Sunday, May 19, 2019

Don't Overthink It...

This week I have decided to dedicate my blog to the game that I love and hate the most, golf!! Whenever folks are playing golf, there is generally one constant about the game: regardless of a good shot or bad shot, the mumbling usually says, "Don't overthink it!" Almost everyone knows that sports, especially golf, are mentally grueling and the more you think while playing usually the worse the outcome. So why do we continue to overthink things? Most of our lives can be represented by this small phrase and often in our schools, we have a tendency to overthink everything especially when it comes to listening to our students or allowing for change that students are asking for.  Famous golfer Ben Hogan once said, "Golf is the hardest game in the world. There's no way you can ever get it. Just when you think you do, the game jumps up and puts you in your place." I find this to be a perfect analogy for our profession. The second we as educators think we have everything figured out and become stagnant is the second we have failed ourselves and our students. One thing we have all learned about life is that change is a given and currently in education change is becoming more and more the norm. So why do we resist change so much in our profession. After all, if our duty is to promote learning to our youth, why are so many educators turned off to the idea of learning new strategies and trying new lessons? While degrees and certifications may prove our intelligence, they certainly do not make us omnipotent wizards of the classroom. Our craft is always changing and the only way to ensure success for all is to recognize this, accept it, and grow with it. If we don't overthink the change, then it won't be anything to fear. I leave you today with this quote from Bruce Crampton, "Golf is a compromise between what your ego wants you to do, what experience tells you to do, and what your nerves will let you do." I'm not certain that there could be a better correlation for the difficult task of being an educator. We must continue to want to grow and acknowledge our biases and understand that our beliefs are simply that, our beliefs. No one's beliefs are absolute and prescribing of everyone in our communities. It's time to compromise with our egos and experience and take the risk that our nerves and students are telling us to take!!

Annual Budget Vote

The school district 2019-2020 budget and Board of Education member elections will be held next week on Tuesday, May 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. More information regarding the proposed budget can be found here: SCHOOL BUDGET DETAILS

Voting locations are as follows:

First Ward: Staley Upper Elementary School – 620 E. Bloomfield St.
Second Ward: Staley Upper Elementary School – 620 E. Bloomfield St.
Third Ward: Lobby at City Hall – 198 N. Washington St.
Fourth Ward: Gansevoort School–  758 W. Liberty St.
Fifth Ward: Strough Middle School - 801 Laurel St.
Sixth Ward: St. Paul’s Catholic Church - 1807 Bedford St.
Seventh Ward: Life Church, 1110 Black River Blvd.
Eighth Ward: Stokes School – 9095 Turin Rd.
Ninth Ward: Stokes School – 9095 Turin Rd.
Tenth Ward: Westernville Library – 9172 Main St., Westernville


Meet the Candidates Event

On Monday, May 20, the Rome branch of the NAACP will be hosting a 'Meet the Candidates' event for all individuals who are running for public office this year. This will include candidates running for public offices in the fall election season. The event will begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be held at the Zion Episcopal Church located at 140 W. Liberty St. in Rome. 

Salvation Army Summer Camps

On Thursday, May 23, the Salvation Army of Rome will be hosting a summer camp sign-up event at 5:00 p.m. The event is for elementary aged students and their families interested in learning more about the summer camp opportunities for students. Registration for the week-long camps is $25 and space is limited. For more information, please attend the event or visit www.longpointcamp.org.


Contingency Day Give Back

We currently have one (1) unused contingency day for the 2018-2019 school year. After a careful review of the school calendar and activities for the months of May and June, the only day remaining this school year where there are no major activities occurring that cannot be rescheduled is Monday, June 10. Baring any unforeseen event happening between now and June 10, the Rome City School District will be closed on Monday, June 10 to finish the use of our contingency days. By utilizing this day, none of the student activities, field trips, or building events will be effected. Please mark your calendars for this date.


Sunday, May 12, 2019

It's Mother's Day...

