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Rome Free Academy

Public | 9-12 & ungraded | 1567 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 2 ratings
2012:
Based on 3 ratings
2011:
No new ratings

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17 reviews of this school


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Posted October 1, 2014

In the three years that I went to RFA, it was nothing but hell. The environment was just down right terrifying to the point that one was almost scared for their life. In the three years, the school has been on lock downs at least twice and countless other problems arose over time (Like how the electrical caught fire in the Science hallway and was forced to stand outside in 30 degree weather until it was safe to even enter the building again). I've seen countless fights and seen at least 4 food fights within the school that it makes you wonder where the heck the guards are? On top of that, there was a lot of favoritism amongst the staff to students. There had been times where teachers will turn a blind eye when another student has been bullied (I being a student that dropped out of school from so much bullying that it turned physical.) I was glad when I left the school and hearing about how it turned worse after I left, I thank god I left.


Posted July 24, 2013

The school is...mediocre. Some teachers could care less about the students, while others try to make the material bearable. The facility in itself is really nice, but the people there vary between flat-out mean to fairly decent. As long as you're out-going, you'll probably fit in. But hey, that's high-school, isn't it?
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 24, 2013

RFA is an amazing school. My children have and are attending here. The vast array of elective classes and college credit bearing classes is second to none when it comes to high schools in the area. The teachers are overall very highly educated and challenge the students to excel. There are opportunities for every student to take classes that interest them and push their limits. My oldest son loves science mainly because of the incredible teachers that turned him on with their passion for the subjects they teach. He took AP biology and physics and the SUNY ESF environment class getting college credit in all three. My daughter has taken all of those same classes and the SUPA English and AP Lit classes, the MVCC government and economics and with all the college classes she probably will be a sophomore in the fall. She is going to study Marine biology, and yes it is because of her teacher that she fell in love with the ocean and wanting to make a difference! Each of my kids have come to be critical thinkers thanks to wonderful teachers!!! If I could give this school 10 stars I would!
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 2, 2012

school security show favoritism, and do not enforce rules on students they like, the teachers show favoritism in classes, and are hypocritical.
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 18, 2012

As a parent of a child that has been in the JROTC program, I can say that this program is not for everyone. Lacks safety for childrens concerns. There is a lot of favoritsm with the instructor and she is abusive, verbally and physically, to the students. Its almost boarderline gang. All levels of the school administration have been notified and the only thing that was done about the instructor was that she had to attend Anger Management classes. Her behavior has not changed and still treats the students she dont care for, unfairly. The security guards are young and also show favoritsm and will back up the abusive behavior that goes on. Untrained is how I feel and lack communication. Quick to judge. I have another child in the school district that I will NOT allow into the JROTC program once he enters RFA unless this instructor is replaced. This instructor is not professional at all for being in a school disctrict of students that will look up to them and mimic their behavior.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted March 28, 2012

I am a graduate of this school as of 2011 and it has been the best four years of my life in this school. The teachers are wiling do what ever they need to in order for you to learn something new. The music program here is one of the highest in the region. AP classes are offered in many subjects as well as dual enrollment through the local community college, MVCC, for many classes. the SUPA program is in place for senior English and there language courses also offer college credit through schools such as MVCC and University of Albany. Independent studies are available upon request. Because the school is located on an Air Force base, Air Force JROTC is offered and many students are apart of it. The art and communications program are in top shape with new resources such as Mac labs and printers, a dark room photography studio, a communications room for the school newspaper and yearbook classes with new iMacs and Macbooks. The athletics department is also a beauty with so many coaches being teachers within the school district. There is a required swimming program for everyone to take at least one semester of Swimming. There are new events happening everyday thanks to the STASS program.
—Submitted by a student


Posted November 25, 2010

I'm a sophomore in the school right now and over all the schools great. But the constant heating/air conditioning problem doesn't help the students at all. Sometimes the teachers don't seem like they want to be there and some are actually late to homeroom (When they get on to the students about being late isn't fair).
—Submitted by a student


Posted May 19, 2009

I am a current student in this school and love it. There is so much more freedom than all of my other former schools. Opposite of what everyone else said the security staff is really nice and give you respect when you give them respect. GO CLASS OF 2012
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 4, 2009

Once thriving with a positive atmosphere, the new RFA fails to meet many basic standards that i believe should be a priority in our education system. The school has poor insulation, with each class the temperature rises and falls dramatically. There are excellent teachers, but for the most part, they really don't seem like they should be teaching at all, or even want to be there. The entire security staff does not care about the atmosphere, making this high school seem more like a prison. Bathrooms have been locked and remain locked due to the few students that go in for a smoke, and it seems like every year more and more rules are instituted just to keep everyone locked and confined in this negative environment. It needs an experienced principal that truly cares about the students and their well being.
—Submitted by a student


Posted December 10, 2006

I know I'm a freshman and that I've only been in RFA for a few months, but I feel very safe in the school. I feel the teachers like being there and that they like interacting with the students. There is a very big variety of extracurricular activities in our school. There is about 50 different clubs and sports activities. However there is not very much parent involvement in RFA. The only place where I see parents is at the sports games. Like I said before, I feel very safe in RFA. It's nothing like proctor. When I went to proctor I felt like I was going to get jumped. I don't feel that way in RFA. So to the people making the ''NYS School Watch List,'' Wise up and take RFA off the list.
—Submitted by a student


Posted October 24, 2006

I'm a June graduate of Rome Free Academy, and I can't begin to say how much I disagree with these other posts. RFA was a great public school for one its size and has excellent resources and amazing facilities. The teachers at RFA do in fact do a very good job at teaching and really enjoy their jobs. Extracurricular activities, especially art and music, are in great abundance and there are numerous sports teams. The new building itself is beautiful and there exist few comparable schools. In short, people may always be able to find faults, however this school does not have nearly as many as have been portrayed. Rome is lucky to have such a fine institution and it should not be so quickly and easily discredited.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted January 27, 2006

I thought that it was a ok school to attend. They had many of the above on the list music sports and the arts. I found no parent envolvement in this school
—Submitted by a former student


Posted January 15, 2006

The teachers don't want to be there. The administration picks it's favorites and sticks with them. I left RFA for RCH in October of this year, I'm a junior. No one cares who you are in that school and there is no discipline factor, whatsoever. It's a beautiful school but there are more ignorant people in one building than I've ever encountered in my life.
—Submitted by a former student


Posted March 24, 2005

My children advise me that there's more drug choices INSIDE this school than outside in the streets. Maybe some drug sniffing dogs wouldn't hurt. They have gossipy teachers that add to the drama. Sports are limited to the elite as they do not provide additional teams for the remaining students who wish to participate but are not 'chosen'. Too many 'lost' children in this school. Could use more role models willing to go beyond their basic job. We pay for security that's just too scared or unable to help due to our sue happy world, probably. Bias in favor of the elite. Help.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted October 29, 2004

From the outside the 'new' HS appears beautiful but what goes on inside is far from beautiful. Security is untrained in regard to communication skills and they lack a true concern for our children. The size and positioning of classes and offices divides instead of bringing together students and staff, making it an unfriendly atmosphere. I must say that there are some wonderful teachers who truely care about the children they teach and I applaud their efforts. Discipline is handled according to where you live and who your parents are which has created discord among students. The violence is also a big concern of mine since I have 2 children who will be entering HS soon, one just graduated.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted July 30, 2004

I was a student these past two years in RFA an I must say, it is extremely lacking in character. At the 'Old RFA' there was a sense of, well, history. You could walk down the halls and see murals painted back when my Mom used to attend. There was an open campus where students could sit outside and relax and enjoy the summer sun. The new school doesn't have any of that. You can't even walk outside to get air without getting yelled at by security. If I had a choice, I would trade the new computers and non leaking roof for the interesting and friendliness of the 'Old RFA'
—Submitted by a former student


Posted August 31, 2003

The new RFA is now located on Griffiss Airforce Base. It is now grades 9-12. Its overall rating amongst other schools is good. However, students feel it is more like a correctional facility due to the cameras and other procedures used there. Most parents feel the procedure is a great way of protecting the students and that it does give a sense of security. My children have attended there since the day its doors opened and I feel they have a great guidance team and most of the staff are more than helpful and are interested in seeing your child strive. They are also introducing a new ROTC program this year.
—Submitted by a parent


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Algebra II/Trigonometry

The state average for Algebra II/Trigonometry was 66% in 2013.

165 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
76%

2012

 
 
68%

2011

 
 
58%
Chemistry

The state average for Chemistry was 76% in 2013.

151 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
73%

2012

 
 
69%

2011

 
 
60%
Earth Science

The state average for Earth Science was 72% in 2013.

338 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
52%

2012

 
 
60%

2011

 
 
59%
English

The state average for English was 77% in 2013.

347 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
86%

2012

 
 
88%

2011

 
 
92%
French

The state average for French was 95% in 2011.

48 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
98%
Geometry

The state average for Geometry was 74% in 2013.

271 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
77%

2011

 
 
72%
Global History and Geography

The state average for Global History and Geography was 71% in 2013.

456 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
65%

2012

 
 
65%

2011

 
 
68%
Integrated Algebra

The state average for Integrated Algebra was 73% in 2013.

508 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
63%

2012

 
 
61%

2011

 
 
64%
Italian

The state average for Italian was 98% in 2011.

22 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
100%
Living Environment

The state average for Living Environment was 77% in 2013.

389 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
72%

2012

 
 
82%

2011

 
 
81%
Physics

The state average for Physics was 81% in 2013.

91 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
77%

2012

 
 
53%

2011

 
 
49%
Spanish

The state average for Spanish was 94% in 2011.

121 students were tested at this school in 2011.

2011

 
 
88%
U.S. History and Government

The state average for U.S. History and Government was 80% in 2013.

