May 4, 2020
RPS 205 students and families,
Administrators and school staff are finalizing plans for the end of the school year. Many plans will be school-specific, and staff will share those details on their Remote Learning website. Click on the purple Remote Learning button at the top of rps205.com and find your school, or follow this link.
In most cases, families will only need to make one trip to school to both pick up personal items – such as items from lockers, medication from the nurse's office, fundraiser materials, and caps and gowns for graduating seniors – and to return any materials to school, such as textbooks and library books, Chromebooks and chargers, athletic equipment and musical instruments. Pickup and returns will happen via drive-up. Families should stay in their vehicles. Plans will also be shared for families who need walk-up assistance.
Students' personal items: Items in lockers will be returned to the student who is assigned to that locker. Items will be bagged in a district-provided clear plastic bag. Those items will be available via drive-up pickup – each school will share specific details.
Medication: Staff will work with students/families who still have medication in the nurse's office to return it to the student/family.
Staff safety: Staff will take precautions to ensure they remain safe during end-of-year pickup and drop off. The number of staff members in a school building at a time will be limited, and staff will remain at least six feet apart. Staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment – including face coverings and gloves – while handling student materials. Nursing staff will also conduct temperature checks for staff.
We know you'll have questions. For now, please continue to work with your school staff on their end-of-year plans. Administrators are working on plans for what's next, too. We're considering several options for summer meals and summer school programs, plus back-to-school plans for the fall. We will share information as we finalize details.
Thank you all for your patience and cooperation during this unprecedented and unpredictable time.
Dr. Ehren Jarrett
Rockford Public Schools
April 29, 2020
HIGH SCHOOL & MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS: The end of the Quarter 3 grading period has moved to March 13. Work completed after March 13 can only improve a student’s grade and boost a student’s final semester grade.
Grades from Quarter 3 will be posted beginning Monday, May 4, to communicate the March 13 baseline grade for second semester with parents/guardians. They’ll be available to view in the Home Access Center online. Each school will send families a notification once grades are updated and available online. These grades will also be sent home as a Quarter 3 report card next week.
If you need assistance using the Home Access Center, please contact your school’s main office staff – and leave a voicemail or send an email. Principals and office professionals are checking emails and voicemails.
Remember, it's important for students to continue to learn and grow during school closure. Students should keep working with their teachers through remote learning to continue the learning process and improve semester grades. Please note that seniors’ last day for remote learning is Friday, May 15.
If you have specific questions, please reach out to your teachers.
April 22, 2020
RPS 205 parents/guardians, students and staff,
We are working through details now about how to best close out this school year. This extended closure is new to all of us, and we know you have questions. We plan to find the safest solutions for our students, staff and families. We're considering several plans: how students can retrieve personal items from their classrooms and lockers, what textbook and Chromebook return will look like, and how to host a safe event to recognize our incredible seniors, for example.
Please give us some time to develop the best possible answers. We're working with our principals, administrators, teachers and students to make sure we find good – and safe – solutions for everyone involved. We plan to share more information during the week of May 4 with as many details as possible.
In the meantime, please continue with Remote Learning lessons and connecting with teachers and staff in the coming weeks. Thank you for your patience.
April 17, 2020 - 3:20 p.m.
RPS 205 parents/guardians and students,
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced today that we will finish this school year through remote learning, and students will not return to school. This is a sad update, but it's not unexpected. We'd like to lay out expectations for our students – and what you can expect from teachers – during this unprecedented extended closure.
Grades: Students' work will be graded, but grades earned during this extended school closure can only raise a student's final grade. Students' grades as of March 13 will be the baseline for the rest of the school year.
Elementary students will maintain or improve their scores on the standards-based report card from the March 13 baseline. Middle school students will receive a pass or incomplete during this time, and high school students will receive a letter grade or an incomplete. Students who were failing on March 13 must engage in learning and demonstrate progress to improve their grade. If they don't, they will receive an incomplete for the full second semester and make up that work when this remote learning period ends.
