Who's the Parent...

 On a weekly basis, the topic comes up as to how much more of a parenting role teachers and schools can be expected to undertake in today's society. Everywhere you turn, it feels like schools are expected to do more and more that is not related to educating a child. Sure, I can always make the argument that education is more than ABC's and 123's. It is in fact about growing the whole child from a social aspect and helping young adults become productive members of society. These things are in fact true, and our teachers/school staff (and people in education everywhere) absolutely do these things on a daily basis. In fact, visit a school and you'll probably find adults working to help kids become better people and mediate situations more than what many adults may expect in traditional academics. Schools understand that we have a role in helping all children grow in every way. However, the question becomes, are schools expected to do everything and be the only entity acting in the role of a parent? If you ask many that work with kids every day, they would probably tell you that it feels that way. The most recent epidemic sweeping through schools is the use of edibles or gummies. They look like candy, probably taste like candy, and kids probably have a lot of access to them because adults are using them more and more frequently. This is not brand new as edibles have been around for many years, but it seems like more and more adults are beginning to have them. The problem is if an adult at home is not responsible with their edibles, and their child gets a hold of one (or more), then there is the potential for them to bring them into the school which can cause a major problem. This is happening all over the country, and unfortunately, it is also happening in our community. This is the modern day version of cigarettes or alcohol (the items that most parents gained access to while at school), or more recently the vape epidemic when young children would grab their parents' devices and sneak them to school. While our schools can work to address situations like this when they occur, we have no ability to manage what kids are bringing to school every day. That responsibility falls on whoever is home with a student before they arrive. Likewise, the school can always work with kids to understand what is right and what is wrong, but we need the help of parents and adults at home to reinforce these things so kids don't make mistakes as they grow. Students spend a maximum of 33 hours a week in school. That's only 20% of their time each week. Common sense simply says that there is no way that even the world's best educators and educational teams can ensure 100% success with all aspects of a kid's life when we only have access to them 20% of the time. We need to be a team and work together to help our children understand the dangers that exist currently in our world that we perhaps did not have worry about when we were there age. While your school family can certainly support and intervene on situations (most often after something goes wrong is brought to their attention), we all need to work together as a larger family to help prevent situations from occuring. We all want to believe that our kids are perfect, but really none of us were perfect children and by nature, kids love to push the envelope and explore boundaries. Thats' what growing is all about. Take the time to speak to your kids each day about their experiences and concerns and don't be afraid to share your personal stories with them. Between the parenting at home and the support our schools can provide, we can parent together in a way that is meaningful and supportive of our kids. The bottom line is, we are all the parents, but no individual party can do it without the other. 

Hoops for a Purpose

On Tuesday, January 24th, the Varsity Girls’ Basketball team will Hoop for a Purpose for a cancer awareness/benefit game wearing pink jerseys. Why pink? Pink is the color worn to show support for breast cancer. Every year thousands of women and men are diagnosed with this form of cancer.  Many of you may have a loved one or close friend affected by cancer. The team is asking folks to attend the game and to make a donation through the program to support the fight against cancer. All of those people that donate money will be supporting you “on the court” and the fight for cancer “off the court”.

NYSED Graduation Measures

The New York State Education Department has reopened a ThoughtExchange to gain more information regarding how people feel about potential changes in graduation requirements in our state. The Blue Ribbon committee which was organized to investigate possible changes and make recommendations to the commissioner, is asking, "What opportunities, experiences, and courses should be available to students in High School that align with their needs, dreams, and career exploration? Which of those should be mandatory?" To participate in their exchange, please visit the website at https://my.thoughtexchange.com/scroll/644270582/welcome.

SchoolTool Information

Recently, we have received an increase in calls from families with issues related to SchoolTool and Parent Portal kicking them out of the program upon entry. The vast majority of these issues are related to the user's browser not being updated to a level that supports the latest release of the SchoolTool software. Below is a chart that may help you know what browsers are supported and what versions are required to operate SchoolTool. If for some reason this simple fix does not solve your issue, please contact the IT specialist at your child's school for additional support.

Early Dismissal - Calendar Reminder

All students in grades pre-K through 8 also have an early dismissal, half-day, on Friday, January 27. For more information, please contact your child's school directly.

Regents Exam Information

As a reminder, this upcoming is the week for January Regents Exams for students in RFA. From Tuesday through Friday, students will only be in attendance if they are required to take an exam. From transportation information, please check your ParentSquare or call RFA directly. A copy of our exam schedule can be found on our webpage here: https://www.romecsd.org/article/969494.

AREA Community Conversation

Throughout the year, our Equity Task Force will be hosting a series of community conversations to learn more about the needs and desires of our students and community in the area of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. The conversations have been ongoing and have been held in various locations throughout the community. This coming Thursday evening, January 26, there will be a community conversation at Jervis Library from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We hope to see you there.

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