On this Mother's Day, we all need to take a moment to reflect and think about the value our mother's have added to our lives. We've all heard the old sayings about how our parents are our first teachers, and there is truth to that. One of the nice things about being an adult is that you learn to appreciate the moment and enjoy the little things in life as you learn that not everyone has the same life that you may have. You also learn to value those in your life that helped raise you and you understand a parents unconditional love. Our mothers and parents truly have our best interest in mind when making every decision that they do while we grow. Most people can remember several instances where frustration set in with regard to a decision or action by our parents while growing up. It doesn't mean that parents are always right, but they certainly do the best the know how when the moment calls for it. What does all this mean? It means that we need to take more time and recognize that our parents care about us more than we imagine. As a teenager (and college student) I certainly did not have the understanding of family that my parents deserved. As an adult, the picture could not be more clear. Our parents truly are our first teachers and they never stop. Life is too short for grudges and conflict, everyone shows their affection in different ways but a simple phone call, meal, or card goes a long way. So on this Mother's Day, I hope that you all take a moment to truly recognize and thank your mom and to all of the mothers out there today, Happy Mother's Day!!

Annual Budget Vote

The school district 2019-2020 budget and Board of Education member elections will be held next week on Tuesday, May 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. More information regarding the proposed budget can be found here: SCHOOL BUDGET DETAILS

Voting locations are as follows:

First Ward: Staley Upper Elementary School – 620 E. Bloomfield St.
Second Ward: Staley Upper Elementary School – 620 E. Bloomfield St.
Third Ward: Lobby at City Hall – 198 N. Washington St.
Fourth Ward: Gansevoort School–  758 W. Liberty St.
Fifth Ward: Strough Middle School - 801 Laurel St.
Sixth Ward: St. Paul’s Catholic Church - 1807 Bedford St.
Seventh Ward: Life Church, 1110 Black River Blvd.
Eighth Ward: Stokes School – 9095 Turin Rd.
Ninth Ward: Stokes School – 9095 Turin Rd.
Tenth Ward: Westernville Library – 9172 Main St., Westernville


NYSPHAA Coaches Appreciation Day


Wednesday, May 15 is Coaches Appreciation Day is a day student-athletes are encouraged to thank school approved coaches who have had an impact in their life or high school athletic career. It was established in 2018 as a way to recognize all coaches at every level, including modified, who have coached Fall, Winter, and Spring sports within a NYSPHAA member school. NYSPHAA has also established the hashtag #NYSPHAACoachesDay for all social media posts for anyone who wants to share their favorite memories and stories throughout the day. Thank you to all of the wonderful women and men who work with our Rome Free Academy and Strough Black Knights!!

Paint Rome Purple

The 'Paint the Town Purple' campaign is part of a national effort by volunteers with the American Cancer Society to show support for local cancer survivors and to raise awareness for their local Relay For Life event. Our Relay For Life in Rome is scheduled for Saturday & Sunday, June 1st & 2nd at the NYS School for the Deaf. You can find out more at www.RelayForLife.org/RomeNY. On Wednesday, May 15, the American Cancer Society is Painting the Town Purple. We hope you will consider joining in this fun and worthwhile community project. We're hoping to see lots of great participation and a bunch of purple all around Rome on Wednesday, May 15th!


Parent University Kick-Off

The Rome Alliance for Education, in conjunction with the Rome Chamber of Commerce and Jervis Library, will be hosting their first ever Parent University event on Wednesday, May 15 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Strough Middle School. As part of the community schools initiative, Parent University is an opportunity for the Rome Alliance for Education to provide supports to parents in a variety of ways. This kick-off event is an opportunity for you to learn more about what they have to offer, as well as to provide information about what types of learning opportunities our parents need. For more information about the event, please contact the Rome Alliance for Education or see their flier HERE.

Contingency Day Give Back


We currently have one (1) unused contingency day for the 2018-2019 school year. After a careful review of the school calendar and activities for the months of May and June, the only day remaining this school year where there are no major activities occurring that cannot be rescheduled is Monday, June 10. Baring any unforeseen event happening between now and June 10, the Rome City School District will be closed on Monday, June 10 to finish the use of our contingency days. By utilizing this day, none of the student activities, field trips, or building events will be effected. Please mark your calendars for this date.

