Online Staff Report
Nov. 12, the Rockford Board of Education accepted a timeline for construction, school additions and renovations outlined in the updated 10-year facilities plan. The timeline was preliminary before the school board’s OK.
The draft was shared last month with elementary school principals, and principals will share that timeline with their staff and with parents via school newsletters. Additions are scheduled in 2015 at Marsh, Swan Hillman, Welsh, West View and Whitehead elementary schools.
“Last school year, we celebrated six elementary school additions. This school year, our high school field houses and auditoriums are taking shape,” said Rockford Public Schools Chief Operations Officer Todd Schmidt. “I’m looking forward to seeing more improvements at our elementary schools.”
The timeline organizes details the school board approved in August under the updated 10-year, $250 million facilities plan. The plan includes building two new schools and 13 additions, and closing eight schools. It was developed based on an in-depth analysis and community input to improve the RPS 205 elementary school footprint. New school construction was contingent on a successful Nov. 4 referendum that asked voters to allow RPS 205 to spend existing money set aside for construction on new schools. The referendum passed with support from 74 percent of voters.
The timeline ensures all students and staff will move to an improved learning and teaching environment. To see the timeline, visit www.rps205.com/betterschools. Some important details about the timeline:
• All schools will remain open for the 2015-16 academic year. Building closures will begin the following academic year.
• Students and staff will not move during the school year. All moves or changes will happen during the summer break. The first move because of building closures will happen in summer 2016. The facilities plan — including school closures and staff/student moves — will not disrupt the learning environment.
• When possible, staff will move into buildings with the students they’re working with now. The administration is working with the Rockford Education Association (teachers’ union) to ensure staff and students will stay together.
Posted Nov. 13, 2014