Sunday, January 19, 2020

Achieving Dreams...

Once upon a time, when we all began our careers or started a new position/school, we had dreams. Dreams of what we wanted to accomplish, dreams of what we wanted to see our students accomplish, dreams of what we wanted to see our school communities achieve. Throughout my travels though, I have seen too many adults tell students they should lower their expectations and downsize their dreams, rather than work to make those dreams a reality. Unfortunately, I would say that the ratio of adults encouraging students and adults discouraging students is close to 1:1 in my career. I ask, would you be where you are today without someone throughout your childhood encouraging you to pursue your dreams? As with many things in our schools, we need to focus on the positives that are happening and capitalize on them. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream for our country, and while his dream was related to equal rights and oppression, his intended message of having a dream and working tirelessly to achieve it can be applied universally in society. Regardless of the circumstance, the message is the same; don't give up and perseverance does pay off. It may not be the ultimate measure of success, but to be able to say, "I had a dream" instead of, "I have a dream" can bring about a tremendous sense of accomplishment. More important than our own dreams though, let's not forget the dreams of Dr. King as we continue to strive to make his dream come true. Our society continuous to be mired in oppression and bias (regardless of implicit or explicit) and we can all do a better job of understanding the point of view of others'. Beyond just the simple thought of trying to understand others, seeking to understand something prior to casting judgement and splattering inaccuracies all over social media is the easiest means to achieving Dr. King's dream. His dream consisted of everyone living in harmony, regardless of differences. This can be accomplished if the focus is on supporting people, rather than tearing them down. Achieving our own dreams is admirable, working to help others achieve their dreams transcends all and is the paramount definition of a teacher.

January Regents Exams


Rome Free Academy will be having Regents Exams beginning Tuesday, January 21 through Friday, January 24. RFA students who are not scheduled to take exams they do not have to attend school those days as regular classes will not be in session at RFA. RFA BOCES students will have morning and afternoon transportation to attend their respective programs throughout the week as their classes are still in session. For more information, including the exam schedule and transportation schedule, please contact Rome Free Academy or visit the website HERE .

Show Choir Festival


On Friday, January 24, 2020, the RFA Rhapsody will be hosting their annual Show Choir Festival at Rome Free Academy. The festival will begin at 7:30 p.m. with pre-sale tickets being available through Rhapsody members or at Jervis Library. Pre-sale tickets are sold for $8 and tickets at the door will be $9. The festival this year includes performances by our very own Rhapsody, Waterville, Holland Patent, Westmoreland, Whitesboro, New Hartford, Frankfort-Schulyer and Proctor high school show choirs. Each year it's a performance sure to leave you amazed! 


Host Families Needed


Would you enjoy having a high school student live with you for 3-4 months? If so, hosting a foreign exchange student may be for you. If you are interested in more information, you can visit www.7150YouthExchange.org to learn more about the Rotary program or contact former host, Sam Pendergast at 315-617-3567 or slpender55@gmail.com. Sam is our local Rotary Club Youth Exchange Officer who can provide great information to you, as well as put you in contact with other host families who can share their experiences with you.




Sunday, January 12, 2020

An Opposite Future...

Do you remember those times when kids want to help themselves believe something that they know isn't right? I always love the laughter of a child that exclaims, "It's opposite day!" The ensuing laughter and joy of having everything be different than it is supposed to be is just fun. I mention this because I often wish I could have an opposite day, or go back in time to a point where the human race did not feel so entitled to everything. It seems to be that you hear people talking about entitlement of others on an increasing basis in society. There was a point in time where people were proud to have a job, to have a responsibility, and they would do anything for those that provided their family a way in life. In today's society though, having a good job or being a part of a good community isn't enough. People frequently defy their responsibilities and ask for extra if they have to do one iota's worth of work outside the normal scope. All too frequently, people feel that they have privileges that others shouldn't have, simply because they do what they are supposed to do, or because they have been doing their job longer than others. I often wonder, if you simply do what you are supposed to do as a member of a team or society, should you receive special accolades for it? Is it really entitlement or is it simply adults not knowing what they don't know and just following in the footsteps of what may have been before? Regardless, adults having a sense of entitlement is leading to an erosion of people having good will for others. I wish that we could have an opposite day, or week, or month. A time when we recognize that we are fortunate to have the things that we have provided to us, simply for doing the tasks and roles that we are supposed to do. Honor and pride in a job well done seem to be a thing of the past. Let's bring honor and pride in our work back.  Let's turn opposite day into an opposite future where privilege may be earned, but is not taken advantage of.

