Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fail It Forward...

One of education's most feared words is FAIL. Think back about going to school and what the fear of that word did to your academic performance, or being told that word. How did it make you feel? How often were we told by our teachers it's okay to fail because true learning occurs when we make mistakes and someone shows us where we went wrong and how to fix it? I would venture to say that not many of us were taught that failing is a method to growing when we were kids. I know I wasn't. Fast forward to today and I can think of countless skills that I have learned simply from trying to achieve something that I knew nothing about, but the power of trial and error has taught me so much. Everything from opening and closing a pool, electrical work, cooking, flooring, and tying a bow tie. Trial and error teaches us so much more than a skill though, it teaches patience. In the end, almost everyone is successful because they don't give up. That perseverance is because we aren't afraid to make a mistake as adults. Sure things may take longer than we want, but the outcome is gratifying because we not only accomplish a task, but we have learned along the way. That's all our children want in life/school, to learn. This is all part of shifting the mindset in education. Instead of using the word 'fail' to portray an act of defeat, we need to use the word as a positive chance for our kids. Failing is an opportunity for learning and growth. After all, learning is not a finite task or a tangible thing. It is an ongoing pursuit of knowledge that best occurs when we make a mistake and can understand that mistake. We owe it to our students to Fail It Forward and help them understand that failure is nothing more than an opportunity. 

Early Childhood Grant 

For those that have not heard yet, the Rome City School District was awarded an Early Childhood grant in the amount of $1,147,527 by Governor Andrew Cuomo this past week. This award is the second largest grant provided in the State for this program. The funding will be utilized within this school year and must be used to begin a 3-year old program here in Rome. Having the opportunity to provide pre-school service to our 3-year olds will only benefit the district and community in the long run. I would like to thank our Director of Early Childhood, Nancy Kristl, for all of her effort and dedication to preparing this grant and getting it submitted. It was her vision that resulted in our youngest learners having this opportunity. While there are still many details to be worked out with regard to where the programs will be housed, it is expected that we should start seeing programs begin before February 2017. 

Centennial Partnership Award

This week, our Art Department was awarded a Centennial Partnership Award for their efforts in building strong community partnerships and involvement with the National Parks Service Centennial and 40th Anniversary of Fort Stanwix last summer. The visual art teachers of the Rome City School District are constantly going above and beyond the call to both provide a quality experience for our students, but also to help them learn about the power and appreciation of art. Frequently throughout the year, you can find our students' artwork on display throughout the city as our teachers are always looking for ways to partner with the community and community organizations to promote our student work. Thank you to our art teachers and the National Parks Service for making this award possible. Congratulations artists!!

Lead in School Drinking Water Testing

We have completed all of the testing on our buildings throughout the district and are awaiting the results. To date, we have only received the results of the testing conducted at Stokes Elementary School. Of the 72 samples taken, only 2 locations in the building came back as non-compliant with the State requirements. As the results from our other buildings become available, we will be notifying families by letter and on our website as to the results of the tests. The test results can be found at for anyone that wants to follow all of the district buildings.