Sunday, November 12, 2017

Teach Not Tech...

In the fast-paced world of technology innovation, it is becoming more and more prevalent to find an abundance of technology in schools everywhere. As the cost of devices decreases, technology is becoming more and more accessible to school systems. On top of that, it won't be much longer before almost every elementary aged student owns their own device of some kind and is more fluent with technology than their adult acquaintances. The tech generation is upon us, so now what? I have been spending a lot of time researching and watching school districts that have implemented technology into their mainstream to get a better understanding of where we need to go. Almost every school that struggles is struggling for one reason: they dropped the 'A'. The word 'tech' is essentially the most important word in our world, minus the 'A'. Due to the technology influx, people are forgetting to teach. Technology itself is a tool, it's not a program. It can't replace the value of teaching. In it's very essence, technology to learning is no different than the pencil, encyclopedia, or the field trip. Technology is merely a tool with which we use to teach our children the topics and concepts they need to know. The problem is that it is the most powerful and all encompassing tool that we have ever seen. I say frequently that this is not something that we can ignore and hope goes away, it's only going to become more prevalent in the mainstream public. It's our responsibility in education to get in front of things and learn how to harness the power of technology to support our learners. We all know that each individual is unique and we all have different learning mechanisms. Technology can help us truly deliver a differentiated learning model, but we need to embrace it, explore, and utilize it as a tool. As long as our schools can remember that TEACHING while using tech is the way of the future, our children are in great hands.

Thank You School Psychologists

This week, November 13-17, is School Psychology Awareness Week (SPAW). Promoted by the National Association of School Psychologists, the 2017 theme is Power Up! Be a Positive Charge. Their goal is to highlight how taking a small positive action creates connections that lead to positive change, builds greater successes and develops the academic and social–emotional skills students need to promote personal achievement, growth, and resilience, as well as a sense of belonging and well-being. Without the wonderful school psychologists we have in working in Rome, this concept would not be possible. Every day, our psychologists are helping students, staff, and families to power up and grow. Thank you to school psychologists everywhere for everything that you do, but most importantly to the psychologists of the Rome City School District for making our community a better place!

Genesis Awards

Each year, the Genesis Group awards local educators and educational programs that are making a difference in the lives of others in the Mohawk Valley. Over the past several years, many educators have been recognized for their contributions to their students. In 2017, the Rome City School District is fortunate to have four recipients of the Genesis Award for Education out of the many nominations throughout our region. Samantha Sabia, from Bellamy, Christine Scharf, from RFA, Hillside Youth Work Scholarship, educational partner at RFA, and the New York State Mentoring Program, have all been named recipients of the 2017 Genesis Award. Congratulations to all and thank you for working every day to make the lives of our children better!

Dialogue Event

On Monday, November 27, we will be hosting our first Dialogue with the Superintendent event at RFA from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Library. Following last year's tour through the District to provide families an opportunity to chat informally and get questions answered, we will be continuing the practice this year, however in fewer locations. The event is intended to provide families an opportunity to ask questions through the submission of a question card and elicit an on the spot response. All questions are anonymous. For more information or if you have questions, please contact the District office.

Lions Club Craft Fair

On Saturday, November 18, from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. the Rome Lions Club will be hosting a craft fair at the New York State School for the Deaf, located at 401 Turin Street, Rome, NY 13440. Along with plenty of vendors and crafters, the event will include a chicken barbecue and a chili cook-off. Stop on by to kick off the holiday season! For more information, please contact the Rome Lions Club.