January Regents Exams


Rome Free Academy will be having Regents Exams beginning Tuesday, January 21 through Friday, January 24. RFA students who are not scheduled to take exams they do not have to attend school those days as regular classes will not be in session at RFA. RFA BOCES students will have morning and afternoon transportation to attend their respective programs throughout the week as their classes are still in session. For more information, including the exam schedule and transportation schedule, please contact Rome Free Academy.

Rome Youth Wrestling


Do you have a student interested in learning more about the sport of wrestling? The Rome Youth Wrestling Program is looking for students in grades kindergarten through eight who are interested in learning the art of wrestling. Every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. from January 14 - March 5, students can get some training from our RFA coaching team. The session will take place in the Strough gym (wrestling room) and for more information, please see their flier HERE .


Here Comes the Bus


As mentioned in the fall, one of the best new features we have available this year is a software GPS mapping system called, Here Comes the Bus. Thanks to the technology available with GPS navigation, you can now follow your child's bus from the convenience of your home or smart phone. For more information about the program, including how to download the app and register for the program, please use the link below.




CNY STEM Scholarships


SRC, Inc., Loretto, TTM Technologies, King + King Architects, and INFICON, in partnership with the CNY STEM Hub, are pleased to announce the 2020 CNY STEM Scholarship Program. This scholarship program, now in its 8th year, is open to graduating high school seniors who will be majoring in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer or Software Engineering, Nursing (including PA or NP programs), or Architecture, starting in the Fall, 2020. Students in the following counties may apply: Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and Tompkins. This year’s scholarship program will provide financial support and at least one paid summer internship at the participating companies, pending business conditions. Last year’s scholarship winners were from Cicero-North Syracuse, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Hannibal, ITC @ Syracuse Central, New Hartford, Nottingham and Westhill High Schools. There is no financial eligibility requirement. Students attending a college or university in New York State majoring in the select STEM areas will be given preference during the selection process. Finalists will be chosen based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, honors/awards, and an essay related to STEM. Recipients will be determined by an in-person interview. The online application and additional information can be found on the CNY STEM Hub website at www.cnystem.com. The application deadline is MARCH 1, 2020. Selections will be made in April and all applicants will be notified by May 1, 2020. If you have any additional questions related to the program, send inquiries to info@cnystem.com

Sunday, January 5, 2020

A New Decade...

It's hard to believe that we are here in the year 2020 already. Many of us can probably remember all of the hype around New Year's Eve 1999 like it was yesterday. As an adult, it's a fun mind game to reflect and think about just how much can actually happen in a year/decade and how much the world around us changes. Just the other day, as my children were talking about how exciting the year 2020 was to them, I let them know that in 10 more years none of them would be in school anymore. As a parent, you almost want to choke watching your little ones grow up. As a kid, they laugh because to them 10 years is such a long time and they almost feel as if that is a lifetime away. As with any new year, there comes with it a sense of renewed spirit and hope. Most people tend to hit the reset button and look to the future for encouragement and excitement. Many individuals have resolutions to improve in the new year and as the old jokes go, most of those resolutions fall by the wayside before February. As humans, we are creatures of habit and habit is hard to adjust, let alone change. Most resolutions center around lifestyle choices (eating better, going to the gym more, getting more sleep, etc). Personally, I am attempting to monitor my health better as I get older and although I don't want to admit that I am getting older, it is an inevitable fact. Regardless of your resolution, or whether or not you have one, we all remain resolved to improve the way in which we treat each other and understand each other. Next week, the Rome City School District will be kicking off their Equity Task Force comprised of district members, students, and community leaders with the goal of making our school district the premier district for acceptance of ALL students regardless of socio-economic standing, race, religion, beliefs, or any other trait that makes all of us unique individuals. Gone are the days where schools should be dictating to children what they should be and it is time for our community to be the first in the state to be totally responsive to the needs of our students and families. Children ARE the consumer of education and ironically, always have been. We are resolved in this new decade to ensuring that we continue to evolve and provide our children with the education THEY need and want, not what schools of the previous century dictated to society. 

