Sunday, September 3, 2017

Respect Required...

Over the course of 2 years in Rome, the one thing that continues to concern me about our school community is the level of disrespect shown toward each other. Almost on a daily basis, I learn of a story where someone disrespected a colleague, a parent, a secretary, a custodian, or an administrator. It is just saddening to me that in 2017, we as adults still don't have the personal strength and desire to treat others with respect, every day, all day. We have a responsibility to our children to help them learn how to treat others and help our society move forward, but for some reason our own community struggles with this quality at times. I expect that at times our children will say or do something that disrespects an adult; after all, they are kids and they make mistakes. It's our job to show them way. It's our job to lead by example, by treating each other respectfully. There is never an excuse or reason to pick up the phone and yell at someone, call another adult names (in person or on the phone), curse at someone because you don't like what you are hearing, or send emails that are littered with disrespect because it's easy to hide behind a screen. Everyone on this team and in this community has the same objective in life; to provide a better future and opportunity for our children. We all also have a role on the team. Throughout the course of getting to the end product, everyone is not always going to agree on the path, the methods, or the rules. However, disagreeing with someone's perspective, decision, or comment is no grounds fro disrespectfully addressing them. If there is one thing that I could wish for this school year, it is that all of our employees and community members remember that respecting each other is paramount if we are to truly provide our children with an opportunity to have a better future. I urge you to focus on respecting your team mates this year and let's see where having a little more respect for each other can get us!  

Website Adjustments

In the coming weeks, there will be some adjustments to our website due to the need to ensure that the site is ADA compliant. Recently, the American's with Disabilities Act began to encompass elements on the internet with websites becoming one of them. Many schools and universities across the country have unfortunately been struggling to maintain a website that meets the requirements of the new ADA accessibility law, but luckily for Rome, our new website is in much better shape than many of our counterparts. Our web developers and I.T. department took careful attention to the new ADA guidelines when building our site. Unfortunately, one aspect of our site that is not compliant with the ADA guidelines or our Board of Education videos and live streaming features. We were informed of some concerns this week by the Office of Civil Rights within the U.S. Department of Education and for this reason we have had to remove the videos from the website and will be suspending our live streaming feature. In the coming weeks, we are looking into the financial and human resources requirements to make this feature ADA compliant so that we can once again offer this feature. We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work through this situation.  

Mentoring Program 

The Rome City School District will once again be participating in the New York Mentors program, in conjunction with the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce. Having become a State-wide example and a leader of the program, our Rome schools are expanding the offering from three schools to five schools for 2017-2018. This year, Bellamy, Gansevoort, Joy, Staley, and Denti will all be participating schools. Students who will be mentored will be either fourth or fifth grade children and anyone 18 years or older willing to devote one hour a week is eligible, including working persons, college students, and retired senior citizens. Sessions will occur once a week beginning in October and will run from 3:10 p.m. to 4:10 p.m. For more information or to sign up to be a mentor, contact Rome Area Chamber of Commerce President William Guglielmo at 315-337-1700 or New York State Mentoring Advisory Council Member Frank Di Berardino at 315-337-4721. 

Immunization Requirements

With the start of the school year comes with it the reminder of school vaccination requirements. Each year, schools deal with many many cases of students not having their mandated vaccinations for participation in school. Unfortunately, by law, we are obligated to bar a student from school who does not have the mandatory vaccinations within 14 days of the start of the school year. If your student does not have the required vaccines, please make every attempt to get them ASAP and/or speak with your school nurse and principal so that the school is aware of the situation. 

The following notes are from the New York State Department of Health:

Children in a prekindergarten setting should be age-appropriately immunized. The number of doses depends on the schedule recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). For grades Pre-k through 9, intervals between doses of vaccine should be in accordance with the ACIP-recommended immunization schedule for persons 0 through 18 years of age. (Exception: intervals between doses of polio vaccine DO NOT need to be reviewed for grades 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12.) Doses received before the minimum age or intervals are not valid and do not count toward the number of doses listed below. Intervals between doses of vaccine DO NOT need to be reviewed for grades 10 through 12. See footnotes for specific information for each vaccine. Children who are enrolling in grade-less classes should meet the immunization requirements of the grades for which they are age equivalent.

A copy of the required vaccinations can be found through the link below: