Sunday, December 8, 2019

Community That Cares...


During this holiday season, it’s easy for people to get swept up in the hustle and bustle of constant events, running from place to place, in preparation of the holidays. Without blinking, you can feel like you are living in a tornado and the whole season can be over before you know it. This kind of atmosphere can make it difficult to slow down enough to see all of the amazing things that are happening around us. During this season, and every holiday season, we are all fortunate enough to be in a community that cares deeply about helping each other. There are more programs and events that occur in Rome each year to help those that may be in need, than any other place I have witnessed in my career. From our civic groups, to places of worship, to our teacher’s union, and many more, Rome has no shortage of caring organizations and people that do what they can to help others. Yes the decorations, lights, music, and events can help bring some happiness and spirit to the season, but, there is no sense of joy like seeing another person smile in gratitude as they are helped in a time of need. Our society tends to lean toward a “what’s in it for me” mentality, as people become more and more busy. While the concept of helping others and supporting those in need does happen year round, it’s more prevalent during the holiday season. No matter where you turn in life, whether it’s people watching at the mall, the people you’re sitting near at a sporting event, or the patrons in line with you at the store; no one is living the perfect life to the point where a little kind gesture wouldn’t brighten there day. It can be as simple as striking up conversation when someone looks depressed. Whatever it is, it can be done. So this holiday season, as we continue to grow our community and help each other, take a moment to care about those who are around you, if even you may not know their story or them. The world will always be a better place with a little more kindness!!

Breakfast with Santa


On Sunday, December 15th, the RFA Travel Club will be hosting a Breakfast with Santa fundraiser from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the RFA cafeteria. Tickets for the event are $6.00 and can be purchased at the door. Children ages 5 and under eat free and all proceeds benefit the Travel Club and their upcoming trip this Spring. There will also be a poinsettia sale, basket raffle, arts and crafts, and more! We look forward to seeing you for a great pancake breakfast on December 15th!

Mentoring Program


The Rome City School District will once again be participating in the New York Mentors program, in conjunction with the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce. Having become a State-wide example and a leader of the program, our Rome schools are once again operating the program in all seven elementary schools for 2019-2020. Students who will be mentored will be either fourth, fifth, or sixth grade children and anyone 18 years or older willing to devote one hour a week is eligible, (including working persons, college students, and retired senior citizens) to be a mentor. Sessions will occur once a week beginning in January, ending in May before Memorial Day. For more information or to sign up to be a mentor, click HERE, or contact Rome Area Chamber of Commerce President William Guglielmo at 315-337-1700 or New York State Mentoring Advisory Council Member Frank DiBerardino at 315-337-4721. 


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!


CNY STEM Scholarships


SRC, Inc., Loretto, TTM Technologies, King + King Architects, and INFICON, in partnership with the CNY STEM Hub, are pleased to announce the 2020 CNY STEM Scholarship Program. This scholarship program, now in its 8th year, is open to graduating high school seniors who will be majoring in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Computer or Software Engineering, Nursing (including PA or NP programs), or Architecture, starting in the Fall, 2020. Students in the following counties may apply: Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Oswego, and Tompkins. This year’s scholarship program will provide financial support and at least one paid summer internship at the participating companies, pending business conditions. Last year’s scholarship winners were from Cicero-North Syracuse, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Hannibal, ITC @ Syracuse Central, New Hartford, Nottingham and Westhill High Schools. There is no financial eligibility requirement. Students attending a college or university in New York State majoring in the select STEM areas will be given preference during the selection process. Finalists will be chosen based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, honors/awards, and an essay related to STEM. Recipients will be determined by an in-person interview. The online application and additional information can be found on the CNY STEM Hub website at www.cnystem.com. The application deadline is MARCH 1, 2020. Selections will be made in April and all applicants will be notified by May 1, 2020. If you have any additional questions related to the program, send inquiries to info@cnystem.com



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 www.lifechurchny.com/christmas



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!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Let's Be Thankful...

