News & Updates
December 23, 2021
Holiday Schedule

Schools and offices in the City School District of New Rochelle will be closed tomorrow, Friday, Dec. 24 through Dec. 31, and will reopen on Jan. 3, 2022. The next Newsletter will publish Friday, Jan. 7, 2022.
Latest COVID-19 Safety Protocols: Important Steps to Protect Our Schools and Community
The following message containing important information about updated COVID protocols was emailed to City School District of New Rochelle families yesterday by Dr. Corey Reynolds, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources.
Dear City School District of New Rochelle Family:

The City School District of New Rochelle remains committed to maintaining as safe an environment as possible in our schools so that in-person teaching and learning may continue. To that end, we continue to update COVID-19 protocols to align with quickly evolving guidance from county, state, and federal public health officials, especially in light of the highly contagious Omicron strain.

Families received two communications this week. A letter on Monday outlined revised protocols (please read the English and Spanish documents at the underlined links). On Tuesday, an overview was shared regarding mandated saliva testing for students participating in middle and high school athletics and elevated-risk extracurricular activities. The letter also urged all students in all grades to register for voluntary saliva testing to help safeguard our schools and community.

At last night’s Board of Education meeting, I presented an update on protocols. A key message that was shared: Students who are exposed to COVID, but are vaccinated and experiencing no symptoms, will in most cases be allowed to stay in school. Each case will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to protect our schools and community.

Please view the document presented to the Board of Education here. Highlights:

  • The Westchester County Department of Health determines when a student must be isolated or quarantined.
  • Unvaccinated: A student who is not vaccinated and who comes within 3 feet of a COVID-positive student in the classroom setting for at least 15 minutes or comes within 6 feet of a COVID-positive student or adult in any other setting for at least 15 minutes must be excluded from school.
  • Vaccinated: A student who is vaccinated and who comes within 3 feet of a COVID-positive student within the classroom setting for at least 15 minutes or comes within 6 feet of a COVID-positive student or adult in any other setting for at least 15 minutes -- but is asymptomatic (showing no signs of infection) -- may stay in school. It is recommended that the student get a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test three to five days after exposure.
  • Virtual instruction will be provided to students who:
  • Are diagnosed with COVID
  • Have been quarantined/excluded from school due to COVID exposure.
  • Are part of a school district COVID event, for example a classroom closure due to insufficient staffing. Contingency plans are being developed to share staff among buildings if needed. One option includes particular classes pivoting to remote instruction.
  • Special protocols for athletics and other elevated-risk activities:
  • Middle and high school students involved in athletics and high-risk extracurricular activities must be saliva-tested weekly, regardless of vaccination status. Please review the saliva-testing message for details.
  • For high school winter sports, each New Rochelle athlete will be permitted to have five spectators; their names and contact information must be submitted to the Athletic Department by 1 p.m. on game day. (Visiting players will be allowed two spectators.)
  • Student athletes and adults traveling to tournaments must be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to the event and submit proof of a negative PCR COVID test 48 to 72 hours in advance. Only two students may occupy a hotel room, and congregating will not be permitted. Within three days of returning home, athletes must take another PCR test and submit proof of a negative result to the Health Office.

In addition, two announcements were made during Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting:
  • Our school district understands and appreciates the concerns of parents and guardians regarding the current increase in COVID cases. As such, COVID-related school absences for this week will be excused.
  • An email address has been established to answer COVID safety questions from the community. Please send questions to A response will be provided in as timely a manner as possible.

Also at the Board meeting, Superintendent Jonathan Raymond reiterated his belief that, “There is nothing more important that a school district can do than to give students a sense of identity, agency, and belonging. We know that the best way to accomplish this is through in-person teaching and learning.”
Keeping our children in school is a shared responsibility. If your family is traveling, please be mindful of COVID protection techniques. If symptoms emerge, or you have been in contact with someone who has COVID, please get tested prior to returning to school.

We look forward to welcoming back everyone on January 3, 2022. Should there be any developments that impact our ability to return to in-person instruction after the break, updates will be provided.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!

