Bee hives blend science, art in RPS 205

School’s out, but two Thurgood Marshall School teachers will suit up over the summer to  check on two bee hives that belong to the school. The hives were established as part of an arts integration project, funded by a four-year, $1.2 million grant awarded to the Rockford Public Schools by the U.S. Department of Education. Marshall arts teacher Lisa Normoyle and science teacher Debra Maklezow worked together to design the project and tie art and science together in a unique way. Students in the Bee Club surprised themselves, Normoyle said....

read more

‘Happy Heads,’ coats warm hearts at RPS 205

It takes a village – or at least many valuable partners with the Rockford Public Schools – to keep students warm and toasty this winter. Project First Rate, Next Rockford and Alignment Rockford recently completed a coat drive for the Rockford Public Schools. The district’s Parent and Community Engagement Department worked with the organizations to identify three schools to receive the cold weather gear: Ellis Elementary, Nelson Elementary and Roosevelt Community Education Center. Alignment Rockford pitched in to wash and sort the donated...

read more

Montessori students in RPS 205 change the world

My adult son was home for a visit during the holidays and grabbed a T-shirt off the hook near the door.  Only it wasn’t a T-shirt. It was a shopping bag made of recycled T-shirts, and it was made by Montessori students in the Rockford Public Schools. The mistakenly grabbed bag reminded me of what’s so special about the Montessori program: The students develop a strong sense of community, which extends not only to their town but to their world. More than 500 reusable bags were sewed and sold last year by fourth, fifth and sixth graders in...

read more

Videos show Montessori method in middle school

Maria Montessori’s view on education in the first 12 years of children’s lives is well-known—she believed in self-directed learning, grounded in exploration. But the famous educator also had views on adolescence. She believed it was critical to satisfy teenagers’ need for independence and hunger for inquiry while reinforcing the importance of our connection to one another. Montessori principles are at work every day at the Montessori Middle School at Thurgood Marshall School in the Rockford Public Schools. A video now available on the RPS 205...

read more

Montessori students transform lives (and T-shirts)

Karen Liddell has a quote from legendary educator Maria Montessori beneath her email signature: “The greatest sign of success for a teacher … is to be able to say, ‘The children are now working as if I did not exist.'”   And, sure enough, Mrs. Liddell — a Montessori teacher at Thurgood Marshall School – was all but invisible in the purple tent as two of her students sold shopping bags made of recycled T-shirts during the Garden Fair at Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden June 5-7. I wasn’t sure about buying one...

read more