Sunday, December 1, 2019

We Need More Pollyanna...

Polyanna is a 1960's Disney film that is based on the concept that life's most difficult challenges can be overcome by having a positive attitude and being pragmatic. We all know that life is constantly throwing challenges at us and that nothing seems to be easy, or come easily. However, what's to say that being positive in the face of adversity is not the answer? In our world of education, the mandates that school systems and teachers continue to face are increasing, making the actual job of teaching nearly impossible. If you were to ask a teacher in today's world of education how much of their day that they actually have the control over deciding what to do and how to do it, you would find that the answer is staggeringly low. Teachers have almost zero control anymore about doing what they feel is best for their students. And those that do dare to step out of the box tend to be in violation of some mandate that came from somewhere. We hear it all the time from many places that if we all just do what we are told to do and "play the game", things will improve and our district won't be on the improvement lists. But, has anyone bothered to ask the questions about who determined what the game was? Do the people creating the game know our kids, our families, our staff, and our schools? Is the game to be played because we are told to play it, or because it's best for kids? This is where Pollyanna steps in! If you evaluate the game and realize that it's simply a set of hoops to jump through, and includes more mandates that don't make sense, then why play it? At some point, the adults need to step up and say no to the game. We need to do what's best for our kids, because education is about them. Kids are the consumers of our industry. More than just this, our teachers need to be heard as they know how to help the kids the best. You wouldn't stick with a doctor that every time you don't feel good, uses a manual to determine what to do. Doctor's use their professional knowledge and experience to make a determination of how to help a patient. That's no different than operating a classroom. Teacher's have historically been the most Pollyanna-like individuals in our society because of their inherent desire to help children. So I say, what's wrong with Pollyanna? Education is a challenge, yes. But, with a Pollyanna-like attitude to believe that we can all make a difference, regardless of mandates, our kids can have the experience that they desire in their education! 

Scholar Athlete/Team Awards

Congratulations to all of our Fall sport scholar athletes and teams! The NYSPHSAA has released the list of scholar athletes and teams for the Fall 2019 season. Our Scholar Teams for the Fall 2019 season include: Girls Varsity Field Hockey coached by Mackenzie Welker, Girls Varsity Cross Country coached by Ty Knamm, Boys Varsity Cross Country coached by Nicholas Jeror, Girls Varsity Soccer coached by Melissa Downs, Girls Swimming coached by Michelle Browne, and Girls Varsity Tennis coached by Nick Natishak. In total, across all sports, we had 114 students achieve the Scholar Athlete distinction. Individual awards are given to any student who has a cumulative GPA of 90 or higher; while team awards are given to teams that have 75% of the roster achieving a GPA of 90 or better. 

Christmas in the City

Life Church of Rome, NY will be hosting their second annual Christmas in the City event this coming Friday and Saturday, December 6 and 7, from 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. each evening. The event will be held at the former NYS Armory, located at 1110 Black River Blvd. During the event there will be an interactive Christmas village, live caroling, local artisans, food trucks, treats, and live animals. Christmas in the City is a FREE event and for more information, please visit their website at

RFA Class Holiday Window Competition

Once again, in conjunction with our local JCP, who is a tremendous supporter of our local education, families, and students; each of the individual RFA cohorts has decorated a holiday window display at the local JCP as a fundraising event. The window paintings will be on display throughout the holiday season and you can vote for your favorite window in the store. The winning class will receive a $200 donation from JCP. Thank you to JCP for sponsoring such a fun event which brings the school and community together during the holiday season.  Students from each class volunteered their time and creative ability to design the best windows for Rome, so make sure to get out and vote for your favorite!