Sunday, July 19, 2020

RCSD Reopening Schools Update...



I hope that this message finds everyone well and enjoying their summer. The past several months have been anything but normal for all of us and as we head into August, the stress and anxiety of a potential return to school will no doubt leave students, parents, and staff a little on edge. If you are not aware, this past week the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and the New York State Education Department (NYSED) both released their guidance documents for return to school plans. Both plans provide a lot of useful information as we attempt to build a plan that focuses on health/safety while educating our students, but also maintains high regard for our families' individual desires regarding in-person education while recognizing that for a lot of families, public education provides parents the opportunity to work while kids are in school. While in some regard the guidance documents can leave you with more questions than when you started, the information will help us all to have a better picture of what to expect come September. One thing that is very clear is that education in a school building WILL NOT look and/or feel the same anytime in the near future. While this is disappointing for all of us who make a living out of working with children and helping them grow, it is also an OPPORTUNITY for all of us to rebuild a system that has not seen major reform for nearly 100 years. This is our chance to form the future of public education and if the adults in our community (staff, parents, and leaders) maintain a positive outlook on this entire process, our children will succeed. We may have to make lemonade out of peaches, but it can be done if we stick together and keep our frustrations out of the sight/ears of our children.

Below, please find some key highlights from the documents along with some quick pointers that are specifically related to the Rome City School District. Also, there are links to useful resources for students, families and staff. Please note that school district plans are not completed and submitted until July 31, 2020. As soon as our plan is approved by the DOH and NYSED, we will release the full scope and details to the community.

WHERE TO FIND INFORMATION/ASK QUESTIONS: As we develop our plan, one of the key elements for our students, staff, and families will be the need for people to obtain information. In the coming week, we are developing a new webpage that will be solely dedicated to information regarding a return to school in September. In conjunction with this, we have created an email address dedicated specifically for questions related to the reopening of schools. Please submit questions that you may have to rcsdreopening@romecsd.org.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR REOPENING OUR SCHOOLS: The Rome City School District has identified five (5) principles to guide our planning for the reopening of our schools in 2020-2021.
  1. Ensure the safe and healthy learning and working environments for our students and staff.
  2. Maximize family choice in student learning format by offering two (2) options for instruction, while reducing the burden of child care needs for our community.
  3. Ensure that all students receive instruction that meets state and federal standards, while providing the necessary supports to achieve maximum growth.
  4. Provide training, time, support, and flexibility necessary for staff to prepare for reopening and continued success throughout 2020-2021.
  5. Provide proactive, clear communication (with translations) to all families and staff, through multiple communication mediums.
MAIN REQUIREMENTS OF NOTE IN THE GUIDANCE DOCUMENTS:
  • All students and staff must have their temperature taken prior to entering a school facility. This should be done at home by the individual staff member and by the parent/guardian of a student prior to arriving at school.
  • All students and staff must wash their hands upon entering a school facility and will be required to wash their hands throughout the day.
  • All staff must submit a daily health screening assessment related to contact with COVID-19, students must periodically (weekly) submit the same.
  • Schools are strongly encouraged to 'cohort' students meaning that once students enter a classroom with a group, movement throughout the building will be restrictive. Lunch may be eaten in the classroom. Students must be socially distanced in the hallways and in classrooms. This most likely means between 10-12 students per class. 
  • Share of supplies will be strictly discouraged. If supplies are shared, then they must be cleaned between use. 
  • Staff will be provided with cloth masks and a face shield, students will be provided a cloth mask. We will have a stock of paper masks available for both students and staff. 
  • Masks must be worn by staff at all times while working with students. Students are required to wear masks while moving throughout the building or when social distancing is not possible.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be available in all classrooms. 
  • Transportation will be provided, however, students must wear a mask at all times and be social distanced on a bus. Hand sanitizer is not permitted on school buses due to the flammability.
  • Meals will be served to all students regardless of if they are in-person or virtual learning students. However, as of now, meals will no longer continue to be free of charge for students. Families must submit the traditional Free and Reduced Lunch Application to re-qualify for this benefit. A copy of this application is available from our Food Services Department and on our website at: https://www.romecsd.org/district/food_services
  • For a more comprehensive list, please review the guidance documents linked below.

