District plans to vote on capital plan and budget

ROME — At its regular meeting on Thursday, March 10, the Rome Board of Education passed a series of resolutions establishing the annual budget hearing to consider the proposed school budget for the 2022-23 school year and the date and the timetable for the school election and budget vote.

The school board will hold a public hearing on May 5 (location and time to be determined) to discuss the proposed budget for the school year beginning July 1, 2022 and ending June 30, 2023. The board is required to hold this hearing no more 14 days and not less than 7 days before the date of the annual school election and the vote on the budget. The board has not released a proposed budget or draft proposal. The district’s budget for the current school year is $122.9 million.

Members also confirmed that the annual school election and budget vote will take place between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17.

In other matters related to the school budget and annual school board elections, the board unanimously approved the appointment of Martha Schaller and Kathy Jo Britton as members of the City School District Board of Record. of Rome, each for a one-year term beginning March 1. .

Carol Van Court and Kim Seifert were unanimously approved by the Board of Directors to serve as alternates to the Registration Board should either or both of Schaller and Britton be unable to act.

Members also approved fixed registration days for the education board election and budget vote to take place on May 17, with those dates being Tuesday and Wednesday, May 2 and 3, where the board of registration will oversee this registration at the Rome Municipal School office. District, 409 Bell Road, Rome, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Capital project vote

The following individuals were appointed by unanimous vote of the membership to serve as election inspectors for the 10 school electoral districts that align with the City of Rome electoral districts as part of the vote on the district’s capital project school of the city of Rome, which will take place on March 22.

ELECTION INSPECTORS: Joan Fiaschetti, Jean Barnes-Truax, Vera Beggs, Sue Carvelli, Dianne Ceklovsky, Kathryn Wood, Elizabeth Barry, Anthony Seoane, Ann Kehoe, Rebecca Mellay, Diane Reynolds, Michael Potter-Urbanek, Joseph Brockway, Karen Town, Mae Smith, Ralph Iannotti, Elizabeth McMahon, Barb Brady, Val Mendoza, Eleanor Beer, Irene Panara, Cheryl Kegley, Sam Myers, Josephine Iannotti, Pat Cole, Laura Davis, Darlene Hertel, James Hertel, Donna Csete, Derek Pomento, and Josephine Robley.

The district will host an in-person community forum regarding the capital project vote at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15 in the small RFA auditorium, where district officials and representatives from LaBella & Associates, the district’s architects, will be on place to review comments and answer questions.

Any questions regarding the upcoming school board elections, budget vote, and public information sessions can be directed to asktheboe@romecsd.org.

Low speaker ratings on note strips

At the previous board of education meeting, dozens of locals turned out to criticize a possible district move toward grade consolidation as well as the alleged conduct of board vice chair Tanya Davis, swelling the ranks observers at meetings.

“They were bringing in extra chairs,” Rome NAACP President Jackie Nelson said of the public turnout at the Feb. 28 board meeting. Nelson – who attends many board meetings – estimated nearly 40 people showed up with 13 looking to speak.

The lion’s share of the roar was on a proposal to couple the schools into three elementary school communities, with one school serving grades K to 3, often referred to as a primary or primary school, and the other serving grades 4 and 5 , known as Middle or Upper Primary School. The approach – also known as “The Princeton Plan” – was presented to the district by Ross Haber & Associates, the consultants hired to guide them through the redistricting process.

Another element of the redistricting proposals that has drawn ire – particularly from teachers in the district – is the proposal to isolate the 6th grade in an annex to be built at Strough Middle School in a hybrid introduction to this environment or even to a school building of his own (with Clough or Ridge Mills buildings mooted as possibilities).

Regardless of the tactic adopted, Ridge Mills Elementary School – one of only two elementary schools in the district (along with Stokes) considered “in good standing” by the New York State Department of Education in terms of school results – will probably cease to be a primary school. Officials say the reasons are that it does not align with plans to balance elementary schools in the district in terms of diversity, support services, special programs and that the Ridge Mills building is not a candidate for additions. due to a main water pipe. below and the inability to put more weight on the ground above that main pipe.

Jon Maggiolino said he and his wife, Becky, “chose Rome” to start their family, which includes his wife, Becky, a 3-year-old son and a 1-year-old daughter. He shared that one of the reasons they chose Rome was that their children would be “provided with K-5.”

“Some people are unclear about the proposed changes. Some people are confused. How will this affect my child’s education? How long will it take for my child to acclimate to a new school; students, teachers, administrators, environment,” Maggiolino questioned. “A family of five trying to figure out the logistics of taking in kids from three, maybe four different schools?”

Maggiolino also raised concern about how the approach could worsen public transit, which has proven particularly difficult over the past school year.

Ron Colangelo, who graduated from RFA in 2002, shared that he and his wife chose to return to his hometown in 2008 to make Rome their “permanent home”. The Colangelos, he shared, have three children; two who are currently attending Stokes Primary School and one who will be there in kindergarten this fall. Colangelo said he considered public information and did “countless hours” of research on his own before deciding on a position on the redistricting proposals.

“The rank consolidation is just a plan that I can’t buy into,” Colangelo said. “It’s a challenge for parents. It removes the social and emotional risks posed to children. It does not take into account the impact of transitioning from one school to another every few years. Colangelo went on to state that “there are no studies” that show grade bands have a positive impact.

Jennifer Roth came to the council as a mother of three children who attend or will attend Denti Elementary School. Roth shared that her concerns about some of the redistricting proposals presented compelled her to sponsor the petition, which now reflects more than 800 signatures. Roth pointed out that there was “no evidence of an academic advantage for grade ranges”, but referenced papers on the K-6 and even K-8 approach as being “better for grade results. students”.

Nadia Rashid is the mother of a kindergarten student at John Joy Primary School and proudly shared that she herself was a ‘John Joy Tiger’ and still remembers the primary school teachers and staff . Rashid said she had been a social worker and is now a program supervisor at ICAN, a non-profit organization in the region, and acknowledged that there are many reasons why many students have difficulty making transitions and developing positive relationships. “Changing schools every few years is an avoidable disruption in children’s lives,” Rashid said.

The final speaker of the evening, Nichole Hinman, did not speak against the consolidation of grades or identify herself as a parent of any given primary school, but asked the council to clarify the redistricting schedule.

Board Chairman John Nash indicated that there would be more specific information after an upcoming ad hoc meeting and Hinman responded to ask if it would be posted somewhere?

“There is no final decision yet; we are still waiting. All community feedback is important,” Davis said. “No votes are expected.”

Davis also confirmed that the board is still awaiting information from its consultants.

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