Dr. Corey W. Reynolds
Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources
Vaccination Clinic for Ages 5 - 11 on Jan. 4 at Columbus Elementary
Here’s your opportunity to vaccinate your child against COVID-19. The City School District of New Rochelle, in partnership with the Westchester County Department of Health, is providing a free Vaccination Clinic for children ages 5-11. Vaccinations are safe and research has shown that vaccinations are nearly 91 percent effective in preventing COVID-19 in this age group. The benefits of COVID-19 vaccination outweigh the health risks of COVID-19 infection.

When: Jan. 4, 2022, 3:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Where: Columbus Elementary School gym, 275 Washington Ave., New Rochelle
Cost: Free
Who can be vaccinated? All children ages 5-11. You do not have to be a Columbus Elementary School student to receive a vaccination at this clinic.
Requirements: Parents must accompany their children. After the vaccine has been administered, your child will be required to remain in an observation area for 15 minutes.
To register: Click here. Registration in advance is highly preferred, though walk-ins will be accommodated if possible.

In addition, 163 visitors received second-dose vaccinations at a clinic at Daniel Webster Elementary School this week.

To address inquiries about children’s vaccinations, Westchester County has created a list of Frequently Asked Questions and Answers. Please visit
Portrayals of Kidney Disease Get Student's Scrutiny
The students in New Rochelle High School’s Science Research Program explore a dazzling range of topics under the mentorship of experts from some of the top institutions of learning and exploration. Students’ projects will regularly be featured in this Newsletter.

Student: Alessandra Pappalardi, junior
Mentor: Dr. Cynthia Silva, Division Head, Nephrology; Director of Dialysis and Apheresis Services, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, Hartford, Conn.

Viewers of medical dramas on television watch discussions about numerous rare or fatal diseases, as well as many common or less infamous ones.
Alessandra Pappalardi, a participant in New Rochelle High School’s Science Research Program, wanted to use her project to research one of these less-well-known diseases. She decided to focus on pediatric kidney issues.

“My family has a history of kidney issues, myself included,’ said Pappalardi. “Being a film and television geek at heart, I noticed these afflictions are hardly covered by the entertainment industry and are also scarcely represented on social media platforms and news outlets. The Science Research Program allowed me to combine my interests in both nephrology and the media.”
Pappalardi surveyed the general public’s comprehension of pediatric nephrology in addition to what people have learned about it through media including news programs, the entertainment industry and social media. She found that, despite the prevalence of kidney disease across multiple age groups and races, it doesn’t get much coverage.

“Upon questioning participants about their perceptions of the illness, I found a majority of participants believed the information they absorbed through news networks is unreliable,” said Pappalardi. “They also doubted that the film industry’s inaccurate portrayals of youths suffering from illnesses could benefit recovering patients in any way. Overall, participants believed that different types of media glamorize the serious nature of diseases for the sake of entertainment and profit.”

Pappalardi’s experience in the Science Research Program has pushed her to contemplate her career path. She was pleased to have the opportunity to blend two major areas of interest. While she hasn’t yet fully determined where life after high school will take her, she believes research will be a part of it.

“The Science Research Program has already shaped my high school experience so much, and I hope that it will continue to do so,” she said.
Deck the Halls with Great Art! Students' Drawings Become Cards
Jose Angulo
Leah Francis

Emily Villalobos
Noah Yairi
Angeline Yang
When you blend New Rochelle students’ creativity and inspiration, the result is sparkling: Artistry that conveys holiday greetings shared across our school district.

Students were asked to submit drawings that would be used as digital holiday cards for all district staff members. The idea, from Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum Dr. Olivine Roberts, resulted in more than 100 impressive submissions. Five students’ works of art were selected.

Superintendent Jonathan Raymond and the Board of Education Tuesday night congratulated the students, and in addition, Raymond presented each Board of Education member with a framed poster displaying all five creations, thanking the Board for its service and dedication.

