GRCS Board Information
David Taber- President
Patrick Love has served as a charter school leader in Chicago, IL for the past 18 years. In 2011, he became principal of Alain Locke Charter School, which serves the under-resourced community in East Garfield Park on Chicago’s West Side and has led the school’s nationally recognized academic success. Patrick has been in the forefront of the national transition to the Common Core State Standards. His work has been highlighted by the National Charter School Resource Center in the “Transition to the Common Core” case study series. Prior to joining Alain Locke, Patrick helped start three charter schools in Chicago. He also participated in the Execution in Entrepreneurial School Leadership Program which is an intensive two-year leadership training program developed by the Accelerate Institute.
Dr. Jon Lippitz
The Galapagos Rockford Charter School Board Dates for the 2023-24 school year are:
- September 12, 2023
- November 28, 2023
- March 5 , 2024
- May 21 , 2024
The Galapagos Rockford Charter School Board Dates for the 2022-23 school year were:
- September 15, 2022
- December 15, 2022
- February 28, 2023
- June 6, 2023
Board meetings are held at the Lower Academy campus at 2605 School St.
Due to uncertainty about COVID-19 precautions meetings may be on Zoom.
All Board Meetings are open to the public and all begin at 5:30pm.
We even allow lawyers to come as long as they sit in the back. But, remember, friends don’t let friends go to law school. But, if you must be a lawyer, realize that you are a servant not a creator. Be humble and realize that you are not the smartest person in the room.
Did you know, that according the Christian Science Monitor (February 15, 1994), that the number of lawyers in the US is 40% more than we really need? Furthermore, each of these excess lawyers contributes to a $1,000,000 drain on our country’s GDP (resulting in 100s of billions of dollars in negative GDP). Maybe, we should produce more teachers, doctors, engineers and artists…
Board Meeting Minutes are posted following approval at the next scheduled board meeting.
Board Open Meetings Act Training
Each GRCS Board Member’s Open Meetings Act Certificate is listed below:
Javier Cruz- Parent Board Member (see below)
Joshua Matthews- (see below)
Andrew Schmitt- (see below)
As of 2022 (and verified again on 3/3/2023) the State Illinois website still states that following:
We are sorry this section of the Illinois Attorney General’s is currently down.
Notice to public body members and Open Meetings Act (OMA) designees who are required by section 1.05 of OMA (5 ILCS 120/1.05) to complete the Public Access Counselor’s (PAC) electronic training curriculum:
The PAC web page is presently being repaired, therefore the OMA electronic training, as well as the Freedom of Information Act electronic training, are inaccessible. There is no set completion date for the website repairs at this time. Please note public body members and designees are not penalized for failure to complete the electronic training within the statutory time periods. Please call 1-877-299-3642 if you have any questions.
Michael G. Lane is the Open Meetings Act Official.
Mandatory Continuing Education Training for Board Members (2020- 2022)
Rebecca Denzer 2022
Giye Filipowicz Certificates of Completion (Parent Board Member)
Monica Smith Certificates Of Completion (Parent Board Member)
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
The FOIA Officer for Galapagos Rockford Charter School is:
Michael G. Lane- CEO
All FOIA requests should be mailed to:
Galapagos Rockford Charter School
Attn: Michael G. Lane
2605 School St.
Rockford, IL 61101
Please review the policy below, if you would like to initiate a FOIA request.
Galapagos Rockford Charter School has always been at the forefront of providing high quality, healthy food to our scholars. We were the first school in Rockford to ban junk food and we were the first to focus on providing healthy, high levels of organic and locally sourced foods in all of our scholars’ meals.
Please see our Wellness policy for more information:
This draft replaces previous policies and shall be formalized by May 1, 2021.
Requests for Proposal
Other Notices and Certifications
Asbestos Operations and Maintenance Certifications:
EPA Designated Person Training
Adult/Pediatric First Aid, CPR, Aid Certifications
The following GRCS staff hold current Adult/Pediatric First Aid, CPR, Aid certificates:
Red Cross Certificate (Henke, Jamie) May 2022
Non-Community Public Water Op Certification
The following GRCS staff hold Non-Community Water Supply Operator Certification:
Student Online Personal Protection Act (SOPPA)
What is SOPPA?
The Student Online Personal Protection Act, or SOPPA, is the data privacy law that regulates student data collection and use by schools, the Illinois State Board of Education, and education technology (EdTech) vendors.
On August 23, 2019, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a new version of SOPPA that gives parents greater control over student data. Among the changes is a new requirement to enact breach notifications that are available to the public.
SOPPA will also require Illinois school districts to provide additional guarantees that student data is protected when collected by EdTech companies and that data is used for beneficial purposes only. The law is effective on July 1, 2021.
What does it mean for you?
If you are a parent or guardian, you will have greater control over your child’s personal information. In many cases, SOPPA gives parents the right to inspect, correct, and delete their child’s data, regardless of whether it is held by a school or a third party EdTech vendor. Illinois schools will also be required to post on their web site the types of student data they share with EdTech vendors.
As a school we will be required to inform parents of the EdTech products in use in our classroom and ask for parental consent when appropriate. We will need to ensure the EdTech vendors chosen by staff are part of our approved vendors and have signed contracts with us.
