Is That Trauma...

 As the school year gets into full swing, I have challenged our staff to focus on relationships with our students and each other in an effort to bring joy back into school and learning. One of the greatest challenges to building relationships in any school setting is the vast variety of differences that we all bring to the table. The ability to build a relationship is grounded in open-mindedness and understanding of the other person's perspective/experiences. To add to this, building a relationship with someone who has experienced trauma or a traumatic event is even more challenging, however, those people need someone more than anyone. Ironically, it can be argued that we have all experienced some form of trauma in our level, although not everyone has experienced the same kind of trauma. Trauma does not have to be an event or circumstance that we are directly involved with. Yes, some trauma is direct and is overtly known because we experience and feel it in a big way. However, some trauma occurs slowly and repeatedly over the course of time and is not directly involved in our daily lives. This can be described by a kid that repeatedly sees others mistreated over several years and internalized the feelings that they have about it. The student themself is not being mistreated, but the repeated witnessing of others, regardless of whether or not they know them, can be traumatic. I'll use the analogy of the lottery. You can win the lottery one time and have $1,000 or you can win the lottery 500 times for a total of $1,000. Either way, you've still won $1,000 but the path to get there is different. Trauma can be experienced the same way. In knowing this, one can understand that we have all experienced trauma in some way throughout our lives and this similar experience, if acknowledged and embraced, can help our adults relate to each other and more importantly our children. Children tend to not want us adults to know when they are hurting, but they will show signs that they need someone. Often, we know that these signs are shown in behaviors that many adults would deem disruptive. The fact is, the child is trying to let us know that they've experienced some kind of trauma and because they are too young to put it into words, too shy to express themselves, or even too hurt to admit it; they display behaviors that most would deem "bad". We have current generations of parents, myself included, that would look back on our childhood and say, "I wish I had someone that would've noticed me in need when that happened." Be that person that notices a child in need. Instead of a traditional negative reaction, recognize that there is some form of trauma that is causing a child to need support. You can be that person that someone needs. Trauma comes in many shapes and sizes, but it always adds up to the same effect. For more information on trauma and on educating children in school who have experienced trauma, I encourage you to read this short article

DEI Community Conversation

On Thursday, September 22, we will be hosting our first AREA community conversation at Rome Free Academy from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The acronym AREA stands for Authentic, Relationship, Equity, for All. The goal of the community conversations is to bring together members of our community to discuss thoughts, concerns, and anything related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more information, including a link to pre-register or submit questions/comments, please visit our PeachJar at:

September 26 - Half Day

As a reminder to families, Monday, September 26 will be a half day for students in grades k-12 for the professional learning obligations of our staff. Please mark your calendars and plan accordingly. More information is available through your child's school.

Chromebook Expectations

As a reminder to families, all students in grades k-12 have been issued a Chromebook for the purposes of instruction and accessing resources while in school. In an effort to provide consistency and simplicity for families, the district allows students to keep their devices through the summer. Please remember that it is the expectation that students who take the Chromebook home, return to school with it each day just as we once would have with a textbook. We are experiencing a large number of students (specifically in grade 7) who are claiming to not have their device anymore and left it at the school in June. Please be reminded that all of our devices are trackable and monitored for login usage and location. We ask that you please ensure that your student has their Chromebook for school, especially if they brought it home for the summer. Any family that cannot produce their Chromebook, and we can demonstrate the location of the Chromebook, will be billed for a replacement device as it will be deemed lost or stolen come the month of October. Thank you for your time and understanding.

Out of the Darkness Walk Event

On Sunday, September 25, Oneida County, in conjunction with The Center for Family Life and Recovery, will hold its annual Out of the Darkness Walk fundraiser to raise awareness for suicide prevention. Suicide continues to be a concern for families as people continue to return to life situations that are more normal and adjust to socialization again. If you are interested in participating, donating, or volunteering for this important cause, please visit their website at

Rome Lions Club Craft Show

On Saturday, October 1, the Rome Lions Club will be holding it's 4th Annual Craft and Vendor Show at Rome Catholic School. The event will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and is free to the public. To view their event flier, please visit our Peachjar at

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