LEARNING EXPERIENCES: As of now, we have had just over 3,300 families respond to our inquiry regarding their desires and needs for the upcoming school year. Thank you to our community for your tremendous collaboration as this number is 6 times the normal participation rate that we may have. At this point in time, our intent for learning options is to provide virtual learning to any student/family that desires it, and in-person learning to all students preK-6 whose families are comfortable with them coming to school. Knowing that childcare is a huge barrier for a lot of families, we intend to offer full in-person learning opportunities for our elementary students, 5 days a week. As we develop those schedules and review our options for space throughout the district, we will then address the secondary students. One of the main concerns related to our secondary students is the lack of socialization that online learning provides. For this reason, if we have the space to allow for secondary students to attend in-person, we will most likely use this time for clubs, activities, socialization, and tutoring for those students who desire it. Regardless of whether your student learns in-person or virtually, all grade levels will have a synchronous schedule of activities to follow. Again, these are all preliminary thoughts as we first need to evaluate how many students our buildings can physically support.

ATHLETICS AND OTHER EXTRA CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: The NYSPHAA announced this week that the fall sports season will begin no earlier than September 21, 2020. At this time, we are taking the same approach to all of our extra curricular activities for the sake of consistency and reducing additional activity in our buildings. It is likely that all Rome City School District buildings will be closed for cleaning at a certain time in the late afternoon with no allowance of outside groups or school groups in our buildings during the evening hours.

VISITORS AND BUILDING USE: Visitors will be drastically reduced throughout the coming school year. Any parent/guardian that needs to pick a child up from school will be required to wait in their vehicle while the student is escorted out to the car, unless of a severe emergency, in which case the goal would be to connect the parent/guardian with the child as soon as possible. All parent meetings will be held virtually and we will continue to encourage our staff to do as much of the normal operating procedure virtually as possible. This will help reduce the possibility of exposure and minimize cleaning requirements for our staff. Any individual that is permitted into a building will be required to wear a mask and to have a temperature screening and complete the health assessment survey. After hours facility use is going to be strictly prohibited at this time. We will re-evaluate the situation later in the year depending on the recommendations of the DOH and NYSED.

HELPFUL LINKS/INFORMATION:
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/business/stay-home-when-sick.htm - CDC's Stay Home When You Are Sick Information


Sunday, June 21, 2020

You Made It...

Congratulations to the Rome Free Academy Class of 2020! You made it! Despite every challenge, hurdle, road block, etc. that was thrown your way, you have persevered and made it. As an adult, we tend to look back on life and compare our childhoods to the life of a current child. Often times, you can hear adults talking about how kids these days grow up so much faster than we did, and things are so different. The Class of 2020 is a prime example of this analogy. I know for a fact my senior class in high school could not have handled all of the changes to our schooling, combined with the uncertainties and fear associated with a pandemic with the same grace that the RFA Class of 2020 has handled these past 3 months. With every step, you have been calm, patient, objective, and focused on the goal. While students had not been required to learn virtually before COVID-19 hit, they were versed with technology, the resources needed for learning, and more importantly, the skill of communicating online. Most adults want to believe that teenagers (also known as screenagers in this generation) only use social media and technology for the purpose of cyber-bullying. The events of the pandemic have shown that our teenagers are much more savvy with communication skills and technology than we thought. We have also learned that teenagers value the face to face interactions that are so important to the advancement of society. On top of all of this, the Class of 2020 is graduating and heading off into the world amidst social unrest. If there were any group of seniors that could handle the changing world around us, it will be these students. Our Class of 2020 is going to change the world for the better, and we need to watch and learn from them. These students are flexible, intelligent, motivated, and compassionate. After what we have seen from this senior class the last few months, there is no doubt that these young adults are ready to take on the world. Thank you seniors, for everything that you have given to Rome Free Academy, the legacy of our school, our community, our school district, and to us (the adults). We look forward to watching your continued growth and successes. Go forward into the world with conviction, care for others, and the endless drive to achieve greatness that you have finished your high school career with. Congratulations to the Rome Free Academy Class of 2020, you made it!

