Sunday, June 23, 2019

Class of 2k19...

As the 2018-2019 school year enters the final week and comes to a close, it is time to say congratulations and "until next time" to many people. Most importantly, congratulations to our graduating seniors, the Class of 2019, the 150th graduating class of Rome Free Academy! For these young adults, 13 years of hard work and effort is coming to a close as they prepare to move onto college, work, the military, or other opportunities. Graduation is also a time to congratulate the parents, families, and guardians of our graduates who have sacrificed and supported all the way through until this moment. Each student completing high school has a tremendous network and support system behind them, each step of the way. No individual in life can be successful without a supporting cast. As teenagers growing up, our most important support structures are our families. So, congratulations to all of the parents, families, and guardians of the Class of 2019 as you watch your youngsters grow into fine young adults. Finally, we need to take a moment to say congratulations and thank you to all of our staff members that have retired, are retiring, or are relocating in 2019. On a daily basis, you can count on a child to remind you what life is all about. Bringing perspective to the world on what is important, and what is nonsense. Some of our retirees have spent more than 30 years dedicated to the Rome City School District and to children in general. Our staff members touch countless lives within the walls of our schools and beyond. To the amazing staff members moving onto the next chapter of their lives, thank you for everything you have given to the Rome City School District and for everything you have done to support children during your time as an educator. As we close out our year, thank you to everyone who has been a part of making a difference with a child throughout the 2018-2019 school year. Your work and effort toward the continued improvement of our school district and community does not go unnoticed. I hope you all have an amazing summer filled with plenty of rest and fun. To the Class of 2k19: go forward boldly and bravely for you control your journey. While life is filled with struggle, challenge, adversity, and heart-ache, it is also filled with joy, happiness, gratitude, and fun. You get to choose which way you will view things through your own spectrum. Choose wisely, as we only have one life that has been granted to us on this planet, it's best to make every moment count!! Signing off until August my friends- enjoy!!

Graduation Information

We are one week away from the 150th Commencement of Rome Free Academy and the celebration for the Class of 2019. The ceremony will once again take place at the stadium on Turin Road beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 29. Please note that the processional of students begins promptly at 9:45 a.m. In order to ensure that you are able to view the entire event, it is crucial that you arrive to the Stadium no later than 9:30 a.m. as parking is at a premium. Rehearsal for the event will take place on Friday, June 28 at 9:00 a.m., also at the stadium. Detailed information regarding tickets, rain date, indoor arrangements (if needed), and participation will be available through the students and high school main office. Finally, we will also be live streaming the graduation ceremony for anyone that is not able to attend in person. A link to the live stream can be found on our home page at All questions related to graduation ceremonies and/or participation should be directed to the high school main office. 

June 26 - Staley Information

As mentioned previously in a letter home, Staley families, please be reminded that Wednesday, June 26 will be a half-day for students this week. This is related to the unfortunate need to close school for the first two days of the year back in September. In order to meet the 180 student days mandate, we scheduled an additional student day back in March, and now this one in June. Again, this is for Staley only. 

2019-2020 Budget Update

This past week, the district received some good news relative to the 2019-2020 budget. The federal title grant allocations were finally released and there was a decent increase in funding for our four schools identified under ESSA as target schools. Thanks to the School Improvement Grant (SIG) portion of Title I funding, each identified elementary (Joy, Denti, Gansevoort, & Staley) has been allocated $100,000, and the district has been allocated $50,000. Along with this funding, Assemblywoman Buttenschon has notified the district that the Assembly approved bullet aid for Rome in the amount of $325,000. All of this is clearly good news for the community and the district. Once again, I cannot thank Assembly woman Buttenschon, Senator Griffo, and Mayor Izzo enough for all of their political support throughout this budget season. Without them, the bullet aid would not be possible.  

Parent Portal / Report Cards Reminder

The parent portal feature of SchoolTool will be closed beginning on Tuesday, June 18 so that teachers can work on finalizing their grades. Since this feature of the student management system is a k-12 function, all accounts (regardless of grade level) will not work on a temporary basis. During this time period, final grades can change from day to day depending on exam scoring, inputting of grades, and many other things. The portal will re-open on Friday, June 28 which is the same day that high school report cards are mailed home. All final report cards, k-12, will be sent home in hard copy format at the end of the year. Elementary report cards will come home with students on the last day of school as they have in the past. Middle school and high school report cards will be mailed home. 

2019-2020 School Vaccination Requirements

Recently, the New York State legislature passed a law that now does not allow for religious exemption for school vaccinations. This law takes effect immediately and any student who currently has a religious exemption has 30 days to become compliant with the law. The link below will take you to the State Education Department website that outlines the required vaccinations. In addition to vaccination requirements, New York State requires several other health related items for attendance in public school. Some of these items include:

  • Health Examinations required in grades pre K or K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
  • Vision and Hearing Screening required within 6 moths of entering school and in grades pre K or K, 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11.
  • Scoliosis Screenings are required for females in grades 5 and 7, and for males in grade 9.
Please speak to your school nurse or family physician if you have any questions regarding any requirements.