UTAS supports RPS 205 robotics with $5,500 in grants

FIRST robotics teams in the Rockford Public Schools are set to receive $5,500 in grants from UTC Aerospace Systems. The grants are a gift in two ways—in money and in mentorship. Although UTAS provides the financial support, the grants happen because company employees mentor robotics teams. The mentors then submit a grant request to the nonprofit FIRST robotics organization, which then re-grants the money to teams. RPS 205 robotics teams have a lot to celebrate these days. Three FIRST Lego League teams in the district have qualified for the...

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RPS visiting principals learn valuable lessons

I knew it was going to be a good Principal for a Day the moment I stepped into the office at Maria Montessori School. Principal Candice Collins directed me to her volunteer principal, Wayland Anderson, the artistic director of the Rockford Dance Company. He was down the hall in a classroom. “I think he’s in heaven,” Mrs. Collins said. And he was. Mr. Anderson melded with the Montessori style of learning, which encourages students to take responsibility for their own education. “It’s breathtaking how it validates the student,” Mr. Anderson...

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Guilford graduate composes piece for RSO

Jake Runestad wanted to be a band teacher. And then he heard the Guilford High School wind ensemble performing his first musical composition. “I consider that moment to be when I caught the composing bug,” Runestad wrote in a 2013 email to Guilford Principal Janice Hawkins. Runestad, a 2004 Guilford graduate, has gone from composing for a high school wind ensemble to having six organizations commission his work: the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans, the Dayton Philharmonic...

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IREAD volunteers discuss their impact on students

United Way of Rock River Valley’s IREAD program held its second chat session of the year. Seventy-nine volunteers from the Rockford Public Schools and the Harlem School District shared success stories and tips about making the program better. They also received four books of their choice to give their students, courtesy of the IREAD program, which is in seven RPS elementary schools. Volunteer Guy Richards, who is in his third year with IREAD,  had one of the most touching stories. Richards said one of his students at Lathrop School...

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RPS students learn about entrepreneurship

About 100 high school students from the Rockford Public Schools joined about 100 other students from the region March 6  for the 6th Annual Entrepreneurship Day at  Rockford University. Students learned from professors and local business people what it takes to be an entrepreneur. Topics included market analysis, marketing, ethics and business planning and strategy. The day included a visioning exercise that will be submitted to Transform Rockford. The larger student group split into working groups that addressed changing Rockford. The...

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