"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

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Strategic Plan

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.

Video Conference

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.

Financial Support

We are grateful for the generous contributions from those who support our mission.  Click here to see a list of financial donors.

It's easy to contribute to the important work of Alignment Rockford using our secure PayPal account. It's safe and simple--just click the Donate button below. Your financial support is always put to good use in the effort to improve our community's public education. And remember that your donation may be tax-deductible. Thank you for your generosity! 


Or, click here for a commitment form you can mail to us.

Alignment Rockford is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Illinois corporation, classified as a public charity under IRS code.

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.

Leadership Values
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.

Team Work
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

Ex Officio Directors:
Chairman Scott Christiansen - Winnebago County
Mr. Einar Forsman - Rockford Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Bill Gorski - SwedishAmerican Health System
Dr. Robert Head - Rockford University
Mr. Jeff Hultman - Illinois Bank & Trust
Dr. Ehren Jarrett - Rockford Public Schools District 205
Mr. Gary Kaatz - Rockford Health System
Mike Mastroianni - Rock Valley College
Mayor Lawrence Morrissey - City of Rockford
Mr. Michael Nicholas - Rockford Area Economic Development Council
Mr. David Schertz - OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center
Mr. Ken Scrivano - Rockford Public Schools District 205 Board of Education
Dr. Alex Stagnaro-Green - University of Illinois College of Medicine

Business Directors:
Ms. Andrea Ward - BMO Harris Bank
Mr. Tim White - UTC Aerospace Systems

Community Directors:
Mr. John Anderson - Anderson Enterprises
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Board - Pilgrim Baptist Church
Rev. K. Edward Copeland - New Zion Baptist Church
Mr. Tim Dimke - Rockford Park District
Ms. Amanda Hamaker - Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
Hon. Janet Holmgren - Winnebago County 17th Judicial Circuit Court
Mr. Paul Logli - United Way of Rock River Valley
Dr. La Vonne Neal - Northern Illinois University
Ms. Monica Primm - H.R. Solution Services
Ms. Luz Ramirez - La Voz Latina
Ms. Sarah Wolf - Discovery Center Museum

Operating Board Members
(Click here for the Operating Board's Page)

Melvin Allen, Rock Valley College
Chris Anderson, Larson & Darby Group
Laurie Anderson, Rockford Park District
Derek Bergsten, Rockford Fire Dept.
Darcy Bucholz, Northern Ill. Workforce Alliance
Nik Butenhoff, East High School
Gina Caronna, Rock Valley College
David Carson, Rockford Public Schools
Rena Cotsones, Northern Illinois University
Doug Curry, Stenstrom Companies
Mike Dalke, Rockford Police Dept.
Earl Dotson, Jr., Rockford Public Schools
Bridget French, Alignment Rockford
Bob Guirl, UTC Aerospace Systems
Nancy Halverson, Crusader Community Health
Deryk Hayes, Rockford Housing Authority
Wray Howard
Jeff Hultman, Illinois Bank & Trust
John Johnson, Winnebago County 17th Judicial Circuit Court
Takeisha Lambert, Rock Valley College
Tom McKevitt, Apollo Enterprises
Kim Nelson, Rockford Public Schools
Tim Rollins, WilliamsMcCarthy
Linda Sandquist, United Way of Rock River Valley
Rudy Valdez, UTC Aerospace Systems
Matt Vosberg, Rockford Public Schools
Tim Watkins, Project First Rate
Laura Wilhelmi, Associated Bank
Earl Wilsey, Schmeling Construction Co.
Dan Woestman, Rockford Public Schools
Linda Zuba, Zuba and Associates

To be determined based on needs outlined in the District 205 strategic plan
See A-Team page for listing.

Bridget French, Executive Director
Katy Haun, Community Engagement Coordinator
Monica Williams, Alignment Team Coordinator

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