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MAY 2016

Alignment Rockford Pathways Team Pilot Job Shadow
at UTC Aerospace Systems 
On Tuesday, April 5th a group of  RPS 205 students experienced a day in the life of a  UTC Aerospace Systems employee. Alignment Rockford's Pathways team launched a job shadow pilot program for students with the help of RPS teachers. 

Students were paired with a UTC mentor that correlated to their  Academy Pathway. Students then had the opportunity to implement the "you do, we do, I do" model of work based learning.
At the end of the day, students filled out a survey on their answers, which speak for themselves! Here are some of their comments:
"I feel like there's more opportunity than I've anticipated and that's really going to help me be encouraged to pursue different paths."

"I learned things I wouldn't learn at school.  I experienced how a day in their job was." 

Click here to read all of the students comments.

Guilford High School Crime Scene Project 

During the first two weeks of April several classes at Guilford High School participated in an interdisciplinary crime scene project. T he  City of Rockford Police Department assisted in demonstrating for  students from multiple career pathways and classes real-world application of what they are learning in class!

Auburn and Roosevelt High School
Capstone Projects

The Rockford Public Schools piloted the Senior Seminar Capstone courses at Auburn and Roosevelt High Schools this year. The capstone project is an opportunity for students to identify a personal academic/professional topic for which they perceive a need for continued research and development. Alignment Rockford's Career Awareness team assisted in developing and supporting the community engagement piece of the project. 

Auburn Capstone finalists presented their projects to the public Saturday, April 30th. Several community partners assisted in mentoring these students throughout their projects. Pictured below is a photo of  SwedishAmerican Foundation, which sponsored  a protein analyzer for student Brad Foster's cancer research project which is sparking additional research and will be featured in a professional journal!   

Roosevelt High School students presented their projects to the public on Monday, May 9th. Roosevelt students also had significant help from community mentors on their projects in which several students were provided career opportunities as a result of the networking. Pictured bottom-right is student Jalen Armstrong whose project was based on his job shadow experience with Guilford High School's athletic director Augie Toldo. He informed the audience that he wanted to pursue this career to become a positive mentor for kids, stating "Some kids went the wrong route because they didn't have a mentor."

Each month we feature one of our Alignment Team members in our series, Faces of Alignment Rockford
Ray Beckmann
Electrical Engineer, UTC Aerospace Systems
Math Tutor for the College Readiness team's
Math Tutor Program Pilot at Kennedy Middle School 

Ray is an electrical engineer at UTC Aerospace Systems and his primary responsibilities are in power generation system simulation and embedded software design supporting the great deal of electricity that modern aircrafts require. For one hour a week, Ray goes to Kennedy Middle School to tutor "some really bright, energetic sixth graders." 

 Click here to learn more about Ray and his involvement with Alignment Rockford. 
"Although everyone may not feel comfortable with the role of academic tutor, it is important that these students are valued and given the additional support that they deserve... 
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in this program.  Working with and getting to know these children has made a positive impact on me.  It is the highlight of my week!"
-Ray Beckmann

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
Professional who can provide TPRS training
 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 .


Kennedy Middle School Math Tutor Program

  "[My tutor] is awesome and I want him to be my tutor forever!"  -current student in the Kennedy Middle School Math Tutor Program
Alignment Rockford's College Readiness Team is seeking math tutors for 6th grade students at Kennedy Middle School. Tutors will work with students for one hour, one time per week during their regularly scheduled math class during the 2016-2017 school year. The school day takes place 8:45am to 3:45pm. Tutoring time of day will vary according to students' schedulesRead more... 

Interested in becoming a tutor ? We are always accepting new tutors. Click here or email Alignment Rockford's Community Engagement Coordinator for more information. 
2015 Academy Expo
2016 Academy Expo

The Alignment Rockford Academy Expo team has been busy at work planning this year's career exploration event!  Look for information in June to sign up as a Hospitality Ambassador (event volunteer) or Industry Expert (booth host).  

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.
Alignment Rockford, Rockford Public Schools, Rockford Public Library, and Transform Rockford Host Free Film Screening: Most Likely to Succeed 

Thursday, May 12

The Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St. Rockford

Evening agenda:
Doors open: 4:30
Film showing: 5:00 to 6:30
Break: 6:30 to 7:00
Facilitated discussion: 7:00 to 8:00

*The film is approximately 90 minutes long
Most Likely to Succeed Trailer
Most Likely to Succeed Trailer

A Fun Way to Volunteer!

Come on out this Friday to the First Annual RPS Cardboard Canoe Race! Volunteers are needed as timers, judges, and logistics specialists. 

Date: Friday May 13, 2016
Time: 10am-3pm (*Click image below for agenda)
Location: West Rock Wake Park at Levings Lake- 1420 Pierpont Ave, Rockford. 

Click the image below for additional information.

If you are interested in volunteering please contact:
Chris Magee at: or 
815-654-4870 x 13149

Thank you 

Thank you to members of this year's Chamber of Commerce Leadership Rockford Group for hosting the  FIRST annual RPS 205 FIRST Robotics Fundraiser which raised over $15,000 towards the goal of getting a FIRST Robotics team at each RPS school within 5 years!  Also thank you to their organizations for supporting their significant time and contributions to this effort:
  • Bradley Morton, SwedishAmerican Health System
  • Christy Davis, Crusader Community Health
  • Johanna Tousey, Union Savings Bank
  • Josh Kunde, Anderson Environmental & Engineering Co. 
Thank you to the generous sponsors! Your sponsorship will help  nurture science, technology, engineering and math education in our public schools to support the future manufacturing workforce in our community.  

How the Academies are Helping Students
Find Their Paths!

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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.