News & Updates
February 3, 2022
Virtual Learning on Friday, Feb. 4 
Due to inclement weather, the school district will shift to virtual learning tomorrow. All students should report to classes from home at their regular start times via Chromebook. All staff, except for certain building and grounds crews, should also work remotely. All in-person extracurricular activities are canceled. Please check our website for updates at

Early Dismissal for All Schools on Monday, Feb. 7
All schools in the City School District of New Rochelle will have an early dismissal on Monday, Feb. 7, and will follow our school district’s half-day scheduling to accommodate faculty participating in professional learning in the afternoon.
Please be reminded:
  • Elementary schools dismiss at 11:10 a.m.
  • Secondary schools dismiss at noon.
For more information, please contact your child’s school. Thank you. 
Partnership with Provides 24/7 Tutoring
The City School District of New Rochelle (CSDNR) is excited to launch our partnership with, an affiliate of the Princeton Review. All students district-wide now have free, unlimited, round-the-clock access to live one-to-one tutoring and homework support in English or Spanish. The service is available in a range of subjects (including math, writing, science, social studies, world languages, Advanced Placement® – AP® subjects, and even SAT prep). Students will receive personalized attention and can communicate with tutors via text-chat or voice.
CSDNR recognizes parents’ and guardians’ resilience in supporting their children’s education. is a supplemental academic support to help students succeed. When a student is absent from school but well enough to access assignments on Google Classroom, or a student just needs homework help outside of school hours, can provide on-demand academic assistance. Please note that does not replace current protocols for virtual learning for students on COVID quarantine. is always safe and secure. Tutors undergo rigorous vetting. Sessions are recorded and reviewed, and students’ identities are kept anonymous. Neither the student nor the tutor will ever see each other.’s online classroom allows students to use a whiteboard, text and code editor interfaces, graphing calculators, and other tools to communicate with tutors in real time. Tutors help students figure out problems by themselves — they never simply provide answers! They are dedicated to giving students encouraging, judgment-free support and assistance.

Connecting with a tutor is quick and easy: Students can access by signing into their district devices, accessing the district’s launchpad, and simply clicking the icon to start a live tutoring session.
Click on the flyer for easy-to-follow instructions.
Students using a non-district-provided device must sign into Launchpad ( first, then click the icon to access The icon is visible to all students.

We hope you will encourage your children to take advantage of’s help and we are thrilled to provide this support to our scholars. Look for the button on our school district’s website,, for additional information and resources. 

Please send any questions to John Barnes at, City School District of New Rochelle, Executive Principal. 
Superintendent Jonathan Raymond Invites
the Community to a Town Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 8
I am writing to invite you to a town hall discussion at Columbus Elementary School next Tuesday, February 8.

The tragic events of last week involving two of our high school youth have made it vividly clear that we are one community connected on many levels. This tragedy has impacted all of us. At the town hall meeting, we will reaffirm that the safety and well-being of our families and students remain our first priority. At the meeting, we will discuss ways to support the physical, emotional, social, and mental health of our students. Your thoughts, ideas, and voice are important to us.

Also at the meeting, we will share what we have learned about our current school district systems and practices, and how further improvements, partnerships throughout our community, and investments are necessary and urgently needed. We will share some immediate action steps.

Our schools remain safe spaces for our community. They are staffed by committed educators and other adults who are here to support, nurture, and love our children and families.

Please join the City School District of New Rochelle Board of Education and I this Tuesday, February 8, from 5:30 p.m.- 6:30 p.m. at Columbus Elementary for this important Town Hall discussion. It will also be available here. The link may also be found on the school district website. We look forward to this and continuing conversations.

The public portion of the Board of Education meeting will begin at 7:30 p.m., also at the Columbus Elementary School auditorium.

Jonathan P. Raymond
Superintendent of Schools
Senior Explores How to Stop the Spread of Cancer
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: Isabelle “Izzy” Balachandran, senior
Mentor: Dr. Abhinav Dey and Dr. David Sharp, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Many of the students involved in New Rochelle High School’s Science Research Program choose projects based on personal experience or inspiration. This was true for Isabelle “Izzy” Balachandran, whose grandmother suffers from multiple myeloma, a cancer caused by the accumulation of plasma cells in bone marrow.
Balachandran’s grandmother received anti-cancer treatments that were not very effective in long-term elimination of her cancer. This inspired Balachandran’s interest in oncology. She wants to help find a treatment that could stop the metastasis of cancer in hopes of helping other people who suffer from the disease.

Her research was an analysis of genes and pathways that correspond with a protein that helps spread metastatic cancer, Kif19, in hopes of creating an anticancer therapeutic drug using siRNA (small interfering RNA) strategies.

“My research explores alternative metastatic cancer therapeutics that are more disease- or cancer-specific as opposed to conventional chemotherapy and radiation treatments that are created for a wide range of different cancers,” said Balachandran.
She investigated a siRNA inhibition that stops the transcription of Kif19, which aids in the movement of materials throughout the cells. By inhibiting this protein, the idea is that the metastasis of cancer cells will slow down.

“My research resulted in support of my hypothesis, stating that when Kif19 is inhibited, there will be a decrease in cancer cell migration,” she said. The project has been a significant success for Balachandran. She obtained an internship at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, published an article in a methodologies book and won numerous awards from science fairs, including presenting at Regeneron-ISEF, the prestigious International Science and Engineering Fair.

“My experience in this program helped shape my interests that I will explore after high school into college,” said Balachandran. “I have developed such a strong curiosity about cancer therapeutics, as well as great skills such as communication and problem-solving, that will certainly help prepare me for my future endeavors.”
The Sharing Shelf’s Teen Boutique Opens
On Thursday, January 20, The Sharing Shelf's Teen Boutique opened its doors at New Rochelle High School. At the inaugural event, 81 students picked from a selection of winter clothing, undergarments, toiletries and more.
The Sharing Shelf organizes the Teen Boutique in partnership with area community groups and schools.

“The Sharing Shelf is excited to be back in New Rochelle, where we started, and bring this impactful event to the community. We are grateful for our partnership with FUSE (New Rochelle Federation United Employees), Volunteer New York! and the City of New Rochelle who helped ensure we had enough clothing and volunteers to carry it out,” said Deborah Blatt, founder of The Sharing Shelf.

The Sharing Shelf was founded to address clothing insecurity and meet the basic material needs of low-income children and teens. Teen Boutique was created to empower low-income teens to select their own quality clothing and build their confidence and self-esteem through access to stylish clothing at no cost. It is the first event of what the school district hopes will be a long-standing tradition at the high school.

This event would not have been possible without the volunteers who helped. A heartfelt thank you to our staff and student volunteers: Tyquan Franks, Alprentice McCutchen, Ramon Rosado, Sonya Spady, Josephine Dobbins, Irene Reda, Barbara Gillingham, Zahida Aminy, Kimberly Castellano, Joanna Kennedy, Meghan Swayne, Gail Polsky, Yvette Ayala, Quincy Simmons, Miles Renwick-Archibold, and Najah McCutchen. And an extra special thank you to Maria Morris, Rachel Cornelius, Caileen Reilly, Yohany De la Cruz, security (John Fraser), and our dedicated Custodial Staff (Rob Smith, Jermaine, John Bannister, and Fabrice Bruno).
97 Vaccinated at Trinity Clinic; Saliva-Test and Mask Reminders
Vaccinations are an important technique to help keep our students safely in school for vital in-person learning. Ninety-seven children received vaccinations Monday at a clinic at Trinity Elementary School.

Vaccinations for ages 5-11 also are available at Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital (call (914) 701-1700, ext. 1, for an appointment) and Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital. Make an appointment at

The City School District of New Rochelle continues to enforce New York State’s indoor mask mandate in school settings as a way to safeguard students, faculty, and staff. Thank you for your continued patience through this fluid process. The school district also continues to urge registration in its PCR Saliva-Testing Program. Please sign up here to participate, or pick up consent forms in your school’s main office.
Next Mobile Food Pantry is Feb. 9
There’s a direct connection between students’ success and the availability of consistent food and nutrition.

That’s why the City School District of New Rochelle’s Pupil Personnel Services Department and Feeding Westchester team up to sponsor the Mobile Food Pantry, providing assistance and healthy options.

The Pantry will return to Isaac E. Young Middle School on Wednesday, Feb. 9, from 4-5 p.m. All are welcome. Click the image for more information.
High School's 'Ms. Z' Committed to Each Student's Success
Most mornings, you’ll find Zahida Aminy, New Rochelle High School’s new Interim Assistant Principal, greeting students with a smile at the rotunda entrance.

As the eldest of six, Aminy, also known as Ms. Z, says education always was valued in her home while she was growing up. Her parents are from Afghanistan, a country where she said girls are not promised an education. While her parents hoped she would become a doctor, she realized, while working at a summer program with kids, that her passion was to become a teacher.

She graduated from Stony Brook University and Hofstra University, earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Health Science, Spanish, and Secondary Education. In addition, she received a School Building Leadership Certification from the College of Saint Rose.

Aminy began her teaching career in Harlem. Over nearly 11 years, she has held roles as a principal, biology and chemistry teacher, and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) coach working with high school students. Since starting at New Rochelle High School last fall, she says her favorite part of the job has been getting to know students and staff, and embracing the traditions of excellence. “All kids can learn,” she says. “It’s all about what adult is in front of them, doing whatever it takes to get them to learn and understand. I’m a firm believer in this philosophy.”