Believe it or not, the end of November is but a mere week away. With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, it is time to reflect and say thank you for everything that we are afforded in life. While it can be argued that the traditional American holiday can stand for the remembrance of oppression or discrimination, what can't be argued is the underlying intent of Thanksgiving: to be thankful. With so much negativity in our world today, and the negativity more readily available to all of us, this time of year is the perfect time of year to focus on the positive. We all have our own stories that involve heartache, sadness, successes, and joy. Personally, the last 8 weeks of the calendar year always foster sad memories as any member of my immediate family who has passed away, has done so during the holiday season. This time of year always brings with it the concern and memory of loss. However, negatives can only consume us if we let them. There is much positive to focus on as well. Family, friends, and health could be a few. Regardless of your situation, there is plenty to be thankful for and each different individual has their unique perspective on the world based on the lens that they live through. We also should be thankful for the Rome family. The entire community, and specifically the educational community, is the one of the most giving and caring communities for children that you will find. I have said it frequently and will continue to say it because it is special. Our children are fortunate to attend schools where the adults in the buildings care just as much about their personal growth and opportunities, as they do about their academics. As all of us are, I am fortunate to work for a group of people who want to be the best community in the State, and are willing to roll up their sleeves to achieve that goal. So at this time to give thanks, I am thankful for each of you. Staff, students, and families alike; thank you for the outstanding opportunity to work with you each and every day. For those that celebrate the holiday, I wish you and yours the Happiest of Thanksgivings. For all of us, I hope that you can find some time to reflect on the positives in life and share your positive attributes with our community! It's time we are thankful for each other, because together, the Rome community is second to none.

Referendum Update


As you may be aware, there will be a referendum vote to be held on Wednesday, December 18 for the purposes of completing significant maintenance concerns at RFA (roof, flashing, general repairs), the artificial surface and track at the stadium, an Energy Performance Contract for elementary schools to improve infrastructure items that will produce an energy savings to the district, and for the establishment of a Capital Reserve so that the district can begin to save money for future projects (to be used to offset any potential tax increase). Prior to the referendum, there will be two public information sessions held to provide information on the project and field questions. The sessions will take place on Tuesday, December 3 and Monday, December 16. Both sessions will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be held in the Rome Free Academy Small Auditorium. To view the print flier, please visit: https://app.peachjar.com/flyers/879022/districts/32521 

RFA Open Mic Night 


On Tuesday, November 26, RFA will be holding their annual Open Mic Night at Rome Free Academy. This annual fundraiser has become a November tradition at RFA and an evening to enjoy some of our best talent throughout the school. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and the fee for entrance is $8.00 or $7.00 with a canned good donation. Start the holiday season right with some enjoyment at the Open Mic Night!!


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 www.lifechurchny.com/christmas



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!

Sunday, November 17, 2019

It Is Different...

Recently, I have been involved in discussions with several business leaders from around the region discussing the needs of industry and the evolution of society around us. One of the common themes that seems to pop up in these conversations is how similar public education is to the model that existed decades ago. This is not a topic that is unfamiliar to educators, but it is one that most people are tired of hearing and/or don't want to hear. Public education has not had a drastic overhaul in decades, with the exception of the implementation of a new annual teacher performance requirement. This new requirement had the exact opposite effect on schooling that legislative entities thought it would. It took creativity out of classrooms, caused teachers to go on the defensive, and filled our world where everyone became more worried about scores and numbers, than they were about feelings and kids. If you were to ask any elementary school teacher about any of their students, I would bet that they could tell you exactly what that kid's strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and needs are. They don't need tests and evaluations. They need flexibility. Ironically, the American secondary education system was built on the factory model concept by where the students where employees and expected to do as told, or face consequences. While secondary teachers could also tell you a lot about their students without the need of assessments and evaluations, the concept of building relationships is a very new one for secondary staff. More so than ever, our teenage students are craving the opportunity to be noticed as people and a part of the solution. The key is the relationship. One of the world's most successful companies (Apple) has the perfect company slogan, "Think Different." Adapted from their 1980's main competition in the world of computers (IBM), whose slogan was, "Think", Apple realized that it doesn't require a lot to make things better. Simply being different than everyone else was a good thing and has allowed the company to flourish. Our society is different than it once was. Our schools are not different enough. Being different does not mean that everything before now was wrong our bad, it simply means it can be better. Our kids are different today than they were last year, and they will be different tomorrow than they are today. Our society has evolved significantly and it is different. Are you?

Referendum Update


As you may be aware, there will be a referendum vote to be held on Wednesday, December 18 for the purposes of completing significant maintenance concerns at RFA (roof, flashing, general repairs), the artificial surface and track at the stadium, an Energy Performance Contract for elementary schools to improve infrastructure items that will produce an energy savings to the district, and for the establishment of a Capital Reserve so that the district can begin to save money for future projects (to be used to offset any potential tax increase). Prior to the referendum, there will be two public information sessions held to provide information on the project and field questions. The sessions will take place on Tuesday, December 3 and Monday, December 16. Both sessions will begin at 6:00 p.m. and will be held in the Strough Middle School Auditorium. 

RFA Open Mic Night 


On Tuesday, November 26, RFA will be holding their annual Open Mic Night at Rome Free Academy. This annual fundraiser has become a November tradition at RFA and an evening to enjoy some of our best talent throughout the school. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. and the fee for entrance is $8.00 or $7.00 with a canned good donation. Start the holiday season right with some enjoyment at the Open Mic Night!!


Fine Arts Faculty Recital


On Friday, November 22, the Rome City School District Fine Arts faculty will be hosting a Celebrate the Arts Holiday Pops Concert and Art Gallery Event. Starting at 6:00 p.m., the art work of our decorated art teachers will be on display in the RFA cafeteria. Following the art gallery, a concert of holiday tunes will take place in the RFA auditorium, beginning at 7:00 p.m. For more information, please see the event flier at https://app.peachjar.com/flyers/864999/districts/32521. Kick off your holiday cheer with some great music and art from our very own faculty!!

JROTC Holiday Basket Raffle


The Rome Free Academy Air Force JROTC will be holding their annual Basket Raffle on Sunday, November 24, in the RFA cafeteria. The JROTC Basket Raffle is one of their largest fundraisers for the year. The doors will open at 12:00 p.m. with bidding occurring from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. There are many door prizes and special drawings that also occur at the event. Complimentary appetizers and beverages will be served throughout the afternoon. Admission to the event is $5. For more information, please see the event flyer at https://app.peachjar.com/flyers/867644/districts/32521.



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!

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Thank You Veterans...

This Monday, our nation recognizes Veteran's Day for all of our women and men who have served our country in one way, shape, or form. Having the fortitude, mental stamina, and courage to serve in our nation's military is one of life's paths that not everyone can follow. The women and men of our military forces are constantly in harms way to provide security for the rest of us. They perform their duties courageously knowing that the ultimate sacrifice is always a possibility. One of the most inspiring features that I have grown to admire of the veterans that I know is the humbleness with which they live their lives. Walking down the street every day are thousands of veterans who bring the qualities of dedication, perseverance, grit, pride, and service to the rest of us. All of our veterans deserve much more than one day of recognition as the lessons that they bring to the table are significant, if we are willing to listen. It would be hard to believe that in today's not day in age, every family couldn't be impacted by having a military service member in their lives. Our veterans walk amongst us in the civilian world, leading by example, and epitomizing the sense of pride in our country that we all felt when we were children. When I reflect on my friends and family who are veterans (and those family friends who lost someone in action), I can not think of a negative word to say about any of them. They are true role models who know what the meaning of the word 'sacrifice' is really all about. While we approach this Veteran's Day, please take time to reflect on the lessons that our military veterans have taught us and make sure you thank our veterans as you see them. Your service has provided the rest of us with freedom, and for that we are eternally grateful. Thank you veterans!! 

Parent Portal Reminder


As we come to the end of the first marking period and get ready to release the first report cards for the year, this is a reminder that we will be using Parent Portal to deliver the report cards. In order to obtain your child's progress reports and report cards again this year, you will need an account for parent portal. Once you log in, and a report has been published, you will easily be able to view these reports in your portal. If you do not already have an account, and would like to sign up for an account, please contact your child's school. For more information/assistance on using Parent Portal or the Rome City School District app, please visit the following website for video guides on both: Parent Portal / RCSD App Video Guides

Law Enforcement Career Night



OHM BOCES is partnering with law enforcement in the Mohawk Valley to offer a one-night event for students interested in pursuing a career as an officer. Representatives from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Utica, Rome, and New Hartford police departments, and the New York State Police will offer presentations and be available to answer questions. The event will be held at the Howard D. Mettleman Learning Center, at OHM BOCES, on Tuesday, November 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Any student in grades 9-12 with an interest in learning more about law enforcement is encouraged to attend. To register for the event, please contact Joanna Demma at jdemma@oneida-boces.org


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!