Rising Stars Summer/Fall Registration


Rising Stars is a fun learning experience that teaches stage and life skills through games and activities, individual coaching, and actual performances on the Capitol Stage. The program focuses on developing the students' own creativity, building self-confidence, improving reading comprehension and speaking ability, accepting responsibility, and teamwork. If you are interested in learning basic through advanced stage techniques, as well as life skills, Rising Stars may be for you!! For more information about the program and how to register, please visit their website at https://www.romecapitol.com/rising-stars/

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Thank You Teachers...

During the course of life, every individual is in some way a teacher. We have different people in life that we look up to call our teachers, from all walks of life. However, every year, the first full week of May marks TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK across our country. This is a time where we take a moment to recognize and thank the work of our fine educators who chose to make teaching their profession, livelihood, and life craft. This is teacher appreciation week for all teachers throughout our country, but specifically for the wonderful women and men who work with our students in Rome, each and every day. Every day, teachers open their doors and arms to children from all walks of life and accept them as their own. While many want to believe that teachers have a switch that they turn on and off at the beginning and ending of each day, we do not. Teaching is a 24/7//7 profession. Not a day goes by where we do not take our work home, thoughts home, concerns home, and achievements home. Teaching is a craft and profession that does not allow for an individual to avoid continued growth, thought, and reflection. There is no doubt that the profession continues to become more challenging, faced with adversity at every turn. Both federal and state laws continue to make educating children more challenging. On an increasing basis, mandates on our teachers make them more of a compliance officer than an educator. Despite these changes, our teachers continue to work to improve the lives of everyone within our school community. Beyond just our classroom teachers, we need to recognize our entire community, as we are all teachers in some way, shape or form. Whether it be clerical, custodial, maintenance, driving, food service, coaching, or assisting; if you work in a school, you are teaching our kids. We all do this together for our children and that is what breeds success. Please take a moment this week to recognize your child's teacher(s) and on behalf of the entire District Administration, I thank our faculty for everything that they continue to do on a daily basis for the betterment of our schools, community, and lives of children!!

Annual Budget Hearing


On Thursday, May 9, 2019, the District will be presenting the annual 2019-2020 budget hearing. A copy of the presentation can be found HERE, which will be described in greater detail during the hearing. The annual budget hearing is an opportunity for the community to hear details about the 2019-2020 proposed budget, along with a question and answer session following the presentation. The Annual Budget Hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will be held at Rome Free Academy.

RTA Canned Food Drive


During the week of May 6 - May 10, the Rome Teacher's Association will be conducting a district-wide canned food drive to help stock the shelves of our two currently active food pantries at Gansevoort and Bellamy. Through the Community Schools initiative, the district and the Rome Alliance for Education are working to develop food pantries in each building. This week, canned foods can be brought to any school for a donation to the food pantries. Simply bring your unexpired canned good to the main office of your child's school, and we will deliver the cans to the pantries. The pantries are open to ALL families in the district and please help the RTA stock the shelves for our community!!

Contingency Day Give Back


We currently have one (1) unused contingency day for the 2018-2019 school year. After a careful review of the school calendar and activities for the months of May and June, the only day remaining this school year where there are no major activities occurring that cannot be rescheduled is Monday, June 10. Baring any unforeseen event happening between now and June 10, the Rome City School District will be closed on Monday, June 10 to finish the use of our contingency days. By utilizing this day, none of the student activities, field trips, or building events will be effected. Please mark your calendars for this date.





Sunday, April 28, 2019

Rounding the Bend...

