Sunday, June 21, 2020

You Made It...

Congratulations to the Rome Free Academy Class of 2020! You made it! Despite every challenge, hurdle, road block, etc. that was thrown your way, you have persevered and made it. As an adult, we tend to look back on life and compare our childhoods to the life of a current child. Often times, you can hear adults talking about how kids these days grow up so much faster than we did, and things are so different. The Class of 2020 is a prime example of this analogy. I know for a fact my senior class in high school could not have handled all of the changes to our schooling, combined with the uncertainties and fear associated with a pandemic with the same grace that the RFA Class of 2020 has handled these past 3 months. With every step, you have been calm, patient, objective, and focused on the goal. While students had not been required to learn virtually before COVID-19 hit, they were versed with technology, the resources needed for learning, and more importantly, the skill of communicating online. Most adults want to believe that teenagers (also known as screenagers in this generation) only use social media and technology for the purpose of cyber-bullying. The events of the pandemic have shown that our teenagers are much more savvy with communication skills and technology than we thought. We have also learned that teenagers value the face to face interactions that are so important to the advancement of society. On top of all of this, the Class of 2020 is graduating and heading off into the world amidst social unrest. If there were any group of seniors that could handle the changing world around us, it will be these students. Our Class of 2020 is going to change the world for the better, and we need to watch and learn from them. These students are flexible, intelligent, motivated, and compassionate. After what we have seen from this senior class the last few months, there is no doubt that these young adults are ready to take on the world. Thank you seniors, for everything that you have given to Rome Free Academy, the legacy of our school, our community, our school district, and to us (the adults). We look forward to watching your continued growth and successes. Go forward into the world with conviction, care for others, and the endless drive to achieve greatness that you have finished your high school career with. Congratulations to the Rome Free Academy Class of 2020, you made it!

Graduation Information

Information about the 2020 graduation ceremony was sent home to the senior class and their families this week. The ceremonies will begin at 8:00 a.m. and conclude some time around 2:00 p.m. There will be six modified ceremonies, each lasting between 25-30 minutes, with 30 minutes to sanitize the facility in between. Students will be provided all appropriate PPE to be used during the ceremony. Within each modified ceremony, students will have a processional, hear the. student speeches, walk the stage for their diploma, hear the alma mater, and close the ceremony. Also like a normal year, the ceremonies will be live streamed on our website for those to view who can nott attend. Unlike other years, where the entire class can be together, we have planned two events that in the end signify the unity of the Class of 2020. First, at the conclusion of each ceremony, graduates will be asked to spray paint their name on the field and at the end of the day we will get photographs of the entire class' signatures on the field. Second, graduates will be provided a lantern to be sent into the night's sky at 9:00 p.m. Saturday night as a symbol of doing something together for the last time. The day should be the best possible ceremony we can provide to our students, given the circumstances. Of importance for everyone that is not a student, we ask that you please abide by all regulations and requirements as we do not want to risk having the ceremony shut down for non-compliance. This has happened to schools, as close as New Hartford, who had their ceremony shut down twice. We understand that this is not an ideal situation and is prohibitive of some to attend, but the ceremony is about the students and their accomplishments. We owe it to them to not jeopardize the day.  

Thank You Rome

Thank you to the Rome community for the support and successful passage of the 2020-2021 school budget. This year has been far from normal in every aspect and absentee ballot process of voting was a challenge for everyone. There was a lot to learn on behalf of all parties (voters included), and we are proud of the voter participation and support. On behalf of the students and staff, thank you!

Pandemic Related SEL Support

During this week's State Education Department Re-Opening Meeting, SED shared an article with participants about pandemic related trauma leading to stress. The article is a quick read and has some good general information that can help students and adults cope with all of the change that we have been thrown into. To access the article, please go here: