Sunday, March 29, 2020

Learning at Home...

One of the most common things I am hearing from people in discussion lately is, "I can't wait for schools to get back in session." At this point, as we enter week three of the closure, school staff are missing the children, parents are running out of ideas/resources for learning, and students are getting frustrated with the loss of school normalcy. One of the most important things that families, teachers, and children need to know about learning at home right now, is that students should not be recreating their regular school day schedule. Yes, a school day may last 6-7 hours in totality, but within that time, students are not faced with 6-7 hours of continuous work. There are teacher led conversations that occur, independent reading, student research of various topics, and much more that occurs that is not explicit work. The reality is that students should be doing roughly 90 minutes of work a day at the elementary level and roughly 120 minutes of work (20-25 minutes per course) at the secondary level. The rest of the day can be filled with artistic type activities, reading, physical activity, research/exploration, and more. Trying to recreate school at home will not work for students and families. It is important to remember that although there are a myriad of amusing memes available right now about "home schooling", this situation is not home schooling. This is a wonderful and brief article about the opportunities of learning at home, that is accessible to all families, students, and teachers: https://www.edutopia.org/article/why-learning-home-should-more-self-directed-and-less-structured . The author suggests that any activity that is self directed and less structured will generally yield more learning. We have heard this in education for decades, that learning needs to be more student centered, and tailor made for the needs of EACH student. We have the opportunity to do that in this current situation. Failure is one of the world's strongest motivators. Trial and error is one of our most powerful learning mechanisms that exists. It's okay to have unstructured learning so children can experiment their way to knowledge acquisition. As we move through the coming weeks together, the district will continue to support our teachers as they learn how to navigate this new world and we will continue to support students and families as they learn how to adjust to the challenges that learning at home can present. Regardless, we are all in this together and it is important to remember that when stress levels reach their maximum. This is not the ideal learning environment for anyone, but together we will make it through this closure and the end result will be a better, more student centered, education system.

Child Care Needs


One of the Governor’s recent orders requires the school district to coordinate with local agencies to provide day care services to essential employees who are required to work during this time. We are continue to canvas the community for need. This is the message that has been sent out regionally, “During this current health crisis you may be considered an essential employee who is still required to work. Child care placement may be available to essential employees who work in health care, are first responders, who work in grocery stores, in transportation, some construction fields, certain non-profit agencies and in food or supply distribution fields.” If you believe that you may qualify, or if you know someone who may qualify and has a need, please call the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Child Care Resource Center at 315-223-7850 extension 222. They are working to organize this effort on behalf of our entire region.

Technology Support

During this time, we recognize that people need support of all kinds. If your student(s) is still in need of a Chromebook, we ask that you complete our online request form here: Chromebook Sign Up Form . Chromebooks are available for pick-up at the District Office on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday's from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m. Unfortunately, with minimal staff and the need to address legal requirements related to this closure, we will not be able to assist folks outside of those hours. Also, please note that we can not provide technology support for families or individuals with problems people are experiencing with their personal devices. Finally, username and password info for your student's Chromebook can be obtained by emailing Studentaccounthelp@romecsd.org.  Please include your child's name and the building they attend. If a student has forgotten their username/password for any of the programs the district currently operates, please send an email to the building specific email addresses below and our staff will work together to help that child regain access. Your classroom teacher may also be able to help with some of these barriers.


NYSED Information for Families


The New York State Education Department has begun to produce some informational items and guidance documents for schools and families. The commissioner has also recently written a letter to families throughout the State. A copy of the commissioner's letter can be found here: Commissioner's Family Letter . 