Check out the wonderful creations by:
  • Jose Angulo, Grade 8, Albert Leonard Middle School, teacher Larene DelGuercio
  • Leah Francis, Grade 4, Trinity Elementary School, teacher Alana DeVito
  • Emily Villalobos, Grade 4, Columbus Elementary School, teacher Leah Bernabei
  • Noah Yairi, Grade 8, Albert Leonard Middle School, teacher Larene DelGuercio
  • Angeline Yang, Grade 5, George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School, teacher Carmelo Bueti
Isaac Young Holiday Concert Online; High School Jazz Band Strikes Chord with Board
It’s a double dose of music from just some of our school district’s talented musicians!

Students from Isaac E. Young Middle School chorus, band, and orchestra classes have collaborated to spread holiday cheer through music. This annual event traditionally has been for the Isaac Young community, but this year the school is spreading its holiday joy with the larger community virtually. Please enjoy 14 holiday classics featuring over 200 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders. The entire student body watched the video (see image) on Thursday morning, and you can witness their talents, spirit, and teamwork here.
In addition, Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting included two selections by the New Rochelle High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Director Chris Stelluti. The band provided renditions of “Fly Me to the Moon,” featuring the vocals of senior and PAVE member Emily Pajarito, and “Jumpin' at the Woodside”. View the performances here and here.

Band members participating were Charlie Bases; Luke Cinquemani; Xavier Dennis; Victor Garcia-Gallet; Seth Harary; Vittoria Lazzarini; Nathaniel Michael Morris; Andreas Philip Mulder; Charlie Nocar; Leah Josefina Shefferman; Jasper Todd; Imaad Hadi Uzun; and Gianluca Veronesi.

New Rochelle High School Dr. Dagoberto Artiles, in introducing the Jazz Band, noted that the band had been together only three weeks, but came together quickly during planning and rehearsals to ensure an enjoyable performance. The Board meeting was recorded and will be posted on the Board of Education page at soon.
Webster Welcomes the Holidays With Music, Cheer, and Talent
Daniel Webster Elementary School was alive with the sound of music on Wednesday, courtesy of its talented students!

Two holiday concerts were held, and each performer was able to invite a guest to watch in person. The concerts also were livestreamed. The shows featured performances by the Fourth and Fifth Grade Webster Singers, the Fourth and Fifth Grade Orchestra, the Fourth Grade Chorus, and the Fifth Grade Band.

Congratulations to all musicians for their hard work, preparation, and wonderful performances, and deep thanks as well to Webster’s inspirational staff members who guided the students.
Vigilance Requested: Please Keep Watch On Our Schools
During the holiday break, the City School District of New Rochelle asks our community to help keep a watch out for our schools, buildings, and grounds. If you notice something of potential concern, please alert authorities. Together, our vigilance can help protect these important assets. Thank you.
If it's Chilly, it's Time to Take Ward's #HotCocoa Survey
December at William B. Ward Elementary School means it’s time for the #HotCocoaProject!

For the past several years, teacher Elizabeth Ponce, Instructional Technology Facilitator Jeannine Shields, and third-grade students have collaborated on a survey project identifying hot-cocoa preferences. But within that tasty topic are deeper lessons.

The project teaches the tenets of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics education) and how to investigate data. That vision pairs well with the third-grade math curriculum involving estimating, predicting, classifying, sorting, organizing, and representing data through a table, and analyzing graphic representations of data.

Ponce’s third-graders are in Ward’s Children's International Language Academy, a district-wide dual-language program in place for many years. They have been learning how to construct and interpret bar graphs. They’ve discussed the definition of a survey, formulating questions, and how to get and analyze results. Sample data provided an opportunity to ensure their graphics accurately and clearly conveyed information.

That set the stage for this year’s #HotCocoaProject. Students reviewed previous years’ survey responses, collaborated to identify what information they wanted to know and brainstormed questions to best learn about survey respondents’ hot cocoa preferences. Shields provided the know-how to create a Google Docs survey, which the public is invited to complete here. Responses already have been received from as far away as Thailand and Finland!

