Sunday, March 18, 2018

Generation Negative...

Over the years, different generations of people and eras get labeled from time to time based on some of the events that occur during that time frame. Unfortunately, I feel that we are currently experiencing Generation Negative. On a daily basis, regardless of your walk of life, you find people complaining, putting others down, and just in general being negative. Social media, as you know, has not helped to curb any of these behaviors either. It has provided an open forum with next to no regulation or oversight for individuals to slander others and write false information via hearsay that eventual turns into reality because enough people believe it without verifying from the source. Worse yet, our children pick up on these negative tendencies and they themselves either model the negative behavior, or become a target of it. The concept of grit, which is something that our society was built upon for more than a century, is all but gone. Many educational researchers and writers are claiming that the lack of grit in the human spirit today is directly at fault for the decline in educational systems. People in general, not just students, are easily giving up on tasks, jobs, and life if things become a challenge. Instant satisfaction and gratification has become a hallmark of our society. Beyond all of the negative commentary, the damage that can be done to a human's mental psyche can be tremendous. Constant put downs, listening to negative comments, and being in a negative environment can lead an individual to depression, mental illness, and more. All of these are reason enough for more schools to be exploring the PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) model that our schools are working to implement. I've heard people say that it takes roughly five positive comments to erase the harm caused by one negative comment. If this is true, we have a lot of work to do in order to help each other. PBIS is a model that works to find positive behaviors that are occurring and reinforce those behaviors. Some people say that you shouldn't be rewarded for doing things that you're supposed to do anyway, but then why do we get a paycheck for doing our job? Incentives have always been a way to encourage the masses to improve an behavior, which is why PBIS works so well. Beyond just that, it brings more positive conversation into a classroom on a daily basis with a focus on good things; rather than constant negative commentary as much of our world has become. Through focusing on the positive, we can turn Generation Negative into Generation Positive and work together to create an environment that fosters growth, care, and team work. 

Dialogue Event

On Monday, March 26, 2018, we will be hosting our second Dialogue with the Superintendent event at Staley Elementary School from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium. Following last year's tour through the District to provide families an opportunity to chat informally and get questions answered, we have continued 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. This event is open to ALL parents in the District and is not specific to any one given building. For more information or if you have questions, please contact the District office.

Utica OD Teen All-Stars

Who's your Teen All-Star?

The O-D is currently accepting nominations for its 2018 Teen All-Stars! Each year, dozens of local seniors are nominated by friends, family, school officials and members of the community.
Teen All-Stars is an annual awards program created by the Observer-Dispatch to recognize local students who excel both academically and in their extracurricular activities.
The nomination period will be open from Sunday, March 4, until Wednesday, April 4.
To nominate a local high school senior, please fill out this form in its entirety. The nomination must include:
* A letter of nomination (no longer than 500 words)
* A list from the nominee of his or her Top 10 school/community activities
* A statement from the nominee describing one accomplishment he or she is most proud of.
Additional requirements and details can be found on the form.

Strough Taco Knight

Strough Middle School students (7th and 8th graders) and their families are invited to a Free Taco Knight on Thursday, March 22nd at the Strough Cypress Street campus cafeteria from 6-8 p.m. Jodi Warren and representatives from the Center for Family Life and Recovery, in partnership with the Rome City School District, are presenting “Concealing Secrets,” Part II. A more in-depth look into teen drug use that will discuss the “why” drug abuse occurs, current drug trends, drug references such as clothing, how social media may impact teen use, signs and symptoms of use and abuse, treatment, and recovery. All students, families, and staff are welcome to attend the dinner (which is Title One Funded event). Please note during the presentation, only adults are allowed. We will have entertainment for students and children during the presentation! The event is free to Strough families. Reservations are required by Tuesday, March 20th, so food service will have a count of how many guests they will be serving. For more information contact Strough Middle School Main office at Cypress Street: 315-338-5202. Come and enjoy a delicious taco dinner with drinks and dessert!