School Closings/Delays



Poor weather and/or other conditions occasionally necessitate the closing of schools. In the event of an emergency closing, parent/guardians and students are notified by means of announcements on local radio, television stations, automated phone calling system, social media (Facebook and Twitter) and the District website. The decision to close is based upon several criteria – wind speed in combination with temperature, present and predicted precipitation, and overall road conditions. Also keep in mind that Rome is a school district of roughly 72 square miles and overall road conditions might not be the same in one part of the district as in other areas. Announcement of school/closings are made through the news media and automated phone calling system, generally beginning at 5:45 a.m. In some instances, it may be necessary to make announcements as late as 6:30 a.m. We will be conducting a test call to verify that we have accurate phone numbers and emails in the coming week, so please stay tuned for that. 

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Recognition for Rome...

This week, the Rome City School District had several distinguished guests visit our schools. Thanks to the hard work of our educators and staff, Rome is being recognized both nationally and state-wide for the growth that is occurring. In conjunction with the Rome Alliance for Education and Connected Community Schools initiative, the Rome Community Schools model has quickly become a model program for communities throughout the region/country to follow. Due to the efforts of many individuals in several of our schools (and throughout our community), we were fortunate enough to welcome the President of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, to Rome this week. While in Rome, she was able to visit with community leaders, programs, and schools to see first hand the impact that can be made for students and families when we all work together. Due to these efforts, the Community Schools Initiative was awarded $350,000 for continued work to strengthen to the model that is already established. Our community schools program can assist families with almost any need that may arise from medical support, to clothing, to food, to technology access. When communities work together to find the good in each other and support each other, amazing things can happen. The funding from the AFT amounts to 35% of the grant funding provided to all schools in the United States in a given year. Our school district and community would never have had this opportunity if it weren't for the efforts of all of us working together to improve our community for our kids. We were also privileged to have a visit from the Chair of the State Assembly Education Committee (Assemblymen Benedetto) and our local Assemblywoman Buttenschon this week, as they toured our schools to learn about things that our legislature can do to assist schools in removing barriers to improve the experiences that our students have in schools. The two visits combined marked a milestone for the Rome City School District as we move from a location where people gloss over, to a location where prestigious organizations and individuals are taking note of our potential and growth. It is due to the efforts and hard work of our dedicated staff and devoted parents that is making this a possibility. They say Rome wasn't built in a day, but they never said we can't try. Congratulations Rome on the progress made, let's keep the train rolling!!


School Closings/Delays

Poor weather and/or other conditions occasionally necessitate the closing of schools. In the event of an emergency closing, parent/guardians and students are notified by means of announcements on local radio, television stations, automated phone calling system, social media (Facebook and Twitter) and the District website. The decision to close is based upon several criteria – wind speed in combination with temperature, present and predicted precipitation, and overall road conditions. Also keep in mind that Rome is a school district of roughly 72 square miles and overall road conditions might not be the same in one part of the district as in other areas. Announcement of school/closings are made through the news media and automated phone calling system, generally beginning at 5:45 a.m. In some instances, it may be necessary to make announcements as late as 6:30 a.m. We will be conducting a test call to verify that we have accurate phone numbers and emails in the coming week, so please stay tuned for that. 

Parent Portal Reminder

As we come to the end of the first marking period and get ready to release the first report cards for the year, this is a reminder that we will be using Parent Portal to deliver the report cards. In order to obtain your child's progress reports and report cards again this year, you will need an account for parent portal. Once you log in, and a report has been published, you will easily be able to view these reports in your portal. If you do not already have an account, and would like to sign up for an account, please contact your child's school. For more information/assistance on using Parent Portal or the Rome City School District app, please visit the following website for video guides on both: Parent Portal / RCSD App Video Guides

Bellamy PBIS Fundraiser

On Wednesday, November 6, the Bellamy PBIS team will be hosting a fundraiser in conjunction with the McDonald's on Black River Boulevard. A portion of ALL proceeds collected between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. that evening will be donated back to the school and their PBIS initiative. PBIS is a school based strategy to promote and recognize positive things within a school. Please take a moment on Wednesday night to support our Bellamy PBIS crew!!

Law Enforcement Career Night

OHM BOCES is partnering with law enforcement in the Mohawk Valley to offer a one-night event for students interested in pursuing a career as an officer. Representatives from the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, Utica, Rome, and New Hartford police departments, and the New York State Police will offer presentations and be available to answer questions. The event will be held at the Howard D. Mettleman Learning Center, at OHM BOCES, on Tuesday, November 19 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Any student in grades 9-12 with an interest in learning more about law enforcement is encouraged to attend. To register for the event, please contact Joanna Demma at jdemma@oneida-boces.org


Sunday, October 27, 2019

December Referendum Update...

