Posts

Open Them Up...

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  It's hard to believe that we are approaching another month of having to endure the uncertainties, twists, turns, and anxieties that have been thrust into our lives due to COVID. Just when you think you have something figured out, there's new research, rules, suggestions, etc. About the most certain thing that we have all learned to live with is that things are going to change (hopefully always for the better). The biggest concern and question that continues to be at the front of everyone's mind is when will school return to normal and will it be like it was before? Clearly, schools will be open 5 days a week for every student that wants to attend sometime in the future. President Biden has continuously said this week that he wants all schools fully open with 100 days, although he has not provided any detail on how this is going to happen or what it will look like. As you know, social distancing requirements within schools continues to be the number one barrier to schools

The Dream...

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 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream for our country, and while his dream was related to equal rights and oppression, part of the intended message is to demonstrate that having a dream and working tirelessly to achieve it can be applied universally in society. We have come a long way over the years as a society, and while there is always room to grow, the world is clearly a better place. Dr. King was relentless in his pursuit of his dream, and it ultimately cost him his life. Equality, equity (which ever word you choose to use) doesn't mean that everyone has to think along the same lines or even believe in the same things. It means that we have to at least be open minded enough to hear an opposing viewpoint and be respectful enough to attempt to understand it. The art of respectfully disagreeing seems to have disappeared since the advent of social media. I am still hopeful that we as humans will continue to have empathy for each other and respect that conflict and disagreement a

Take the Pledge...

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While 2020 is most likely to go into the record books for being remembered by COVID-19, this was not the only major, global event of 2020. Last year also brought with it a rebirth and spotlight on social justice and equity like we have not seen in decades. Communities throughout the country, including Rome, spent a good portion of the year working on improving opportunities for all members of their community. 2020 brought with it some events that really cause us all to stop and think about the fate of the human race and just exactly what we need to do in order to be able to work together, regardless of background, to create a community where all people are valued as citizens. In the Rome City School District, we have been focused on improving equity, understanding, and awareness of all cultures for the past few years, as we work with our local NAACP. Recognizing that the work is never done, and there is a lot that school system to contribute to improving the issues of understanding and

Welcome 2021...

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Happy New Year to everyone out there!! I hope that the past several weeks have found you all well and enjoying time with your family, however, I know that reality is that COVID has begun to affect more of us on a very personal level, making each day a struggle. There are many good things to look forward to as we enter 2021, despite the extreme rise in cases in our region and community. With the vaccine on the horizon for our adults, it should help reduce the community spread issues that we have been seeing. Also, we are a few months away from getting back to the outdoors and better weather that is less conducive for illness to thrive. Finally, we are smarter and wiser regarding the whole situation, which should lead to improved outcomes as we work together to get life back to normal. 2021 will certainly begin with it's trials and challenges, but it won't be long before the tides turn and the things begin to resemble a world we once knew. There is a lot to look forward to in the

See Ya Later...

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This is the phrase that I imagine many people will be saying as the year 2020 comes to a close and we prepare to welcome in 2021. There is no doubt that 2020 has brought its fair share of challenges, pains, frustrations, and many more negative adjectives that we don't have time for. The reality is that 2020 is quite possibly going to be the most challenging year that any of us will have to endure in our lifetimes. While it was certainly a very long and different year, there were things that we have experienced that are possibly better than our traditional routines. In the world of education, I have spoken many times over the year about how schooling was "stuck in rut" with minimal changes in approach for the last 100 years. The pandemic has flipped that, literally. While we all continue to make improvements and work to "re-learn" what education is, the forced move to remote learning in the spring has shown everyone that things can be done differently. Many stude

What's Next...

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As we enter December, there is likely to be a lot of uncertainty and fluctuation in school operations throughout New York State. One thing that we do know for certain is that Governor Cuomo has repeatedly made public comment that one of his top priorities is to keep schools open. Knowing this, it is likely that we will experience changing requirements and circumstances throughout the coming weeks and months. I understand that right now, most people want consistency and predictability; so we will do our best to continue delivering learning in a way that is as consistent as possible and fits within the Governor's (or the New York State Department of Health's) rules and requirements. Another area that we have begun to hear a lot of noise about is bringing kids back into the buildings five days a week. Unfortunately, the reason why students are not in school five days a week is directly related to the COVID restrictions placed on classroom/school occupancy. We cannot have more stud

Giving Thanks...

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Late November is the traditional start to the Holiday Season. This year, 2020, is going to bring an entirely new meaning to the holidays and to what and how people celebrate. My personal experience started the other week with helping my mother understand that it was okay for her to cancel our family Thanksgiving and that the family wouldn't hate her for doing so. Like many families, my family is spread throughout the country and bringing people together is not only challenging, but in the current situation, potentially not safe. In my conversation with my mother, I said to her, "Mom, if we need a holiday to get together as a family and enjoy each other's company, then we're doing something wrong." The fact is, also like many families (prior to COVID), my family takes as many opportunities to be together as possible throughout the year. The reality is, holidays can happen on any given day of the year. In reflection, why do people need a holiday to think of others a