AR logo
JUNE 2016

On May 19th we celebrated the 4th annual Academy Awards to honor faculty, staff, and community who significantly contributed to the success of the College and Career Academies of Rockford this year.

Pictured above: Winners of this year's Academy Awards, nominated by community members and Academy staff. Click here for a complete list of nominations. 

Pictured below: Guests in attendance were greeted by Academy Student Ambassadors; East High School's Orchestra played during the networking hour; student artwork from all five high schools was displayed on tables.

Each month we feature one of our Alignment Team members in our series, Faces of Alignment Rockford. This month we congratulate and bid a very special farewell to David Carson, who has been instrumental in the success of the College & Career Academies of Rockford. Beginning July 1st Dave will start his new position as Assistant Superintendent for school improvement for the Belvidere School District. We at Alignment Rockford are truly going to miss his leadership, his passion, and his drive!  
Dave Carson
Executive Director of College and Career Readiness, Rockford Public Schools
Incoming A ssistant Superintendent for School Improvement, Belvidere School District
Alignment Rockford Operating Board Member
Career Awareness A-Team, Chair
College Readiness A-Team, Chair

Dave is completing his final month of service after four years as the Executive Director of College and Career Readiness for Rockford Public Schools. Dave was instrumental in coordinating district and community efforts in implementing the wall-to-wall College and Career Academy model within the Rockford Public High Schools. Under Dave's leadership, Ford Next General Learning awarded Rockford model status in implementing the College and Career Academies of Rockford, one of only three communities in the nation to hold such a distinction!   

Click here to learn more about Dave and his involvement with the College and Career Academies of Rockford and Alignment Rockford. 
"As a result of these enhanced connections, in conjunction with the other great work occurring in Rockford, a spirit of trust, belief in human capacity, and a shared vision for a better future for the region is emerging and coming to fruition.  However, this is generational work and it must persist through the inevitable challenges and changes which are inherent in a city like Rockford. The ongoing relationship between the school district and the community, facilitated by organizations like Alignment Rockford, is the structure necessary to continue and sustain the change."  -Dave Carson

On May 26th Alignment Rockford's Kennedy Math Tutor Program celebrated the completion of the program's first pilot year with an ice cream social. 

Alignment Rockford's College Readiness team worked in partnership with RPS 205 to collect and evaluate student data and saw improvements in both math scores and math confidence in students. In the 2016-2017 school year, the program will include both 6th and 7th grade students at Kennedy Middle School.

Thank you to the tutors and their organizations for their passion and dedication to the students and for making the program a huge success!

Click here if you are interested in becoming a math tutor for the 2016-2017 school year. 

Click here if your organization may be interested in partnering with Alignment Rockford and sponsoring/ managing the Kennedy Math Tutor Program. 

"I was nervous and scared that I couldn't relate to these kids, that was a lie. I thought my presence wouldn't matter, that was a lie. I thought they wouldn't care, that was a lie. Anything you may think should stop you could be a lie too. You won't know until you try. Best tutoring experience, I learned just as much as the kids did" - Michael Coley (Belcan Corporation), math tutor 
Tutors pictured from left: Dan Pickerill (UTC Aerospace Systems), Ray Beckmann (UTC Aerospace Systems), Michael Coley (Belcan Corporation), Jude Lai (UTC Aerospace Systems), Jerry Mueller (UTC Aerospace Systems), Carol Delheimer, Paul Von Driska (Bergstrom Inc.), Zoe Norwood (Rockford Public Library) 

Not present: Jeremy Chamberlain (Rock Valley College), Herbert Chen (Belcan Corporation), Patrick Derry (Rockford Process), Rodger Hergert (Rock Valley College), Rasheed Khoga (Belcan Corporation), Sierra MacEachron (Auburn High School), Raed Salem (Larson & Darby Group), Michael Storm-Levia (Belcan Corporation)

Want an easy way to support the Academies? Check out the list of Academy Needs below to see if you or someone you know might be able to help out! 

Click on the need to see a detailed description.  

Informational materials related to Health Sciences Careers
Materials for building raised gardens and a bench for the atrium
Nook replacements (10) for Deaf and Hard of Hearing classes
Vectric software experts (VCarve and Aspire)
Car kits for a Pinewood Derby project
Health Sciences Professionals (Veterinarian, RN, chiropractic, sports med)
 Engineering and civil engineering Industry Experts 
Performing Arts Theater and Performance Production (music and/or theater) Professionals
 Snow Sculpting Materials
Industrial Trades and Manufacturing experts
 Studio Art Professionals 

Don't have time to join a team but want an easy way to help out?

