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Rockford Named Leadership Community!

Rockford was named a Leadership Community at the IL 60 by 25 Conference held at Giovanni's Restaurant and Convention Center January 31st-February 1st. Rockford is among nine Illinois communities to hold the designation. 
Alignment Rockford and RPS 205 shared their story to over 200 people who came to Rockford to learn about how to ensure at least 60% of adults in our region have a college or  career credential by 2025. Attendees were also invited to tour the College & Career Academies at Jefferson High School. Tours were led by students (pictured below.) 

The IL 60 by 25 Network consists of local community teams and statewide partners who are working together to align policy, use data, and mobilize leaders around a common agenda. Participating teams also have access to technical assistance and resources.  Read more   about Advance Illinois and the 60 by 25 Network. 

Capstone Update
The English 12 Capstone course is an opportunity for RPS 205 senior students to identify a personal academic/professional topic for which they perceive a need for continued research and development.  The course provides deep research and writing experience in an academic or career interest and requires students to explore an area of interest and conduct authentic research, better preparing them for college and career pursuits which follow high school graduation by connecting academic skills with a real-world need or problem. 

Below are projects that need your help/support - click the image to view the full flyer:


Click here for more information about Alignment Rockford's Career Awareness A-team pilot supporting the Capstones
Each month we feature one of our Alignment Team members in our series, Faces of Alignment Rockford. This month we introduce you to a very engaged volunteer within Alignment Rockford and the Rockford Public Schools. 

Jake Castanza
Executive Director,  Project First Rate
Alignment Rockford Operating Board Member
Alignment Rockford Pathways Team Member
Alignment Rockford  Career AwarenessTeam Member
RPS 205 EMITT College & Career Readiness Council (CCRC) Member
Jake is a Rockford native who doesn't just sit around and wait for things to change. In addition to his involvement with Alignment Rockford and the Rockford Public Schools, Jake  sits on the Board of Directors at Blackhawk Learning Connection, the Board of Directors at Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB), the United Way Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) Committee, and serves as a concerned citizen for Rockford Illinois. 

Additionally, Jake is often spotted helping students at various schools with project-based learning initiatives and offering work-based learning opportunities.   

As if all of this doesn't keep him busy enough, Jake is also currently pursuing his  master's degree in strategic communication at Purdue University. 

Click here to learn more about Jake and his involvement with Alignment Rockford. 
It's so important to be involved, especially while our community is excited and is looking to change for the better.  We have the opportunity to shape our community for the years to come, it is time to step up! 
-Jake Castanza
In the News! 
Click the images below to read more.


Needed! Community Industry Experts
Community industry experts are needed at the following schools in the following career fields:

Auburn High School: 
  • Automotive
  • Fitness/Physical Training/Physical Therapy
  • Skilled Trades (fabrication and electricians)
East High School:
  • Construction
  • Engineering/Civil Engineering
  • Veterinary Technician
  • Chiropractic
  • Physical Therapy/Nutrition
Guilford High School:
  • Engineering (cad experts)
  • Civil Engineering
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Health Sciences Practitioners
Jefferson High School:
  • Architecture
  • Automotive
  • Fire/Police
  • Personal Training/Nutrition
  • Studio Art
Roosevelt High School:
  • Various Health Sciences
  • Computer/Information Technology

  • Click here for a complete list of Academy needs by school

Check out the Academies Commercial! 
Student Testimonial of the Academies!
Academy Successes!

Special thanks to:

UTC Aerospace Systems Product Engineer, Kimberly Callan, who generously responded to Roosevelt's  need  for  snow sculpting materials  by making a personal donation to purchase needed tools, and arranging an employer match by UTC Aerospace Systems. Roosevelt's snow sculpting team was most appreciative! 

Academies in the News!
Pictured above: Jefferson High School Student Ambassadors 
from each of the 4 Academies provided a tour of the Academies at Jefferson for Alignment Rockford's Board members on 1/31
 Pictured above: Manufacturing Operations class shop with      various community partner banners hanging on the walls. 


Moldmaking Technology Magazine, highlights Jefferson High School EMITT students: Getting Real about Manufacturing Education

Pictured right: students from East High School's Construction class holding copies of blueprints for a renovation of Shelter Care Ministries administrative offices at 218 Seventh Street in Rockford. 

The students will complete a significant portion of the renovation

Pictured above: this year's Habitat for Humanity house built by the Construction classes at Guilford High School.  Check out the article about last year's project:  Habitat for Humanity dedicates home that RPS 205 students helped build


Alignment Rockford's mission is to align community resources in support of public school strategies to raise student achievement, improve the health and happiness of our children, and advance the economic and social well-being of our community.