Graduation Information


Information about the 2020 graduation ceremony was sent home to the senior class and their families this week. The ceremonies will begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude some time around 2:00 p.m. There will be six modified ceremonies, each lasting between 25-30 minutes, with 30 minutes to sanitize the facility in between. Students will be provided all appropriate PPE to be used during the ceremony. Within each modified ceremony, students will have a processional, hear the. student speeches, walk the stage for their diploma, hear the alma mater, and close the ceremony. Also like a normal year, the ceremonies will be live streamed on our website for those to view who can nott attend. Unlike other years, where the entire class can be together, we have planned two events that in the end signify the unity of the Class of 2020. First, at the conclusion of each ceremony, graduates will be asked to spray paint their name on the field and at the end of the day we will get photographs of the entire class' signatures on the field. Second, graduates will be provided a lantern to be sent into the night's sky at 9:00 p.m. Saturday night as a symbol of doing something together for the last time. The day should be the best possible ceremony we can provide to our students, given the circumstances. Of importance for everyone that is not a student, we ask that you please abide by all regulations and requirements as we do not want to risk having the ceremony shut down for non-compliance. This has happened to schools, as close as New Hartford, who had their ceremony shut down twice. We understand that this is not an ideal situation and is prohibitive of some to attend, but the ceremony is about the students and their accomplishments. We owe it to them to not jeopardize the day.  


Thank You Rome


Thank you to the Rome community for the support and successful passage of the 2020-2021 school budget. This year has been far from normal in every aspect and absentee ballot process of voting was a challenge for everyone. There was a lot to learn on behalf of all parties (voters included), and we are proud of the voter participation and support. On behalf of the students and staff, thank you!

Pandemic Related SEL Support


During this week's State Education Department Re-Opening Meeting, SED shared an article with participants about pandemic related trauma leading to stress. The article is a quick read and has some good general information that can help students and adults cope with all of the change that we have been thrown into. To access the article, please go here: https://www.educationdive.com/news/pandemic-induced-trauma-stress-leading-to-uptick-in-sel-need/576710/.  

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Finish Line...

It is hard to believe that this week marks the official end of the 2019-2020 school year. Six months ago, who would have thought that this is the way the year would play out and come to a close. There are so many things that we could all say to our students and each other about the way that our worlds have changed in the past few months. In true fashion, the human spirit rose to the occasion and found new ways to provide each other with memories and events that bring joy and happiness to our faces. Despite all of the differences and changes we've had to endure, in the face of adversity, people and our students rose to the occasion. Was it perfect? No? There was a lot to learn, and there still is a lot of room to grow. However, through it all, we have been shown that there is a true need to rethink the world of education because a "one size fits all" model doesn't work. We were forced into a mode where we went from one model, to another. What we have learned is that kids who struggled in traditional school, struggled with virtual schooling; and vice versa. As life begins to return to some sort of normalcy, and our school year comes to an official end, we say thank you to our entire school community for making the best of an otherwise terrible situation. From our teachers, to the parents, to the clerical staff, custodians, maintenance, families, administrators, community organizations, and most importantly, the STUDENTS; we made the best of 2019-2020. As we enter the summer, without knowing what the Fall will look like, just remember that together we can overcome any challenge that we face. Thank you to all of the staff and parents that have done everything they can to make the end of the school year as "normal" as possible with whatever mini-celebrations for our kids that we have been allowed to have. While we still have graduation for the RFA Class of 2020 ahead of us, the rest of the student body is preparing for a break from this way of schooling and looking forward to the future. To the Class of 2021 and beyond, thank you for another great school year and for everything you have taught us about being a better school system. Enjoy your summer and we will see you again in September! To the Class of 2020, stay tuned as next week is dedicated to you...

Vote / Election Information


The counting of ballots and election results will begin at 5:20 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020, following the twenty (20) minute period for the challenging of voter eligibility. At this point, with roughly 5,000 ballots expected, we are estimating approximately 16-19 working hours will be needed by the poll workers to complete the tabulation process. Thanks to several community members inquiring about this, we have developed an FAQ page for our website that can help you learn about the ballot tabulation process. To locate the document, please visit the site here: https://romecsd.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_695381/Image/Election%20Q&A/Rome%20CSD%20Election%202020%20Q%20and%20A.pdf.  