Ensuring our scholars’ safety is critically important to Galapagos, and establishing protocols compliant with this legislation will enable us to do so consistently.
In preparation for the law going into effect on July 1, 2021, we are developing resources to support new requirements, protocols and regulations. These will include a portal to view data breach notifications and information about Galapagos vendors who receive scholar data.
What Ed-Tech Vendors are contracted with Galapagos?
9/01 GRCS will continue to update this list and will provide more information regarding these vendors and our agreements with them. You may click on the vendor to see our SOPPA agreement.
You may also go to check contracts at the Student Data Privacy Consortium.
- We do not collect, maintain, use, or share Scholar Data other than as needed for an authorized educational or school purpose.
- We do not use or disclose Scholar Data for behavioral targeting of advertisements to scholars.
- We do not build or create a personal profile of a scholar other than in furtherance of a K–12 school purpose, or as authorized by a parent.
- We do not knowingly retain Scholar Data beyond the time period required to support the school’s purpose, unless authorized by the parent.
- We will maintain a comprehensive data security program that is reasonably designed to protect the security, privacy, confidentiality, and integrity of Scholar Data against risk through the use of administrative, technological, and physical safeguards appropriate to the sensitivity of the information.
- We support access to and correction of Scholar Data by the scholar or parent by assisting the school in meeting these requirements.
- We require that our vendors and service providers are bound through a written contract to maintain the same level of privacy protections as we do in our agreements.
Reporting of Waste or Fraud (Whistleblower)
Whistleblower PolicyIn compliance with White House Executive Order 12731, Galapagos Rockford Charter School provides all staff, parents, vendors, and individuals with confidential channels to report suspicious activities. GRCS has an established system for reporting and investigating suspicious activities.
“Fraud” means the intentional deception perpetrated by an individual or individuals, or an organization or organizations, either internal or external to GRCS that could result in a tangible or intangible benefit to themselves, others, or the locality or could cause detriment to others or the locality. Fraud includes a false representation of a matter of fact, whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading statements, or by concealment of that which should have been disclosed, which deceives and is intended to deceive.
“Waste” means the intentional or unintentional, thoughtless or careless expenditure, consumption, mismanagement, use or squandering of resources owned or operated by GRCS to the detriment or potential detriment of GRCS or to the locality. Waste also includes incurring unnecessary costs because of inefficient or ineffective practices, systems, or controls.
“Abuse” means the excessive or improper use of something, or the employment of something in a manner contrary to the natural or legal rules for its use; the intentional destruction, diversion, manipulation, misapplication, maltreatment, or misuse of resources owned or operated by the locality: or extravagant or excessive use so as to abuse one’s position or authority.
“Corruption” includes dishonest proceedings, bribery, debasement, alteration, or perversion of integrity. Corruption threatens equal access, quantity, and quality of education.
Examples of Fraud, Waste, Abuse, and Corruption (not all-inclusive):
• Personal use of GRCS-owned vehicles
• Personal use of GRCS-owned supplies or equipment
• Violations of systems procurement policy
• Excessive or unnecessary purchases
• Falsification of official documents (time-sheets, leave reports, reimbursement claims, etc.)
• Contract fraud
• Serious abuse of time
• Inappropriate expenditures
• Theft or misuse of school funds or property
• Neglect of duty
Statement of Administrative Regulations
Reports of suspicious activity and/or suspected fraud, waste, abuse, or corruption, will be investigated. GRCS does not tolerate fraud, waste, abuse, or corruption. Reported cases of suspected fraud, waste, abuse, and corruption will be investigated to determine if disciplinary, financial recovery, and or criminal action should be taken.
All reports of suspected fraud, waste, abuse, or corruption will be handled under the strictest confidentiality. Only those directly involved in the investigation will be provided information. Informants may remain anonymous but are encouraged to cooperate with investigators and should provide as much detail and evidence of alleged fraudulent act as possible.
Procedures and Responsibilities
1. Anyone suspecting fraud, waste, abuse, or corruption whether it pertains to local, state, or federal programs, shall report his or her concerns to the GRCS CEO or the CEO’s designee of the Galapagos Rockford Charter School, 2605 School St., Rockford, IL 61101.
2. Any employee of the GRCS (part-time staff, full-time staff, and contractors) who receives a report of suspected fraudulent activity should report this information. The employee should contact the CEO or the CEO’s designee. Employees have the responsibility to report suspected fraud, waste, or abuse. All reports may be made in confidence.
3. The CEO or CEO’s designee shall conduct investigations of employees, providers, contractors, or vendors against which reports of suspicious activity are made. All investigations shall be thorough and complete in nature and shall occur in a prompt manner after the report is received.
4. If necessary, the person reporting the fraudulent activity shall be contacted for additional information.
5. Periodic communication through meetings will emphasize the responsibilities and channels for reporting suspected fraud, waste, abuse, or corruption.
6. A hard copy of the Fraud, Waste, Abuse and Corruption Procedures is posted in a visible location at all GRCS facilities and on the the GRCS website at www.galapagoscharter.org .
7. A report shall be made to the Galapagos Rockford Charter School Board if fraud, waste, abuse, or corruption is suspected of or by the CEO.
8. This policy is included in the GRCS Staff Handbook provided to each staff member annually.
Attendance and Truancy Policy
Please review the GRCS attendance policy here: