Posts

Class of 2021...

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Well, it may be hard to believe but we have made it to the final week of the 2020-2021 school year and the final week of school for our soon to be RFA graduates, the Class of 2021. As this group of students entered 9th grade, no one would have ever known what their high school experience would entail. While last year's senior class was certainly disrupted, and every student 11th grade and below currently was disrupted, no group of students has had their high school experience impacted more than this current group. Yet, one can argue that no group of graduating students has ever achieved more and been better prepared for the real world than this group of students. They have endured a pandemic which at the onset left them as students better prepared for the new learning environment than many of us adults. Shortly thereafter, they were thrust into a national controversy over social justice and basic human rights. A topic that can easily divide communities and students, but this group

What is Juneteenth...

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 As you may know, schools throughout New York State will be recognizing the Juneteenth holiday for the first time this year as it becomes an official State holiday next year. While this is a recognition that is long overdue, many people in our society still do not know much about Juneteenth or the importance of the holiday in our history.  Juneteenth marks the day (June 19) when federal troops arrived in  Galveston ,  Texas  in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came two and a half years after the signing of the  Emancipation Proclamation . Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday.  The year following 1865, freedmen in Texas organized the first of what became the annual celebration of "Jubilee Day" on June 19. In the ensuing decades, Juneteenth commemorations featured music, barbecues, prayer services, and other activities, and as Bl

Last Time, I Hope...

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 As you are probably aware, media outlets throughout New York have been reporting all weekend about the State removing the mask requirements for New York Schools as early as Monday. I am hopeful that this will be my last COVID update this year for you all, with only a few weeks of school to go. Please know, that at this time, there are no changes to any of the requirements for schools in New York State.  The district has not received any official notification from any New York State authority including the Governor's office or the New York State Department of Health regarding any changes to the current health and safety requirements for schools. We will review any information we may receive regarding the health and safety requirements for schools, as soon as we receive such information. Our protocols will remain in place for Monday, June 7 and we will update our communications as soon as any official information and direction are provided to schools throughout New York State. Based

Today We Remember...

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  This weekend we take pause and remember all of the brave women and men who gave the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country and defend our freedoms. Memorial Day is one of our nation's most important military holidays as it aims to recognize all of the individuals who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It's hard to think of the day as an actual holiday because of the meaning behind the day. We are not celebrating the military, but celebrating the lives of our lost soldiers and the bravery that they embodied as they defending our nation. Similar to last year, COVID continues to put a damper on the recognition ceremonies for these heroes. Our country's general way of showing recognition for the lost on Memorial Day is a parade. With many parades throughout our country still on hold, it is our duty to take time tomorrow to remember those lost in the line of duty and to share stories about Memorial Day with our youth. While most people use this weekend to hit the camp

The Final Countdown (part deux)...

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At this point, it is hard to find words to even talk about the last 16 months. Having five minutes to think back and reflect on everything that has happened and to think about everything that our food services workers have done, the transitions and adaptations our teachers have had to make, the abundance of contact tracing and phone calls administrators have had to make, and everything that students have had to navigate to get to this point truly makes you wonder how we are able to see the end in sight. With Memorial Day being late this year, the end of the school year is going to come quick. When we get to this point of the year, it generally makes me think of the song The Final Countdown by Europe. The end of the year is usually fast-paced with a ton of required tasks that all have deadlines that are non-negotiable. Beyond all of the checkboxes that have to be completed, there are proms, balls, celebrations, events, and other activities that mark the milestone of reaching the end of

Failure is Success...

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I often wonder why it is that people are afraid of failure? Beyond that, educators, in general, seem to be so afraid of failure. Almost every educator recognizes when something doesn't make sense and needs to be changed, but are reluctant to try something different because what if it doesn't work? That would make us failures!! In conjunction with that, every educated and worldly adult knows that we have learned life's lessons through failure. By making mistakes and not giving up. So I ask the question, should failure be final? Well, I would argue that clearly in life it is not. We are able to make mistakes and are provided opportunities to correct our mistakes, learn from them, and move on with life. Oftentimes, the feeling of success that accompanies our learning experiences and/or corrected mistakes is a rejuvenation of life in general. In education, failure has long meant that we are not good enough. Given that most people who work in the field of education, were not stu

Happy Mother's Day!

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Today is the day that we celebrate all of the moms that are out there within our school district community. There is no secret about it, moms have long been a major fixture of public school systems everywhere. Beyond the fact that most often a mother is a child's first teacher, they have been intricately involved in the function of schools since day one. Whatever the need, whenever it occurs, a mother is generally available to help make sure that the ball isn't dropped. As we grow through life and become adults, appreciation for the work of our mother grows even stronger. It's easy to see a mom as more of a taskmaster and an Uber driver in our childhood. Carting us around and making sure that we progressed through life in a matter that provides the greatest opportunity for long-standing success. Regardless of the times, regardless of the situation, a mother is the ultimate support person as we walk throughout life. During the last year, the pandemic has only accentuated the