Face Off Against Colon Cancer


The Rome Free Academy hockey team will be hosting their annual Face Off Against Colon Cancer benefit game (played in memory of Coach Peter Mastracco) on Friday, January 10th at Kennedy Arena, where RFA will face off against Watertown IHC at 7:00 p.m.. The RFA Ice Hockey Booster Club set up a fund in honor of the late Mastracco, who passed away from his battle with colon cancer in 2015. Please support your RFA Black Knights as they continue their messaging of “Get Checked From Behind”. Cancer is a disease that has greatly impacted our district and community throughout the years. Supporting our students in their quest to support us all is the least we can do. RFA will Face Off against Watertown IHC on Friday, January 10th at 7:00 p.m. If you can not attend the game and would like to make a contribution, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/faceofffund



Need Health Insurance?


Our Connected Community Schools program is proud to announce an exciting opportunity for those that may be in need of health insurance. On the first Wednesday of each month, from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., an individual product advisor through MVP health care will be available to assist families in signing up for whichever insurance plan coverage they may need, including Medicare. The visitation sessions will be open to all community members during the times mentioned above and will take place at Gansevoort Elementary School.


Rising Stars


Rising Stars is a fun learning experience that teaches stage and life skills through games, 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. Students will learn stage movement, character development, how to audition, and a whole lot more! Skills developed will better prepare students to compete for roles in school plays and other local stage productions, as well as interacting with confidence during pageants, interviews for college or jobs, and in everyday dealings with teachers and peers. For more information, please visit their website at https://www.romecapitol.com/rising-stars-youth-acting/ or contact Janet Foote at risingstarsjanet@aol.com




CNY STEM Scholarships


SRC, Inc., Loretto, TTM Technologies, King + King Architects, and INFICON, in partnership with the CNY STEM Hub, are pleased to announce the 2020 CNY STEM Scholarship Program. This scholarship program, now in its 8th year, is open to graduating high school seniors who will be majoring in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer or Software Engineering, Nursing (including PA or NP programs), or Architecture, starting in the Fall, 2020. Students in the following counties may apply: Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and Tompkins. This year’s scholarship program will provide financial support and at least one paid summer internship at the participating companies, pending business conditions. Last year’s scholarship winners were from Cicero-North Syracuse, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Hannibal, ITC @ Syracuse Central, New Hartford, Nottingham and Westhill High Schools. There is no financial eligibility requirement. Students attending a college or university in New York State majoring in the select STEM areas will be given preference during the selection process. Finalists will be chosen based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, honors/awards, and an essay related to STEM. Recipients will be determined by an in-person interview. The online application and additional information can be found on the CNY STEM Hub website at www.cnystem.com. The application deadline is MARCH 1, 2020. Selections will be made in April and all applicants will be notified by May 1, 2020. If you have any additional questions related to the program, send inquiries to info@cnystem.com


Sunday, December 15, 2019

To You and Yours...

