Posts

Thank You BOE...

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This coming week marks the week where we celebrate and recognize our Board of Education during the statewide Board of Education Recognition Week. Those of us who have committed our careers to education know that being a member of the Board of Education is oftentimes a thankless job. On top of their own busy lives, Board members put in countless hours of meetings, conversations, research, and visits to help ensure that our children are provided with the best resources, facilities, and opportunities possible. The compensation for being a Board member comes in the form of student smiles, "thank you's" from us, and a general pride in working toward a greater cause. With the constant onslaught of State and Federal mandates (absent everything related to COVID throughout the last 18 months), the concept of remaining focused on learning and children is becoming increasingly difficult for most Boards. Yet through it all, they find a way to remain focused on improving the opportuni

On the Road Again...

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  As we prepare to get students back into our schools this week, it's important to take a moment to appreciate the challenges that were overcome this last week. While remote learning may have been the easiest element of the week, families and students who made the week work need to be appreciated and thanked. While our teachers can always rise to the occasion, the frustration and disappointment of having to suddenly be remote cannot be ignored. As we move forward, we have already begun to develop several things to assist students and families throughout the remainder of the year. We have been fortunate to work directly with the Governor's office on the search and recruitment of additional bus drivers and I am hopeful that this will yield positive results in the coming month. There are still time barriers that make getting drivers on the road difficult, but you can't hire people that you don't know about. We have also engaged in conversations with our teacher's assoc

A Few Updates...

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  I'm not sure that there are words to describe the events of the last month that accurately depict the roller coaster that we have all been on. The most immediate image that comes to my mind is the tornado scene from the original Wizard of Oz movie. At this point, cows flying through the sky would probably not come as a surprise to anyone. We continue to work through the transportation driver shortage and I thank everyone who has already participated in the survey that the district sent out late last week. At this point, we have 60% of the community responding to that survey and a reduction in student riders by 5%. In an effort to reduce riders further, we are going to keep the survey open until Tuesday evening and ask that people encourage each other to complete the survey if they haven't already. Every percentage that we can decrease ridership will assist in reducing the number of buses needed, which in turn can help make sure we don't have an issue in the future and hel

Is It Over...

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Having a chance to network recently with some Superintendents throughout the State, it is astonishing to realize that every district, regardless of size, is having struggles with transportation, COVID, and a plain general sense of normalcy. Large districts having to expand walking zones for students or having neighboring districts help transport kids because they are 40-60% short on drivers. Districts already going remote for a month in an effort to find a way to get kids to school and/or maintain their buildings being open. Districts with as much as 50% of their student body in quarantine. Sometimes, you realize that the grass isn't greener. I think about the issues that we have endured, overcome, or continue to endure in Rome and you realize that no matter how bad it is or has been, it could be worse. You hear people that want to complain about anything and everything. Nothing can ever be right or good enough. And then you visit one of our schools and see our amazing staff workin

Schools and Community...

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The Rome Community and the Rome City School District are fortunate to have one of the fastest growing and most connected community schools initiatives in the country, with the Connected Community Schools initiative (formally Rome Community Schools). The partnership between the Rome Alliance for Education and the Rome City School District continues to blossom into more than anyone could have imagined. This initiative has expanded to many more school districts and communities throughout the Mohawk Valley, including the development of a CoSer through our BOCES system which will ensure sustainability for our students and community.  The Connected Community Schools group has developed a system to support students and families of our community, referred to as LINK. The LINK model provides access to our students and families to over 50 agencies that can support families in need of anything from basic accounting/banking issues to something as serious as access to mental health agencies. Throug

Time for Kids...

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The time has finally arrived, it's time for our kids to return to school and begin moving toward experiences that we are all more familiar with. Our staff has been working tirelessly over the last severely weeks to prepare for students and we have all been anticipating this moment for weeks. While there is no doubt that getting schools open this Fall has been met with its fair share of speed bumps, we have overcome the challenges and are ready to get down to business. None of us knows what the future will hold, but we do expect that this year will bring adjustments and changes throughout the course of the year, similar to what we have grown accustomed to in the last two years. Keeping in touch with your child's teacher(s) and education, in general, will be a tremendous benefit to all parents in the event that we experience situations where things have to change quickly. As we welcome the students back to school this week, I encourage you to take advantage of opportunities that

Stepping Forward...

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  By now, most should have heard that with the developing situation at Staley elementary school, we have made the decision to move forward without occupying the school for student use this school year. During the last week, all Staley students have been reassigned to other schools in the district, throughout the weekend crews have worked non-stop to move furniture so schools have what they need, and transportation routes have been redeveloped so that we can communicate the information home as soon as possible. Every member of our team has been instrumental in making this transition work in a time when no one wanted or needed additional stress. Also as a result of this decision, the Rome City School District has delayed the start of the school year by one week, with classes beginning on Monday, September 13 for students. There are a few BOCES programs and Supported Learning programs that will begin earlier, and grades 7, 9, and 10 will have a stand-alone day on Monday to get acclimated