AR logo
MARCH 2017

Community Partnerships to Foster Learning and Workforce Development! 

Alignment Rockford will partner with the City of Rockford Police and Fire Departments to  enhance the local talent pipeline of Rockford's police, fire, and EMT departments by implementing career awareness on-ramp programs within the elementary and middle schools; project-based learning opportunities, and job-shadow and internship opportunities within the high schools; and providing post-secondary dual credit or industry certifications as well as other off-ramp opportunities. The continuum of college and career experiences from elementary through post-secondary within these pathways will assist in the recruitment and retention of local talent while strengthening community partnerships. Alignment Rockford hopes this partnership will serve as a model to replicate within other industries hoping to enhance their local talent pipeline within Rockford. 

From top left: A Rockford police officer speaks with interested freshman about careers in law enforcement at the annual Academy Expo where RPS freshman learn about local careers to help them choose an academy. Top middle: Jeff Kloweit with the Rockford Fire Department attends the Academy Support Team (AST) meeting at Auburn High School planning project-based learning opportunities with other community members and academy teachers within the Human and Public Services (HPS) Academy. Top-right and immediate-right: The Rockford Fire Department assists in planning and executing a mock epidemic at Auburn High last month (see below for more.) Bottom-right: Rockford Fire Department hosts a teacher externship for East High School Human and Public Services academy teachers. Bottom-middle: Video of an interdisciplinary, project-based learning, mock crime scene the Rockford Police Department supported at Guilford High School last year. Bottom-left and immediate-left: Sgt Kevin Ogden with the Rockford Police Department assists Guilford students in lifting fingerprints for the mock crime scene.   

Rockford Academies a National Model
Rockford Community Learning Lab to Feature Rockford Public Schools, Alignment Rockford

Rockford, IL - Alignment Rockford and Rockford Public Schools will host the Rockford Community Learning Lab March 21 - 23, 2017. Community and school district leaders from communities in Elgin, Peoria, Bloomington-Normal, IL, Madison, WI and Detroit Lakes, MN will visit Rockford to learn how the community has transformed its high schools and community engagement through Alignment USA and Ford Next Generation Learning (NGL).
Participants will learn about the Alignment USA and Ford NGL frameworks, as well as the systems, structures and processes needed to transform secondary education.  This event will include an opportunity to tour a wall-to-wall school and get an in-depth look at Career Academy implementation through the Ford NGL lens.  Participants will also experience a cross-sector collaboration meeting hosted by Alignment Rockford.
Community teams will connect with colleagues in similar roles in Rockford and will take away tools and resources to start the transformation process in their own communities.
 Academy Showcase
FREE Event! Join us in checking out what's new in the College & Career Academies of Rockford. 

Rockford Public Schools' high school students and faculty will be on hand to show what the Academies mean to them. 
  • Food, entertainment, student demonstrations, games, giveaways! 
  • Open House! Stop by when you can 
  • Bring friends! 
Academy Showcase | Prairie Street Brewhouse | Thursday, April 27, 2017

Click on a link below to add to your calendar!
2017 Academy Expo!
Mark your calendars for the 6th annual Academy Expo! Registration information for hosting a booth or volunteering will be sent out in May. Click here to be contacted for additional information. 
2017 Academy Expo | Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Click on a link below to add to your calendar 

2017 Academy Awards!
Calling all Academy Support Team (AST), College & Career Readiness Council (CCRC) members, high school academy volunteers and staff! Be on the look out for invitations to this exclusive event celebrating all of your impactful, hard work this year! 

2017 Academy Awards| Mauh-Nah-Tee-See Country Club | 
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Click on a link below to add to your calendar 


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! 
Academy Successes!

Special thanks to:

  • John Oller, Engineering/Quality Manager at RjLink International, Inc. and Academy Support Team (AST) member at Roosevelt High School for donating drafting tables for Roosevelt's art classes! And thank you to Earl Wilsey, Vice President of Schmeling Construction and Alignment Rockford Operating Board member, for arranging the logistics of getting the drafting tables delivered to Roosevelt! 
  • Sean R. O'Brien,  Vice President of  Reign Print Solutions in Arlington Heights for donating various labels and children's books to Alignment Rockford (pictured bottom-left.)
  • Capstone community consultants who came in to provide feedback to the Capstone students on their projects (pictured bottom-middle)
  • Community volunteers who came out to lead small group discussions about bias in the workplace and school environment (pictured bottom-right)


Academies in the News!

Pictured below Guilford High School  students in the  Construction  and Skilled Trades Pathway helped on a remodel project at the Rock River Valley  Food Pantry .

Pictured right: A video grant submission from 6 student ambassadors at Guilford High School who applied for a $10,000 Ford STEM Community Challenge grant and WON!!!  

The grant funds will be used to make their proposal of building  an outdoor classroom in the  school's courtyard a reality. The proposal includes solar powered charging stations with LED lights. 

The team plans to also place some of these charging station lights in strategic areas within the Rockford community.  All academies will be able to participate in this project!


Pictured above:   
On February 10th various teachers, Academy staff, and community partners knew something that the students did not: they would soon be exposed to an epidemic - a mock epidemic! Pictured left Rockford Police and Fire meet to go over last minutes plans before a Rockford Fire Department truck and ambulance arrive at the school with a team of EMTs in response to a call made by the school's nurse to 911 reporting that English teacher, Mr. Mark Wallace, had fallen extremely ill in the middle of class. Once the EMTs arrived they went into Mr. Wallace's classroom, while students watched, to assess the situation before taking him out on a stretcher (pictured right.) Once Mr. Wallace was loaded into the ambulance and taken around the building, he would return to the class to inform the students that the mock epidemic had began and that several students were already exposed (see the video pictured in the middle.) 

Check out this video by Workplace Staffing highlighting Alignment Rockford's Executive Director, Bridget French, and her personal motivation behind the work we do everyday to help make Rockford a top 25 community!

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.