It's that time of year! The weather is improving, the sun begins to shine more, and it seems like the day ends before it begins. As we enter the month of May, schools all over begin their annual two-month stretch of non-stop activity. Elementary students will finish the standardized assessment season with the math assessments this week and the science assessments (grades 4 and 8) in another few weeks. There are art shows, concerts, spring little league activities in multiple sports, moving up ceremonies, open houses, and just plain fun to be had. Secondary students have multiple rounds of assessments (AP exams, SAT's, ACT's, Regents Exams, Final Exams, etc.), athletic events, art shows, concerts, award ceremonies, open houses, proms, balls, graduations; the list is endless at the secondary level. Some students will be lucky if they have less than 2 things to do each day of the week. All of these means that many students are going to be fatigued and perhaps could neglect one aspect of life. For many, stress increases significantly as they push to the finish line. It's not all that different than a thoroughbred rounding the bend for the home stretch. In any race or competition, there tends to be a little extra effort exerted toward the end of the game. School is no different. For some students, there will be changes coming next year either with a transition to middle school, or high school, or to college. Most human beings have challenges with vocalizing their concerns or stress when life gets busy and challenging. For our children, parents are generally the first people that may see a change in behavior or demeanor when something isn't quite right. During this time of year, if you notice something a little off, take a moment to talk with your kid about what may be happening. If necessary, don't hesitate to contact one of our school counselors to ask for advice. Not everyone will have a challenge as the school year comes to a close either. For some, the end of the year marks an occasion of triumph and celebration that does not exhibit any form of stress. Whatever your manner of getting there, this is the time of year that we round the final bend and head into the home stretch of the school year. Enjoy these last 8 weeks while they last, everything we do in life only lasts but that one moment in time. 

Parent University Kick-Off

The Rome Alliance for Education, in conjunction with the Rome Chamber of Commerce and Jervis Library, will be hosting their first ever Parent University event on Wednesday, May 15 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Strough Middle School. As part of the community schools initiative, Parent University is an opportunity for the Rome Alliance for Education to provide supports to parents in a variety of ways. This kick-off event is an opportunity for you to learn more about what they have to offer, as well as to provide information about what types of learning opportunities our parents need. For more information about the event, please contact the Rome Alliance for Education or see their flier HERE.

ESSA Family Engagement Survey

As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the district is conducting a family engagement survey. The results of the survey are utilized to develop our District Comprehensive Improvement Plan, as required by the State Education Department. To participate in the survey, please click on the link the below and enter the password: Rome2019. Thank you to all who have already completed the survey and we appreciate your participation.

Board of Education - Open Seats

There are 3 days left! This year, there are three (3) open seats on the Board of Education. All three of these seats will be available on July 1, 2019. The term limit for each open seat is three years, expiring on June 30, 2022. Interested candidates must submit a petition to the District on or before May 1, 2019. Completed petitions must include at least 100 qualified signatures and should be returned to the business office of the district at 409 Bell Road. Petitions for the available seats are also available in the Business Office of the Rome City School District. Any questions regarding the Board of Education open seats can be directed to the district's business office, or Board of Education President, Mr. Paul Fitzpatrick.


Paint Class Fundraiser - Date Change

On Sunday, May 19, the RFA junior class will be hosting a painting class fundraiser in conjunction with KT's Art and Design. From 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. you can enjoy the art of painting and improve your skills. The cost of the class is $45 and for further information, please check out their flier by clicking HERE.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A Month of Awareness...