Her duties as Interim Assistant Principal include helping oversee school operations, assisting with New Rochelle High School ceremonies and graduation, supporting master scheduling, completing classroom observations and more. In her free time, she enjoys watching Jeopardy and playing sports. She also has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, building homes for families in Malawi and Kenya.  
Aminy is happy to be part of the New Rochelle community and looks forward to helping build on best practices, opening lines of communication and enhancing experiences among staff, students, and parents. Her message to everyone is, “Choose kindness and grace with everything that’s going on in the world. Life is too short, so it’s important to find and create your joy each and every day.” 
Newsletters throughout the month of February will spotlight how Black History Month is observed, honored, and taught in our schools through lessons, activities, and events.
Celebrating the Sights and Sounds of Africa
On Saturday, March 5, from 4 - 5:30 p.m., The New Rochelle Black History Month Committee, sponsored by a consortium of community-based organizations, will present a live, virtual, and free program for the 10th Annual Black History Month Celebration. This year, “The Sights and Sounds of Africa” are being celebrated.
Join guest host Dawn N. Hicks Tafari, Ph.D., for the live event at Beginning at 4 p.m.:
  • Preview student artists from elementary, middle, and high school, as they work on submissions to the Westchester Alliance of Black School Educators’ (WABSE) Spoken Word and Art Show. 
  • Meet a panel of authors -- Nicole Allen, Caroline Clarke, Linsey Davis, Judy Tyrus, Kent Washington, and Rita Williams-Garcia -- as they discuss their “writerly” lives. The discussion will be moderated by New Rochelle High School student Laela Reynolds. 
  • Enjoy presentations by professional artists Imani Gonzalez, Sadat X, and former New Rochelle High School student Rachel Motley, as they share the influence of African art and music on their work. 
  • Share pride as we honor student achievers, educational leaders and a special posthumous recognition of educator Karen Johnson, whose contributions to the lives of students and the community will be cherished forever.
After the live event, student work submitted to the Spoken Word and Art Show will be exhibited online at All are invited to visit the exhibit, view the authors, artists, honorees and resources. This program is presented by the New Rochelle Council on the Arts, The Lincoln Park Conservancy, the City School District of New Rochelle, the New Rochelle Branch NAACP, Kingdom Community Consultants, and the Westchester Alliance of Black School Educators.
Famed Photographer Gordon Parks Inspires Davis Elementary 
Taking inspiration from Gordon Parks, the famed photographer who used his art form as a platform for advocacy, George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School will be exploring others like him who used the power of their art for change. Each day this month, Davis will highlight a person or character who inspires others or makes a positive difference through art forms such as dance, painting, portraiture, quilting, poetry, music, DJ-ing, Olympic-level sports achievement, gardening, and storytelling. Books on these individuals and characters are available to staff for class read-alouds, with videos of the stories recorded by staff members and guest readers.

In addition, students will design bookmarks to make the world a better place, one kind word or design at a time. The bookmarks will be hidden in books around the building (class libraries, the Book Nook, and the Davis library), as pop-up reminders of the power of art to make a difference. Finally, the Davis library hallway will be transformed into a giant, hallway-long bulletin space for Davis students to display their artistic talents within this month's theme.
Isaac E. Young Middle Sixth-Graders Learn about Advocacy
The theme of sixth-grade extended learning lessons for February is advocacy. Students will engage in lessons that speak to the importance of self-advocacy, advocating for others, or a cause. Individual lessons include the work and commitment of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou, Muhammad Ali, Medgar Evers, John Lewis, Barbara Jordan, and others. Students will end the month participating in a culminating project celebrating the work of African-American community advocates.
Big Athletics Schedule this Weekend!

Good luck to all our teams this weekend! Schedules are subject to change.

Saturday, Feb. 5
The Huguenot Wrestling Team will compete in the Divisionals at John Jay Cross River High School, 9 a.m.
Girls JV Basketball at Mamaroneck, 11 a.m.
Girls Varsity Basketball at Mamaroneck, 1 p.m.
Boys Varsity Basketball at Suffern, 5 p.m.
Boys JV Basketball at Mount Vernon, 3:30 p.m.
Boys/Girls Indoor Track, Class AA Championship at Armory Track Center, 5 p.m.
Varsity/JV/Modified Cheerleading will compete at the Scarsdale Competition. Varsity (traditional), 9:05 a.m.; JV (traditional), 9:13 a.m.; Modified (game day). 9:20 a.m.; and Varsity (game day), 9:28 a.m.

Sunday, Feb. 6
JV Wrestling Sectionals at John Jay Cross River High School, 9 a.m.
Boys/Girls Indoor Track - Novice Meet at Armory Track Center, 6 p.m.
Sign Up for Spring Sports

Registration on FamilyID for the high school's spring sports season will begin Sunday, Feb. 13 at 9 a.m. Registration for modified sports begin Sunday, Feb. 27. Register here:

If you have questions, please contact the Athletic Department at 576-4586.