Sunday, March 26, 2017

Madness is Abound...

This is that time of year where people in many schools are looking at each other and saying, "Weren't we just saying yesterday that March is such a long month and how are we going to get through it?" And then here we are, at the end of the longest month of the school year and on the doorstep of April, which hypothetically marks the beginning of the end. April is to the school year as coming around the last bend is to horse racing. In schools, we are in the thick of scheduling for secondary schools, budget planning for next year, recruiting potential vacancies, State testing is on our doorstep, and none of that mentions the myriad of activities that are going to occur in the coming weeks within our schools that everyone is busy planning for now. The NCAA calls it March Madness because of the unpredictability of each individual game; schools experience March madness simply because there is always something going on as we move into the home stretch of the school year and it certainly feels like there is never enough minutes in an hour! What's most important during this stretch is not maintaining sanity (I will assume that everyone has that covered), it's maintaining momentum and staying true to our mission. At the end of most bicycle races, the last portion of the race is downhill so the racer can "coast" to the finish. Our finish needs to be more like the horse race where we are sprinting to the finish while attempting to increase our pace and finish strong. Many of us have always heard the cliches, "Every minute counts" and "Work until the bell", now it's our turn to live it. As we finish our month of Madness and turn into the home stretch, let's make it count and know that our kids will only benefit from it in the long run!

National Technical Honor Society 

This past week, 43 students from around the region were inducted into the Madison-Oneida BOCES National Technical Honor Society (NTHS). The NTHS is an honor society recognizing excellence in career and technical education. To join the honor society, students must be nominated by their teachers, carry a minimum 3.0 grade point average, demonstrate excellence in their CTE program and participate in extracurricular activities at BOCES and/or their home school. NTHS membership is a distinction achieved by only 3-4% of CTE students nationwide. Our Rome honorees for this year include: Ashely Roux, Auto Body Repair; Halim (Kyle) Abdelhak, Computer Programming; Grace Newton, Cosmetology; Rebecca Stone, Cosmetology; Michael Wittman, Criminal Justice; Joshua Thayer, Criminal Justice; Angeliah Ratley, Criminal Justice; Cassie Shue, Culinary Arts; Joshua Finn, Culinary Arts; Taylor Perron, Culinary Arts; Jennifer Ivey, Equine & Animal Science; Lydia Richards, Graphic Design; Alexandria LoGiudice, Health Related Careers; and Doh Soe, Health Related Careers. Congratulations to all of these students on this wonderful accomplishment!!

Advantage After School Program

The Safe Schools Mohawk Valley organization is currently accepting students for after school programs at Bellamy Elementary school and Strough Middle School - Linden Street. The program is free and provides transportation home following the after school program. Bellamy hours are 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and the Strough program runs from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. To enroll your student, please contact the school building and request an enroll form. Any questions can be directed to Alicia Mangino (Bellamy Program Manager) or Samantha McCarthy (Strough Program Manager).

Observer-Dispatch Teen All-Stars

Each Spring, the Utica Observer-Dispatch recognizes outstanding high school seniors for their contributions to their school and community. The nomination period for the 2017 Teen All-Stars is now open. If you would like to nominate a student, you can access the nomination form at Once there, click the 'nominate' link and follow the prompts. Nominations require a completed application form, a letter of nomination, a list of the nominee's top 10 school/community activities, and a statement describing one accomplishment the nominee is most proud of. All applications are due by noon on Wednesday, April 5.

RFA Travel Club

The Rome Free Academy Travel Club will be having a meeting on Monday, March 27, at 6:00 p.m. to gauge interest in their 2018 trip to Italy and Greece. The club is open to all students and families that would be interesting in attending to learn more about this anticipated trip. The meeting will be held in the RFA Small Auditorium.