RPS 205 seniors learn how to have ‘nose for opportunity,’ heart to solve problems

The accidental banker had a word of encouragement for the skeptical high school senior. “Can we turn Rockford into Silicon Valley?” East High School senior Karina Sisnero asked. Brenten Witherby of Alpine Bank did not hesitate. “Why not?” The exchange between Witherby and Sisnero was part of the Capstone Kick Off, a panel discussion and workshop held Wednesday at the RPS 205 Administration Building and sponsored by Alignment Rockford. About 100 high school seniors in the Rockford Public Schools attended. The students are enrolled in Capstone...

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Roosevelt students learn, help community through Capstones

Three students who will graduate this month from Roosevelt Alternative High School will demonstrate their readiness for college and careers when they present their Capstone projects. Angelic Little, Dominica Pena and Jermaine Robinson have worked on projects since January with local organizations. They will present them from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 15, in the Roosevelt library. Roosevelt Principal Heidi Houy said community involvement was key in her school’s Capstone experience. Capstones combine theory with practice to demonstrate a...

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‘Raise a Reader’ simply lifts up RPS 205 students

There are any number of ways to prevent summer learning loss, or the summer slide. A tutoring company’s website suggests forming a family book club or launching  a family study project. But you don’t have to hold a mock backyard excavation for dinosaur bones or tie a child’s allowance to attending family book clubs. Preventing summer slide is as simple as exposing your kids to books. Sidney Graves, Rockford Public Schools new dean of elementary literacy, pointed me to a link from the New York State Library about the...

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RPS 205 teachers mobilize summer readers

As the end of the school year approached — while most people planned for trips to water parks and slides of another kind — educators waged a battle against the summer slide. I visited one of the battlegrounds Tuesday morning outside Welsh School. To prevent learning loss, Welsh is trying something new this summer: Trading Tuesday, in which students can stop by the school and trade one book they have read for another. Swap time is from 9-10:30 a.m. every Tuesday (except for the week of July 4). The idea is creative, but when I...

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Auburn HS senior excels at aquaponics

There’s no surefire way to predict who will be an entrepreneur. But I’d put my money on Alex Williams. Alex is a senior at Auburn High School. I spoke with her on the recommendation of Hrisi Perri, a U.S. history and special education teacher at Auburn. Ms. Perri got to know Alex through her work with the Rockford Housing Authority Teen Center. Alex and two classmates — Claudia Hollister and Haley McGuire — were recently recognized for their outstanding work submitting “idea notebooks” to the RHA that...

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