As we enter our final week of school before the holiday recess, I would like to take a moment to wish you and your family a safe, healthy, and happy holiday season. In a community full of diversity and difference, one constant amongst the differences is the need for family and support of each other. Regardless of which holidays you celebrate and how you choose to enjoy the season, this is the season to be thinking of others and helping those that may need a little pick me up. We are fortunate to be in an environment where a community is committed to improving and focused on our children. As we enter this holiday season, on behalf of the Rome City School District team, we wish you and yours a very warm and enjoyable holiday. Thank you for everything that you do to support learning, our schools, and our community. Happy Holidays!!

Referendum Reminder


As you may be aware, there will be a referendum vote to be held on Wednesday, December 18 for the purposes of completing significant maintenance concerns at RFA (roof, flashing, general repairs), the artificial surface and track at the stadium, an Energy Performance Contract for elementary schools to improve infrastructure items that will produce an energy savings to the district, and for the establishment of a Capital Reserve so that the district can begin to save money for future projects (to be used to offset any potential tax increase). There will be an information/question session tomorrow, Monday, December 16. The session will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be held in the Rome Free Academy Small Auditorium. To view the print flier, please visit: https://app.peachjar.com/flyers/879022/districts/32521 To view a video of the information sessions (if you can not attend), please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAE-ciZWthg 

Rising Stars


Rising Stars is a fun learning experience that teaches stage and life skills through games, 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. Students will learn stage movement, character development, how to audition, and a whole lot more! Skills developed will better prepare students to compete for roles in school plays and other local stage productions, as well as interacting with confidence during pageants, interviews for college or jobs, and in everyday dealings with teachers and peers. For more information, please visit their website at https://www.romecapitol.com/rising-stars-youth-acting/ or contact Janet Foote at risingstarsjanet@aol.com


Mentoring Program


The Rome City School District will once again be participating in the New York Mentors program, in conjunction with the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce. Having become a State-wide example and a leader of the program, our Rome schools are once again operating the program in all seven elementary schools for 2019-2020. Students who will be mentored will be either fourth, fifth, or sixth grade children and anyone 18 years or older willing to devote one hour a week is eligible, (including working persons, college students, and retired senior citizens) to be a mentor. Sessions will occur once a week beginning in January, ending in May before Memorial Day. For more information or to sign up to be a mentor, click HERE, or contact Rome Area Chamber of Commerce President William Guglielmo at 315-337-1700 or New York State Mentoring Advisory Council Member Frank DiBerardino at 315-337-4721. 


Winter Skate


The Skating Club of Utica Whitestown is offering the Learn to Skate USA program this winter. Beginners of all ages will learn skating fundamentals through US Figure Skating Association & USA Hockey’s Learn to Skate program. Programs include a weekly group lesson with a professional coach, along with open skate time to practice. The session will include participation in our annual Ice show highlighting skills learned. For more information about the sessions, please visit their website at http://www.skatingclubuticawhitestown.com/.


CNY STEM Scholarships


SRC, Inc., Loretto, TTM Technologies, King + King Architects, and INFICON, in partnership with the CNY STEM Hub, are pleased to announce the 2020 CNY STEM Scholarship Program. This scholarship program, now in its 8th year, is open to graduating high school seniors who will be majoring in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer or Software Engineering, Nursing (including PA or NP programs), or Architecture, starting in the Fall, 2020. Students in the following counties may apply: Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and Tompkins. This year’s scholarship program will provide financial support and at least one paid summer internship at the participating companies, pending business conditions. Last year’s scholarship winners were from Cicero-North Syracuse, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Hannibal, ITC @ Syracuse Central, New Hartford, Nottingham and Westhill High Schools. There is no financial eligibility requirement. Students attending a college or university in New York State majoring in the select STEM areas will be given preference during the selection process. Finalists will be chosen based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, honors/awards, and an essay related to STEM. Recipients will be determined by an in-person interview. The online application and additional information can be found on the CNY STEM Hub website at www.cnystem.com. The application deadline is MARCH 1, 2020. Selections will be made in April and all applicants will be notified by May 1, 2020. If you have any additional questions related to the program, send inquiries to info@cnystem.com

Sunday, December 8, 2019

Community That Cares...


