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NIU faculty, Rockford education leaders to meet to discuss opportunities for further collaboration

November 5, 2010

Visualize 2015 - A Five-Year Roadmap for Rockford Public SchoolsNIU faculty members will meet Wednesday, Nov. 10, with leaders of Rockford Public School District 205 to learn about NIU’s current activities in Rockford and about priorities for the Rockford schools.

The meeting will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center.

Large, urban school districts face unique challenges and present interesting teaching and discovery opportunities for NIU students and faculty. NIU has been engaged as an active partner with the public schools in nearby Rockford for decades. NIU and District 205 work together on dozens of projects ranging from improving high school students literacy in all subjects, to sponsoring after-school engineering clubs for girls, to preparing new principals.

During the meeting, NIU faculty and Rockford public school leaders will discuss how to build on this long-standing collaboration.

Top administrators from the school district will share tips on how to streamline the process of locating officials with authority to approve grant proposals and research, identifying colleagues in the Rockford schools and designing projects that meet priorities. Greater efficiency in collaboration will benefit both NIU faculty and the Rockford schools.

Rena Cotsones

Rena Cotsones

Rena Cotsones, assistant vice president for Regional Engagement/Rockford, will provide an overview of NIU’s involvement in the Rockford area and the 2010-11 engagement agenda. Mark Wallace, director of Curriculum and Instruction for District 205, will present the district’s five-year strategic plan, “Visualize 2015,” and priorities, which include reading across the curriculum, how to teach reading, high school math, and student engagement strategies.

Following the presentations, meeting participants will discuss how to continue bringing together the expertise and resources of NIU and the school district to address the needs of Rockford students, teachers and the community. 

The meeting is open to NIU personnel who are interested in working with the Rockford schools or can share their experiences on Rockford-based projects. Walk-ins are welcome, but registering with Diana Zaleski ([email protected]) will ensure that enough chairs are available.

Three NIU organizations are acting as co-sponsors: NIU-Collaboration for Early Adolescence, the Center for Interdisciplinary Study of Language and Literacy and the Center for P-20 Engagement. They hope to improve and expedite collaborative activities with Rockford.

For more information, contact Nina Mounts, director, NIU-CEA, at (815) 753-6968); Laurie Elish-Piper, co-director, CISILL, at (815) 753-8487; or Marilyn Bellert, associate director, P-20 Center, at (815) 753-8051).