ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Constance Lane Elementary School is brand new to the Rockford area, opening this Fall in the Orchid Neighborhood, and equipped with the latest high-tech equipment.

10-year-old Jamion Slaughter will be among the first class of 5th Graders at the new school, at 620 Gregory Street, and his plans for the Fall are king-sized.

“If I want to be on the basketball team, I have to have good grades,” he said.

The Lebron James fan is taking his talents to the school’s basketball team, the Yellow Jackets.

The new team is only a part of what will make the school stand out, says Principal Aimee Kasper.

“It’s just a much more open, collaborative, sharing environment, to help everyone work together for the betterment of the students,” she said.

Hallways in the new school are splashed in color, with a smartboard in every classroom, and co-working space for each grade level, and plenty of natural light.

Kasper says the layout of the school is designed to keep students engaged during the day.

“More natural lighting does bring out a brighter environment, which does help keep attention spans,” she said. “Bright colors will bring an excitement to the learning, and it will be a bright, fun place. We want students to lean and we have high learning expectations, and we do that through fun activities, to increase engagement.”

The school is named after Constance Lane, the first black teacher hired in the Rockford Public School system in 1954. She went on to teach for over 30 years.

“She grew to be a very successful person, right here in Rockford, and she lived in this neighborhood,” Kasper said. “I think that is something the students can relate to, and we can use her as an example for achieving dreams.”

A ribbon cutting ceremony for the $17.7 million school will be held later in August. The first day of class will be on the day after Labor Day.


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