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Visits to the Hospital, Jail


On July 31 I spent the day in the hospital, and on August 7 I spent the day in jail – all to support Rockford Public School teachers!

Alignment Rockford support RPS205 by designing solutions around the District’s greatest strategic needs.

One question posed by the District was how do we continue to support and provide resources to our high school academies and the teachers who work with students every day?

The solution designed by AR’s Pathways A-Team was to ask local businesses if they would host teachers for the day. And did they ever! 67 local businesses and organizations responded to the Invitation to Participate. Academy Coaches chose businesses that they felt would prove the most relevance to their curriculum.

I spent one day at OSF St. Anthony Medical Center wiht Jefferson High School teachers from the Health Sciences Academy. In the morning, we saw a reenactment of a patient (OSF employee) who had been in a car accident and had to be flown to the hospital. We saw the flight nurse bring the patient in; we saw the patient in the ER; we saw surgery prepped and performed; we saw post-op procedures; we saw the pharmacist discussion medication with the patient; we saw teh patient discharged; and we saw the patient come back for physical therapy. All of this was performed with actual nurses, doctors, therapists, etc. from the hospital. After each phase of the patient’s time in the hospital, the OSF staff discussed their educational experience and attainment. The afternoon was spent with all of the OSF staff discussing what a collaboration might look like.

I overheard a physical therapist telling a math teacher that she calculates angles every day when determining how to get a patient from sitting to standing in a walker or crutches for the first time. I heard a biology teacher discussing a project with the pharmacist. I saw a lot of relationship building and I saw both teachers and hospital staff connecting careers to curriculum.


The day spent at the Winnebago County Justice Center was equally as interesting and I think it’s safe to say that East High School teachers from the Human and Public Services Academy would agree. Jail Superintendant Andrea Tack facilitated the day, bringing in speakers from every department of the jail (and very cool to see a woman in a position typically held by men!). Tack was an incredible host and extremely knowledgeable of the innerworkings and types of jobs it takes to run the facility.

We heard from the Deputy Chiefs heading up the various departments of the jail and toured the entire facility. The conversation between County staff and teachers was about connecting curriculum to career, but the day also brought about very meaningful conversation around preventing crime starting with youth. In short, most good jobs require a clean record.

In both visits I attended, I heard over and over again, “we will do anything to support the teachers and the schools to get the kids exactly what they need.”

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