Extending the enthusiasm for a new school year beyond the opening days is being urged by Rome school district Superintendent Peter C. Blake.
Blake is encouraging people to “maintain the optimism and excitement that fills the air this week” as the 2018-19 school year begins, he said Monday in his blog on the district’s website.
“Being positive and happy is decision that needs to be made. The challenge comes in that our society has made it challenging to remain positive and focused on the good,” Blake commented. “Our children do amazing things throughout the year. In the athletic arena, in the classroom, on the stage, on paper....For them, keep the optimism alive and the positivity flowing; so they can have the most memorable year of their lives.”
The district’s first day of classes will be Thursday. At Rome Free Academy, freshmen will begin classes on Thursday while grades 10-12 will start on Friday, continuing a procedure that has been used in recent years.
Superintendent conference days for school district staff were held Tuesday and today. Included was a video message from Blake for staff, shown at various times in the school buildings at the discretion of each building among their various other activities. Blake said Tuesday that his video message was not open for media coverage and was part of the staff business meetings.
In his blog, Blake noted “as we embark on the new year, I have challenged our staff to continue the difficult task of moving our district upward to becoming the best school district in New York State. There are many hurdles along the way to the top, and growing is never an easy task.”
Blake also said he has introduced staff to a researcher, Shawn Achor, who “studies the positive side of psychology and the corresponding effects that working to remain positive has on our lives.” Achor’s major research is “embodied in a book called the Happiness Advantage, which I encourage you to Google,” Blake added.
Blake referred to an Achor statement that “when we are positive, our brains become more engaged, creative, motivated, energetic, resilient, and productive.” Blake commented, “if that doesn’t sound like the purpose or mission of a public learning institution, then I don’t know what does.”
Blake additionally observed that “it doesn’t matter if you are a kindergarten student entering school for the start of a 13-year journey or a 35-year veteran teacher who is embarking on the final year of their career; the start of a new school year brings an opportunity for everyone to start new and be excited.”