Do You Know...
This past week, I had the opportunity to meet with the Oneida County Opioid Task Force and Superintendents around the region. While the purpose of our meeting was to discuss the addition of Narcan/naloxone to area schools, the majority of our time wound up being spent on discussing real stories and experiences from the field related to addiction, of many kinds. We all know the old adage that everyone knows someone that has struggled with addiction of some kind, but the relevance for folks seems to be increasing. The stories that were shared and the topics discussed left me thinking as a parent and an educator, "what do we really know about what our kids are doing and are into?" It felt like something from a movie. Seeing an emoji chart that shows how kids communicate about drug acquisition and/or use purely through emojis (https://www.dea.gov/sites/default/files/2021-12/Emoji%20Decoded.pdf). Or learning that there are websites that exist to help individuals learn more about drugs and know how to mix drugs based on a person's height and weight so that they can obtain the greatest high without possibly overdosing. Law enforcement makes it sound like a drug bible (www.erowid.org). The reality is that with the inclusion of fentanyl into the drug scene, the concept of dabbling for kids is not what it was when many parents experimented in their day. Authorities are finding fentanyl in everything today, including marijuana and vapes. It is more important than ever that parents, families, friends, and schools are communicating with each other and their kids about warning signs or concerns. Kids in 2023 are dealing with so much more ongoing perceived pressure from the real world that if we don't start taking the approach of thinking that we don't know what's going on with them, we are failing our kids. No matter how good the parent or how good the community is, we don't know everything that is going on with our kids. As adults, it is our responsibility to create an environment where kids feel comfortable talking to us, and we have to feel comfortable making our kids uncomfortable and talking to them. There is a fine line there, but kids need to know their parents and families as people, not just grown-ups. The facts are, no one knows what any other individual is experiencing, thinking, or going through, and the only way to support each other and our kids is to talk to them. The stronger you can build the bond and the more you can learn/know about what they are interested in and what society is throwing at them, the better chance they have. Society is a rapidly changing world, and it is difficult as an adult to keep up. But we owe it to our kids to do our best to understand the perils that the world is and will throw at them. You will not regret trying to learn more about what you perceive as not being a threat to your kids, because ultimately, how much do we really know about what our kids have access to?
This coming week, all students have a half-day of learning on Thursday, March 16 and a full day off on Friday, March 17 as a Superintendent's Conference Day. For more information, including dismissal times, please contact your child's school.
The 2023-2024 school calendar was approved last week by the Board of Education. To see the calendar for next year, please visit our website at: https://core-docs.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/asset/uploaded_file/2645/RCSD/2837308/2023-24_School_Calendar.pdf.
Board of Education - Petitions Available
This year, there are four (4) open seats on the Board of Education. All four of these seats will be available on July 1, 2023. The term limit for three of the open seats is three years, expiring on June 30, 2023 and the fourth seat is to complete the remainder of a term, which is one year 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 26, 2023. 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. Joe Mellace.
The Rome YMCA is starting a new program for students and families that are interested in building positive social skills. The group is geared to helping students and families in navigating school stressors such as bullying by providing a safe, supportive, and structured setting to share their experiences with common challenges school students cope with daily. For more information about this group, please see their flier here: https://www.romecsd.org/article/1024007.