Sunday, October 6, 2019

What is Education...

Reflecting on what an educator (formally known as a teacher) has to provide to a child in the 21st century almost makes the concept of schooling, or education, unrecognizable to the general public. In less than one generation, the requirements thrust upon our adults working with students in schools has changed so dramatically, that it is possible that in another generation there will be a true concern of teacher shortages. Currently in New York State, there is already a shortage of teaching assistants, bus drivers, monitors, special education teachers, foreign language teachers, science teachers, library media specialists, and superintendents. It's hard to determine the cause of shortages (which could be a combination of many factors), but the pool of candidates for our profession continues to dry up. Several decades ago, students came to school each day not always eager to learn but understanding the purpose of attending school. Many schools did not even serve food and in many cases, school would dismiss for everyone to go home and eat lunch. School counselors had the primary responsibility of guiding students through high school and to help them determine a post secondary path in life. If a family, or child, wanted to stop attending school at some point in their education, they were not shunned by society as an incapable contributor to society. Fast forward to today, college attendance is expected, schools are littered with services for students and families, schools serve two meals a day, students (or families) who do not desire to have a complete high school education are required to stay in school (often causing behavior concerns for others that want to be there), facilities are on constant lockdown, and governmental oversight of schools has made the list of regulations that must be adhered to so large that a whole profession has been born (educational law attorneys). Having conversations with people that are not in education and trying to explain all of the requirements of schools and educators today is a challenge. Most of the requirements don't make sense. Ironically, as you can notice by reading, the concepts of curriculum, instruction, and learning are some of the last things that schools are able to focus on in today's iteration of education. In the past, many people attempt to create conflict between parents and schools claiming that parents are doing less at home so more responsibilities fall on the schools/teachers. I would say this accusation is not accurate. In fact, I think that parents and schools are working together more than ever to try to solve the riddle of increased demands placed on kids and schools in today's society. There are increased pressures and stresses on students that cause a greater need for counseling support in schools. Access to food and basic resources has dwindled in the past couple of decades for many children. And, the general school day has shortened in time over the years to the point where it is virtually impossible to fit all of the academic requirements into a school day that teachers are required to attempt to teach, let alone address the social/emotional growth elements that they know kids need. For the sake of our educators, I hope that we can all continue to work together to provide solutions and relief that allow them to do what they have been trained to do... TEACH. We need to stop having people ask the question, what is education? And start allowing those that have chosen to be a professional in the world of education the trust and opportunity to educate our kids. 

RFA PBIS Test Drive Event

Come test drive a Ford, courtesy of Steet Ford of Yorkville, and Ford will donate $20 to Rome Free Academy. Steet Ford is bringing vehicles to RFA during its College Night on Wednesday, October 9, from 2:30 - 7:00 p.m. for the test drives.  Any driver 18 years of age or older with a valid driver's license and proof of insurance is encouraged to come test drive a Ford to help raise money for our students.  Ford will donate $20 per test drive, up to $6,000!! No purchase necessary! *Limit one donation per person and one donation per household.*

Free Bullying Prevention Workshop

One of our local karate dojos is sponsoring a free bullying prevention workshop on Friday, October 25 from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m. The seminar, sponsored by Bullyproof: Unleash the Hero Inside Your Kid and Sidekicks Karate, aims to give kids the tools they need to protect themselves and empower them to have the confidence to stand up for themselves and others. For more information, or to register, please visit this website:

Parent Portal

It's hard to believe that we are already talking about the end of a marking period already, but we are moving in on the close of the first quarter. As a reminder, the Rome City School District utilizes SchoolTool's Parent Portal for the report of both in progress grading and report cards.  If you do not already have an account and would like to sign up for an account, or if you are experiencing trouble accessing your account, please contact your child's school for assistance.