Jefferson High School

"Am I Next? Student lie-in at the White House to protest gun laws" by Flickr user Lorie Shaull / (CC x 2.0) /

Students from several high schools in northern Illinois are preparing for the national school walk-out on Wednesday.

In Rockford, Jefferson High School senior Roberto Vargas says he is one of several students who are organizing a walk-out at the school to protest gun violence and to call for gun-law reform in the wake of a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that killed 14 students and three school staff members.

Vargas says he hopes all 1,700 students at Jefferson walk out in solidarity Wednesday. He and his friends planned this so students can make their voices heard.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Imagine a presidential debate that is civil and about issues. That’s what happened Friday at Jefferson High School in Rockford, where students Andrea Stout and Haifa Ali debated.

They weren’t pretending to be the current presidential candidates: Instead, they represented the platforms of the Republican and Democratic parties.

The two candidates answered questions about immigration, voting rights, higher education, and the economy.

YouTube user Ford Scholars / "Jefferson Fitness Trail" Screen Shot

Two northern Illinois high schools have students competing for a $10,000 prize in a national STEM competition. The money would go to help implement the winning group’s project proposals that could benefit their schools and the community.

There are ten finalists in the Ford STEM Community Challenge. They include students from Jefferson and East High Schools in Rockford.

Rockford Police Department

Rockford police say white powder found inside a high school last month wasn't actually heroin. 

Assistant Deputy Chief Patrick Hoey says a forensic analysis determined the material retrieved from Jefferson High School had no traces of any controlled substance.

A field test originally indicated it was heroin. Hoey says it isn't uncommon for field test kits to produce a false positive result. 

Mike Moen/WNIJ

Summer vacation. That’s what’s on the minds of most students right about now. But students at Rockford’s Jefferson High School might be thinking a little bit more about their future careers. They’re wrapping up their first full year of learning in a career-academy setting. WNIJ's Mike Moen has been following two Jefferson students, who recently summed up their experience.