Mental Health Support Information

Another area of concern for the State Education Department is the mental health of families and students during this time. Feeling anxiety amid a global pandemic is normal and natural for everyone. As the adults, it’s critical that we take care of our own mental and physical health, and that will help us to better support our young people. The following resources offer guidance for self-care as well as strategies for talking about COVID-19 honestly and effectively with young people. This document: Resources for Mental Health has been released by SED to help families with these concerns. Also, the Rome City School District Counseling Team has developed a Facebook group to help students and families address some of these concerns. Their group can be found here: Daily Dose of Learning

Spring Break

There has been a lot of discussion at the State level regarding Spring break and whether or not staff members of school districts throughout the State have actually been working during the initial weeks of this closure. With that concept, school districts have been advised to cancel their breaks and continue with instruction if they want to be eligible for the 180-day waiver. Given the amount of stress that I have seen and heard about with our students, families, and staff; the Rome City School District will be having Spring Break as regularly scheduled for all students and staff. Instruction will occur again beginning on Monday, April 13. While this may cause some turbulence in different arenas and down the road, it is an action that our community needs.

RCSD Coronavirus Reminders


This is just a reminder that the Rome City School District's most comprehensive location for information related to Coronavirus and it's impact on our schools is our website: https://sites.google.com/romecsd.org/rcsdcovid-19updates/home . Things continue to change and be adjusted almost on a daily basis, making it difficult to remain informed. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please email the most appropriate administrator for your question, or your child's teacher. 


Sunday, March 22, 2020

Thank You Rome...

During this time, it is more important than ever to show appreciation for others in our community. While it has already been known (and said) that Rome, NY is one of the most giving, caring, and supportive communities of education and each other that there is, it goes without saying that this past week has had many demonstrations of how amazing Rome truly is. People throughout our community have been coming together to support each other and learn how to live in this new environment. While no one can tell how long this situation is going to persist, what we can control is that when it has passed, we maintain our community of caring and supporting each other. Ironically, the level of complaints about many things has disappeared. It's not to say that problems and issues don't exist, however, this unfortunate medical crisis has put things into perspective for many. There is no need for adults, teenagers, or children to put others down. The level of outrage and frustration over simple concerns or issues that we had grown accustomed to seeing on a weekly basis all of a sudden seems inconsequential. These events are stressful, concerning, and nerve wrecking, but they show the true human spirit of our community, our people, and ourselves. Taking time to self reflect on our own lives and the things that we "complain" about frequently will help us all to grow into better people after this is over. Crisis events such as this will either bring out the best in people, or the worst. To date, it has tended to bring out the best in our people. For that, I thank all of you for what you do on a daily basis to help each other stay safe, informed, and healthy. Keep listening to the guidance of our elected officials and the medical professionals so that we can put an end to this sooner than later. To our students and staff, an event like this helps us to truly understand and cherish this civil right that we have come to know as school or education. Many people go through 13 years of public education or year to year work as an employee of a school system either dreading certain activities/days or loathing the ground we walk on. However, when we are forced to not do the things we love to do or be with the people that help us daily, it becomes easy to realize how important our schools are to us. Our kids are missing their friends, they miss routine, they miss their teachers, they miss our other adults in the buildings that help them every day, they miss their school. Our staff miss our students, they miss each other, they miss our events, they miss providing knowledge to children and watching the smiles and eyes light up when a kid learns something. It's what we do and it's what we want to get back to doing. Until then, stay fresh, connect with each other virtually, harness the power of social media, and make sure that others know how you feel. Positive support and small forms of gratitude go a long way right now. With that, thank you Rome for being amazing and I miss all of our students and staff, and can't wait to get back to leading you along the pathway to becoming the greatest school district in New York State!! Be well everyone...

Congratulations

Just before the school closure, we have had some tremendous students achieve some remarkable things. Our combined girls' hockey team was crowned NYS Champions and our RFA VEX Robotics team qualified for the World Championships in Kentucky. Also, senior Damien Call planted himself in RFA history becoming the boys' basketball program's all-time leading scorer. Our top ten for the class of 2020 was announced. Beyond these few tremendous accomplishments, there are students all throughout our district excelling at many things and I encourage you to follow their stories through our social media accounts. During this closure, we are going to continue to provide as many positive stories as we can about the amazing things that happen in our community every day!!



