Jefferson High School

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.

Rockford's Jefferson High School continues in its first year of career academies. Students here are getting the first true test of the district’s approach to career-themed learning. WNIJ’s Mike Moen has been hearing from students about their experience. In his latest visit, he found a statistic that surprised just about everyone at the school.

Mike Moen/WNIJ

Students at Rockford’s Jefferson High School are on holiday break. When classes resume in January, they’ll keep navigating through the first full year of the school’s academy program. The initiative blends career-themed courses with traditional learning. Since the launch, WNIJ’s Mike Moen has been following two Jefferson students. He recently caught up with them, along with some new voices as well.