Sunday, October 16, 2016

Positive Deviance...

Following the Vietnam War in the 1970's, the Vietnamese government spent millions of dollars trying to solve childhood malnutrition throughout their country. After many failed attempts, 20 years later in the 1990's researchers from the United States determined that poverty was not a cause of malnutrition, however the manner in which families utilized resources was. They approached their research from the standpoint that someone among the Vietnamese people must be flourishing despite challenging living conditions. What they found was simply that families whose children were nourished well were feeding their children on a regular basis and in portions that were suitable for kids, while those who were malnourished were eating on the schedule of an adult and for portions like an adult. The concept of 'Positive Deviance' was born. Positive Deviance is based on the observation that in every community there are certain individuals or groups (the positive deviants), whose uncommon but successful behaviors or strategies enable them to find better solutions to a problem than their peers. These individuals or groups have access to exactly the same resources and face the same challenges and obstacles as their peers. Positive Deviance is a concept that can allow an organization to utilize their resources from within to solve a problem or better a situation. In schools and our local communities, Positive Deviance is not used enough. For every problem or concern, more than likely there is someone else within your school or community that has the answer or can show you how to tackle the situation. Sounds a lot like collaboration, huh? Seems like common sense, huh? It is!! But we still don't take advantage of our colleagues like we can. Maybe we keep hearing about the need to collaborate more because in reality, we still aren't collaborating. Or maybe we don't understand the definition. Regardless, be a Positive Deviant in your building. Find creative and unique ways to improve your room, building, and community!!

Cell Service at Joy

Over the past few months, there have been many concerns about the spotty cell service at Joy School. I know that many people feel this is a Rome City School District issue with the building or the WiFi, but it is not. Please remember, cell service and WiFi service are not related. The District has attempted to install cell service boosters to the building to improve the signal, but they did not work. Our WiFi is running and is running well. There should be no connectivity issues through the WiFi system and we have taken steps to ensure that students and staff that have medical concerns requiring connectivity have been connected and that devices are running. The only way to improve the cell service at Joy would be for one of the major cell carriers (Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, etc.) to install a tower closer to the building, which is not something that the district can control. I thank you for your patience and understanding as we continue to work to find ways to improve the situation and the service.

Thank You Nye Automotive!

This past week, the Nye Automotive Group made a $2,000 donation to the Rome City School District as part of their back-to-school promotion in the month of September. We will be able to utilize the funds to help our students with enrichment activities and after school programs. On behalf of the students, staff, and members of the Rome community, I wish to thank the Nye Automotive Group for their support of our children and community!!

High School Equivalency

Some of the requirements surrounding high school equivalency exams are changing. In the past, there were essentially 2 options: the TASC (formerly the GED) and the National External Diploma Option (NEDP). The major change is that recently, there has been a shift in the general age at which people are able to utilize the NEDP option. This option was generally reserved for individuals who were 28 years of age and older, however recently this has changed. Now, the TASC and the NEDP are options for all individuals interested in obtaining a high school equivalency diploma. There are still differences in the options and there are differences in the process/eligibility for the 2 options; however age is no longer a barrier. For more information about these options, please visit Also, Rome has a resource center that you can gain more information from by calling 334-8000.