Monday, September 3, 2018

And We're Back...

It's that time of year where kid's get excited to meet new teachers and make new friends, staff members in the world of education look forward to the new year ahead, and in general; optimism fills the air! The end of summer brings a myriad of emotions and thoughts for many. As does the beginning of a new school year. In many ways, the start of a school year can feel like all of the calendar year's  major events and holidays rolled up into one week. It doesn't matter if you are a kindergarten student entering school for the start of a 13-year journey or a 35-year veteran teacher who is embarking on the final year of their career; the start of a new school year brings an opportunity for everyone to start new and be excited. Optimism is abound in schools all across our State this week as our children return to the institution we historically refer to as school. As we embark on the new year, I have challenged our staff to continue the difficult task of moving our District upward to becoming the best school district in New York State. There are many hurdles along the way to the top, and growing is never an easy task. However, I have also introduced our staff to a researcher named Shawn Achor, who studies the positive side of psychology and the corresponding effects that working to remain positive has on our lives. Mr. Achor's major research is embodied in a book called the Happiness Advantage, which I encourage you to Google. As he states, "when we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive." If that doesn't sound like the purpose or mission of a public learning institution, then I don't know what does. So, as the journey also known as the 2018-2019 school year begins, I encourage you to work to maintain the optimism and excitement that fills the air this week. Being positive and happy is decision that needs to be made. The challenge comes in that our society has made it challenging to remain positive and focused on the good. Our children do amazing things throughout the year. In the athletic arena, in the classroom, on the stage, on paper. With their brains, hands, voices, and muscle. It's our students who are our client. For them, keep the optimism alive and the positivity flowing; so they can have the most memorable year of their lives!

Peach Jar Program

For the 2018-2019 school year, the Rome City School District will be working with a vendor to electronically distribute fliers that are typically copied and sent home through backpacks. Beyond just the distribution of fliers, the program can also allow individuals to register or sign up for events online; allowing building staff's to have a better handle on attendance figures prior to an event. In the first week of service, the District has saved more than 35,000 pieces of paper! If you have not already signed up for the program, you can do so by visiting our website at You can register for the program by clicking "My Account". 

Parent Portal

Parent Portal is an online method for families to access our student management system, SchoolTool. While parent portal is most beneficial to secondary students (grades 7-12), this will be the platform that we utilize to deliver the report cards for 2018-2019. In order to obtain your child's progress reports and report cards this year, you will need an account for parent portal. Once you log in, and a report has been published, you will easily be able to view these reports in your portal. If you do not already have an account, and would like to sign up for an account, please contact your child's school.

Mentoring Program

The Rome City School District will once again be participating in the New York Mentors program, in conjunction with the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce. Having become a State-wide example and a leader of the program, our Rome schools are expanding the offering from five schools to all seven elementary schools for 2018-2019. Students who will be mentored will be either fourth, fifth, or sixth grade children and anyone 18 years or older willing to devote one hour a week is eligible, (including working persons, college students, and retired senior citizens) to be a mentor. Sessions will occur once a week beginning in November, ending in May before Memorial Day, and will run from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. For more information or to sign up to be a mentor, contact Rome Area Chamber of Commerce President William Guglielmo at 315-337-1700 or New York State Mentoring Advisory Council Member Frank Di Berardino at 315-337-4721. 

2018-2019 School Health Requirements

For the 2018-2019 school year, there are changes to the immunization requirements and health screening requirements. For a copy of the updated immunization requirements from the Department of Health, please click the link below. Beyond just the requirements for attendance, the school district is required to follow certain mandates for non-compliance. These mandates are STRICTLY ENFORCED and I encourage you to take note of the following consequences if your child does not possess the required medical immunizations.

  1. NYS resident children MUST provide proof of immunization within the first two weeks of school. If no record is provided, the child is not allowed to attend school. Out of State children have a 30-day grace period.
  2. We can not accept an appointment card/doctors note confirming an appointment beyond  their allotted time schedule as a means to stay in school.  
  3. Child may return to school once proof  of vaccination has been supplied to the school nurse. 
Thank you for your understanding and support of meeting these laws. Please speak to your school nurse or family physician if you have any questions regarding these new requirements.

Pre-K Program Times

For those families that have students attending the pre-k program (either 3-year-old or 4-year-old), please note that the start times have changed for this year. The morning session will run from 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and the afternoon session will run from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Communication has been occurring during the registration process and for more information, please contact the pre-k office.