377 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
79%

2012

 
 
84%

2011

 
 
71%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 New York used the New York State Regents Examinations to test high school students in English, math, global history and geography, US history and government, living environment, chemistry, Earth science and physics. Students must take at least five Regents Exams in order to graduate. Scores of 65 and above are passing; scores of 55 and above earn credit toward a local diploma (with the approval of the local board of education). The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

Source: New York State Education Department

Algebra II/Trigonometry

All Students76%
Female78%
Male75%
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White78%
Economically disadvantaged63%
Not economically disadvantaged79%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English76%
Not migrant76%

Chemistry

All Students73%
Female66%
Male84%
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White76%
Economically disadvantaged60%
Not economically disadvantaged76%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Not migrant73%

Earth Science

All Students52%
Female47%
Male58%
African American39%
Asian/Pacific Islander26%
Hispanic40%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White57%
Economically disadvantaged40%
Not economically disadvantaged66%
Students with disabilities21%
General population61%
English language learners20%
Proficient in English53%
Migrantn/a
Not migrant52%

English

All Students86%
Female89%
Male83%
African American88%
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanic77%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White87%
Economically disadvantaged76%
Not economically disadvantaged93%
Students with disabilities32%
General population94%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English88%
Migrantn/a
Not migrant86%

Geometry

All Students77%
Female81%
Male74%
African American58%
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White79%
Economically disadvantaged69%
Not economically disadvantaged82%
Students with disabilities75%
General population77%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in Englishn/a
Migrantn/a
Not migrant77%

Global History and Geography

All Students65%
Female65%
Male65%
African American63%
Asian/Pacific Islander67%
Hispanic54%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White67%
Economically disadvantaged53%
Not economically disadvantaged76%
Students with disabilities29%
General population74%
English language learners61%
Proficient in English66%
Migrantn/a
Not migrant65%

Integrated Algebra

All Students63%
Female64%
Male62%
African American64%
Asian/Pacific Islander80%
Hispanic52%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White63%
Economically disadvantaged56%
Not economically disadvantaged77%
Students with disabilities31%
General population73%
English language learners50%
Proficient in English64%
Migrantn/a
Not migrant63%

Living Environment

All Students72%
Female72%
Male73%
African American75%
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanic45%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White75%
Economically disadvantaged63%
Not economically disadvantaged83%
Students with disabilities32%
General population82%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English73%
Migrantn/a
Not migrant72%

Physics

All Students77%
Female75%
Male78%
African Americann/a
Asian/Pacific Islandern/a
Hispanicn/a
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White76%
Economically disadvantaged63%
Not economically disadvantaged81%
Students with disabilitiesn/a
General populationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English77%
Not migrant77%

U.S. History and Government

All Students79%
Female76%
Male84%
African American61%
Asian/Pacific Islander80%
Hispanic70%
Multiracialn/a
Native Americann/a
White82%
Economically disadvantaged63%
Not economically disadvantaged91%
Students with disabilities37%
General population86%
English language learnersn/a
Proficient in English79%
Migrantn/a
Not migrant79%
Scale: % passing

About the tests


In 2012-2013 New York used the New York State Regents Examinations to test high school students in English, math, global history and geography, US history and government, living environment, chemistry, Earth science and physics. Students must take at least five Regents Exams in order to graduate. Scores of 65 and above are passing; scores of 55 and above earn credit toward a local diploma (with the approval of the local board of education). The goal is for all students to pass the tests.

The different student groups are identified by the New York Department of Education. If there are fewer than 5 students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New York State Education Department

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

GreatSchools Ratings for this school are based on 2012-2013 test results. Use the breakdown ratings below to compare types of students at this school. Learn more »


Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
White 2 84% 48%
Black 1 7% 19%
Hispanic 2 5% 23%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 2 2% 9%
American Indian/Alaska Native 2 1% 1%
Two or more races 1 1% 1%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012
Source: 2 NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Limited English proficient 1%N/A8%
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 39%N/A43%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher experience

  This school District averageState average
Fewer than 3 years experience 3%N/A5%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher education levels

  This school District averageState average
Master's degree and above 58%N/A39%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher credentials

  This school District averageState average
Teachers with no valid teaching certificate 0%N/A0%
Source: NYSED, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Music teacher(s)
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by a school official.

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Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Music teacher(s)
Music
  • Band

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish
School leaders can update this information here.

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School basics

School Leader's name
  • MR. MARK BENSON

Programs

Instructional and/or curriculum models used

Don't understand these terms?
  • Core knowledge
Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Music teacher(s)
Extra learning resources offered
  • Career/college counseling
  • Title I Schoolwide program (SWP)
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
School leaders can update this information here.

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Sports

Boys sports
  • Football
Girls sports
  • Soccer

Arts & music

Music
  • Band
School leaders can update this information here.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Parent involvement
  • Attend parent nights
School leaders can update this information here.

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95 Dart Circle
Rome, NY 13441
Phone: (315) 334-7201

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