Observer Dispatch 2020 Teen All-Stars


Who's your Teen All-Star?

The O-D is currently accepting nominations for its 2020 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 until April 1, 2020.
To nominate a local high school senior, please fill out the nomination form, located below. Nominations can be made by any member of the community for our students. Let's make sure RFA is represented with our amazing students.

Utica OD Teen All-Stars Nomination Form


RCSD Coronavirus Information Update


The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has communities and schools throughout or state, country, and the world on edge and responding in ways that none of us could have ever imagined. Fortunately, there are now more answers than we had before and we are able to start getting answers to more questions. The Governor continues to provide daily briefings, and our local legislators have also been at the forefront of keeping everyone informed. I urge you to follow their communication efforts and stay informed. Below are some quick pointers that are specifically related to the Rome City School District. As new information is available and things change, we will continue to provide updated information. At this time though, please know that our focus remains on the children that we serve and what we can/need/will do to help them make it through this crisis.

NEW WEBSITE: In an effort to streamline communications and provide a single source of information for the district, our public relations team has developed a new webpage that is connected to our district page which serves as a clearinghouse for all things. COVID-19. We continue to update this page as frequently as possible. The page is located here: https://sites.google.com/romecsd.org/rcsdcovid-19updates/home

COUNSELING SUPPORTS: One of our amazing counselors has taken the initiative to develop an online counseling group for students and families. In just a few short days, the group has grown to more than 1,400 members. For more information or to join, please visit their page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DailyaDoseOfLearning/?ref=share. Thank you to our school counselors for working on this for our families.

FOOD SERVICES: Thank you to our Food Services team for getting Grab and Go meals available and distributed to our students this week. We currently have 7 sites (elementary schools) and will begin serving meals on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at the Rome Senior Center in South Rome. Of most importance is that food services employees have been deemed essential under the Governor’s new order today so we will continue to provide our daily meals to students, Monday through Friday, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the elementary schools.

FOOD PANTRY: Thank you to our community partners, Rome Alliance for Education and Connected Community Schools, for operating a food pantry during this time. While we attempted to operate multiple pantries, there were some small issues on day one and they have decided to move to one pantry out of Gansevoort Elementary. The pantry is open on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Connected Community Schools is looking for donations and volunteers. If you are interested, please contact them via their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/RomeCommunitySchools/. They have also set up a Venmo account for online donations. More information can be found in the Venmo app or on their Facebook page.

CHROMEBOOKS: Due to an abundance of caution, we postponed the distribution of Chromebooks this week. We have rescheduled the Chromebook pick-up for Tuesday, March 24. Chromebooks will be distributed at the District office (409 Bell Road) between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. A legal disclosure will be required to be signed by the parent/guardian and identification will be required. While we cannot provide internet access, we can provide the tool to access the internet for the purposes of maintaining a student’s knowledge set. Please note that the district maintains the ability to remotely access and disable any device that we deploy to a student/family. Any device that is not returned at the time this closure is over will be remotely disabled and no longer function. If a student has forgotten their username/password for any of the programs the district currently operates, please send an email to Studentaccounthelp@romecsd.org and we will work to help the student regain access.

CHILD CARE NEEDS: One of the Governor’s recent orders requires the school district to coordinate with local agencies to provide day care services to essential employees who are required to work during this time. We are currently canvassing the community for need. This is the message that has been sent out regionally, “During this current health crisis you may be considered an essential employee who is still required to work. Child care placement may be available to essential employees who work in health care, are first responders, who work in grocery stores, in transportation, some construction fields, certain non-profit agencies and in food or supply distribution fields.” If you believe that you may qualify, or if you know someone who may qualify and has a need, please call the Oneida-Herkimer-Madison Child Care Resource Center at 315-223-7850 extension 222. They are working to organize this effort on behalf of our entire region.

