"Complex [community] challenges exceed the capabilities of any single sector—public, private, or non-profit—to solve them alone.” James E. Austin
Investing in our Community's
Most Precious Natural Resource
Alignment Rockford's strategy for success is built on the following elements.
Alignment Rockford envisions all students graduating from high school with marketable employment skills and enrolling in post- secondary education. They are eager to live, work, learn, create, and play in the Rockford Region as contributing adults.
Alignment Rockford’s mission is to align community resources in support of public school strategies to raise student achievement, improve the health and happiness of our children, and advance the economic and social well-being of our community.
Click here to download a one-page summary of the Alignment Rockford organization that you can print and distribute.
On January 27, 2010, Alignment Rockford hosted a video conference with leaders from Alignment Nashville to highlight the origin, principles, strategies and outcomes of Nashville's school improvement initiative that serves as a model for Rockford. Click here to watch this informative 10 minute clip.
About Alignment Rockford
The greatest challenges facing Rockford are related to public education and its impact on our community. Truancy rates must be lowered and minority achievement gaps need to be closed. Standardized test scores and graduation rates are unacceptably low. High poverty levels have a damaging effect on learning and social development. Too many of our children are unprepared for a successful life in an increasingly competitive world.
Our social and economic vitality depends upon accelerated achievement in public education, but the turnaround of public schools cannot be accomplished by the school district and teachers alone. Indeed, this critical endeavor can only be achieved by a broad and far-reaching collaboration of education administrators and teaching professionals, and political, corporate, religious, civic, social and grassroots entities faithfully working together to advance academic achievement and further educational attainment.
In 2009 a diverse group of Rockford’s civic, business, religious and educational leaders evaluated how other communities across the country have responded to similar trends, with the objective of adapting best principles and practices in Rockford to increase academic aspiration and achievement. Based on what they learned from effective community models, a collaborative framework known as Alignment Rockford was formed to improve public education through facilitating the focus of community resources on the fulfillment of the strategic plan of Rockford Public Schools District 205.
As those involved with Alignment Rockford collaborate in this important community endeavor, the following leadership values form the foundation for operational relationships:
1. We work with a spirit of unity – We agree to offer one voice on topics related to the alignment effort and to resolve conflicting agendas in committee.
2. Our relationships are based on trust – We understand that predictability, clear communication, and mutual support precede success in every challenging community endeavor.
3. Our focus is on our children’s needs – We seek collaborative, student-focused solutions to barriers which impair academic achievement.
4. We promote life-long learning – We know that raising educational aspirations and attainment will result in greater economic prosperity for all in our community.
The work of Alignment Rockford is organized and conducted by teams. These specialized A-teams are led by community members and District 205 management who bring a diversity of expertise and a passion for public education. The teams are overseen by the Alignment Rockford board, their effort is guided by objectives, and their results are systematically evaluated. The team process includes five phases:
1. Tactical Planning – In response to an unmet student need, the team conducts research and creates a detailed plan to implement a pilot project that includes measures of effectiveness.
2. Community Engagement – Through an invitation to participate, community organizations are asked to join in the implementation of pilot programs.
3. Implementation and Evaluation – Communications between pilot program agencies and the A-team ensures implementation fidelity and accountability. Effectiveness is regularly evaluated.
4. Scaling Up – Based on early success, the pilot is extended beyond the original scope.
5.Institutionalization – Once measured to be effective on a large scale, the program becomes integrated within the District 205 structure.
Rockford Public Schools District 205
The City of Rockford
The County of Winnebago
Approximately 30 other public, private, and non-profit organizations so far have signed the Memorandum of Understanding; Click here to see the current list
Click here to download the Memorandum of Understanding
Governing Board Members
Operating Board Members
(Click here for the Operating Board's Page)