April is one of the most busy months of the year with awareness and recognition events. This month alone holds student athlete recognition day, administrative professionals day, kindergarten day, school librarian awareness month, Earth Day, and finally, autism awareness month. Each and every one of these has a level of importance for our school community and community at large. From the student athletes that represent our schools and communities to the administrative professionals who are the backbone of our daily operations, our way of life in schools would not be the same without all of these. Kindergarten day recognizes the amazing work that our families and staff do together to prepare some of our youngest leaners as they begin their journey to young adulthood. School librarian month brings with it a new appreciation this year given the challenges that we have faced over the past 2 months with our budget. Two years ago, our school librarians were charged with reinventing the way in which we deliver library services to our elementary schools. Today, our program is a model within the region with many other schools inquiring about what our librarians are doing so that they can copy it. Along with this, our elementary students have seen increased access to technology, research practices, and complete understanding of what a library has to offer an individual. Libraries are more than books and borrowing. Our school librarians work every day to help our children understand this. Earth Day (which happens to be tomorrow, 4/22) is an opportunity for all of us to reflect on our practices and strive to improve our treatment of the planet we live on. Whether it be working to reduce our use of plastic, minimize paper waste, or increase our use of reusable materials, we can all do something more to improve our environment. In schools, thanks to the partnership with many community organizations, students are learning more about gardening, planting trees, recycling, and many more activities that can provide a healthier Earth. Hopefully, those teachings are being transferred to the home and as a community we continue to do more. Finally, autism awareness month also occurs during the month of April. While many want to believe that autism is a disability that challenging to diagnose and creates situations that make learning challenging for children, I believe that autism is the simple gift of uniqueness. Autism is teaching schools all over the country that the days of expecting children to conform to the standards and desires of school staff is not the best practice. Autism is not a disability, it is a gift that provides an individual with unique abilities that help others learn to be flexible and adaptable. The discovery of autism has required schools to learn how to teach and program to the student, not to the masses. Our entire education system was developed 100 years ago on the factory model and conformity. Special Education services have started to move the needle toward student centered models for all, and no other single disability has done this more than autism. Many individuals are diagnosed as autistic each and every year, and we have a long way to go before there is a complete understanding of this vast diagnosis and the many variables that come with it. However, the awareness that has surrounded autism has been monumental for the revolution of educational systems. Given all of these wonderful reason to recognize people from throughout our school community, please take a moment to say thank you to anyone you know from these groups. Each of these awareness/recognition groups bring with it a major purpose for our school community and we are fortunate to have these individuals in our lives.

Proposed Budget

As mentioned in the last blog update, the 2019-2020 budget picture has become much more clear in recent weeks with the adoption of the state budget. Of note or the restorations of multiple teacher positions (elementary classrooms, AIS reading positions, AIS math positions, and elementary librarians), the 3-year-old Pre-K program, modified sports, and secondary clubs and activities. At this point, the only additional revenue that we could potentially see is in the form of bullet aid and would come as a one time payment from the Governor or the legislature. Beyond bullet aid, local share revenue is the only other unknown source of revenue that we will receive, and we control. The links below provide more detail on the 2019-2020 proposed budget.


ESSA Family Engagement Survey

As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the district is conducting a family engagement survey. The results of the survey are utilized to develop our District Comprehensive Improvement Plan, as required by the State Education Department. To participate in the survey, please click on the link the below and enter the password: Rome2019. Thank you to all who have already completed the survey and we appreciate your participation.

Board of Education - Open Seats

This year, there are three (3) open seats on the Board of Education. All three of these seats will be available on July 1, 2019. The term limit for each open seat is three years, expiring on June 30, 2022. Interested candidates must submit a petition to the District on or before May 1, 2019. Completed petitions must include at least 100 qualified signatures and should be returned to the business office of the district at 409 Bell Road. Petitions for the available seats are also available in the Business Office of the Rome City School District. Any questions regarding the Board of Education open seats can be directed to the district's business office, or Board of Education President, Mr. Paul Fitzpatrick.


Paint Class Fundraiser

On Sunday, April 28, the RFA junior class will be hosting a painting class fundraiser in conjunction with KT's Art and Design. From 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. you can enjoy the art of painting and improve your skills. The cost of the class is $45 and for further information, please check out their flier by clicking HERE.


Sunday, April 7, 2019

Budget Progress...

