April for Autism...


Each year, the month of April is recognized as World Autism Month. While having special days, weeks, months, etc. is a personal bugaboo of mine because it's so easy to accidentally miss something/someone that ultimately is upsetting or insensitive to another person, there is no doubt that they are necessary to draw attention to aspects of the world and our lives that many need the unfortunate reminder for. I can't say that autism has had a direct and ongoing impact on my life, but I have dear friends who have. A simple conversation, or really a listening session, can help anyone understand just how challenging it is to unlock the secrets of autism, but also how beautiful the experience can be. Personally, I have had the fortune to be a music teacher of an inclusive autism pre-k/kindergarten program. There is nothing more special than working with students who are non-verbal but want to express themselves in some way. The power of music, and communication in general, makes that possible and enjoyable. Autism is something that we continue to learn a lot about at a quick rate, however, it is so unique that every person with autism has their own unique form, which is part of what makes it beautiful. Over the years, thanks to awareness organizations and efforts like World Autism Month, communities and schools everywhere have increased their effort significantly to ensure that all children are supported. There is no doubt that being a parent of a child with autism can feel lonely and challenging at times, and certainly, the education of a child can feel unsatisfying because we are wired to innately help students grow but programmed through college that there is a specific way for a student to grow. The fact is, children with autism are growing and they are helping us adults who are with them grow to become better humans, communicators, and teachers. Children and adults with autism are in my opinion the best teachers we could ask for. The pure sense of joy and happiness that you can see on their face on a daily basis is a lesson in and of itself. As mentioned, I'm no expert. I just have had the fortunate experience to be a listening ear for other parents who have children with autism and I have lived their experiences in the classroom on a small level. Through their stories and experiences, I have witnessed the joy, pain, and every emotion in between. So, as we take a moment to recognize World Autism Month, please take a moment to appreciate everyone who makes the world a better place (and makes our lives better) for having autism and sharing their lives with us. There are more resources on the internet for families/teachers who may be looking for some support than I can link, but I know that the best way to learn and help is to simply listen. To all of our students who come to school every day with autism, and their families who share their children with us, thank you!! Thank you for sharing your joy each and every day and for helping our staff and other students become better people simply by knowing you. 

Administrative Professionals Day 

This Wednesday, April 27, is recognized as Administrative Professionals Day throughout our country. In Rome, we are fortunate to have some amazing people working on the front lines of our buildings to support our students, staff, and families. By and large, the individuals that are answering phones, doors, etc. are always faced with challenging situations, upset people, or working on a high-pressure topic. There is no doubt that being an administrative professional in today's world is a challenging task. On behalf of our entire school district, please join me in saying, "thank you" to the amazing women and men who serve our students, staff, and families in Rome schools. We couldn't do it without you!!

Best Community for Music Education

The Rome City School District has once again been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from the NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. Rome joins 738 districts across the country in receiving the prestigious award in 2022. It is the 7th year in a row that we have received this distinction. The Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. To qualify for the Best Communities designation, Rome's music department was assessed on several factors such as funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program, and community music-making programs. These factors evolve over time, so this recognition also honors the work of music educators and administrators from years past. Congratulations Rome!!

RFA Musical - Newsies 

This coming week, Thursday through Saturday, Rome Free Academy will be presenting their 2022 Musical, Newsies. All three shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the RFA Auditorium. For more information on the show, including ticket information, please visit this page: https://app.peachjar.com/flyers/2262860/districts/32521.

Board of Education - Petitions Available

This year, there are four (4) open seats on the Board of Education. All three of these seats will be available on July 1, 2021. The term limit for three of the open seats is three years, expiring on June 30, 2025 and the fourth seat is to complete the remainder of a term, which is two years expiring on June 30, 2024. Completed petitions must include one hundred (100) qualified signatures and must be returned to the business office of the district at 409 Bell Road, and are due back before 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, 2022. Petitions are available for pick up at the business office of the Rome City School District. Any questions regarding open seats for the Board of Education can be directed to the business office or the Board of Education President, Mr. John Nash.

NAACP Movie Event

On Saturday, April 30 at 1:00 p.m. the NAACP Rome Branch will host a showing of their new film, "49 Years.. and Counting. The Story of the Rome Branch" at the Rome Historical Society. The Rome Historical Society is located at 200 Church St., Rome, NY. For more information, please contact the Rome Historical Society or the Rome Branch of the NAACP.

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