Circles of Learning & RPS 205 staff “Are all heroes. Keep up the good work!”
Rockford Public Schools Early Childhood Department assists in providing a high-quality preschool experience for families living within RPS 205 boundaries at Circles of Learning, a licensed day care center.
Circles of Learning has seven RPS 205 early childhood classrooms that continue to provide in-person instruction for students during this adaptive pause. I’d like to give a big shoutout to RPS 205 teachers Laura Lindquist, Kelly Hill, Darcy Cripe, Mackenzie Saicheck, Carol Bailey, Neda Skakavac and Sherrie Norman for continuing to provide that much-needed face-to-face instruction.
Another shoutout goes to Michael Szpisjak, RPS 205 Technology Services Coordinator, who was quick to pull a team together from the IT Department when Circles of Learning needed an improved Wi-Fi signal to meet the needs of the regular after-school students coming to the center during the adaptive pause.
Abby Hoskins, Executive Director of Circles of Learning, said, “I am thankful for the hard work and dedication connected to the Rockford Public Schools collaboration for our students at Circles of Learning. The RPS 205 Early Childhood teachers are a key component in our team and bring a skill set that makes for a quality program. Our students have access to hands-on learning, curriculum, and individualized education plans, among many other things. Having the RPS 205 teachers here adds consistency for students during a stressful, inconsistent time. In addition to the teaching staff, I am grateful that the RPS 205 IT team was able to help our program provide technology resources for remote learning. Their quick response allowed us to provide full day care for school-age children and gave parents an option for a safe learning environment to send the students to while at work.”
Parents are essential workers and are very appreciative of the continued face-to-face instruction. I caught up with three of them:
- Angelica Meraz works at Heartland Hospice Services of Rockford and says that her four children have excelled at Circles of Learning because they are in a caring environment. She says that she would not be able to work if not for Circles of Learning.
- Adam Wykes is appreciative of the face-to-face instruction that his preschool-aged son Gabriel is provided. “Ms. Sherrie and her ability to teach hands-on in that setting is indispensable. All of Gabe’s teachers are wonderful people, and I appreciate all they do. At this age, you can’t do it over a computer. It is fantastic. They are all heroes. Keep up the good work!”
- Karina Gutierrez is another essential worker, and her son attends Circles of Learning. She adds, “It has been a lot of help for us.” She talked about how much improvement she has seen while her son has been working with Mrs. Carol and the other teachers. She notices how much he has improved with understanding words, writing his name, counting, and even showing his brothers at home how to measure things. She is also appreciative of Mrs. Carol bringing in different foods to the classroom for the students to sample and share together. Karina says that her son loves his teachers!
Parents and Circles of Learning administrators are so grateful to our teachers. Thank you to the RPS 205 staff for making this partnership work, especially during these unpredictable times. The collaboration between Circles of Learning and RPS 205 is helping fulfill our mission to be the first choice for all families.
Julie Chandler has worked as an Early Childhood Administrator at Rockford Public Schools since 2012. She has a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and a master's degree in educational leadership. Julie has served families since 1998. She previously worked as an administrator writing grants in alternative, and career and technical education programs. Julie has taught students at a variety of levels. She has fond memories teaching preschool, GED, alternative and adult education, incarcerated and truant students. She has also taught family literacy. Julie loves spending time with her beautifully blended family which includes four adult children, her 4-year-old child, and two grandchildren.
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