STUDENT LEARNING: We have prepared a section of our website where student resources are provided by building. The webpage where these resources can be found is here: https://www.romecsd.org/news_page/student_resources_during_closure_ The Rome City School District also has many electronic resources that students have accessed frequently throughout the year. Those resources can be found here: https://start.me/p/VjydLr/students. The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has also recently announced that PBS will begin broadcasting more k-12 instructional/educational programming, with multiple channels dedicated to different grade level bands. A link to the article on this topic can be found here: http://www.nysed.gov/news/2020/state-education-department-and-new-yorks-public-television-stations-announce-expanded. Finally, NYSED has a new section of their website dedicated to the continuity of learning with several resources for teachers, students, and families. That website can be found here: http://www.nysed.gov/edtech/continuity-learning.

HELPFUL LINKS/INFORMATION :The following links have been provided by the CDC to help all members of our community be educated and prepared.

https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/index.html - CDC link on how to protect yourself and others from respiratory illnesses being spread within the community.  There is a section specific to schools and worksites. 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html - CDC link to Coronavirus updates
https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/ - NYS DOH link to Coronavirus updates



Sunday, March 15, 2020

Rome CSD COVID-19 Update...

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has communities and schools throughout or state, country, and the world on edge and responding in ways that none of us could have ever imagined. While there continues to be no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community, exposure and contact is all but inevitable, if not already here. As a precautionary measure to limit exposure and contact, the Rome City School District has decided to close student operations (no school for students) effective immediately. Students will return to school on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 baring any new developments or situations. While we all work through this, it is important to try and keep our minds free of false information and gossip. False information and gossip lead to fear, which leads to panic. While this crisis is scary, specifically for the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, it is manageable. I remind people every day that there is not a professional alive that we can turn to and ask, "what did you do last time...". We don't have that luxury. For that reason, there continues to be more questions than answers related to the entire situation. The Governor continues to provide daily briefings, and our local legislators have also been at the forefront of keeping everyone informed. I urge you to follow their communication efforts and stay informed. Below are some quick pointers that are specifically related to the Rome City School District. As new information is available and things change, we will continue to provide updated information. At this time though, please know that our focus remains on the children that we serve and what we can/need/will do to help them make it through this crisis.

STUDENT ATTENDANCE: As of now, student operations are canceled until Tuesday, April 14, 2020. The Governor has waived the 180-day attendance element that is required for school districts. However, he has not provided any specific guidance on whether or not days must be made up to avoid financial penalty. What that means is, schools are not required to meet the 180-day mandate, but you could lose state aid if you do not meet the 180-day threshold. It is too early to panic about the potential loss of state aid for 2020-2021, but it certainly is something that we all need to keep an eye on as it will effect the budget in the coming weeks.

BOARD OPERATIONS: As of now, all previously planned/scheduled Board of Education operations are still planned to continue. The Board of Education will be discussing their plan for the future in the coming days and as soon as information is available regarding their meetings/schedule the district will publish that information.

FOOD SERVICES: We will be announcing our full food services plan on Monday, March 16 for the community. We have applied to the federal government to allow our district to enter into a food services mode that is similar to the summer feed program, which removes a lot of restrictions related to the providing of food for students. Currently, we will continue to operate two food pantries in conjunction with the Rome Alliance for Education and Connected Community Schools. However, the Bellamy pantry will be relocated to Staley Elementary and open for business this coming Wednesday, March 18. The Gansevoort food pantry will also open on Wednesday, March 18. Both pantries will. operate Monday, Wednesday and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and food is pre-rationed by Connected Community Schools. Prior to this event, their guidelines were that each family was eligible for one visit a month and rationing was based on family size. That may change, so please keep an eye on information related to that. If you would like to donate to Connected Community Schools and our food pantries, please contact Melissa Roys or the Rome Alliance for Education through Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RomeAFE/ . Regardless, the Rome City School District and the Rome Alliance for Education are committed to making sure our kids are fed during this prolonged closure.

