On the Road Again...

 


As we prepare to get students back into our schools this week, it's important to take a moment to appreciate the challenges that were overcome this last week. While remote learning may have been the easiest element of the week, families and students who made the week work need to be appreciated and thanked. While our teachers can always rise to the occasion, the frustration and disappointment of having to suddenly be remote cannot be ignored. As we move forward, we have already begun to develop several things to assist students and families throughout the remainder of the year. We have been fortunate to work directly with the Governor's office on the search and recruitment of additional bus drivers and I am hopeful that this will yield positive results in the coming month. There are still time barriers that make getting drivers on the road difficult, but you can't hire people that you don't know about. We have also engaged in conversations with our teacher's association regarding opportunities and options for tutoring for students and additional live instruction. It is very apparent that more students will be quarantined this year than last year and our teachers/administrators are committed to adjusting to ensure that all students continue to grow. It is evident that this year is not going to be as normal as any of us desired or planned. One thing that is vastly different is the quarantining of students this year and it is important for families to realize that the school district has no involvement in the decision-making process of quarantines. We, along with several other Oneida County school districts, are working with the Health Department to reduce the number of students that are required to quarantine. Also, our nurses have requested that we attempt to obtain some of the rapid test kits that will allow us to test a student that has minor symptoms right in school, as opposed to sending them home for a doctor's visit or outside testing. Finally, as we prepare to get the buses back on the road this week, please be reminded that you will only be notified of changes to your student's transportation schedule. While some small adjustments have been made this past week, we expect the vast majority of major adjustments to occur over the next 3 weeks as we continue to sort through the students who are scheduled to ride a bus but do not actually take advantage of the service. As we get back to it this week, please continue to work together to make this year a success. One thing that we have learned for sure over the last 18 months is that you can't know for sure what is going to happen next. Whatever comes our way, our community will face it head-on and overcome whatever challenges we face. 

Calendar Updates

As we finish the week of remote learning, the District is making a few adjustments to the calendar to maximize future in-person learning days. First, our planned remote days on October 21, November 12, December 10, January 28, February 16, March 17, April 8, and May 27 have been changed to regular school days. Also, due to the emergency closure of Staley to start the year, please be reminded that Conference days on October 22 and March 18 have been canceled and will also be full instructional days to make up for two of our closure days in September. Both of these adjustments should assist with maximizing in-person learning for the remainder of the year. Please adjust your calendars accordingly and we will continue to provide reminders throughout the year.

Chromebook Insurance Program

The Rome City School District is pleased to announce a new partnership with Worth Avenue Group to provide insurance to families for Chromebooks if desired. This optional program for families will provide coverage to repair/replace a device if something were to go wrong for a fraction of the cost for out-of-pocket repairs/replacements. This program would be a direct agreement between the family and the insurance carrier, the district has no involvement with the policy. For more information and/or to purchase the insurance coverage, please review this document: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16AL81Hc1PQFjSYS5OxUjgFXFS01xz3pYfpWH--r-rr0/edit#heading=h.pv8pn1v7gq0y.

NYS #VaxtoSchool Program

On September 8th, the #Vaxtoschool Campaign was announced by Governor Kathy Hochul. This campaign is targeted to increasing the percentage of 12-17-year-olds vaccinated over the next couple of months. Schools have been asked to continue to provide resources for families interested in obtaining a COVID-19 vaccination if they have not already. To read more information about the vaccination of school-age children in NYS, please visit their website at https://covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/covid-19-vaccines-school-aged-new-yorkers.





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