During this holiday season, it’s easy for people to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of constant events, running from place to place, in preparation of the holidays. Without blinking, you can feel like you are living in a tornado and the whole season can be over before you know it. This kind of atmosphere can make it difficult to slow down enough to see all of the amazing things that are happening around us. During this season, and every holiday season, we are all fortunate enough to be in a community that cares deeply about helping each other. There are more programs and events that occur in Rome each year to help those that may be in need, than any other place I have witnessed in my career. From our civic groups, to places of worship, to our teacher’s union, and many more, Rome has no shortage of caring organizations and people that do what they can to help others. Yes the decorations, lights, music, and events can help bring some happiness and spirit to the season, but, there is no sense of joy like seeing another person smile in gratitude as they are helped in a time of need. Our society tends to lean toward a “what’s in it for me” mentality, as people become more and more busy. While the concept of helping others and supporting those in need does happen year round, it’s more prevalent during the holiday season. No matter where you turn in life, whether it’s people watching at the mall, the people you’re sitting near at a sporting event, or the patrons in line with you at the store; no one is living the perfect life to the point where a little kind gesture wouldn’t brighten there day. It can be as simple as striking up conversation when someone looks depressed. Whatever it is, it can be done. So this holiday season, as we continue to grow our community and help each other, take a moment to care about those who are around you, if even you may not know their story or them. The world will always be a better place with a little more kindness!!

Breakfast with Santa


On Sunday, December 15th, the RFA Travel Club will be hosting a Breakfast with Santa fundraiser from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the RFA cafeteria. Tickets for the event are $6.00 and can be purchased at the door. Children ages 5 and under eat free and all proceeds benefit the Travel Club and their upcoming trip this Spring. There will also be a poinsettia sale, basket raffle, arts and crafts, and more! We look forward to seeing you for a great pancake breakfast on December 15th!

Mentoring Program


The Rome City School District will once again be participating in the New York Mentors program, in conjunction with the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce. Having become a State-wide example and a leader of the program, our Rome schools are once again operating the program in all seven elementary schools for 2019-2020. Students who will be mentored will be either fourth, fifth, or sixth grade children and anyone 18 years or older willing to devote one hour a week is eligible, (including working persons, college students, and retired senior citizens) to be a mentor. Sessions will occur once a week beginning in January, ending in May before Memorial Day. For more information or to sign up to be a mentor, click HERE, or contact Rome Area Chamber of Commerce President William Guglielmo at 315-337-1700 or New York State Mentoring Advisory Council Member Frank DiBerardino at 315-337-4721. 


RFA Class Holiday Window Competition 


Once again, in conjunction with our local JCP, who is a tremendous supporter of our local education, families, and students; each of the individual RFA cohorts has decorated a holiday window display at the local JCP as a fundraising event. The window paintings will be on display throughout the holiday season and you can vote for your favorite window in the store. The winning class will receive a $200 donation from JCP. Thank you to JCP for sponsoring such a fun event which brings the school and community together during the holiday season.  Students from each class volunteered their time and creative ability to design the best windows for Rome, so make sure to get out and vote for your favorite!


CNY STEM Scholarships


SRC, Inc., Loretto, TTM Technologies, King + King Architects, and INFICON, in partnership with the CNY STEM Hub, are pleased to announce the 2020 CNY STEM Scholarship Program. This scholarship program, now in its 8th year, is open to graduating high school seniors who will be majoring in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer or Software Engineering, Nursing (including PA or NP programs), or Architecture, starting in the Fall, 2020. Students in the following counties may apply: Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and Tompkins. This year’s scholarship program will provide financial support and at least one paid summer internship at the participating companies, pending business conditions. Last year’s scholarship winners were from Cicero-North Syracuse, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Hannibal, ITC @ Syracuse Central, New Hartford, Nottingham and Westhill High Schools. There is no financial eligibility requirement. Students attending a college or university in New York State majoring in the select STEM areas will be given preference during the selection process. Finalists will be chosen based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, honors/awards, and an essay related to STEM. Recipients will be determined by an in-person interview. The online application and additional information can be found on the CNY STEM Hub website at www.cnystem.com. The application deadline is MARCH 1, 2020. Selections will be made in April and all applicants will be notified by May 1, 2020. If you have any additional questions related to the program, send inquiries to info@cnystem.com



Sunday, December 1, 2019

We Need More Pollyanna...