Look out for survey results in a future newsletter.
Ward's "Be Strong" Credo Takes Many Dimensions For Students
Ann Briscoe, William B. Ward Elementary School’s fifth-grade English Language Arts and Social Studies teacher, and third-grade teacher Tracy Visceglia share how a book inspired a school-wide project to fortify students’ inner strengths. Read on to learn about an innovative approach to social and emotional learning.

This fall, as we entered another school year with society coping with challenges, William B. Ward Elementary School wanted to share a book with a simple but powerful message. Each teacher at Ward School was given a copy of “Be Strong” by Pat Zietlow Miller. The title immediately spoke to us.

All teachers and students read and discussed the book and created unique ways to embrace its message. The book is about finding strength in unlikely places, and it highlighted that being strong isn’t only about physical strength, but mental and emotional strength as well. Tanisha, the main character, learned that strength means showing up, never giving up and asking for and offering help to our friends and family so everyone is stronger together.  

To put the lesson into action, each class created an activity. One third-grade class was inspired by the main character of the book to write 100 letters to strong people they know in their school and home lives. Other classes wrote examples of how they show strength in their lives, including how they “showed up,” “spoke up,” “never gave up,” and “asked for help.” An interactive touch board was created by third-graders in computer class as a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) project. Using the coding platform Scratch and the Makey Makey Invention Kit, student voice recordings are played back via touchpoints on the board and by specific keyboard strokes. Watch a video here, and view the project on Scratch here.

We hoped that “Be Strong” would encourage students to identify their inner strengths and use them to build others up. After all, we are stronger together.
Trinity Holiday Numbers Lesson Adds Up!

Math is everywhere, even during the holidays! Trinity Elementary School teachers are blending their love for the holidays with creative math lessons for students.

Kindergarteners are counting, and learning to compare numbers. One kindergarten class paired up with its fifth-grade buddies to create snowman names. They counted the letters in the names and compared their findings with classmates’ tallies. Other kindergarten classes counted and sorted the number of ornaments on their Christmas tree.

First-graders are learning how to “decompose” numbers – meaning how to identify smaller numbers that can add up to a larger number. They used the lesson to create a Hanukkah menorah, which holds nine candles.

Second-graders, during small-group instruction, worked on numbers while creating a snowman. And fourth-graders learned about symmetry by making snowflakes, while other students decked the halls with their geometry ornaments.
Jefferson: Pottery, Pizza, Party!

Kindergarteners at Jefferson Elementary School, as part of the Arts In Education program, participated in a workshop at the Pottery Palace in Larchmont.

Each child designed and painted a dish and learned about the glazing process, demonstrating creativity and artistic flair. The trip culminated with pizza, a dance party, and smiles!
Take a Bow, Hard-Working, Dedicated Special Olympians!
New Rochelle's Special Olympics athletes were honored by the Board of Education Tuesday for several accomplishments, including earning the “Outstanding School Award” from the Special Olympics Public School Sports League.

The New Rochelle Pioneers, formed in 1992 and now coached by Rhonda Boychew, compete in soccer, floor hockey, basketball and track and field. The team was chosen to receive the award due to recent achievements, such as increasing the number of student athletes, hosting the regional Special Olympics Basketball tournament, attending multiple Special Olympics weekend events, and more.

The Board’s resolution also noted that the team, with 44 members, is at a new high; has shown great resilience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic; and that team members embody an inspirational statement made by Special Olympics founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver at the inaugural Special Olympics international games in 1968: “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

Students gathered on stage during the Board meeting at New Rochelle High School. They were presented with certificates and given several rounds of applause for their hard work, tenacity, and accomplishments. In addition, each was treated to a cupcake topped by the Special Olympics logo

Honorees were Alondra Alvarez; Anderson Alvarez; Enrique Alvarez; Ascen Azurutae; Renaze' Azurutae; Jonathan Choflet; Christopher Conte; Salvador Corona; Brandon Cosby; Thallys DaCosta-Lima; Angela DiSapia; Dioka Ezike; Jesus Gonzalez; Takuto Igarashi; Gabriella Irizarry; Jeremiah Jackson; Samuel Jones; Ethan Leandre; Aston Lewis; Diego Lopez; Julian Mejias; Juan Mendoza-Garcia; Amanda Monzon; William Monzon; Joseph Mui; Alyssa Padilla; Kendra Quamily; Daniela Rameriz; Ny'Rell Robinson; Andre Shacha; Kareylo Slyvain; Adrian Somoza-Almeda; Noemi Stitt; Eberhard Tapia Rojas; Luis Tellez; Maggie Towers; Lucas Vega; Ruth Wambui; and Linly Zheng.