Absentee Ballot Issued List


In accordance with Education Law, the list of individuals who received an absentee ballot for the vote and elections must be publicized so that any member of the community can review the list and challenge the voter eligibility of an individual on the list. Upon reviewing the list, if you believe there is an error or would like to challenge the eligibility of a voter, community members may do so by submitting a letter to the district business office, or by calling the business office (315.338.6541) between 5:00 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2020. A copy the absentee ballot issued list can be found on our website here: https://romecsd.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_695381/File/Absentee/Absentee%20Master%20Csv%20for%20SCHOOL%20BUDGET%20VOTE.pdf

Jr. Frontiers Meeting Opportunity


On Monday, June 15, 2020, the Mohawk Valley Jr. Frontiers, in conjunction with other local organizations, will be host a free online town hall event between 10:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The title of the town hall is 'Staying Safe this Summer' and is aimed at improving the relationships between students of color and law enforcement. The intended audience of this town hall is students in grades 6-12. Information related on how to join the Zoom call is included on the attached flier. Please consider encouraging your student to attend the meeting on Monday.



Kindergarten / Pre-K Registration

The Rome City School District will be resuming the kindergarten/pre-K registration process  on June 15, 2020. There will be an online method and an in-person (by appointment only) option for families to register. We are going to promote a registration window of June 15 to June 30. Information regarding pre-K registration can be found here: https://www.ecp.romecsd.org/news_page/early_childhood_registration. Kindergarten registration information, including more information about what is required for registration in general can be found on our website here: https://www.romecsd.org/parents/student_registration. Please be aware that the Board of Education recently adopted a new policy regarding the documentation necessary for registration. 

Delta Lake Camp Crate

Since 1924, Delta Lake has been providing camp programs in Rome for individuals and families, kids, adults and people with developmental disabilities. As a result of the current pandemic, they have had to cancel their normal summer programs. However, they are still offering a fun option that is available for any kid in grades 2-12. CAMP CRATE is a box full of fun activities that students can do from home. For more information, please visit their website at: www.deltacampbrainregostration.com


Sunday, June 7, 2020

As the World Turns...

Often used as a cliche referencing the concept that we must keep on moving forward and adjusting to whatever comes our way, the phrase "as the world turns" can be used to describe living in New York during this COVID-19 situation and attempting to adjust to the Governor's executive orders and determine what they mean. Regardless of your line of work, we have all been living in a state of flexibility for several months now. Just as when this all started in March, things were evolving and changing rapidly; we are starting to experience this again as we begin to re-open our communities and plan for the future. This weekend (only weeks after announcing no in-person summer school), the Governor has announced that schools can hold in-person summer school for special education students only, but provided no detail beyond saying that all rules and safety precautions must be followed. For Rome, our administrative team will meet this week to discuss what this may look like and determine by the end of this week if we plan to continue with the virtual summer school or move to an in-person plan. We are hopeful that we will receive some actual guidance on what the requirements will be, before we have to make a decision. Another similar and important instance of this is graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020. This week, the Governor announced the provisions for schools to follow related to graduation ceremonies and I am pleased to report that our plan has been presented by the Mayor to the Regional Re-Opening Task Force and preliminary feedback from Albany has been positive. As soon as we have an approved plan, the full details will be provided to the senior class. However, as with the special education summer school, I still believe that there is a large chance that the Governor is going to throw a curve ball and allow for in-person ceremonies at the last minute. I would like to thank the RFA Class of 2020 for the wonderfully written letter that they sent to Governor Cuomo urging him to change course on this topic. Their letter was a great representation of our community as they shared their concerns and justifications for their position without any form of negativity. We should all be honored by the way in which our future has represented our community to the Governor. With that, we. know he has consistently proven that changing course during the COVID-19 experience at the last minute is possible. Thus, the world of flexibility that we all are living in and need to continue to be mindful of. I am hopeful that with continued conversation, the Governor will once again change course and as the world turns, turn this graduation ceremony into the one that our kids deserve.  


