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Showing posts from February, 2017

Time for the Grind...

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It's hard to believe that the past week has felt more like mid-spring than mid-winter with the weather around Central New York, but it has! The only unfortunate part about it is that it was mid-winter recess which comes to end not only with the winter temperatures returning, but the school year entering what I refer to as The Grind. The next several weeks equate to the longest stretch of consecutive school weeks for the year and is historically when the most progress is made by students. Adults throughout education feel the pressure to take advantage of these consecutive weeks as we all know that after Spring break, the summer fever hits (and it doesn't just hit students sometimes). Following Spring break comes the AP exams, homestretch for scheduling, final exams, graduation stress, and honing the skills at the lower levels to make sure students are ready in the Fall. Also during these next weeks are the State assessments which are always at the center of controversy. I have …

The Dream Continues...

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As most of you know, February marks Black History Month in our country and this week is the perfect confluence to keep Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream alive. This week we celebrate Abraham Lincoln's birthday (who also had a dream for our country that we continue to struggle to achieve), Valentine's Day which is meant to be about love, and Black History Month celebrations abound. I bring this up because there is subtle irony in these things since they all require one common thing to even be remotely possible; respect. All of the anger in our existence can be rectified with a simple showing of respect, which leads to kindness. For eons, humans have had conflict and disagreements, but it is the lack of respect that leads these conflicts to become violent. Disagreement is a normal life event; however, disagreement without respect leads to conflict, which leads to hate, which leads to violence. The unfortunate thing about all of this, is that history at times paints a pictur…

Time for Compliments...

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This just happens to be one of those weeks where in the words of Peter Griffin, “Nothing is grinding my gears.” That is a good thing, right?! So, I am going to take this opportunity to compliment the fine employees of the Rome City School District. Our district is quickly moving in the way of PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports) which is a model that believes that complimenting and highlighting good behavior has better and more sustained effects on children than consequencing and highlighting negative behaviors. In honor of many of our schools moving this way, I want to publicly thank our staffs for everything that they do on a daily basis. On any given day and in any given building of our district you can find people from all walks of life and all specialties coming together in the best interest of kids. In August, I challenged our staff to become the district that every other district in New York State looks to as the standard and to change the negative perception t…