High school athletes eligible to participate in Special Olympics are welcome to become involved with the New Rochelle
Pioneers. Email for more information.
Fall Sports Recap: Awards, Recognition and More!
Now that most fall sports have named their post-season award recipients (swimming honors come at the conclusion of the boys’ season), congratulations to the following New Rochelle High School Huguenot athletes and teams:

Football: League champs, Section One semi-finalist
Jacquis Brandon: All-League, All-Section, League's Outstanding Offensive Back, Journal News Honorable Mention
Nico Andrews: All-League, All-Section, League's Outstanding Receiver, Journal News Honorable Mention
Chris Tuck, Jr.: All-League, All-Section, Journal News 2nd Team
Frank Gagliardo: All-League, All-Conference, Journal News 2nd Team
Bryce Boahene: All-League, All-Conference
Henderson Clarke: All-League, All-Conference
Kaique Braga: All-League
Austin Luzzi: All-League
Sean Santiago: All-League
Andres Silva: All-League
Dei'Shaun Benitez: All-League
Elijah Pierre: All-League

Boys’ Soccer: Section One semifinalist
Diego Tejeda: All-League, All-Section, Journal News 2nd Team
Daniel Madeira: All-League, All-Section, Journal News Honorable Mention
Jayden Barragan: All-League, All-Section Honorable Mention
Matt Carpio: All-League
Fernando Ramirez: All-League

Girls’ Soccer: Section One semifinalist
Hailey Young: All-League, All-Section, Journal News Honorable Mention
Leyla Selman: All-League, All-Section Honorable Mention
Amalia Cardo: All-League
Sydney Middlesworth: All-League
Ella Hyland: All-League Honorable Mention
Mia Fear: All-League Honorable Mention
Barbara Meda: All-League Honorable Mention
Grace Ziogas: All-League Honorable Mention
Alexandra Rivera: All-League Honorable Mention
Ariana Narain: All-League Honorable Mention

Girls’ Tennis: League Champs
Meredith Gray: All-League
Geneva Alston: All-League
Olivia Moxey: All-League
Eileen Weisner: All-League

Girls’ Cross Country: 2nd Place League, 5th Place at the County Championship
Kaitlyn Casas: League Champion, 2nd Team All-County, Journal News 2nd Team
Rosie Palmer: All-League, 3rd Team All-County, Journal News Honorable Mention
Jackie Gomez: All-League
Ariel Esposito: All-League

Kamara St. Paul: All-Conference

Congratulations to all fall athletes for their dedication and perseverance to overcome a season of challenges.
Spectators: COVID-19 Safety Parameters
School district COVID protocols permit a limited number of spectators. For games at New Rochelle High School’s gym, each athlete is allowed five spectators; each visiting player may have two spectators. Spectators must check in, providing their name and phone number in case contact tracing is necessary.

At Albert Leonard Middle School and Isaac E. Young Middle School, two guests per athlete from the home team will be allowed to attend; the school district is not accommodating spectators from visiting teams. Face masks are required at all times in the gym.

Out-Of-Season Workouts
Many Huguenot teams conduct voluntary out-of-season workouts. If a child is interested in participating, please call the Athletics Office at (914) 576-4586 to be directed to the appropriate coach.
What’s Coming Up? Schedules Online
Schedules for the winter season, as well as news updates, can be found on Schedule Galaxy:

Livestreaming of Games
All basketball games and wrestling matches in the New Rochelle High School main gym will stream on our YouTube channel, “CSDNR Athletics Department”.