We started this extended closure with at-home learning resources. Then our teachers shared lesson plans through our Distance Learning website with a priority to reconnect with students. Now, with guidance from the Illinois State Board of Education, we shifted on April 13 to Remote Learning. Our Remote Learning plans outline what is expected on a daily or weekly basis from our students, teachers, school staff and families.
Through Remote Learning, all RPS 205 students & their families will do their best to:
- Remain engaged by logging onto the Distance Learning website – now called Remote Learning – and/or picking up a grab-and-go packet at the nearest bus stop
- Check in with teachers as needed during their virtual office hours
- Complete academic work
- Take care of RPS 205 devices
Students in grades 6-12 have additional expectations and will do their best to:
- Submit work in teachers' digital learning platforms each week and contact teachers or counselors via Google Meet phone calls or video calls
- Maintain a routine
- Contact your principal, counselor and/or school social worker for support
High school students should also look for support from counselors for transcripts, FAFSA completion, help monitoring credits and questions about post-secondary plans.
We expect teachers to:
- Connect weekly with each student digitally in Seesaw, Google Classroom, Schoology, or other platforms, or by phone using Google Meet and track those student interactions
- Return student and parent emails within 48 hours.
- Communicate learning progress to families
Teachers will focus on grading and student feedback by:
- Providing regular opportunities to engage in meaningful learning activities
- Illustrating to students what they have already mastered and where they need to grow
- Reteaching and reassessing students to show progress on meaningful learning targets
- Encouraging independent work and longer-term projects for students who are already achieving
Our students are not in school with us to help guide their learning, and that's a challenge for all of us. Our goal is to reach our students where they are and make sure they know that we want to connect with them and continue to encourage and support their learning. Once again, thank you for your patience and support during this time.
Ehren Jarrett, Superintendent
Heidi Dettman, Executive Director of Academics
April 17, 2020 - 11 a.m.
Chromebooks will be distributed on Wednesday, April 22, and Thursday, April 23, to families who were unable to pick up Chromebooks at their school. Pick up times run between 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. A staff member from each school will contact families directly with a phone call to share specific pick-up details – including the time and location to meet the bus and receive a Chromebook. These phone calls will start on Monday.
Please remember that a parent or guardian must be present to sign for the Chromebook. If you're unable to pick up during your designated time, please notify your school's staff, and you'll be included in the next round of distribution. Thank you.
April 14, 2020
MATERIALS TO SUPPORT REMOTE LEARNING: RPS 205 parents/guardians and students, please follow the directions below to receive materials this week to support learning during the extended school closure:
Chromebooks for students in grades 3-12: Staff will distribute Chromebooks again this week for students in grades 3-12 who need devices. School staff worked to contact families about device pickup:
• Middle & high schools: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 15
• Elementary schools: 8 a.m. to noon Thursday, April 16
If you're unable to attend during those times, contact your building principal.
Internet access: Free Xfinity WiFi hotspots are available from Comcast. Visit www.xfinity.com/wifi for a hotspot map. Comcast is also offering Internet through its Internet Essentials program. New customers who sign up by April 30 will receive 60 days of free Internet. Visit www.internetessentials.com.
Paper packets & school supply pickup for all grades: Printed learning resources will be available Thursday, April 16, at several RPS 205 sites for grab-and-go pickup (see schedule, Spanish, Arabic). Buses will stop for about 20 minutes between 5 and 7 p.m. All locations will provide the same materials – grab-and-go packets in English and Spanish for Early Childhood, K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 – so families can attend whichever site is most convenient. If families missed school supply kits last week, kits for K-12 students will be available Thursday, April 16.
These paper resources are not required. They are designed for families who don't have access to technology and want paper copies of learning materials; or families who are looking for additional support beyond what's provided on the Distance Learning website. Find a list of community locations for paper packet pickup.
Materials for Early Childhood: Backpacks with learning materials for Early Childhood students will be available on Wednesday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at each RPS 205 Early Childhood Center (Beyer, Fairview, Nashold & Summerdale) and Roosevelt. Families who attend Circles of Learning should pick up materials at Nashold Early Childhood Center.
