Sunday, April 8, 2018

The Answer Is...

One of the most common things that people on the inside of the education profession refer to as the greatest factor of change in our society over the decades is the evolution of collaboration with families. Collaboration is a word that has become a mainstream 'buzz' word in both education and industry. The fact is, collaboration has always existed and more importantly; trust existed unconditionally between adults. Somehow, over the decades, this has taken a dramatic turn to the point where the general society has a feeling that if something doesn't go their way, it's wrong. In essence, we have become a society where the word 'no' has become a ticket to throw a temper tantrum, argue, complain, slander, threaten, etc. until someone gets their way. Rather than taking time to listen and discuss what the prevailing points and facts of a situation are, we as a society are quick to engage in confrontation. When I was a student in school, if the teacher or worse yet an administrator called home, the consequences at home would far surpass any school consequence. This is a similar experience for most any adult right now. However, times have changed to where adults no longer have respect of youth. Every week we experience parents asking for help because their own children won't respect them. On an increasing basis we find adults disrespecting other adults in front of their children, which simply fosters a belief that it's acceptable behavior to treat another person this way. If you visit the doctor and the doctor delivers you bad news that you don't like, want to hear, or would prefer not to believe; the first and immediate response is not to argue with the doctor or yell at them trying to get them to change their mind. Instead, the general response is conversation about moving forward and trying to fix the problem. School systems used to look like this decades ago where we all worked collaboratively and the general response to the word 'no' was not anger. Our youth today are growing up in an environment where they crave instant satisfaction and worse yet, do not know how to handle disappointment and negative responses. Individuals in sports world call this the 'everyone gets a trophy' movement. It is important that we teach our children that resilience and not always getting their way, is not a bad thing. The word 'no' does not have to be a negative word, especially when 'no' is the proper and real response. Our society is increasingly become filled with conspiracy theorists and accusers, rather than collaborators and optimists. It's time to shift the tide and bring back a society and community where collaboration builds strength, compassion, and trust. The answer is simple. The answer is us! 


The RFA music department is proud to present their 2018 musical production, Aida! Students will be performing Aida this week; Thursday, April 12, Friday, April 13, and Saturday, April 14 all beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Rome Free Academy. Advanced sale tickets are available at Jervis Library for $7 each, while tickets will be available at the door each night for $8. If you're looking for some great entertainment and a night out, you can't beat an RFA musical!!

Board of Education - Open Seats

This year, there are three (3) open seats on the Board of Education. All three of these seats will be available on July 1, 2018. The term limit for each open seat is three years, expiring on June 30, 2021. Interested candidates must submit a petition to the District on or before April 25, 2018. Completed petitions must include at least 100 qualified signatures and should be returned to the business office of the District at 409 Bell Road. Petitions for the available seats are also available in the Business Office of the Rome City School District. Any questions regarding the Board of Education open seats can be directed to the District's business office, or Board of Education President, Mr. Paul Fitzpatrick.

Unused Contingency Day

Each year, schools are required to meet a minimum of 180 school days (5 of which can be Superintendent's conference days and the Regents Rating Day). Our current calendar allows for 185 staff days and 180 student days scheduled. Within that calendar, one day at the k-6 level was designated for parent/teacher conferences and one day at the 7-12 level was designated for additional professional development. That leaves us with a total of one less student day than desired. Due to the full day conferences and additional professional development at the secondary level, the District began the year with a total of 4 contingency days in the event that there was a need for closure due to weather or emergency. Having been through the worst of it, we still have one unused contingency day, which we are not required to use, but most places do. This year, as long as there are no more weather related closures prior to the date, we plan to use our last contingency day on Friday, April 20. Traditionally, these days may be taken in May, however there are students taking AP examinations through most of the month, so we are opting to use our day in April. A detailed letter will also be sent home this week. 

Go Home Early Drill

Each year, schools in New York State are required to conduct what is called a "go home early" drill. In our region, schools attempt to have this event occur on the same day to minimize disruptions for our local BOCES. This year, the go home early drill will be occurring on Thursday, April 19. For this drill, students will be dismissed from school 15 minutes earlier than regularly scheduled. Please make sure that necessary arrangements are made for students to arrive home from school earlier on that day.