Polyanna is a 1960's Disney film that is based on the concept that life's most difficult challenges can be overcome by having a positive attitude and being pragmatic. We all know that life is constantly throwing challenges at us and that nothing seems to be easy, or come easily. However, what's to say that being positive in the face of adversity is not the answer? In our world of education, the mandates that school systems and teachers continue to face are increasing, making the actual job of teaching nearly impossible. If you were to ask a teacher in today's world of education how much of their day that they actually have the control over deciding what to do and how to do it, you would find that the answer is staggeringly low. Teachers have almost zero control anymore about doing what they feel is best for their students. And those that do dare to step out of the box tend to be in violation of some mandate that came from somewhere. We hear it all the time from many places that if we all just do what we are told to do and "play the game", things will improve and our district won't be on the improvement lists. But, has anyone bothered to ask the questions about who determined what the game was? Do the people creating the game know our kids, our families, our staff, and our schools? Is the game to be played because we are told to play it, or because it's best for kids? This is where Pollyanna steps in! If you evaluate the game and realize that it's simply a set of hoops to jump through, and includes more mandates that don't make sense, then why play it? At some point, the adults need to step up and say no to the game. We need to do what's best for our kids, because education is about them. Kids are the consumers of our industry. More than just this, our teachers need to be heard as they know how to help the kids the best. You wouldn't stick with a doctor that every time you don't feel good, uses a manual to determine what to do. Doctor's use their professional knowledge and experience to make a determination of how to help a patient. That's no different than operating a classroom. Teacher's have historically been the most Pollyanna-like individuals in our society because of their inherent desire to help children. So I say, what's wrong with Pollyanna? Education is a challenge, yes. But, with a Pollyanna-like attitude to believe that we can all make a difference, regardless of mandates, our kids can have the experience that they desire in their education! 

Scholar Athlete/Team Awards


Congratulations to all of our Fall sport scholar athletes and teams! The NYSPHSAA has released the list of scholar athletes and teams for the Fall 2019 season. Our Scholar Teams for the Fall 2019 season include: Girls Varsity Field Hockey coached by Mackenzie Welker, Girls Varsity Cross Country coached by Ty Knamm, Boys Varsity Cross Country coached by Nicholas Jeror, Girls Varsity Soccer coached by Melissa Downs, Girls Swimming coached by Michelle Browne, and Girls Varsity Tennis coached by Nick Natishak. In total, across all sports, we had 114 students achieve the Scholar Athlete distinction. Individual awards are given to any student who has a cumulative GPA of 90 or higher; while team awards are given to teams that have 75% of the roster achieving a GPA of 90 or better. 


Christmas in the City



Life Church of Rome, NY will be hosting their second annual Christmas in the City event this coming Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7, from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. each evening. The event will be held at the former NYS Armory, located at 1110 Black River Blvd. During the event there will be an interactive Christmas village, live caroling, local artisans, food trucks, treats, and live animals. Christmas in the City is a FREE event and for more information, please visit their website at www.lifechurchny.com/christmas



RFA Class Holiday Window Competition


Once again, in conjunction with our local JCP, who is a tremendous supporter of our local education, families, and students; each of the individual RFA cohorts has decorated a holiday window display at the local JCP as a fundraising event. The window paintings will be on display throughout the holiday season and you can vote for your favorite window in the store. The winning class will receive a $200 donation from JCP. Thank you to JCP for sponsoring such a fun event which brings the school and community together during the holiday season.  Students from each class volunteered their time and creative ability to design the best windows for Rome, so make sure to get out and vote for your favorite!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Let's Be Thankful...

