Saturday, May 13, 2017

Why Are We Here...

Those that know me know that one of my favorite words in the entire dictionary is 'why'. I believe that growth and learning occur most frequently when anyone is provided the opportunity to ask 'why', but also explore 'why'. Even when the answer to the question 'why?' is my most hated answer of all time (because that's how it's always been done), I still find value in what follows that response. Today, I ask, "Why are we here?" I mean, why do we all have jobs in education and in the Rome City School District? What is a school district? Why do they exist? Well, I know that the answer isn't (or shouldn't be), "because that's how it's always been." Simply put, the answer is small: KIDS. We exist because of kids. Our purpose is to SERVE kids. Without kids, we don't have employment. Without kids, we don't have a school district. Without kids, we don't have a future. I pose these questions and share my thoughts because on a frequent basis I find more and more people in our profession (both inside our organization and outside) forgetting our purpose. It's very easy to forget that in our business, our clientele are pretty much under the age 18. In the retail market, the industry caters to their clientele to ensure that their profits improve and thus making the organization more healthy. In our organization, our clientele number roughly 6,000 and they are young. Sometimes, they don't know what they want or need in school. They have questions that aren't relevant to the curriculum, but are to their life. Sometimes, they act in ways that concern us, but do we take the time to ask "why?" Our kids bring with them extraordinary ability, talent, vision, and hope. Let's give our clientele what they deserve. Our first rate experience that is catered to develop their future, for the betterment of our future.  

School Budget Vote

The school district 2017-2018 budget and Board of Education member elections will be held this week on Tuesday, May 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. More information regarding the proposed budget can be found here: SCHOOL BUDGET DETAILS

Voting locations are as follows:
First Ward: Staley Upper Elementary School – 620 E. Bloomfield St. 
Second Ward: Staley Upper Elementary School – 620 E. Bloomfield St.
Third Ward: Lobby at City Hall – 198 N. Washington St. 
Fourth Ward: Gansevoort School–  758 W. Liberty St. 
Fifth Ward: Denti Elementary School - 1001 Ruby Street  
Sixth Ward: St. Paul’s Catholic Church - 1807 Bedford St.
Seventh Ward: Rome Towers – 1625 Black River Blvd. 
Eighth Ward: Stokes School – 9095 Turin Rd.
Ninth Ward: Stokes School – 9095 Turin Rd.
Tenth Ward: Westernville Library – 9172 Main St, Westernville.

Board Meeting Change

Due to the need to certify the budget vote and Board of Education elections, the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting that was to be held on Thursday, May 18 has been moved to Wednesday, May 17 beginning at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at the Strough Middle School Cypress Campus.

Restructuring Update

This was a frantic week in the world of restructuring. The teacher's union, administrator's union, and District have reached an agreement to determine how best to staff the schools and we hope to have this process completed by the end of next week. Our principal's have begun the process of working together to provide student records and build class lists for next year so that students and families will not have a different year end experience than prior years. The transportation department and Birnie Bus are working diligently to update their mapping programs and we expect the process of building bus routes to begin in the next 2 weeks. Walking zones and potentially transporting every student continue to be the priority of this research. This coming week we begin the process of looking at furniture movements/need with our buildings and grounds department. We also have our architect and a team of engineers visiting Staley to determine needs for the building and to begin to develop the plan to make necessary improvements in the most timely fashion possible. Finally, we have completed the necessary documentation that the State Education Department needs to make sure our schools are listed and categorized correctly, which is a giant completion in the process. As more information is available, we will continue to provide updates.

Summer STEM Opportunity

The Griffis Institute has 5 summer camp opportunities for students to experience STEM activities during the week. Each camp lasts 1 week (Monday-Friday) and costs $100 per week. Students can participate in individual weeks throughout the summer. More information can be found by visiting their website: Some programs are already sold out of space so if you are interested, I would encourage you to sign up soon.