STUDENT WORK/ASSIGNMENTS: At this time, we are asking staff members to provide students/families with one page lists of resource materials from which students can continue to maintain the knowledge that they have already learned. Due to access and equitability concerns, it is impossible for our staff to provide new material/instruction to students during this time. While school is not in session, there will be no graded work for students. Staff members are available electronically however to work with students during this time. This is most likely going to occur via email, but some staff may opt to provide virtual instruction, GoogleMeet options for their students. Also during this time, the districts online resources for students will remain available and can be accessed here: https://start.me/p/VjydLr/students . While some may believe that more needs to be done relative to continued instruction, there are a host of federal and state laws involved with education of students and equity. No district is prepared to meet the legal requirements of IDEA under these circumstances and it would be careless to try. For that reason, we are opting for a review model. For families that may need a device at home to access the internet, we are working to develop a lease program for our Chromebooks so that students can take them home (similar to a library book, no cost) and that should hopefully be ready to roll out by the end of week. Finally, Spectrum is also offering free internet services for up to 60 days for households with children in k-12 schools. For more information on that program, please go here: https://www.syracuse.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-spectrum-to-offer-free-high-speed-internet-to-households-with-students.html .

GRADUATION/ASSESSMENTS: There is currently zero information that has been provided regarding either of these topics. There has been a document released that reminds districts of the make-up window for grade 3-8 assessments, which happens to end on April 14, 2020. I am of the belief that right now people are focused on the immediate and not thinking that far in advance yet. The stance of the Rome City School District is that this crisis should not negatively impact our students' academic standing. While there may knowledge that can not be learned due to this situation, it should not prevent a child from graduating high school or progressing in grade. For that reason, I do not feel it necessary to be overly worried about this topic.

THOUGHT EXCHANGE EVENT: The district is currently running a ThoughtExchange event for staff, students, and community to share with us their thoughts/concerns related to COVID-19. While most of the initial thoughts related to closing schools, there are still many thoughts/concerns that could be shared. We will be using the conversation through ThoughtExchange to develop a FAQ document for everyone. It is a completely anonymous program and helpful for our community. I encourage people to continue to participate in the current COVID-19 exchange that is ongoing. The end date for the current exchange is Wednesday, March 18 and the exchange can be found here: https://my.thoughtexchange.com/188867462 .

HELPFUL LINKS/INFORMATION :The following links have been provided by the CDC to help all members of our community be educated and prepared.
https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/index.html - CDC link on how to protect yourself and others from respiratory illnesses being spread within the community.  There is a section specific to schools and worksites. 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html - CDC link to Coronavirus updates
https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/ - NYS DOH link to Coronavirus updates

In closing, the most important thing that I feel we need to continuously reiterate is that only information coming from the Superintendent's office or via direct Rome City School District sponsored media should be followed. There are a lot of rumors and falsehoods that can circulate quickly and I urge people to pay attention to official information at this time. Thank you all and be safe!


Sunday, March 8, 2020

Fact vs. Fiction...

Do you remember playing the telephone game as a child? Sitting in a circle and sharing a "fact" with the person next to you and seeing how much that "fact changed by the time it got to the end of the circle. I can't recall a single instance where the information at the start of the circle was exactly the same at the end. This is because the our individual human brains interpret things differently from person to person. The outbreak of the coronavirus has brought this concept right to the forefront for our society. The Governor has recently done a serious of press conferences where he has highlighted the issues that arise from people sharing incomplete and/or inaccurate information. He has done a nice job explaining both facts and fear. Unfortunately, in today's society, most people feel that they are experts on all things that they can get their hands on. If we stick to coronavirus, how many people do you know that actually have direct access to the facts an information? The answer is most likely zero for 99% of the population. For instance, as superintendent, we have access to the most current information probably 10 times removed from the source. That means most likely, 10 people before I hear the news have had an opportunity to alter the message in some way, shape, or form. Often times, messages are not altered intentionally to raise concern; it's just that we all interpret a message differently when we hear it. Similar to the telephone game, many adults could sit in a room and hear the same message, but walk away with a different interpretation. When people hear something (or read something as is more common today with social media) it causes a response or reaction to the information that they hear. If the information though is not accurate or has been through the telephone game, now there are people reacting to things that are not necessarily correct. When that happens, fear can arise and/or anger over something that may not be correct. In our digital age, the internet (specifically social media) has become the telephone game of our childhood on steroids. People can go online and write whatever they want about anything, and all it takes is a few others to share it and all of a sudden there is misinformation all over the web. The bottom line, is that the truth is harder and harder to determine as we move away from the actual message that is trying to be delivered. Take time to seek the original message or get information from someone that was 2 to 3 times removed from the sender. Fiction can not only instill fear in our society, it can be detrimental to real progress.

