Rockford CICS prepares to purchase former Jackson Elementary - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford CICS prepares to purchase former Jackson Elementary

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Jackson Elementary School could soon be filled with students and staff again.  But it won't be through Rockford District 205.

Patriots Gateway Director Amanda Rychel is already making plans for starting up at the new location.  All that's left to do is close on the sale.

"We're really excited that teacher's and students are going to have a lot of choice in their learning environment and with a bigger space we'll be able to meet all of our students' needs," said Patriots' Director Amanda Rychel.

Rockford's campus of the Chicago International Charter Schools is too small.

That's what Rychel says and that's why the school is only a few steps away from moving into what formerly was Jackson Elementary of district 205.

"I feel like all of our restrictions are because of space and I want the teachers involved in the planning process and I want them picking the colors of the walls and I want them picking if it's carpet or tile and so as much decisions they can make in the process I think will just serve students better," said Rychel.

Jackson has been vacant for a year according to district 205 Chief Operations Officer Todd Schmidt.

Director Rychel is already calling Jackson her "new-old school".  

All jokes aside her vision for the property goes beyond appearance.

"There's three floors.  On every floor we're going to group by grade level.  Kindergarten is it's own entity but there'll be a learning lab on every floor where we'll be able to differentiate instruction for all students and really look at meeting their needs and closing the achievement gap."

The space is giving the student body room to grow as well.  Applications have opened up for 125 new students to enter the charter.

"We're really pumped for a bunch of new students and new families and hopefully neighborhood families and kids can walk to school."

Todd Schmidt says the asking price on the former Jackson building is $290,000.

Once sold, the district will put that toward capital improvements.

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