What is Juneteenth...
As you may know, schools throughout New York State will be recognizing the Juneteenth holiday for the first time this year as it becomes an official State holiday next year. While this is a recognition that is long overdue, many people in our society still do not know much about Juneteenth or the importance of the holiday in our history. Juneteenth marks the day (June 19) when federal troops arrived in , in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed. The troops’ arrival came two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. Juneteenth honors the end to slavery in the United States and is considered the longest-running African American holiday. The year following 1865, freedmen in Texas organized the first of what became the annual celebration of "Jubilee Day" on June 19. In the ensuing decades, Juneteenth commemorations featured music, barbecues, prayer services, and other activities, and as Black people migrated from Texas to other parts of the country the Juneteenth tradition spread. In 1979, Texas became the first state to make Juneteenth an official holiday. Today, 47 states recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, while efforts continue to make it a national holiday in Congress. Juneteenth is a day that is worthy of all of our recognition as it marks a milestone in basic human rights liberty. This is time for us to help our children understand this day and talk about the importance and facts about Juneteenth. For more information about the holiday, I would encourage a simple Google search which will yield many resources for individuals to learn about Juneteenth and to find discussion points. As a reminder, the Rome City School District will be closed for all students and staff this coming Friday, June 18 in recognition and honor of the Juneteenth holiday.
Parent Square is coming!! Beginning on July 1, 2021 the Rome City School District will be moving to Parent Square as our mode of push communication to families and staff, replacing our current SchoolMessenger. Parent Square has many more options, including two-way opportunities for families to communicate with schools and teachers. Parent Square also has many teacher resources for easily communicating with parents and students, that we will begin rolling out in the Fall. You should have received an email with an invitation to Parent Square this past week. It is essential that you activate your account and adjust your settings to your preferred modes of communication and times. For more information, including resources for how to activate your account and how to use Parent Square, please visit our website at https://www.romecsd.org/news_page/introducing_parent_square.
As you know, 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. Tickets will be distributed to students at the graduation rehearsal scheduled for Friday, June 25. 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 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. Finally, NYSED has developed a parent resource document for understanding graduation requirements during COVID. To learn more about NYS graduation requirements, please visit their website at: http://www.nysed.gov/exemptionflyer.pdf. More information regarding the graduation ceremony will be forthcoming directly from RFA.
NYSED Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education
The New York State Board of Regents and State Education Department published the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining (CR-S) Education Framework in 2018 and have now published a guide for implementation: the Culturally Responsive-Sustaining Education Implementation Roadmap (K-12). The CRS Framework and Roadmap are committed to encouraging equity and inclusion for all the students and families in our state. The Roadmap, developed by a Strategy Committee that included classroom teachers, educators, community partners, and higher education representatives from across New York State, includes action steps and links to free resources for school districts and community groups as they strive to do this important work. As more resources are developed, the Department will continue to expand the resources section of the Roadmap and the CR-S website.