Thank you to our our community partners investing in our schools and students!
Auburn High School Capstone student, Brad Foster, presented to SwedishAmerican Foundation about his Capstone project which involved research into a new method for treating non-small cell lung cancer. To help him do the research, SwedishAmerican sponsored the purchase of a protein analyzer (silencing ribonucleic acid), which destroys all of a single protein in a cell. The product costs about $400 Click here to see them purchasing the protein analyzer. Click here to read more about Brad's project.

Deputy Chief Michael Dalke with the Rockford Police Department, and Alignment Rockford Operating Board member, answered a call for community assistance with an interdisciplinary crime scene project at Guilford High School during the first 2 weeks of April. Deputy Chief Dalke recruited detectives and investigators from the Rockford Police Department to spend several days walking students through real-world crime scene investigation techniques. Read more   from the RPS blog.   Check out this RPS video   showcasing the project.

Thanks to the work of two Academy Support Team members at Jefferson High School, Media Production students have had two project-based case learning experiences. Kathy Olson with Crusader Community Health wrote a grant to Delta Dental of Illinois Foundation to sponsor three public service announcements produced by students on oral and dental health.  Click to view.   

Ashley Burks with United Way of Rock River Valley commissioned Jefferson High School Media Production students to produce a documentary on the Midtown District as part of the Strong Neighborhoods Series.

Chet Parker with the Rockford Park District, and Alignment team member, provided supplies and designed and built raised garden beds for Roosevelt High School. The raised beds will be used in a school wide project across all Academies involving a farm to table theme.

Becky Costello with Rasmussen College, and an Academy Support Team member as well as a College & Career Readiness Council member helped to secure a donation from Rasmussen College to provide Roosevelt High School with 150 thumb-drives to assist students in saving pertinent information such as resume, cover letter, and student portfolio work. The staff at Rasmussen recorded inspirational quotes on each of the drives. Click here to see them. 

Home Depot has been a great partner to Guilford High School donating additional supplies with their orders to support student projects and storing their lumber for them until they are ready to use it.

Habitat for Humanity in Rockford is working with Guilford High School's Orientation to Construction classes which are building the pre-fabricated walls for a home this year to be assembled for a Rockford family. They are working to arrange a partnership where next year's Construction class (3rd year), will go offsite to assemble a Habitat for Humanity home including, electrical, plumbing, etc. Click to read more

Rockford Fire Department worked with a Guilford High School student who designed banners for the Fire Department providing a work-based learning opportunity for the student as well as an addition to his resume.  Click to view the banners .

2015 Academy Expo
2016 Academy Expo: Call for Industry Experts!

Alignment Rockford invites you to host a booth at the 2016 Academy Expo at no charge, to meet with students and discuss your career with them.  

Click here to register to host a booth as an Industry Expert at this year's Academy Expo! We look forward to working with you again for another successful Academy Expo!

Ready, Set, Kindergarten!
The Healthy Starts team has developed community-wide messaging for all families with students going into kindergarten.The Ready Set Kindergarten! materials are aimed to ensure parents have a common understanding of the skills children need to be successful in kindergarten.

Services Needed from the Community:
  • Place the provided brochures and posters in a waiting area or employee break room
  • Include the information in your company newsletter (digital information provided)
  • Include the provided information in your church bulletin
  • Have brochures available for interested families to pick up
  • Display the information on your digital billboard or monitor
  • Promote the information on your social media sites
  • Provide brochures to patients or clients with young children
  • Sponsor or donate printing services
To respond to this invitation to please
click here . You must be logged in to respond.
You're Invited! 
East High School 
One Plant at a Time
Summer Workshop Series
Opening Ceremony 

When: Thursday, June 16th from 1-3 PM
Where: East High School Arboretum
What: Formal ribbon cutting 

East High School's Environmental Green Club and Literacy students teamed up to push forward a Summer Reading and Planting Program. The program consists of summer gardening from June 16th to August 4th where students learn real world garden techniques, horticulture, and biology in an effort to learn about STEM, improve reading, and offer food to those in need through the Rock River Food Pantry.  

Congratulations 2016 Graduates!

A special congratulations to the very first graduating class  of the College and Career Academies of Rockford 
(Jefferson High School) 

Check out the video below with Alignment Rockford's Governing Board Chair-Elect, Bob Guirl (UTC Aerospace Systems) addressing the 2016 Jefferson High School graduating class. These are the first group of students to graduate from College and Career Academies of Rockford (having attended freshman to senior year)!  

Support Alignment Rockford by shopping! When you shop with AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate to Alignment Rockford. Amazon supports us every time you shop. Click this link to begin shopping now:  Amazon Smile 

Alignment Rockford is a collective impact organization whose 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.