Last Time, I Hope...


 As you are probably aware, media outlets throughout New York have been reporting all weekend about the State removing the mask requirements for New York Schools as early as Monday. I am hopeful that this will be my last COVID update this year for you all, with only a few weeks of school to go. Please know, that at this time, there are no changes to any of the requirements for schools in New York State. The district has not received any official notification from any New York State authority including the Governor's office or the New York State Department of Health regarding any changes to the current health and safety requirements for schools. We will review any information we may receive regarding the health and safety requirements for schools, as soon as we receive such information. Our protocols will remain in place for Monday, June 7 and we will update our communications as soon as any official information and direction are provided to schools throughout New York State. Based on the information that is being reported, it is possible that changes may come as soon as this week. However, it's important to note that at this time, New York State has simply notified the CDC that they would like to remove the requirement for masks in schools and are seeking approval and feedback from the CDC. A copy of that letter is available online for anyone interested in seeing what the State is asking. As mentioned, as soon as we have official information from New York State, the Rome City School District will make official announcements on any changes for the final few weeks of school. I am hopeful that this will be our last COVID update for this year, and perhaps for next year as well. Everyone has been extremely understanding and patient with the slow process of reopening schools completely, please hang in there for a few more hours and we may have some of the most positive news to share yet. Thank you all and stay tuned...     

Graduation Update

We continue to hope for more changes related to graduation ceremonies in New York, however, at this time we are operating under pretty restrictive guidelines. The RFA Commencement will be happening on Saturday, June 26, beginning at 10:00 a.m. Each graduate will be provided four (4) tickets for guests as we are still limited by venue capacity restrictions set by NYS. All graduates and guests will be required to have their temperature taken and complete a health screening questionnaire on the day of the ceremony. We will be encouraging visitors to complete the health screening prior to arriving at the ceremony but will have paper versions and technology available for visitors to complete at the stadium. Groups must maintain physical distancing within the stadium, with each group of four (4) maintaining six (6) feet of distance from the next closest group. Again, all guidelines are required by New York State. More information regarding graduation will be forthcoming directly from RFA. 

MVCC 21-Day Challenge

It's not too late!! The Rome City School District has joined our MVCC friends participating in a local 21-Day Challenge. MVCC has developed a series of educational events designed to help us all learn more about the diversity, equity, and inclusion needs of our local community. We encourage any staff member and family to participate in this event. For more information on the challenge, including a link to register for the challenge, please visit our website at https://www.romecsd.org/news_page/m_v_c_c_21_day_challenge.

2021 - 2022 Early Childhood Registration

Registration for 2021-2022 Early Childhood Program students will be held from June 7 through June 11. For more information, including required documentation for registration please follow this link: https://www.romecsd.org/news_page/rome_early_childhood_program_registration

Regents Exam Update

The State Board of Regents has canceled all but the four federally-mandated Regents exams for the 2020-2021 school year – English Language Arts, Algebra I, Earth Science and Living Environment. Additionally, the Regents exams will NOT be a graduation requirement for this year; students must simply pass their courses to graduate. This also applies to non-seniors as any student enrolled in a course that culminates in a Regents exam will receive an exemption based solely on passing the class. Please note that this includes the four Regents exams that are scheduled and required by the Federal government. Students enrolled in virtual learning will not be compelled to take any Regents exams. All-virtual students will automatically receive an “Exempt” on all Regents courses they are taking, provided that they pass the class.

To summarize and recap, the New York State Education Department (NYSED) applied for a testing waiver, which was denied by the U.S. Department of Education. As a result of this waiver denial, NYSED has announced the following changes for this year’s slate of Regents exams:

  • Regents examinations required under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act or ESSA (English Language Arts, Algebra I, Earth Science and Living Environment) will be administered during the month of June 2021. (Again, passing or taking the exams are not required; only passing the course is required to receive credit).
  • The August 2021 Regents exams have been canceled.

Additionally, the following applies for students who attempt the Regents exams:

  • Students’ actual exam grades will post on their official records;
  • Students are not required to pass the exam to meet the graduation requirement;
  • NYSED cannot confirm that a student’s performance on an exam won’t negatively impact their transcript, particularly when it comes to post-secondary institutions.
To view a copy of the Regents exam schedule, please visit this page: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/schedules/2021/regents-exam-schedule-june-2021.pdf. For a FAQ on the Regents exams, please visit this page: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/assessment/hsgen/2021/faq-june-august-2021-assessments.pdf.    

Last Day of School

A few years back, the State Education Department adjusted some of their calendar requirements, most specifically in regard to the number of hours a student must be in school each year and what the end of a year may look like. In response to these adjustments, most districts have had to alter what their last days of any year look like. In Rome this year, the final day of school for Elementary schools (pre-K - 6) will be Friday, June 25, and will be a full day of school. For Secondary schools (7 - 12), their last day of classes is Wednesday, June 16; however, all secondary students must also attend school on Monday, June 21 under a new SED rule that requires schools to be in attendance when Regents exams are not offered. For more information regarding the end of the year schedule for your student, please contact your child's school.

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