As you know, the New York State budget was successfully passed last weekend. This provides school districts throughout the state with a much better picture of what can be expected relative to state aid for schools. As a result of the efforts of our community and advocacy for fair and equitable funding, Rome did see a good increase in our foundation aid. Last weekend, our aid was increased by roughly $1.5 million for a complete increase of $2.2 million over the current year. This equates to about a 4.5% increase year over year, which is the largest increase we have seen in a long time. Foundation aid increases are important because it means that our starting figure for next year is higher than anticipated. Moving forward, our only opportunities for increased revenue will be through the local share (2019-2020 tax cap is 4.06%), one time aid payments known as bullet aid, or possible contractual concessions from different bargaining units. I am hopeful that we will be able to obtain $500,000 in bullet aid from Albany, however, beyond that I do not believe that there will be any further significant increases in revenue. With the additional revenue brought in from the approved state budget, we have decided to reinstate ten (10) elementary reading positions, seven (7) elementary AIS math positions, seven (7) elementary classroom positions, five (5) elementary library media specialist positions, 75% of the modified sports budget, and 75% of the secondary clubs and after school activities budget. What 75% of those items will look like next year, remains to be seen. It is possible that they can operate very closely to 75% of the current funding level, but that will depend on possible concessions by those operating those programs. During the week of spring break, we will be releasing another video blog on the budget for the community prior to the Board of Education adoption of the proposed budget on April 23. Following the April 23 meeting, where a full proposed budget presentation will be made, the official budget hearing will be held on Thursday, May 9. Finally, in the next round of presentations, there will be much more information related to a contingency budget. A contingency budget would take effect if the proposed budget were to be voted down twice by the community. While some think that voting on the budget means you agree or disagree with the proposed changes to the district, you are actually only voting on a number. Unfortunately, without the revenue needed to maintain the current operations, changes must be made. It is an unfortunate reality of operating a business. A contingency budget, at this point, would require an additional $2.9 million in reductions. This is due to the additional money that was provided by the state in foundation aid, which could be a negative if the budget is not successful. As mentioned, we will provide greater detail on all of this, in the coming weeks.

Best Community for Music Education

The Rome City School District has once again been named a Best Community for Music Education by the National Association of Music Merchants. Nationwide, 623 school districts are among the Best Communities in the nation for music education.  The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education.  Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education. Congratulations and thank you to everyone in the Rome community that allows this award to be achievable!!


Go Home Early Drill

Each year, schools in New York State are required to conduct what is called a "go home early" drill. In our region, schools attempt to have this event occur on the same day to minimize disruptions for our local BOCES. This year, the go home early drill will be occurring on Thursday, April 11. For this drill, students will be dismissed from school 15 minutes earlier than regularly scheduled. Please make sure that necessary arrangements are made for students to arrive home from school earlier on that day.

Spring Break Reminder

Just a reminder that at the conclusion of this week, all students will be on Spring break. The break this year is slightly different this year. This coming week is a 4-day week with Friday, April 12 being the first day off from school. Classes will resume on Tuesday, April 23 for all students. Please visit the school calendar if necessary.

Board of Education - Open Seats

This year, there are three (3) open seats on the Board of Education. All three of these seats will be available on July 1, 2019. The term limit for each open seat is three years, expiring on June 30, 2022. Interested candidates must submit a petition to the District on or before May 1, 2019. Completed petitions must include at least 100 qualified signatures and should be returned to the business office of the district at 409 Bell Road. Petitions for the available seats are also available in the Business Office of the Rome City School District. Any questions regarding the Board of Education open seats can be directed to the district's business office, or Board of Education President, Mr. Paul Fitzpatrick.


Sunday, March 31, 2019

Budget Update...

At some point today, it is expected that the NYS legislature and Governor's office will reach an agreement on a state budget. There are several items within the budget that are worthy of careful attention by public schools throughout our state. Most importantly would the increase of foundation aid, above the Governor's initial draft executive budget. Currently, the 'rumors' coming out of Albany project this number to be somewhere between $50 million and $300 million in additional funding. Obviously, the higher the number, the better for our local budget outlook. Beyond the addition of foundation aid, it will be important to learn about how they are going to distribute the additional aid. Each year, there tends to be different factors put into play so that the additional funding is funneled toward targeted districts. In the end, based on historical trends and general conversation that we are hearing, I my best guess estimate for additional aid coming into Rome as a result of the budget bill will be in the ballpark of $650,000. I am hopeful that I am wrong on the low end, but that is the number that history would suggest based on the other numbers we are hearing. Along with the general conversation about the aid, another bill within the budget to watch is the Governor's plan for fiscal equity amongst schools within a district. Fortunately, this bill is losing some steam as we come down to the wire, but if enacted could cause a significant domino effect in Rome. The premise of the bill is that within a school district, no individual school should receive more of a percentage of funding of the entire budget than another. Most districts, including Rome, already run their building allocation budgets based on student population. This is the best way to make an equitable building budget. What isn't taken into account, however, is the cost of the employees within a given building. If this fiscal equity plan is enacted, it is possible that we will need to move staff around to ensure that our buildings have an equitable payroll by student population as well. This would have a tremendous impact on our schools, students, and staff. Fortunately, this bill is losing a lot of steam fast and it is becoming more likely that it won't be enacted this year. Regardless, it is another step towards Albany essentially wanting to centralize control of public education and mandate how our schools are operated. Finally, beyond the budget bill, there will be opportunities in the coming weeks for Rome to continue our efforts with our legislators in Albany to secure additional funding from the various funds that are set aside for the legislature to assign as needed. The work that Assemblywoman Buttenschon, Sentor Griffo, and Mayor Izzo are doing in Albany to gain increased funding for our community has been nothing short of tremendous. The fate of additional funding lies in the hands of committees and representatives that do not have a connection to Rome and do not represent us. For this reason, our district officials have met with and will continue to work with various committees and representatives from around the state. As more information breaks about the state budget and what it means for Rome, we will provide updates to the community. 

Congratulations RFA All-Stars

During the winter sports season, RFA had several students who excelled in their competition arena. For the 2018-2019 winter season. The following athletes were named as All Mohawk Valley All-Stars for their respective sports: Casey Hunziker, Oliver Dragojevic, Sadie Falcone, Marykate Weyant, Isaiah Nebush, Danny Mecca, Jake Hall, Griffin Eychner, Cam Williams, Damien Call, Ashton Thompson, and Marc Darcangelo. Beyond the Mohawk Valley, several student athletes are also receiving All CNY recognitions. Congratulations to all of our student athletes and winter athletic teams for an outstanding season!! 


RFA Musical

This week, the RFA music department presents their 2019 musical: The Drowsy Chaperone. The show will run on April 4, 5, and 6 at 7:30 p.m. each night. Tickets are general admission: $8 in advance or $9 at the door. Advance sale tickets will be available at Jervis Public Library. The Drowsy Chaperone is the winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Original Score. The show is a loving send-up of the Jazz Age musical, featuring one show-stopping song and dance number after another! Mix in two lovers on the eve of their wedding, a bumbling best man, a desperate theatre producer, a not-so-bright hostess, two gangsters posing as pastry chefs, a misguided Don Juan and an intoxicated chaperone, and you have the ingredients for an evening of madcap delight. Come on out this week to support our RFA student actresses and actors!!

Chicken Riggie Dinner

The Rome Free Academy will be hosting the annual Chicken Riggie dinner fundraiser on the Friday night of the RFA musical. The date this year is Friday, April 5th from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Dinner will be held in the RFA cafeteria and the cost is $10 per meal. Each meal comes with riggies, bread, salad, drink, and dessert. Take out meals are also available for anyone that would prefer to support the fundraiser, but may not be able to stay at the school. Following your meal, you can take the short walk to the auditorium and enjoy the RFA musical that evening. What better way to make a complete evening of RFA entertainment! Come on out and support our junior class as well as our talented artists on the stage!

Go Home Early Drill

Each year, schools in New York State are required to conduct what is called a "go home early" drill. In our region, schools attempt to have this event occur on the same day to minimize disruptions for our local BOCES. This year, the go home early drill will be occurring on Thursday, April 11. For this drill, students will be dismissed from school 15 minutes earlier than regularly scheduled. Please make sure that necessary arrangements are made for students to arrive home from school earlier on that day.