What's Ahead for Rockford Schools

By: Dennis Flack
By: Dennis Flack

As the school year wraps up, the Rockford school district can look back at its successes and its failures, and apply them to the future. Tuesday night, the District 205 leader laid out the challenges he sees in the immediate future.
Dr. Dennis Thompson sees four main challenges for the next school year. He laid them out Tuesday night for the school board, and explained why solving each problem is key to the district's success
In the last three years, the district has lost 25% of its teachers. Bringing on teachers with experience and passion will continue to be a challenge as babyboomers retire.
Next, poor student behavior continues to plague the district, just Tuesday night the board had to address 17 cases that required student discipline.
Dr. Thompson continues to be a strong supporter of no child left behind, but says meeting the goals set by no child left behind will become increasingly difficult.
Finally there are the challenges of school finance.
"We must find a way to bring great predictability to school finance, that has got to be key," says Dr. Thompson.
Thompson went on to say that waiting for the legislature to meet then making big financial decisions just weeks before the school year, does nothing to help the district during that year, and is not an acceptable to run finances.
This summer the district will start a new academic plan that will last through 2010. Leaders are also working on updating the district's computer system which has been in place in its current form since the early 90s.


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