Sunday, January 21, 2018

Open Up Narrow...

As I was listening to some good tunes this week, a jazz classic from trumpet legend Bill Chase came on the playlist: Open Up Wide. Chase was fusion jazz trumpet player who led a small group of trumpets with a rhythm section. Those that don't appreciate trumpet players playing sounds that are into the stratosphere may classify his music as cats being swung by their tails. Regardless, the title of the tune made me reflect on some conversations I've had recently about the direction of the education profession as a whole. Education is the one profession where literally every person in a community has some experience with. Educational professionals are frequently questioned about whether or not they know what they are doing by a community because every member of the community has been in a school. We don't often question the dentist about their plans if we have no experience with dentistry. Or our personal trainer, mechanic, contractor, lawyer, etc. We listen to their judgement because they are the professional. Not in education, everything is second guessed because everyone else knows better. Another issue facing education is the drastic change in demographics and needs for future job skills. Did you know that major engineering colleges are already removing mathematics from their curricular requirements citing that engineers don't need to know how to do math, they only need to be able to understand the concept behind the math. That will have significant implications on public education down the road. Regarding demographics, our children from all walks of life are coming to school with needs that many educational professionals have not experienced in their lifetime. This makes it challenging to understand and relate to these needs, but we have to find a way. The age old saying, "it worked for me when I was a student" or "that's the expectation I have for my own kids" simply isn't relatable in today's world. The types of issues that our own children may face when not in school most likely are not the same issues that our students are facing when they leave school. And how about that comment, "it worked for me.."; I would ask: Did you ever have to come to school hungry? Did you ever have to wear the same clothes 3 days in a row? Did you ever fail a test? Did you ever not have time to do your homework? I could go on and on and I would imagine that 97% of educational professionals throughout the country would answer every question with, "NO." The world has changed. Society has changed. Education has not. We are as narrow minded as ever and if those of us that are charged with providing a future for our children and society don't open up our minds... in a wide way... our children have lost. It's time to worry more about getting to know kids and what makes them tick, than to worry about teaching the x's and o's. It's time to open up the narrow mind.

RFA Regents Week

Rome Free Academy will be having Regents Exams Monday January 22-Thursday January 25th. If students are not scheduled to take exams they do not have to attend school those days as regular classes will not be in session at RFA. RFA BOCES students will have morning and afternoon transportation to attend their respective programs Monday January 22-Thursday January 25th as their classes are still in session. For more information, including the exam schedule and transportation schedule, please visit or contact an RFA administrator.

Evening of Arts

Our annual Celebrate the Arts event will take place on Friday, January 26, in the large cafeteria at Rome Free Academy. The art gallery, with work created by our art faculty, and appetizers will take place from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Following that, a concert featuring the talents of our music faculty will occur from 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. There is no admission fee for this event, however donations are welcome and will go toward funding a scholarship for one Rome music student and one Rome art student who plane to continue their education in the field. The more money raised, the more that goes to the students! The Rome City School District is the only local district who does an event featuring their faculty like this! Please join us for this unique event and SPREAD THE WORD!

RFA Volleyball Dinner

On January 30th, the Rome Free Academy volleyball program is hosting a chicken riggie dinner fundraiser in conjunction with the girls’ basketball senior night. The dinner will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the RFA cafeteria. Tickets are $10 for dine in or take out. The public can reserve tickets through Basketball senior night ceremony will begin at 6:45pm. Stop on by to enjoy a nice riggie dinner before cheering on the Lady Knights!

Griffiss Institute Internship

Griffiss Institute’s Summer Internship Program at the Air Force Research Laboratory Information Directorate, is currently accepting applications. The internship opportunity is a paid internship, and while it is geared toward students who are currently enrolled in an accredited college or university (freshman through PhD level), high school students can gain entrance if the application is strong enough. The majority of students selected will be majoring in technical fields, however some other fields (accounting, finance, marketing, etc.) may also be selected. The application deadline is January 31, 2018 and more information can be found by visiting