City School District of New Rochelle
News & Updates
January 15, 2021
District Employees Now Receiving COVID-19 Vaccinations
Teachers, staff members and other City School District of New Rochelle employees began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations this week when Governor Andrew Cuomo expanded the list of those permitted to participate.

Interim Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero encouraged all 1,800 employees to get the shots.
“First, I want to be sure that our nurses, teachers and other colleagues – all those who work most closely with the students and in groups – receive vaccinations,” Dr. Marrero said. “Then, I will look into receiving the shot myself.”

School nurses, speech therapists and occupational therapists were eligible to receive the vaccine earlier, per New York State regulations. Other District employees were included in Phase 1B, which became eligible for vaccinations on Monday, January 11.

District employees are encouraged to make appointments outside working hours, if possible. Most important, however, is that they receive the vaccinations. Sign-up is through the New York State vaccination portal, found here.

“We want to see everyone get vaccinated and safeguard their health, and we understand there may be some potential minimal effects on District operations,” Dr. Marrero said. “If employees do have to make appointments during working hours, we will find ways to cover their responsibilities for that time.”

With the community rushing to receive the vaccination, finding an appointment slot can be difficult. 

“Both the federal government and New York State have developed plans to ensure that everyone will be able to get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as large quantities are available, at no cost, no matter where they live,” the state’s website reports. “The State Department of Health will share additional information on where New Yorkers can get vaccinated as more vaccine doses become available.”

Dr. Marrero encouraged perseverance, even if it will take time to increase health and safety as community members seek and receive vaccinations.

“We know this is not the end of the crisis,” he said. “We will continue to exercise caution and maintain all social distancing and other protocols. But it is good to know we are moving forward and that the end may soon be in sight.”

To learn more about District protocols regarding COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 Resource Center here.
For One Project, String Orchestra Becomes 40 Soloists
For their midyear project, the members of the Huguenot String Orchestra at New Rochelle High School, unable to perform their traditional live concert, changed course and became 40 soloists.

Each student musician created a performance video in what turned out to be an esteem-building lesson in the power of practice.

“It was fun,” said freshman Amy Baez, who performed “Amazing Grace” and the famous Canon in D by Pachelbel. “It was different from anything I’ve ever done before and it was something I really needed. It felt good to perfect the piece.”

They had many songs to choose from the for the project, which was due before the holiday break, said orchestra director Claire Stancarone. The finished performances were not merely a school project; they were gifts of music that could be sent to loved ones – a grandmother in a nursing home, for instance – at a time when many avoid gatherings to stop the spread of COVID-19.

As part of her project, junior Genesis Bratcher played Amazing Grace at her church, to an audience of about 10 congregants. It was then played on Zoom for other congregants.

Bratcher said she was nervous at first, but grew more self-assured as the bow danced across the strings.
“There’s a sense of confidence that you need to have while you’re playing by yourself,” she said. “I didn’t know that I had that. I was glad to discover it when I played my solo.”

Stancarone was happy to see many other students make similar discoveries.

“The students really enjoyed playing the solos,” she said. “They felt independent, and they felt like they could stand on their own two feet.”