Sunday, December 17, 2017

Happy Holidays...

Not much new to report this week so we are going to keep it simple. Most people find the holidays as a time of year to enjoy with family and friends, and we often reflect on the past and attempt to predict the future. This time of year is also when most people are thinking positively about all aspects of their lives. Unfortunately, this is also a time when many struggle with remaining positive for a myriad of reasons. A family member, or friend, may be ill; there could be tension in one's life (work or home); or it could be a time of year when someone has experienced trauma, making it tough to manage. In my case, this is the time of year when ironically all 4 of my grandparents passed away. It's the time of year where my family wonders and worries a bit, as we enjoy each other's company to celebrate our year. We all have our ups and downs throughout the year, but what is most important is that we don't give up on each other. In today's world, it's very easy to see the negative in anything. Our news media tends to focus on mostly bad things and the world of social media has evolved from a place of keeping in touch, to a place of putting people down (that often we don't even know or have 2% of the details about the topic we talk about). Nonetheless, most people continue to find happiness and joy during this season, and I encourage you to try as well. More importantly, this is the time of year to help others find happiness and joy. I've said this before and I'll say again, Rome, NY is probably the most giving/philanthropic community that I have ever had the privilege to be a part of. During this holiday season, let's continue to display this caring for each other and our society with the hope of passing this trait onto our youth. Our children are our future and if we don't continue to educate them about the importance of caring for others, the negative twist on life in general is going to take over. Take a moment to support each other, help someone, or just be positive in general. Our society needs you and there isn't a better time of the year to provide some cheer! From my family to yours, Happy Holidays!!



RCSD App Now Available

Dove tailing with our website redesign this past summer, our technology team has also developed our first mobile application. Available through Apple's App Store or through Android's Google Play Store, you can download the app to your device and customize as you prefer. Some basic features include allowing you to set the app for your child's school to receive messages/information about that school only. Simply search for Rome City School District in the store and you will find our app with the District logo. 


Military Service Data Collection


Each year, the United States Department of Education provides roughly $40 million in Impact Aid to school districts which serve the children of military and civilian employees. In order to receive this aid, school districts must gather registration data regarding the students enrolled in their district. This funding enables us to provide programs and services that may not otherwise be available to students. The information gathered to determine eligibility for Impact Aid pertains to any student whose mother, father, or legal guardian is active military, OR a civilian working on a military post. If you are a parent/guardian that meets this requirement, please take a moment to complete the survey HERE so that our student may have the opportunity to benefit from this Federal Aid.



Socks for Teens


The Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency (MVCAA) is collecting new socks to support teen students throughout the Mohawk Valley as part of National Runaway Prevention Month. As the weather becomes more challenging, socks are an essential requirement for students who are on the streets. All schools are collecting donations of new socks of all kinds, preferably sizes 4-9. If you would like to help the MVCAA in this effort, please send in socks to your school's main office labeled "MVCAA Sock Donation" on or before December 21. 

Block R Club Cereal Drive


Once again this year the Block R Club, made up of varsity athletes, will be collecting cereal donations at all home athletic events. This year they are also accepting donations of granola bars and pop tarts. The donated items will be distributed to students for the holiday break who depend on the District for breakfast and/or lunch, since students do not have access to those resources during that time. You may also participate by simply dropping off cereal, granola bars, or pop tarts to the RFA main office at any point before December 21. Thank you to all who have supported thus far and to our student athletes for sponsoring this wonderful drive!


RCSD Apparel Sale


The Rome City School District is holding an online apparel sale from now through December 22, 2017. Items for sale can be found by following this link: https://form.jotform.com/73234073037955. All apparel comes in varying sizes, men's/women's, and colors. The logo on each item varies, so please read the item description carefully. We expect product delivery to be roughly one month from the close of the sale. All payments are made online and go directly to the vendor. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Let It Fun...

As I attempt to watch the Bills game today with all their snow and have listened to the Christmas classic, 'Let It Snow' recently; I reflect on some professional development from the past two weeks that reminded us all to find ways to provide more fun in both our jobs and in life. I have not done research on this, nor have I gone looking for it; but I would venture a bet that anecdotally most children that are disengaged with school would tell you that it is because they are not having fun. Likewise, I would imagine that most people that are not happy with their place of employment would say it's because their job is not fun. If you know me at all, you know that my next question is \, "Why?" Why can't we have more fun in school? Why can't we make our jobs more fun? Is there a rule against having fun? Perhaps the problem is who defines what fun is? In schools, it's most often defined by the adults, but students are our clients/consumers (to take lingo from the corporate world). Education historically is the only industry that refuses to produce/evolve based on the demand of it's consumers. In schools, we love to follow the, "It worked for me 20 years ago, so it should work for you model." Have you looked at your phone lately? When was the last time you heard some looking for a rotary style phone (that isn't an app) or for a land line even. Everything around us has evolved, but schooling wants to resist society. We don't have to. Let's listen to our students, our consumers, our clients. Education is not meant to serve the adults who have already completed it. It's meant to serve the children who NEED it to ensure that our society prospers when we are retired. So when it come time to make that New Year's resolution, I say, "Let It Fun!!"

Military Service Data Collection


Each year, the United States Department of Education provides roughly $40 million in Impact Aid to school districts which serve the children of military and civilian employees. In order to receive this aid, school districts must gather registration data regarding the students enrolled in their district. This funding enables us to provide programs and services that may not otherwise be available to students. The information gathered to determine eligibility for Impact Aid pertains to any student whose mother, father, or legal guardian is active military, OR a civilian working on a military post. If you are a parent/guardian that meets this requirement, please take a moment to complete the survey HERE so that our student may have the opportunity to benefit from this Federal Aid.


Socks for Teens


The Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency (MVCAA) is collecting new socks to support teen students throughout the Mohawk Valley as part of National Runaway Prevention Month. As the weather becomes more challenging, socks are an essential requirement for students who are on the streets. All schools are collecting donations of new socks of all kinds, preferably sizes 4-9. If you would like to help the MVCAA in this effort, please send in socks to your school's main office labeled "MVCAA Sock Donation" on or before December 21. 

Block R Club Cereal Drive


Once again this year the Block R Club, made up of varsity athletes, will be collecting cereal donations at all home athletic events. This year they are also accepting donations of granola bars and pop tarts. The donated items will be distributed to students for the holiday break who depend on the District for breakfast and/or lunch, since students do not have access to those resources during that time. You may also participate by simply dropping off cereal, granola bars, or pop tarts to the RFA main office at any point before December 21. Thank you to all who have supported thus far and to our student athletes for sponsoring this wonderful drive!


RCSD Apparel Sale


The Rome City School District is holding an online apparel sale from now through December 22, 2017. Items for sale can be found by following this link: https://form.jotform.com/73234073037955. All apparel comes in varying sizes, men's/women's, and colors. The logo on each item varies, so please read the item description carefully. We expect product delivery to be roughly one month from the close of the sale. All payments are made online and go directly to the vendor.