News & Updates
January 20, 2022
Newsletter Moves to Thursdays!
This Newsletter, starting this week, will publish on Thursdays instead of Fridays.
This move is designed to have news reach readers earlier and give the community
Friday, a weekday, to take action on stories or reach out with questions. Thank you for reading!
Superintendent’s Town Hall Focuses on Community Unity, Supporting Student Achievement, and COVID Safety
Superintendent Jonathan Raymond hosted his third monthly Town Hall Wednesday, the latest stop in his ongoing Listening and Learning Tour to interact with and enhance communication with the community.

The majority of the forum, at the New Rochelle Public Library and viewable via Zoom, focused discussion on “What Divides Us and What Unites Us.” Board of Education President Julia Muggia Ochs moderated the event, which included about two dozen questions.

Raymond opened the Town Hall with an update on City School District of New Rochelle COVID-19 safety measures. He provided an overview on the most recent advancements to the PCR Saliva-Testing Program, the Test-to-Stay Program, and Contact Tracing protocols. Raymond reiterated that the health and safety of students, faculty members, and staff are school district’s top priority. Read more on the latest COVID-19 safety measures below in this Newsletter.
Highlights of the “What Divides Us and What Unites Us” discussion:
 
COVID-19
  • Raymond reaffirmed the school district’s commitment to health and wellness for students, faculty, and staff. He explained that the school district proactively strategizes how to most effectively and efficiently respond to the unprecedented, ever-evolving circumstances of the pandemic. This includes strong COVID mitigation strategies to protect and continue in-person learning, an essential factor in students’ success.
  • Raymond noted that the pandemic has divided some segments of the community, and said the school district is focusing on students’ achievement academically, socially, and emotionally. “The pandemic has impacted children in multiple ways and there is much work to do.”
  • Raymond also noted that the school district’s immediate and long-term commitment is to address student and staff wellness and unfinished learning caused by the disruption of in-person education.
Budget and Strategic Planning
  • The school district is embarking on a strategic planning process to identify goals and strategies on how to innovatively advance student achievement and development over the next five years.
  • Raymond said the 2022-2023 school year’s budget-planning process is underway. Raymond said the budget and strategic-planning processes are “running parallel” to one another this year and will link in future years to ensure budget resources support the school district’s top priorities. These include safe, supportive, and academically challenging schools preparing students for college and career, engaging families and communities, and improving operations of the school district, specifically recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining staff.
  • There will be public presentations that outline the proposed budget in upcoming months. Voters will consider the budget in May.

Transparency and Trust
  • As part of his Listening and Learning Tour, Raymond has devoted significant time to getting to know the community. This includes school visits every week, meeting with students, parents, and community organizations, and nurturing new and existing relationships with partner organizations.

Partnering with the City of New Rochelle
  • The school district is continuing to work with and strengthen its relationship with the City. Raymond told attendees he meets with the city manager every month and consults with Mayor Noam Bramson and City Council members on issues facing the city and school district.

The next Superintendent’s Town Hall is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. at the New Rochelle Public Library and via Zoom.

Photos show Superintendent Jonathan Raymond providing school district updates and Board of Education President Julia Muggia Ochs, who served as moderator, with a community member.
Three Administrative Changes Announced
Dr. Nicolas Cracco
Carlos X. Leal
James Alexander Anderson
The City School District of New Rochelle Board of Education has approved the promotions of two school district staff members and the appointment of a new staff member.

Barnard Early Childhood Center Principal Dr. Nicolas Cracco has been named Executive Director for Educational Leadership and Early Learning, replacing Carlos X. Leal, who has been promoted to Assistant to the Superintendent/Chief of Staff. Both transitions to the new roles will be complete by January 31.

“Carlos and Nick have demonstrated creativity, dedication, and excellence in their respective positions overseeing our students’ education,” said Superintendent Jonathan Raymond. “I look forward to their continued service with the school district as we move ahead in developing a strategic plan to elevate our schools and our students to the next level.”

As Chief of Staff, Leal will assist the superintendent with strategic and tactical initiatives, will oversee special projects and programs, and will help to facilitate and coordinate staff activities. He will serve as a key contact for school district stakeholders and constituents.

In his position with the Curriculum and Instruction team, Cracco will work with the school district’s principals to design and implement an effective Kindergarten through 12 curriculum and advance the district’s efforts to attain student achievement goals. He also will oversee the district’s early learning program, including Pre-Kindergarten.

A search is underway for a new Barnard principal.

In addition, on Monday, January 24, the school district enthusiastically welcomes James Alexander Anderson, who has been appointed as the Director of Assessment, Accountability, and Research. He brings vast experience in the field, most recently from a similar role in the Yonkers School District. Anderson will leverage that knowledge as he leads an initiative to develop a comprehensive data system, including a data warehouse, which will be used to inform teaching and learning across the City School District of New Rochelle. 
Latest COVID Safety Updates; Sign Up for Saliva Testing
The City School District of New Rochelle has updated its COVID-19 protocols to align with the most recent guidance from public health authorities. These include modifications to practices involving testing and isolation strategies. All are designed to prioritize the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and maintain in-person education – which is vital to students’ advancement academically, socially, and emotionally.

