Sunday, January 22, 2017

We Are Family...

In what seems to be an all too often occurrence in our school district and community, we have suffered another loss. This weekend, veteran RFA science teacher Daniel Fronzcek lost a long and hard fought battle with cancer. While I did not get to know Dan as well as many others, I learned quickly that he stood for everything right in education. His students came first, his colleagues second, and everything else next. He went out of his way to ensure that his students always received the best on a daily basis. Despite his ongoing battle this fall, he never once allowed his health to impact the learning of his students. Visiting Dan's classroom was like walking through educational utopia. Students were always smiling and he was always making the learning fun. It is moments like this that put everything into perspective for our entire community. For the RFA students and staff, this is the second loss this school year and once again we rally together as family to persevere the sadness. While we can't bring back those that we've lost, we can honor their memory by doing the simple things that they would want. I can't think of a better way to honor the memory of Dan Fronczek than to commit to always putting students and each other first. Together, as a family, we will continue to move forward serving our school the way that Dan always has. 

Regent Hakanson Visits Rome 

On Thursday, January 19th, the Rome City School District was fortunate to host our representative to the Board of Regents in Albany, Elizabeth Hakanson. A retired teacher from the Syracuse City School District and new to the Board of Regents, Mrs. Hakanson spent 2 hours visiting Rome. During her visit, she visited with students and staff and discussed educational philosophy and the future of education in New York State. We discussed easing the standards for grades k-2 to provide for increased time to build social skills through play, the need to bring citizenship back into our curriculums to help students understand civic duty, and what we can do as a educational leaders to help both teachers and communities have a better understanding of the Common Core. At the end of our visit, Regent Hakanson was excited to hear about the direction that we are hoping to go in Rome and is eager to see our progress. 


Redistricting Update

During the January 19th Board of Education meeting, the Board of Education spent roughly 45 minutes discussing the topic of redistricting. Several perspectives were shared by the members as the district continues to look at what may be the best decision for the long term. Of the topics covered, the Board discussed hiring a consulting firm from out of state, waiting a year to contract with the local consultants that we have met with, discuss reconfiguration of our schools, or leave things as they are and increase class sizes. Board of Education President, Paul Fitzpatrick, has recommended a special Board committee to determine which option is the best way to go. It is anticipated that the committee will meet in the coming weeks with a decision to be made by the first Board of Education meeting in March.

Staley Internet Safety Class

Staley upper elementary school will be offering an Internet Safety Evening with presenter, Wendy Fical, the Program Director for the Ride for Missing Children organization.  Ms. Fical will be showing parents how to monitor what kids are doing and how they are doing it on their phones.  Ms. Fical will also be coming to Staley to talk to students about Cyber Safety and bullying. Their first Internet Safety Evening will take place January 31, at 7:00 pm in the Library.  There is limited space available so we will be offering seats to the first 30 respondents.  If there is a significant response, there will be another night offered in March 2017. If you are interested in attending, please call Mrs. Doria, by January 27, at 338-5300 to reserve your spot.  We only ask that if you reserve a seat and a conflict arises, please call so we can offer a seat to another person.

Block 'R' Club Cereal Fundraiser

From now until winter recess in February, the Block 'R' Club from RFA will be accepting donations of boxes of cereal at all athletic home games. This similar fundraiser in just a week's time last December brought in over 150 boxes of cereal for people in need over the holiday recess. In the coming weeks, please bring a box of cereal to home athletic contests in support of the Block 'R' Club.