RPS looks to business community to provide students career opportunities

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - The business community took a step into the classroom during the Rockford Chamber of Commerce Education Outlook Luncheon.

"Our future engineers, our future police officers, our future medical technicians, our future teachers are coming from the Rockford Public Schools," said Ehren Jarrett, RPS 205 Superintendent.

That's Jarrett’s goal for students.

“We want as a community to see all 41 of those schools get better and it starts with being upfront with where we are," Jarrett said.

During the Luncheon, Jarrett laid out a roadmap for improvement for the district. It starts with a report card for each school.

"There is going to be a rating system that takes into account how they are doing academically. Everybody will be in different places when we start the work and it will be about getting better each year," Jarrett said.

"I think the step that Dr. Jarrett laid out with the individual grading of the schools and the rating of them I think that's going to raise all boats and I think that will help the community as a whole," said Einar Forsman, Rockford Chamber of Commerce president.

RPS will also work closely with the Rockford Chamber of Commerce to expose students to career opportunities.

"Where can we take our talent? Where can we take our time? And work together with the district to help improve the overall education system and that's where we've committed ourselves," Forsman said.

" If we can get businesses to see that spending time with high school students and after high school with some of our best and brightest is not only a great to support Rockford Public Schools but for the future workforce," Jarrett said.

RPS is looking into a partnership with International Baccalaureate, an organization that aims to teach students through intercultural learning. If the partnership is approved the program would start during the 2021-22 school year.