As Rockford Public Schools' Superintendent Dr. Ehren Jarrett starts his first year in the top spot, people want to know more about his vision for the district and its roughly 30,000 students. 10th Ward Alderman Frank Beach provided that opportunity Thursday night.
People living in and around Rockford's 10th Ward say from educating the youngest learners, to those ready for graduation, District #205 is headed in the right direction.
"What a delight it was to hear him talk. He's full of great vision and great spirit; it's precisely what we need in our community." -says Rockford resident Loren Nielsen.
Neighbors say education and community well-being go hand-in-hand in Rockford's 10th Ward.
"We have a lot of kids in this neighborhood and if they're not being educated, I'm not sure what they're doing with their time; getting into trouble or whatever else." -10th Ward resident Jeff Pettera says.
Residents praise Dr. Jarrett for commitment to early childhood learning opportunities.
"I like the idea of starting when children are very young; that education is available for all children; that we get started in a good, positive environment where kids can learn and grow and discover all the good gifts that they've been given." -Nielsen explains.
Dr. Jarrett is open to any ideas expanding those opportunities, like being more involved with city-run program Head Start.
"We will be a part of any collaboration the city's Human Service Department or the city asks us to be a part of, but what we care about more than anything is that our students get a high quality early childhood experience." -Dr. Jarrett says.
For older students, community members are excited about high school academy opportunities.
"We've actually hosted a few exchange students in our house over the years and have talked to them about their educational systems in other countries. They have things like this, where the kids actually pick a career path at a younger age and start progressing in that area in their education. It sounds like these academies are going to allow students to do something similar to that." -Pettera adds.
Dr. Jarrett hopes he gets invited to speak at even more community meetings in the future.
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