Sunday, September 25, 2016

Uh Oh, More Standards...

Since the inception of the Common Core Learning Standards, I have been obsessed with watching the world of education react to all of the coverage. For all of the angst and concern regarding the CCLS, no one can argue that they have caused our country and communities to bring the discussion of education to the forefront. Recently, the State Education Department has released some new information regarding updated standards. Ironically, not much is drastically different. It appears that NYSED is listening to those in the field who are asking for more streamlined, sensible, and understandable standards. Included in that is the need for more support. Based on these initial drafts, it seems as if people are being are heard. Nonetheless, standards remain nothing more than standards. They are the benchmarks that we expect our children to reach at certain points along their path to graduation. It is still incumbent upon our teachers to move the bar and get our children to reach these standards, and I have the utmost confidence that they are up to the challenge. For a review of the updates to the learning standards, please visit the NYSED website to read about them with this link:

http://www.nysed.gov/news/2016/state-education-department-releases-new-draft-nys-english-and-mathematics-learning 
                                                

Community Schools

You may have seen or heard through social media that the Community Schools movement, that Rome has been working on in the past year, has received a national grant from the American Federation of Teachers this past week. The grant is for $270,000 over the next 2 years and will be utilized for the district to hire a Community Schools Coordinator, as well as to work on building our STEAM initiative and project based learning opportunities. I want to congratulate the Rome Teacher's Association and the Rome Administrator's Association for all of their efforts regarding community schools. The concept is nothing but beneficial and we are more than lucky to have this opportunity here in Rome. Finally, Rome was one of 3 school districts nation wide to receive this honor. It doesn't get much better than that!! Thank you Community Schools Task Force and congratulations Rome!!


RFA Athletics

For those that have not been following, the past weekend was an amazing weekend for RFA athletics!! Our team sports ruled the fields and our individual sports dominated as well. All of our fall sports athletic teams are representing our district extremely well, both on and off the field. This weekend was probably one of our best weekends of the year, capped by the cornerstone victory of our football team during the homecoming game. All of our scholar athletic teams remain in the hunt for sectional competition and I encourage you to get out and support them in the coming weeks!! #RFApride


Code of Conduct

During the first 3 weeks of school, we have seen too many significant violations of the code of conduct. Please be reminded that accidentally bringing a pocket knife to school or joking about bombing a school is not going to be tolerated or taken lightly. While no intent may be true, the school can't predict what any other student may or may not do based on either of these situations. We have seen a few students bring pocket knives to school and I need to remind everyone that this is a significant violation to our code of conduct. All it would take is for that knife to wind up in the hands of the wrong person and we could have major issues. Likewise, the going joke so far this year is that kids are saying they want to blow stuff up. I ask that you please discuss the code of conduct with your student and have a discussion about unintended consequences of actions. In life, there are always unintended consequences of our actions and it's becoming more and more important that our children understand this at an earlier age, unfortunately.