A Positive Deviant...

Following the Vietnam War in the 1970s, the Vietnamese government spent millions of dollars trying to solve childhood malnutrition throughout the country. After many failed attempts, 20 years later in the 1990s researchers from the United States determined that poverty was not a cause of malnutrition, however, the manner in which families utilized resources was. They approached their research from the standpoint that someone among the Vietnamese people must be flourishing despite challenging living conditions. What they found was simply that families whose children were nourished well were feeding their children on a regular basis and in portions that were suitable for kids, while those who were malnourished were eating on the schedule of an adult and for portions like an adult. The concept of 'Positive Deviance' was born. Positive Deviance is based on the observation that in every community there are certain individuals or groups (the positive deviants), whose uncommon but successful behaviors or strategies enable them to find better solutions to a problem than their peers. These individuals or groups have access to exactly the same resources and face the same challenges and obstacles as their peers.
 Positive Deviance is a concept that can allow an organization to utilize its resources from within to solve a problem or better a situation. Another great example is the encyclopedia. 
The days of flicking through hefty, leather-bound volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica to find the answer to a question have long since passed. Today, we type a phrase into our computers, tablets, or phones, and Wikipedia undoubtedly provides us with the answer. Incredibly, this free online encyclopedia (over 54 million articles in hundreds of languages) is written not by a centralized group of writers and editors, but by individuals like you and me. Ordinary people who have exceptional knowledge or a close connection with a specific topic write an article, and others review and update it. The old centralized way of writing, storing, and retrieving knowledge is dead, replaced by a decentralized, digital, searchable, evolving source of information that grows daily.  In schools and our local communities, Positive Deviance is not used enough. For every problem or concern, more than likely there is someone else within your school or community that has the answer or can show you how to tackle the situation. Sounds a lot like collaboration, huh? Seems like common sense, huh? It is!! But we still don't take advantage of our colleagues and classmates like we can. Maybe we keep hearing about the need to collaborate more because, in reality, we still aren't collaborating. Or maybe we don't understand the definition. Regardless, be a Positive Deviant in your building. Find creative and unique ways to improve your room, building, and community!!

Calendar Reminders

This coming week marks the week of elementary parent/teacher conferences. This means that all students in grades Pre-K through six will have early dismissals on Tuesday, November 1, Wednesday, November 2, Thursday, November 3, and Friday, November 4. In conjunction with this, students in grades seven through twelve will also have an early dismissal on Friday, November 4. If you have any questions regarding these early dismissal days, please contact your child's school.

Youth Basketball Leagues

The William A. Valentine and Junior Chaos girls and boys basketball programs are currently accepting registrations for students in grades kindergarten through six. For more information on how to register, cost, schedules, and opportunities to volunteer, please see their information here: https://app.peachjar.com/flyers/2353945/districts/32521.

RFA Apparel Store

RFA has just announced the grand opening of an online apparel store through BSN Sports. Students and families can now order their RFA gear directly through the website. For more information, please visit the district website at: https://www.romecsd.org/article/866058.

Trunk or Treat Event

Trunk or Treat is all about safe, family fun, and oh, lots of candy! It's a holiday-themed community tailgate party and it's completely free. Expect bouncy castles, games, prize giveaways, and candy. Plan on dropping by Redeemer Rome between 6:00 and 7:30 p.m. on October 31st for this event. For more information, please view the event flyer here: https://app.peachjar.com/flyers/2353646/districts/32521.

NYSED Digital Access Survey

Last week, families throughout the district received a ParentSquare notification to complete a required New York State Education Department (NYSED) Digital Access Survey. Since COVID, the State is now requiring school districts to survey their families regarding our district's overall, general access to the internet. Survey results are due to be reported in January 2023, so be on the lookout for reminders, if necessary.

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