifth – but she has her sights set on the University of Chicago. The senior at East High School was one of nearly 400 Rockford Public Schools students who were encouraged to pursue their dreams by Chris Gardner, author of the “Pursuit of Happyness.” Gardner was homeless with a son still in diapers when he decided to become a stockbroker. Eventually, he founded a multimillion-dollar brokerage firm; his life story...

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Jefferson graduate tours school improvements

People see investments in school facilities as investments in current and future generations, not investments in students who have already graduated and gone. A public tour of finished construction at Jefferson High School Feb. 7 showed how limited that view is. On that day, I was able to see the improvements at Jefferson in the eyes of a student who graduated 20 years ago — Laura Ellis, JHS class of 1995. Ellis now works for the Oakbrook-based McDonalds Corp. as a global human resources manager and curriculum developer. Her parents...

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For Auburn students, learning is ‘Knight & Day’

Nikolina Cuca is fortunate she learned a management lesson now, before she’s really a manager. The Auburn High School senior is CEO of a virtual clothing business for professionals  – Knight & Day – that celebrated a ribbon cutting and news conference at Auburn on Tuesday, Jan. 27. Ms. Cuca said she soon discovered that managers need to know what motivates employees. In the case of one employee of Knight & Day who wasn’t pulling his weight, she bypassed the class buzz and talked to him directly. He told her he didn’t see the value in...

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