Monday, October 9, 2017

Status No...

I have often said that the kiss of death (KOD) for any organization is when you respond to questions with, "because that's how we've always done it", or "in the past...", or essentially, the status quo. Our world is an ever changing environment and society isn't going to wait for anyone. People within public schools everywhere can claim and attempt to say things were better once upon a time, and that may be true. But, what's also true is that society outside of our schools is not the same as it was "once upon a time" and if we aren't adapting and teaching our children to live within the society that they will face when they leave school, then we aren't preparing them for the 21st century... we continue to prepare them for the early 20th century. While reflecting on or progress, speed bumps, and literal road blocks recently, I have come to believe that the status quo sometimes might not be that bad because the real KOD is status NO! I have never been in an environment where people respond to questions, requests, favors, etc. with the word NO more than I have seen in the past 2 years. If a student in the classroom were to ever tell their teacher no (or any other adult in the school for that matter) the general response is hostility and anger. However, for some reason, our school community feels that saying no to requests in an attempt to move things in a different direction is okay. Let me ask: are we ok with a 78% graduation rate? Are we ok with the number of families that feel their student may not be safe in school? Are we ok with the number of students being suspended for physical aggression? Are we ok with the volume of young students who need significant support? Are we ok with the negative perception that others have of our community? I would venture a bet to say the answer to all of those questions is that we are not satisfied and we want better. We can't be better, get better, or have better if we continue to operate the same way that we have for the past 20-30 years. A lot has changed in 20-30 years and it's time that we change too. Our mental mindset and approach needs to be different. Status quo doesn't work. Status no doesn't work. It's time to try some new things and see what sticks. Our children won't survive a future if we are preparing them for the past. It's time for status "LET'S GO!"

Rooted in Rome

On Wednesday, October 18, from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m., the Rome City School District in partnership with the City of Rome, Rome Memorial Hospital, Mohawk Valley Community College and the Griffiss Business and Technology Park, will be participating in a community event called Rooted in Rome. Hosted at the Rome MVCC campus, the event intends to highlight the vast resources and opportunities that our community has available to it's residents. This is a collaborative and targeted effort by our communities major establishments to grow our population. The event will include a job fair for individuals interested in employment in Rome and showcases of our local businesses/resources. The Rome City School District will be highlighting our arts and technology programs, our resources available to families relative to social/emotional health, and our advancement in instructional technology. This event will be a great opportunity for potential residents to get a glimpse of what Rome has to offer and we hope that you will encourage anyone looking for a new community to come visit us on Wednesday, October 18, from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at the Rome MVCC!

Hunger Walk

This Sunday, October 15th, will be the annual Rome Area Hunger Walk beginning at 2:00 p.m. The walk originates and ends at St. John's Lutheran Church, 502 W. Chestnut St. Registration will begin at 1:00 p.m. and the walk at 2:00 p.m. This event is important to our community as 90% of money raised stays local to help end hunger in our own community. Contact your church or community organization and find out who the Hunger Walk Recruiter is. If they don't have one, you can volunteer to recruit for your organization! Just want to walk on your own? Call 336-1380 or email to get a Donation Form, and start raising money! Together, we can end hunger!!

E-Cigarettes Legislation

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has recently signed legislation (S.750 / A.611), which bans the use of electronic cigarettes on all public and private school grounds in New York State. "Nicotine use in any form has shown to be damaging to teens and this measure will close a dangerous loophole that allows e-cigarettes to be used in New York schools," Governor Cuomo said. Prohibiting electronic cigarettes on all school grounds will diminish youth access to electronic cigarettes and help booster New York's commitment to preventing childhood and teenage smoking. School grounds includes any building, structure and surrounding outdoor grounds contained within a public or private pre-school, nursery school, elementary, or secondary school's property, and any vehicles used to transport children or school personnel. While our school district already considers the use of electronic cigarettes a violation of the code of conduct, this legislation will support others who do not desire to have their children exposed to the trend in general. For more information regarding the dangers and hazards related to electronic cigarettes and their syrups, please feel free to contact a school official.