Meals: The RPS 205 Nutrition Services team will provide meals to students on Mondays and Thursdays from 9-10:15 a.m. On Mondays, families will receive breakfast & lunch for 3 days: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursdays, families will receive breakfast & lunch for 3 days: Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Meals are available at eight locations: Beyer Early Childhood Center; Conklin Elementary; East High School; Fairgrounds Valley; Flinn Middle School; Guilford High School; Kennedy Middle School; Two-Way Language Immersion at Barbour. Learn more.
April 8, 2020
Senior prom this spring is postponed at all RPS 205 high schools. High school principals are collaborating to make sure our students have some sort of prom experience, even if it happens after this school year is over. Senior prom is NOT canceled.
Please click here to read a letter from RPS 205 high school principals.
April 7, 2020
RPS 205 parents/guardians and students, please follow the directions below to receive materials to support Distance Learning during the extended school closure:
CHROMEBOOKS FOR GRADES 3-12: Staff will distribute Chromebooks again this week for students in grades 3-12 who need devices to support Distance Learning. School staff worked to contact families about device pickup:
• Middle & high schools: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 8
• Elementary schools: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, April 9
If you're unable to attend during those times, contact your building principal. If you missed the survey about students' technology needs at home, or if you think you included an error in your response(s), please complete this survey to be added to the next round of distribution: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RPSTechSurvey
INTERNET ACCESS: Free Xfinity WiFi hotspots are available from Comcast. Visit www.xfinity.com/wifi for a hotspot map. Comcast is also offering Internet through its Internet Essentials program. New customers who sign up by April 30 will receive 60 days of free Internet. Visit www.internetessentials.com.
PAPER PACKET & SCHOOL SUPPLY PICKUP FOR ALL GRADES: Printed learning resources will be available Thursday, April 9, at several RPS 205 sites for grab-and-go pickup (see schedule, Spanish, Arabic). Buses will run regular activity stop routes and stop for about 20 minutes between 5 and 7 p.m. All locations will provide the same materials – grab-and-go packets in English and Spanish for Early Childhood, K-5, 6-8 and 9-12 – so families can attend whichever site is most convenient. These paper resources are not required. They are designed for families who don't have access to technology and want paper copies of learning materials; or families who are looking for additional support beyond what's provided on the Distance Learning website.
School supply kits for students in grades 1-12 will be available Thursday at the same bus sites (see schedule, Spanish, Arabic). Next week, supply kits specifically designed for kindergarten students, plus additional K-5 materials will be available. We're working with several community partners to ensure students have access to supplies to support Distance Learning.
MATERIALS FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD: Backpacks with learning materials for Early Childhood students will be available on Wednesday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at each RPS 205 Early Childhood Center (Beyer, Fairview, Nashold & Summerdale) and Roosevelt. Families who attend Circles of Learning should pick up materials at Nashold Early Childhood Center.
PLAYGROUNDS CLOSED: All RPS 205 playgrounds and basketball courts are closed during the governor's stay-at-home order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
April 3, 2020
The RPS 205 Nutrition Services team will provide meals to students on Mondays and Thursdays from 9-10:15 a.m. starting Monday, April 6.
On Mondays, families will receive breakfast and lunch for 3 days: Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursdays, families will receive breakfast and lunch for 3 days: Thursday, Friday and Saturday. All children ages 2-18 can receive these prepackaged meals.
Meals will be available at eight locations:
- Beyer Early Childhood Center, 333 15th Ave.
- Conklin Elementary School, 3003 Halsted Road
- East High School, 2929 Charles St.
- Fairgrounds Valley, 1015 W. Jefferson St.
- Flinn Middle School, 2525 Ohio Parkway
- Spring Creek Elementary School, 5222 Spring Creek Road
- Kennedy Middle School, 520 Pierpont Ave.
- Two-Way Language Immersion at Barbour, 1506 Clover Ave.
Follow this link for a list of resources for families from the Family & Community Engagement team during the COVID-19 school closure. This list will be updated frequently. We’re working with several community partners to ensure all areas of the city have enough resources for meals.
April 1, 2020
RPS 205 families,
Thank you for your patience today while we distribute Chromebook to students who need electronic devices. I want to reassure you that we have enough devices for every student who needs one in grades 3-12. We will not run out. We will continue our distribution plans on Friday at our elementary schools.
Our online survey window will close every Thursday at noon, and it will reopen every Friday for the next round. If you complete this survey before noon tomorrow (Thursday, April 2), you will be eligible to receive a device next week: https://bit.ly/344iBl5
Save the Date for Chromebook distribution: Round 2
- 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 8 at all RPS 205 middle and high schools
- 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 9 at all RPS 205 elementary schools
Distance Learning: Our Distance Learning website will launch tomorrow, Thursday, April 2. You’ll see a purple button on rps205.com, and that will take our families to a Google Site to choose their school and teacher and connect to Distance Learning plans. There’s no password required, just click on the button.
Our teachers and staff are looking forward to connecting again with their students. Even though we’re not together, we’re going to make sure that our staff and teachers meet students and families where they are to continue learning. We will find a way to connect.
Paper packet pick up: Printed at-home learning resources will be available on Thursday and Friday at several RPS 205 sites for grab-and-go pickup. These paper copy resources are designed for families who:
- don’t have technology at home and would like paper copies of learning materials, or
- are looking for additional support beyond what teachers provide through our Distance Learning website.
Find a paper packet pick up schedule here. Buses will run regular activity stop routes and be at each school for about 20 minutes between 5 and 7 p.m. That will give parents/guardians time to drive up and collect materials from staff on the bus.
All locations will provide the same materials, so families can attend whichever site is the most convenient. We’ll have materials available for Early Childhood, K-5 and 6-8 at each location.
These activities should be easy-to-do and empowering for families. The rigor will increase in the coming weeks and include reading and math resources. Each week’s activities will reinforce a specific learning standard or target.
If you’re unable to attend Thursday or Friday, we’re working with several community partners to help us distribute resources. We’ll share updates when we have them.
This unprecedented time away from our schools is a challenge for all of us. Thank you again for your patience. I am confident in our teachers and the lesson plans they have developed to reconnect with students starting Thursday. We’re looking forward to continuing some sense of normalcy in the coming days.
March 31, 2020
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has extended his statewide stay-at-home order, and that means schools will remain closed through the end of April. This announcement isn’t what we hoped for, but we are prepared. Our Distance Learning website will launch on Thursday, April 2, with lesson plans for all RPS 205 students to continue learning from home. We’re looking forward to our students connecting again with teachers and staff during this unprecedented time.
We’ll continue to share information as we receive it, and we’ve compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions.
Thank you again for your patience. Our teachers, administrators and staff have been tremendous in their work and dedication to continue to support students.
March 30, 2020
RPS 205 parents/guardians and students,
Staff will distribute Chromebooks this week to students in grades 3-12 who need them to support their work during Distance Learning. If you missed the survey about students' technology needs at home, or if you think you included an error in your response(s), you can complete the survey here.
Each school will host a drive-up to pick up Chromebooks – similar to the car line during drop-off and pick-up times before and after school. Pick-up times are as follows:
- Wednesday, April 1: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.: Auburn, East, Guilford, Jefferson, Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Flinn, Kennedy, Lincoln, Marshall Middle, RESA, West
- Friday, April 3: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.: All RPS 205 elementary schools, including Montessori and Barbour
Devices will be assigned to students before they're picked up. Each Chromebook will have a sticker with a student's name and school ID number. Each Chromebook will include a sign-out form that must be signed by a parent or guardian. Instructions about how to connect to a Wi-Fi hotspot and how to charge the Chromebook will be included. Each student will receive:
- 1 Chromebook
- 1 charger
- an information packet that includes a sign-out agreement
If you're unable to attend your school's scheduled time, please contact your school's main office staff. We plan to deploy an estimated 5,600 Chromebooks during this first phase of distribution. If we missed you or your student, there will be other opportunities to pick up a Chromebook.
Thank you for your patience as we navigate through this unprecedented closure and provide resources to our students to continue meaningful teaching and learning.
March 27, 2020
RPS 205 parents, students and staff,
At this point, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has announced students and staff will tentatively return to school on Wednesday, April 8. But we have to plan for the worst: that our schools might remain closed for the rest of this school year. We’re hopeful that’s not the case, but we must be prepared.