Believe it or not, the end of November is but a mere week away. With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, it is time to reflect and say thank you for everything that we are afforded in life. While it can be argued that the traditional American holiday can stand for the remembrance of oppression or discrimination, what can't be argued is the underlying intent of Thanksgiving: to be thankful. With so much negativity in our world today, and the negativity more readily available to all of us, this time of year is the perfect time of year to focus on the positive. We all have our own stories that involve heartache, sadness, successes, and joy. Personally, the last 8 weeks of the calendar year always foster sad memories as any member of my immediate family who has passed away, has done so during the holiday season. This time of year always brings with it the concern and memory of loss. However, negatives can only consume us if we let them. There is much positive to focus on as well. Family, friends, and health could be a few. Regardless of your situation, there is plenty to be thankful for and each different individual has their unique perspective on the world based on the lens that they live through. We also should be thankful for the Rome family. The entire community, and specifically the educational community, is the one of the most giving and caring communities for children that you will find. I have said it frequently and will continue to say it because it is special. Our children are fortunate to attend schools where the adults in the buildings care just as much about their personal growth and opportunities, as they do about their academics. As all of us are, I am fortunate to work for a group of people who want to be the best community in the State, and are willing to roll up their sleeves to achieve that goal. So at this time to give thanks, I am thankful for each of you. Staff, students, and families alike; thank you for the outstanding opportunity to work with you each and every day. For those that celebrate the holiday, I wish you and yours the Happiest of Thanksgivings. For all of us, I hope that you can find some time to reflect on the positives in life and share your positive attributes with our community! It's time we are thankful for each other, because together, the Rome community is second to none.

Referendum Update


As you may be aware, there will be a referendum vote to be held on Wednesday, December 18 for the purposes of completing significant maintenance concerns at RFA (roof, flashing, general repairs), the artificial surface and track at the stadium, an Energy Performance Contract for elementary schools to improve infrastructure items that will produce an energy savings to the district, and for the establishment of a Capital Reserve so that the district can begin to save money for future projects (to be used to offset any potential tax increase). Prior to the referendum, there will be two public information sessions held to provide information on the project and field questions. The sessions will take place on Tuesday, December 3 and Monday, December 16. Both sessions will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be held in the Rome Free Academy Small Auditorium. To view the print flier, please visit: https://app.peachjar.com/flyers/879022/districts/32521 

RFA Open Mic Night 


On Tuesday, November 26, RFA will be holding their annual Open Mic Night at Rome Free Academy. This annual fundraiser has become a November tradition at RFA and an evening to enjoy some of our best talent throughout the school. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and the fee for entrance is $8.00 or $7.00 with a canned good donation. Start the holiday season right with some enjoyment at the Open Mic Night!!


Christmas in the City



Life Church of Rome, NY will be hosting their second annual Christmas in the City event this coming Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7, from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. each evening. The event will be held at the former NYS Armory, located at 1110 Black River Blvd. During the event there will be an interactive Christmas village, live caroling, local artisans, food trucks, treats, and live animals. Christmas in the City is a FREE event and for more information, please visit their website at www.lifechurchny.com/christmas



RFA Class Holiday Window Competition



Once again, in conjunction with our local JCP, who is a tremendous supporter of our local education, families, and students; each of the individual RFA cohorts has decorated a holiday window display at the local JCP as a fundraising event. The window paintings will be on display throughout the holiday season and you can vote for your favorite window in the store. The winning class will receive a $200 donation from JCP. Thank you to JCP for sponsoring such a fun event which brings the school and community together during the holiday season.  Students from each class volunteered their time and creative ability to design the best windows for Rome, so make sure to get out and vote for your favorite!