Observer Dispatch 2020 Teen All-Stars


Who's your Teen All-Star?

The O-D is currently accepting nominations for its 2020 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 until April 1, 2020.
To nominate a local high school senior, please fill out the nomination form, located below. Nominations can be made by any member of the community for our students. Let's make sure RFA is represented with our amazing students.

Utica OD Teen All-Stars Nomination Form


Strough Drama Club

This week, the Strough Drama Club will host their musical, 42nd Street. On March 12th, 13th, and 14th, students will be performing the show at Strough Middle School. Tickets for the performance are $4 for pre-sale and $5 at the door. Pre-sale tickets are available at Jervis Library. For more information, please contact the school. 

Oneida County 2020 Youth/Adult Nominations


Oneida County’s Youth Bureau and Veterans Department are seeking 2020 nominations to once again celebrate, honor and recognize outstanding Oneida County youth (current grades 9-12) as well as exceptional Oneida County adults. The 2020 youth (current grades 9-12) and adult categories will remain the same.  Oneida County will recognize the following Youth categories:
-Commitment to Military Service
-Distinguished Volunteer
-Spirit of Success
-Positive Change Leading to Success
-Exceptional Leadership 

The Adult categories include:
-Distinguished Youth Employee
-Rising Star in Youth Services
-Connecting our Community

When nominating a youth and/or adult, please adhere to the following guidelines:
ALL NOMINATIONS MUST BE SUBMITTED TO THE ONEIDA COUNTY YOUTH BUREAU BY: FRIDAY, APRIL 17TH, 2020
  • ·         Ensure you are checking only one category, per nomination form, for youth and/or adult nominee. (YOU MAY NOMINATE MORE THAN ONE YOUTH or ADULT)
  • ·         All nominations are reviewed by the Oneida County Youth Bureau Advisory Board; confidential information will not be shared publicly.
  • ·         Please submit a typed or neatly written testimonial with supporting and detailed criteria for your nominee. 
  • ·         It is recommended and important to hear from other individuals who are familiar with the nominees’ accomplishments/efforts. Please feel free to include no more than   three (3) support letters. 
Anyone interested in completing a nomination form, please contact the Rome City School District central offices for more information.


Sunday, March 1, 2020

Schools Are Prepared...