We plan to launch our Distance Learning website and lesson plans from teachers on Thursday, April 2. Our goal with distance learning is to make sure our students receive the best possible learning experience during this extended school closure. Distance Learning in RPS 205 will give teachers an opportunity to reach students and their families directly and provide a week of lessons at a time. We're developing plans to distribute Chromebooks to ensure students have the tools necessary for effective learning.
How to access the Distance Learning website: Visit rps205.com on April 2 and look for the purple button labeled Distance Learning. Click that to find a link to your school's new Distance Learning Google Site. On that site, parents/guardians and students can access updated lesson plans each week from our teachers.
We have three goals for our teachers and staff during Distance Learning:
- Provide support, diversion and social connection for students
- Provide support for academic activities to main thinking through problem solving, reading and writing
- Provide consistency for students and families
We want to be clear. This Distance Learning plan is not intended to add to families' burden during this difficult time. To start, we'll focus on what students know and are familiar with, then grow that knowledge. Teachers will continue to provide grade-level, aligned lessons, but they will start by meeting students where they are and introduce them to online learning by focusing on familiar skills and content.
Teachers will not evaluate student work in a way that will negatively affect a student's grade. Teachers will not assign long-term, time-consuming tasks without clear direction, learning goals and consistent feedback.
We know our students' needs are varied, and you'll have questions. We'll address several questions next week, and we'll continue to share information as we receive it. Our teachers and staff are excited to get back to work and connect with students for meaningful learning.
Thank you all for your patience during this unprecedented time. This is an adjustment for our teachers, our students and their families. We will adjust our plans to ensure our students, families, teachers, principals and staff have the tools they need to be successful.
March 24, 2020
The RPS 205 Nutrition Services team will provide meals to students from 9-10:15 a.m. starting Wednesday, March 25, Monday through Friday. Meals will be available at six locations:
- East High School, 2929 Charles St. - Food pickup map
- Flinn Middle School, 2525 Ohio Parkway - Food pickup map
- Guilford High School, 5620 Spring Creek Road - Food pickup map
- Kennedy Middle School, 520 Pierpont Ave. - Food pickup map
- Two-Way Language Immersion at Barbour, 1506 Clover Ave.
- Conklin Elementary School, 3003 Halsted Road
Here’s what else you need to know:
- Prepackaged breakfast and lunch will be provided.
- All children, ages 2-18, can receive prepackaged meals.
- We hope most families will use our drive-through service, but a walk-up option will also be available at East, Flinn and Kennedy.
Follow this link for a list of resources for families from the Family & Community Engagement team during the COVID-19 school closure. This list will be updated frequently. We’re working with several community partners to ensure all areas of the city have resources for meals.
March 23, 2020
RPS 205 Nutrition Services staff will provide prepackaged breakfast and lunch to children via drive-through from 9-10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24, at four locations:
Distributions will continue this week; stay tuned for updates. Families can expect to receive meals for as many as four children per day. Walk-up options are available at East, Flinn and Kennedy. Follow this link for family resources during the COVID-19 school closure.
We learned today about Gov. J.B. Pritzker's executive order that residents stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19. He announced a tentative date for schools to reopen: Wednesday, April 8. RPS 205 Employees will continue to be paid and receive their normal compensation and benefits through the closure.
A closure like this is unprecedented, and we are following guidance from the Winnebago County Health Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health. Our administrators, principals, teachers and staff are committed to the health and safety of our students and families. We will continue to work with our community partners to provide meals and other support services despite the interruption. We're all in this together.
We know the importance of teaching and learning, structure and social connection. Today we shared at-home learning resources with families. On Monday, we plan to share those resources in Spanish and Arabic. We are working with the Rockford Education Association to develop long-term distance learning plans; we'll share details in the coming days.
We haven't finalized plans yet for what this extended closure means for some other academic opportunities and key milestones like grades or graduation ceremonies. We will continue to work through those education plans and share information when it's finalized.
Thank you for your patience. This will be difficult, but I know we can work through it together and continue to put students first.