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We are nearing the end of the 2018-2019 school year and students are wrapping up their Capstone Projects. Rockford Public School Seniors have spent the school year working on large scale projects and they are excited to present to community members like you! 

We are looking for volunteers who are interested in being Capstone Panelists, Shark Tank Audience Members, and/or Student Mentors. The dates are as follows: 

May 15 – 17
PSA Presentations | 4th Hour
Students will propose a solution to a problem in our area. Students have created a video of their solution to show you and other community members. After the video, students will meet with you about their ideas and projects. 

Shark Tank | 5th and 8th Hour
Students created a business or item they think will help the local economy. Students will pitch their business idea to you and other community members. After the presentations, student groups will meet and talk with you about their ideas and projects. 


Student Mentoring
Week of April 22 (5th and 8th Hour): Financing Businesses
Week of April 29 (5th and 8th Hour): Marketing Businesses
Week of May 6 (5th and 8th Hour): Operations of Businesses

You and other community members will mentor/work with students about different aspects of a business plan. Using expertise from your respective industries, you’ll give students guidance on how to construct and/or execute a business plan. 

If you are interested in any of these opportunities, please contact us by clicking the button below! 

Work-Based Learning Continuum

As students enter their senior year, they’ve identified their career interest and have had opportunities within their class work to part of that career like: The Academy Expo, Sophomore Site Visits, and Job Shadowing. In their last year, students have the option to create a capstone project based on the need within the industry and community. Capstone projects are the last stage in developing a student’s exposure to their desired industry throughout their time in high school. The capstone is identified as the last work-based learning experience a student should have on the spectrum of work-based learning projects through Rockford Public Schools. 

Work-based learning opportunities enable participants the chance to gain or enhance their skills while they are still in a safe environment. These opportunities include training, internships and apprenticeships, and ultimately, permanent jobs as part of a career pathways program. (U.S. Department of Labor).

Rockford Public Schools has adopted a work-based learning continuum which sets up the framework for work-based learning experiences from 8th grade to 12th grade. Work-based learning is a valuable component of a comprehensive education; it provides students with the opportunities to engage in deep exploration and preparation for the eventual world of work in the context of academic preparation for both college and career. Work-based learning also teaches important and essential skills, such as working in a team, appropriate workplace behavior, and critical thinking. These are skills that are vital in both college and career and will set RPS students apart as they enter into the next phase of their academic careers. 

Each student is responsible for a capstone idea. Alignment Rockford provides key industry partners to assist with planning the project in the industry, and community members to assist with project management. This year, our Capstone Team has implemented another round of capstone projects! 

Next Steps:

The Capstone Course will not be offered during the 2019/2020 school year. Instead, the Capstone Team will re-focus to support a new program: INCubatorEDU

This program is much like a capstone project – students will have the opportunity to create and develop an product or business. Rockford Public Schools is offering students an authentic, collaborative, entrepreneurship experience with INCubatoredu. Students will build, test, learn, and apply and idea over the course of eight units. Unlike the capstone course, students acquire the foundational business concepts, then apply those concepts to the team’s new business idea. Principles from these learning models help students test their thinking. From Concept to Minimum Viable Product to Pitch, students are hypothesizing, testing, adapting and learning. Importantly, they work and learn in teams. The Capstone A-Team will provide the community support needed to develop students’ ideas. 

Stay tuned for more information! 

Capstone Kick-off

Every year around August/September, Alignment Rockford and Rockford Public Schools hosts the Capstone Kick-off, an event for all seniors enrolled in the capstone course to start planning their projects, talk with industry experts on potential projects, and to take short sessions on project management. 

This year, the Capstone Kick-off was held at Rock Valley College’s Stenstrom Center and included hour long seminars about communications, project management and problem solving. Here are some pictures from the kick-off below! 

How to Get Involved

The Capstone is a revolving project, so we are always looking for mentors, panelists, or volunteers from a wide rang of careers.. Depending on the time of the school year, our students are in different phases of their capstone projects. If you are interested in getting involved with Capstone, please fill out the ITP or contact us to see how you can help!  

You can see the full description of Capstone by clicking on the buttons!