Cherry Valley, Thompson and White Swan elementary schools will close after this school year; students will attend the new Cherry Valley Elementary School in the 2018-19 school year. Community members – including current and former staff and students – are welcome to attend open houses to tour the schools before they close:
- Thompson Elementary, 4949 Marion Ave., Rockford: 5-8 p.m. Friday, May 18
- White Swan Elementary, 7550 Mill Road, Rockford: 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 23
- Cherry Valley Elementary, 619 East State St., Cherry Valley: 6:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 24
Alumni of Thompson Elementary School are also hosting a Thompson Farewell Tour. Alumni and former teachers are invited to attend. For more information, contact Julie Thomas, 815-543-6143.
- Thompson Elementary, 4949 Marion Ave., Rockford: 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, May 19
RPS 205 held a groundbreaking in June 2017, marking the first new school construction in RPS 205 since 1998. The current Cherry Valley Elementary School will be demolished and become property of the Village of Cherry Valley through an intergovernmental agreement. White Swan and Thompson elementary schools will be demolished and become the property of the Rockford Park District through an intergovernmental agreement.
A new K-5 elementary school in the city’s ORCHiD neighborhood is also under construction. The school will be named for Constance Renick Lane, the district’s first black teacher. Lane served as an educator and administrator for more than 30 years and retired as assistant superintendent for elementary education in 1985. The school will serve students who live in Kishwaukee, Nelson and a portion of the Beyer elementary school zones when it opens for the 2019-20 school year. Kishwaukee and Nelson will close after the 2018-19 school year.
Building two elementary schools is part of board-approved facilities plan to upgrade RPS 205 buildings and shrink the district's footprint. The School Board approved an updated 10-year facilities plan in August 2014, based on in-depth analysis and community input. That plan outlined closing eight buildings and building 13 elementary school additions and two new schools.
For more information about the open houses, contact Cherry Valley Principal Vicki Kested, email@example.com, Thompson Principal Emma Gipson, firstname.lastname@example.org, or White Swan Principal Carolyn Timm, email@example.com.