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Exactly What We Hoped For

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April 19, 2018

This week our Pathways team recapped sophomore site visits that occurred during the last couple of weeks in March. All RPS205 sophomores must visit a business in order to meet this college and career readiness benchmark requirement. Alignment Rockford worked with local businesses to arrange site visits for students. We worked with local businesses and our partners at the school district to find organizations whose work aligned to students’ coursework and academy pathway.

Some facts about the site visits:

  • 75 businesses responded to our Invitation to Participate and 54 businesses hosted site visits
  • 93% of students felt the site visits helped them become better informed of their career pathway
  • 80% of students saw a connection between their coursework and the careers they saw at the sites
  • 93% of students felt the site visit was worthwhile and most students wished they had more time
  • 97% of teachers said they saw relevance between the sites visited and student coursework
  • Business professionals donated a collective 177 hours of their time preparing for the site visits
  • 97% of businesses felt the site visits helped them make connections and build relationships with RPS205 staff and students

Even more impactful than these statistics are quotes from the students themselves:

  • I didn’t know you needed to know this much math.
  • This was worthwhile to be able to experience the scientific part of careers and it interested me about the chemistry jobs.
  • It gave me better insight on what characteristics I need to have as a psychologist.
  • It seems like there are a lot of construction jobs available that aren’t just building.
  • I liked how they showed us several different careers at a bank.
  • I never considered teaching elementary before today.
  • I never realized how many different jobs there are in a school.
  • I truly saw how interesting being an educator, especially at a museum, can really be.
  • Showed that things we do are used in the real working world, and I could imagine how my future may be.
  • I learned how important goal setting is.
  • It opened my mind to a new possible career.
  • This helped me know even more what I want to become.
  • I learned a lot about a day in the life of athletic trainers.
  • I liked the hands-on activities, not just reading about it.
  • The planes were really cool to see and I saw what it would be like if I pursue my pathway.

There are dozens and dozens more like these.

And one more, from a teacher who attended a site visit: I really couldn’t believe the opportunity that our students were given. I would have loved to experience this when I was in high school.

Resoundingly, students, staff and industry experts all said they want to do it again.

Thanks again to everyone that helped us make the site visits possible.

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Building a System of Change

Alignment Rockford’s strategy for success is built on the following elements.

Vision
Alignment Rockford envisions all students graduating from high school with marketable employment skills or enrolling in post-secondary education. They are eager to live, work, learn, create, and play in the Rockford Region as contributing adults.

Mission
Alignment Rockford’s 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.

Collective Impact
Collective impact is a centralized infrastructure, a dedicated staff, and a structured process that leads to a common agenda, shared measurement, continuous communication and mutually reinforcing activities among all participants.

Operational Principles

  • Enable children to succeed
  • Align with the school district’s strategic priorities
  • Design solutions focusing on high-yield challenges
  • Solve complex problems
  • Work of serving public schools is generational

Process
All Alignment teams form in response to a request made by RPS205. All teams are chaired by a school district administrator and vice chaired by a community leader. Each team follows the same process cycle, and each phase is comprised of multiple steps.

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