ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Whether a student graduates from high school is usually connected to how well they do in middle school. That's why the Rockford school district is placing an emphasis on preparing middle-schoolers for high school and life beyond.
Whether or not they make it to the big screen, everyone gets to be an actor in theater class.
"We've been practicing our plays and we've been memorizing our lines, " says Sylvia Bednerczyk, "two people are on a date but then the guy is acting like a jerk on his girlfriend's birthdaybut then afterwards he asks her to marry him."
District 205 now offers more electives, like arts and foreign language.
"We want to make sure we expand the additional classes for students to want to come to school and enjoy coming to school, " Einsenhower's Principal Jeff Carlson tells us.
Then there's the flipped classroom initiative for some 7th grade math students.
"It's kind of like you're doing classwork at home and homework at school," explains Celene Morris, "the teachers will give you some videos to watch at night and then you take notes on it and then the next day you talk over the notes you wrote and then you do a worksheet."
"So when they come to class the next day, they already have a heads up on what they're learning, and the teacher has more time to spend with them on practicing and mastering the objective," Carlson tells us.
The program will expand next year to more 7th graders and some 8th graders at Eisenhower. Eighth graders currently take a career class to talk about what they want to do, and more importantly, how to get there.
Carlson says, "If you ask a middle school student what kind of car they're going to get in the future, what house they're going to drive, they'll tell you about a million dollar house and however many cars they're going to have, they don't really always see the pathway they need to take to get there."
Chorus and band have also been expanded, and glee class will be new to Eisenhower next year. Other middle schools already offer it.
Join us for tomorrow night's "Classroom Victories" story, where we take a look at Rockford charter schools which are public schools. We'll show you what kind of educational options parents have for their kids.