Please review a summary of these changes in the accompanying graphic, and view additional detail at this link: https://conta.cc/3FqXmuR.

The school district continues to urge registration in the PCR Saliva-Testing Program, which is designed to help maintain vital in-person education in our schools. Please sign up here to participate in the program.

In addition, please review our school district’s overall COVID-19 safety protocols in English and Spanish, and visit the COVID Resource Center at nred.org.
Student Explores Reasons for Patients'
Repeated Visits to Hospital Emergency Departments
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: Julia Ecker, junior
Mentor: Dr. Alexis Zebrowski, epidemiologist, Mount Sinai

New Rochelle High School student Julia Ecker wanted to participate in the school’s prestigious Science Research Program ever since she saw her older brother participate – and love it.
Influenced by a relative’s background with Parkinson’s, Ecker decided her project would focus on analyzing medical data to determine populations most at risk of being readmitted to hospital emergency departments.

Working in collaboration with her mentor, Ecker analyzed medical records of more than 20,000 dementia patients who visited the Mount Sinai Emergency Department (ED). With this information, which kept patients’ names confidential, she used several statistical tests to find patterns and associations in the data.

“My results found the association between age and likelihood of being admitted to the ED was statistically significant,” said Ecker, “and association between initial complaint of psychological symptoms and being admitted to the ED was also significant.”
With both of these associations, the statistics showed that it was extremely unlikely that the connection was due to random chance rather than a correlation.

Ecker believes the experience of researching with an epidemiology professional will influence her long after high school.

“It has been incredibly exciting to see work I am doing now helping others and directly impacting society for the better,” said Ecker. “In the future, I definitely hope to pursue a higher education in science and to continue to create important connections with leaders and pioneers in the medical field.”

Ecker also noted how inspired she’s been by other students’ projects, which she says is one of her favorite aspects of the program. The program’s director is New Rochelle High School science teacher Jeff Wuebber, and the program is part of the high school’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) offerings.

“Mr. Wuebber has been an incredible mentor and guide throughout this process, and I am continuously inspired by the other students in this program, especially all of the girls,” she said. “It truly is a testament [to] our hard work and effort, and I am so excited for young girls’ futures in STEM!”
Pre-K Lottery Open Until Jan. 28; Attend Lottery Clinic Saturday
The City School District of New Rochelle, in partnership with several community agencies, is offering residents pre-kindergarten options for the 2022-2023 school year. Enter a lottery for a pre-kindergarten seat, and rank preferences or programs and locations until Jan. 28.

Parents may choose from Universal Pre-Kindergarten or Magnet Pre-Kindergarten. Entries will be processed during the first week of February, and every effort will be made to accommodate families’ choices. Families then will be notified about next steps, including how to navigate the school registration process.

Presentations explaining the process are available:
  • Click here for the English Zoom presentation.
  • Click here for the Spanish Zoom presentation.
  • Click here for the English slide presentation.
  • Click here for the Spanish slide presentation.
  • Click here for the English tutorial on how to register.
  • Click here for the Spanish tutorial on how to register.

The Office of Elementary Education, in partnership with the New Rochelle Public Library, will be offering a Saturday How-to-Enter-the-Lottery Clinic.

Community members may stop by to sit with a volunteer or district employee who will assist families (in English or Spanish) enter the lottery on site.

The How-to-Enter-the-Lottery Clinic will be held on Saturday, Jan. 22 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza. All visitors must wear a mask in accordance with the New York State Department of Health as indicated on the public library website.

For additional information, please click on the flyer and visit nred.org/page/pre-kindergarten-program. For a list of the school district’s community-based collaborators and their contact information, along with a brief description of their programs, visit nred.org/page/prek-collaborators.

Contact the Office of Curriculum and Instruction at (914) 576-4622 or CSDNRPreK@nredlearn.org.
Close Out the Month by Seeing Stars at Planetarium Show
It’s a new year and a new show at the New Rochelle High School Planetarium! The Planetarium is presenting “Spend an Evening Under the Stars” on Jan. 31 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, email Planetarium Director Bruce Zeller at bzeller@nredlearn.org and click the flyer.
New Features Make Online
Calendar Easier to Use
Thanks to community requests, the Calendars of Events on City School District of New Rochelle websites sport new features that make it even easier to learn about activities.

The calendar is beneath the stories at nred.org and each school’s website. Scroll down to “Events,” then click on “See All Events.” The sites now feature the ability to pick a preferred view: a list of events or a view of a particular month’s events. In that monthly calendar view, days with events are noted with a dot. Hover your mouse over the day you choose, and all events for that day will appear. Click on an event to learn more and to see an option to add the event to your Outlook or Google calendar, or iCalendar.

In addition, you’ll see that the current day of the month is circled during the calendar view. These options make it easier and faster to identify what’s happening and take action. The school district is pleased to respond to the inquiries requesting these improvements. To offer feedback about school district websites, email Feedback@nredlearn.org.