2020-2021 Budget Vote


The annual school budget vote and elections for the Board of Education occurs this week on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. All ballots must be received before 5:00 p.m. or they can not be counted, due to the Governor's executive order. Also,  please make sure that ballot envelopes are signed or again, the ballot can not be considered as a qualified vote. Information on the budget and candidates for the Board of Education can be found in the budget newsletter here: https://romecsd.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_695381/Image/Business%20and%20Finance/RCSD%202020-21%20Budget%20newsletter.pdf. The district website has several other budget related items on it, including a video of the full budget presentation. The webpage can be found here: https://romecsd.org/district/business___finance/budget. Finally, when the counting of ballots begins on Tuesday, the process will livestream on the district YouTube channel, which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8BoYZyGLUorkU1Ec_YP20w 

UPDATE (6/8/20): Yesterday, Governor Cuomo issued a statement amending the requirements for school district voting and Board of Education elections. While the Executive Order with the details has not been released yet, his press conference stated that in-person drop off ballots can be accepted until 5:00 p.m. on June 9 and districts must continue to receive mail-in ballots until June 16. If there is more detail once the Executive Order is issued, we will provide another update.


Absentee Ballot Issued List



In accordance with Education Law, the list of individuals who received an absentee ballot for the vote and elections must be publicized so that any member of the community can review the list and challenge the voter eligibility of an individual on the list. Upon reviewing the list, if you believe there is an error or would like to challenge the eligibility of a voter, community members may do so by submitting a letter to the district business office, or by calling the business office (315.338.6541) between 5:00 p.m. and 5:20 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. A copy the absentee ballot issued list can be found on our website here: https://romecsd.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_695381/File/Absentee/Absentee%20Master%20Csv%20for%20SCHOOL%20BUDGET%20VOTE.pdf

Kindergarten / Pre-K Registration


The Rome City School District will be resuming the kindergarten/pre-K registration process beginning on June 15, 2020. There will be an online method and an in-person (by appointment only) option for families to register. We are going to promote a registration window of June 15 to June 30. Please be aware that the Board of Education recently adopted a new policy regarding the documentation necessary for registration. More information about what is required for registration can be found on our website here: https://www.romecsd.org/parents/student_registration 


RFA Spirit Day


The RFA senior class is promoting a spirit day to be held on Friday, June 26, 2020 (their normal graduation rehearsal day). Their plan is to have students and community members order shirts before June 12, 2020 and then submit a selfie of themselves in the shirt for the virtual spirit day. For anyone interested in participating, the link to order the shirt is: https://kandkgraphicsco.com/collections/rfa-seniors/products/rfa-knights-strong-t-shirt

Sunday, May 31, 2020

The Process Begins...

Late last week, Governor Cuomo provided some information that school districts across New York State can finally have some semblance of an idea of what to expect. During the month of June, we will be provided with guidance on what a re-opening plan must entail. In July, districts must submit plans to the State outlining and detailing our re-opening process. Finally, in August, the State will work with districts to make sure these plans are approved. What remains to be seen in all of this is the level of financial support that school districts can anticipate through state aid once we reach the second look-back stage of the Governor's budget. Internally, we have developed two committees to review the essential needs of operating a school with social distancing requirements and the safety protocols that we have all been living under. One of our committees is discussing and recommending changes needed to facilities and physical spaces, while the other is looking at instruction, curriculum, and scheduling requirements. In combination with these items, the district will be conducting a community ThoughtExchange during the month of June to learn more about what concerns parents and students may have regarding both the process and the physical action of re-opening our schools. During the entire closure process, there has been much dialogue between school officials, school staff, community members, and students that bring about good ideas on how to accomplish something that none of us have been prepared for. Collaboration will continue to be important as schools work to re-open in the fall. The most important take away through all of this is something that we have already known, but education has tended to fight against. It's the fact that all students learn differently and that all students need individualized instruction. There is no one system (in-person, virtual, large group, small group, etc.) that is a blanket process for everyone. As schools work to re-imagine themselves when we do re-open, hopefully this concept will be more prevalent throughout the educational community.


Ballot Update


As reported on Friday, there has been a delay in the delivery of our ballots this week due to a shortage of necessary envelopes to get the ballots out. The district business office worked most of the day on Saturday with the company handling the mailing to determine when we can expect delivery. We are told by the company that our ballots will be in the mail no later than Monday, June 1. If we receive any further information on the ballots that is different than this, we will provide another update. 

2020-2021 Budget Hearing



The 2020-2021 proposed budget hearing will take place virtually on Monday, June 1, 2020, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The budget hearing is a legally required presentation of the adopted budget by the Board of Education, which means the development process is complete. For that reason, there will not be a Question and Answer portion to this presentation, however, if someone has a question regarding the proposed budget, we ask that you please email your question to asktheboe@romecsd.org. All of the budget information is on our budget webpage at: https://romecsd.org/district/business___finance/budget/2020-21_budget including a video of the entire budget presentation and the slides that are used in the presentation. To view the budget hearing, you can watch via Zoom at: https://E2CCB-GST.zoom.us/j/95621840516 or you can watch on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8BoYZyGLUorkU1Ec_YP20w


Kindergarten / Pre-K Registration


The Rome City School District will be resuming the kindergarten/pre-K registration process beginning on June 15, 2020. There will be an online method and an in-person (by appointment only) option for families to register. We are going to promote a registration window of June 15 to June 30. Please be aware that the Board of Education recently adopted a new policy regarding the documentation necessary for registration. More information about what is required for registration can be found on our website here: https://www.romecsd.org/parents/student_registration 


RFA Spirit Day


The RFA senior class is promoting a spirit day to be held on Friday, June 26, 2020 (their normal graduation rehearsal day). Their plan is to have students and community members order shirts before June 12, 2020 and then submit a selfie of themselves in the shirt for the virtual spirit day. For anyone interested in participating, the link to order the shirt is: https://kandkgraphicsco.com/collections/rfa-seniors/products/rfa-knights-strong-t-shirt

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A Day to Honor...

On Memorial Day, we stop each year to remember and honor the military men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we can live the life that we are all so accustomed to. Memorial Day is traditionally filled with parades, bands, military memorabilia and honorees, picnics, barbecues, ice cream, fire works, and more. Across our country it is a day of remembrance and honor for people that most of us never knew, and never knew what the true fight was. Yet part of what makes the American people so great is their ability to band together in times of need and do the small things that make the world a better place; small things like say thank you to complete strangers. On this particular Memorial Day, with the confines of COVID-19 restricting much of the traditions associated with Memorial Day, our community will be absent of the traditional fanfare that most partake in. That doesn't mean that the purpose and the meaning behind Memorial Day can be suppressed by COVID-19 though. There might not be the public display that we are used to, but there can be a virtual display of appreciation for our military and all of those that have lost their lives in the form of posting a compliment or thought. So on this Memorial Day, as we work to honor those that have protected our freedoms and way of life, take a moment to say "Thank You" in whatever method you can.   


Statewide ThoughtExchange


Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York school facilities will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. As we look to the future, we must think about what a return to school buildings might look like and how best to support students, families and staff. We know that we are stronger together. We need all voices to be heard on this important matter.  Please participate in a statewide virtual conversation about reopening schools. You will be able to read and rate other participants' responses. Based on those ratings, the most important thoughts will rise to the top. All contributions are anonymous.  This is a statewide exchange facilitated by the 37 New York BOCES (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services). The exchange results will be shared with our elected officials so that they will have a more global understanding of the thoughts and ideas our community members have about returning to in-person schooling. I encourage everyone to use the link below to share your thoughts and help evaluate the critical issues. If English is not your first language, there is a translation feature. 
Our BOCES is Madison - Oneida BOCES. Thank you in advance for your participation!

Assemblywoman Buttenschon Virtual Tours


In honor of Memorial Day, Assemblywoman Buttenschon is offering a virtual monument tour of the Mohawk Valley. The Memorial Day tour invites constituents to explore several veteran monuments throughout the 119th Assembly District to commemorate Memorial Day, while adhering to social distancing guidelines. There are several veteran monuments that are highlighted throughout the video. To enjoy the virtual tour, please visit the following link: https://youtu.be/DBkCtt4zs8E

Facebook Update


After several attempts to work through issues with Facebook, we have moved forward with the creation of a new Rome City School District Facebook page. The positive that comes from this situation is that our new handle should help delineate us from the Rome City School District in Georgia, with our new handle. If you are a Facebook user, please follow the school district through our new handle at https://www.facebook.com/romecsdny/

2020-2021 Proposed Budget


Over the past two weeks, the proposed budget was presented to the community. All of the budget information is on our budget webpage at: https://romecsd.org/district/business___finance/budget/2020-21_budget including a video of the entire budget presentation and the slides that are used in the presentation. 

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Graduation 2020...

One of the largest and ongoing concerns that schools throughout the country have faced during the COVID-19 crisis is what to do for our graduating seniors? This past week, with the RFA advisors to the senior class and student government, we were able to agree on the best possible course of action for the Class of 2020 graduation ceremonies. Seniors and their families may already know, however, we will hold graduation on Saturday, June 27, 2020 as previously scheduled (with a rain date of Sunday, June 28). By holding the date, this allows families and students to prepare, schedule, and plan. While hosting an event in July or August was explored, families and students already have June 27 on their calendars and we cannot assure that ALL students will have the ability to reschedule or be available at a later date. Thus, planning for June 27 is moving forward. On that day, one of three things will happen:

  1. Full traditional graduation as we have always had.
  2. Modified graduation for students only. Students will participate in the ceremony with social distancing on the field, no spectators. The even will be live streamed as it always is.
  3. A drive through graduation inside the stadium for students and their families. Students will drive into the stadium, exit their vehicles briefly to receive their diploma and take a photo with family, and then exit.
Given that the restrictions for gatherings are still in place and most likely will not be modified significantly before this event, the drive through seems most likely, but we are planning for everything. There is one additional surprise feature to our graduation ceremony that we will be announcing to the students on June 3. Also on June 3, the district is asking that all seniors and their families be readily available for a delivery, beginning at 8:00 a.m. In an effort to make sure that everyone has what they need for the graduation ceremony, the district is scheduling deliveries to all seniors on that day so that the Class of 2020 has everything needed for graduation. If for some reason you are not available during the day on June 3, 2020, please contact the RFA administration so alternate arrangements can be made. In the end, we are pleased to be able to provide the Class of 2020 with the best possible graduation ceremony, under the circumstances.


2020-2021 Proposed Budget


This past week, the 2020-2021 proposed budget was presented to the community. The Board of Education is set to adopt the proposed budget this coming Wednesday, May 20, at their regular Board of Education meeting. The budget will once again be presented at this time for those wishing to view the meeting. All of the budget information is on our budget webpage at: https://romecsd.org/district/business___finance/budget/2020-21_budget including a video of the entire budget presentation and the slides that are used in the presentation. 

Instrument Return Day


On Monday, June 8, the district will be sponsoring a district-wide instrument return drive for any student that currently has a district-owned musical instrument in their possession. The event will. take place from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and instruments should be returned to your child's school. If you are unable to return an instrument during these timeframes, please contact your child's music teacher to make alternative arrangements.

Kindergarten/Pre-K Registration


At the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we suspended the registration for 2020-2021 kindergarten and. pre-k. students. In the meantime we have been developing an online option for families to initiate the process. Currently, we are in the final stages of development and as soon as the company that manages our student management system is able to work in their offices (not from home), we will be able to offer this service. We intend to re-start the registration process in mid-June. In a given year, 75-80% of our registrations happen in August, so we have plenty of time remaining.

Facebook Page Update


As you may know, our. District Facebook page was locked by Facebook a couple of weeks ago due to a technical glitch on their end where they cannot verify our location. We continue to work diligently and hastily to get the page unlocked with Facebook and hope to have the problem resolved this week. If we cannot get movement from them this week, we plan to move forward with the creation of a new Facebook page. Thank you for your understanding and patience.