As you may know, the Board of Education this week approved a resolution for a December ballot referendum that is aimed to provide significant repairs to Rome Free Academy, the track and field, and includes a phase II energy performance contract (EPC). While there will be many upcoming informational opportunities, including opportunity for dialogue, this blog entry provides the 30,000 foot view of the proposed project. For reminders, an EPC does not require a vote to be approved. However, a successfully voted EPC provides a district it's full aid reimbursement from the State Education Department. In our case, the difference in aid between a voted EPC and non-voted EPC is 17%. Given that number, it's obvious that a vote would be most beneficial to the taxpayers. The purpose of doing a December referendum is two fold in that there are significant needs at the high school currently which can be addressed through an energy performance contract in the spring. Part of the failing HVAC system, that you may have heard a lot about over the past 10 years, includes failing connectors and couplings in the lines of the system. These connections need to be replaced as soon as possible and our choices are either spend roughly $300,000 unbudgeted out of the general fund this year, or have an EPC cover the repairs and spread the payments out over 15 years. Another item for immediacy is the track and field at the RFA stadium. By voting in December (if successful) there is a high likelihood that these repairs could be completed prior to the start of next school year. The RFA building components that are contained in the project proposal include new roofing, installing flashing along the facade of the building to prevent continued water penetration, some electrical systems upgrades (not covered under an EPC), and other items of non-cosmetic value (general maintenance). The EPC phase II covers the issues in RFA mentioned previously, as well as, HVAC issues, building envelope issues (insulation), boilers, some windows, and other general improvements that will reduce energy costs in our elementary schools. The annually projected cost to the district of the proposed project is $148,063. Payments on capital projects are made over 15 years. The annual estimated energy savings, as a result of the EPC phase II, ranges between $183,066 and $278,901 over the same 15 years. The end result is a negative tax impact (zero tax increase) on the community, which would allow the district to fulfill the scope of the proposed project without impacting the tax payers of the district. Obviously, there will be many questions that people may have regarding this proposal. There will be upcoming community forums, video messages, print newsletters, and other means of communicating the proposed project to the community. In the meantime, if you have questions that you would like to ask, please do not hesitate to email or call.  


Marching Band Fundraiser

On Sunday, November 3, join the RFA Marching Band for a pancake breakfast! From 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. in the RFA cafeteria you can have breakfast with the members of the RFA marching band. The cost for each meal is $8.00 at the door. For more information please contact the RFA band boosters at RFAbandboosters@gmail.com.


Screenagers Film Showing

Strough Middle School is thrilled to present SCREENAGERS: Growing Up in the Digital Age, a documentary about the biggest parenting issue of our time. SCREENAGERS addresses the most pervasive parenting issue of our time head on—depicting teen struggles over social media, video games and internet addiction. The film empowers kids to best navigate the digital world and provides practical resources to help them do it. The showing will take place on Friday, November 1, 2019 beginning at 7:00 p.m. at Strough Middle School. For more information, please visit https://www.eventcombo.com/e/screenagers-film-presented-by-strough-middle-school-36455


Oneida County Youth Services Council



As part of New York State’s Access to Childcare initiative, The Child Care Council received a grant to collaborate with the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council to survey child care needs as they affect our business and employer community in the Mohawk Valley.  This survey is meant to be taken by ANYONE, regardless of if you have children.  So please take it!  The survey aims to get real-time data on child care needs in the Mohawk Valley workforce – right now we use census data to generate statistical assumptions about child care needs. The council is asking for two things: Takes the survey yourself and send the link along to anyone else you know that may not have access. The survey will be open until November 1 and the survey can be found at this link:


Trunk or Treat Event



Trunk or Treat is all about safe, family fun and don't forget the candy! It's a holiday themed community tailgate party and it's completely free. You can expect bouncy castles, games, popcorn, cotton candy, prizes giveaways, and candy. The group will be awarding one lucky family 100 pounds of candy!! Plan on dropping by the Redeemer Church in Rome between 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. on October 31. For more information, please visit www.redeemer.tv/trunkortreat or call 315.792.4748. Trunk or Treat will take place at 129 N. Washington St. in Rome.