The world is currently experiencing one of the largest health concerns that we have seen in recent, otherwise known as the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Hopefully by now, you have at least heard of the Coronavirus and have been able to see some of the news worldwide regarding the concerns. It first broke out in China and has since been reported in multiple other countries around the world. While COVID-19 cases have not been detected in New York State, we continue to prepare should there arise situations of cases or community spread.  The New York State Deportment of Health (NYSDOH) and Center for Disease Control (CDC) are recommending that everyone (including local health departments, health care providers, schools and businesses) prepare for the possibility of community spread. COVID-19 is a respiratory illness, spread person-to-person similar to influenza.  Currently there is no specific treatment or vaccination to prevent COVID-19.  Non-pharmaceutical interventions, again like those to avoid other respiratory illnesses such as influenza, are the best method to avoid ongoing community spread. Below are some resources shared by NYSDOH and the CDC to help schools prepare.  While the links refer to pandemic flu, the content is equally appropriate for any community outbreaks of COVID-19.  We are still in the middle of cold and flu season, which makes this information just as timely should you have a concern related to the flu in your household or school. The Rome City School District maintains continuous contact with local and State health officials, as well as, receives frequent updates from the State Education Department regarding the preparation for a potential arrival of COVID-19. Again, there are no confirmed cases detected in New York State at this time, however we continue to be prepared in the event that the virus does make it's way to the Mohawk Valley. We have been able to confirm that the cleaning agents we use in our schools are the recommended cleaning agents for a potential COVID-19 arrival. The current recommendation for schools, coming from the DOH, are to continue our cleaning regimens as we would for flu. The DOH has also provided the following in a recent memo regarding COVID-19: "Through the weekly surveillance conducted by school nurses and health offices at our colleges, I know all of you are on top of keeping your students healthy. As more information is shared in the media I also realize that public concern is heightened. At this time there is no need to cancel school activities.  If there are any large school trips planned out of the country, they should be reviewed based on the CDC travel notices that are changing rapidly.  We anticipate continued monitoring and self-quarantining any travelers returning from countries with active COVID-19, this guidance may change if community spread is experienced within the state." We will continue to remain cognizant of the situation and maintain contact with all health agencies that are currently providing and will continue to provide guidance and support relative to this situation so that we are prepared if and when the Coronavirus appears. Again, the following links have been provided by the CDC to help all members of our community be educated and prepared.


https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/index.html - CDC link on how to protect yourself and others from respiratory illnesses being spread within the community.  There is a section specific to schools and worksites. 
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html - CDC link to Coronavirus updates
https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/ - NYS DOH link to Coronavirus updates

Congratulations!


Staley Physical Education Teacher, Diane Penella, has been named the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance Central North Zone ELEMENTARY TEACHER OF THE YEAR!! We congratulate Diane on this outstanding accomplishment and are very proud to have her working with our children on a daily basis. There are obviously thousands of teachers who could have won this award, however, our own Diane Penella has taken home the award thanks to the thousands of children's lives that she has touched over the course of her career. Diane is truly a team member who has always done what she knows is best for kids and continues to do so today. Congratulations once again to Diane Penella and thank you for representing Staley and our Rome community in such an amazing way!! 



Kindergarten Registration

Dates: Monday, March 2nd through Friday, March 6th
Times: 9:10 AM to 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 3:10 PM

All Kindergarten registrations will take place at your child’s home school, except for evening registration on 3/4/20 (see below). Home school is determined by your address. For questions about which school your child will attend, please call the Central Registrar’s Office at 315-338-6569 or check this link: http://romecsd.org/UserFiles/Servers/Server_695381/File/Attendance%20Zones%202017-18.pdf.

EVENING REGISTRATION DATE: Wednesday, March 4th
TIME: 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
LOCATION: District Office, 409 Bell Road, Rome, NY

The following must be provided at the time of registration:
-Original Birth Certificate (Your child must be 5 on or before
December 1, 2020 to register for Kindergarten)
-Record of current immunizations
-Proof of residency 
*Any child who will be 6 on or before December 1, 2020 must be registered for school


RFA Travel Club - UPDATE

The RFA Travel Club is currently looking for anyone interested in participating in their trip to Spain and Portugal in the spring of 2021. The meeting for the Spain/Portugal Trip will be held on March 4th (Wednesday) at 6:00 p.m. in room 1310 at RFA. If you or your family want to learn more or enroll for the trip, this is the meeting to attend. For more information on this trip and/or the meeting, please see their flier HERE. 


Strough Craft Fair - UPDATE


I have been informed that unfortunately, the Strough Craft has been postponed to another time. When further details are available, we will share them out with the community. Thank you for your understanding and my apologies for the confusion last week.