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News & Updates

March 3, 2022

Early Dismissal for Elementary Schools on Monday, March 7

City School District of New Rochelle elementary schools will have an early dismissal on Monday, March 7 due to parent-teacher conferences. Elementary schools will dismiss at 11:40 a.m. All other schools follow their normal schedules. For more information, please contact your child’s school. Thank you.

New Mask Guidance from New York State

The City School District of New Rochelle has received additional guidance from New York state regarding masking requirements. To learn more about “mask-optional” protocol as it relates to classrooms, buses, and common spaces, and revised visitor policies for our schools, please read the e-mail from Superintendent Jonathan Raymond sent earlier today, or click here.

The City School District of New Rochelle Proudly Announces

Three High School Seniors are National Merit Scholarship Finalists


Kieran Freed


Celine Glennon


Leyla Selman

Three New Rochelle High School students have been named National Merit Scholarship finalists: Kieran Freed, Celine Glennon, and Leyla Selman. All are in the running for National Merit Scholarships. 

Selman is involved in the high school’s Science Research Program and plans to study biomedical engineering when she starts college in the fall. She said she was thrilled when she learned she had been named a finalist. “It’s just a great accomplishment, and it’s nice to be recognized for my achievements,” Selman said. “I am incredibly thankful for my teachers and classmates who have supported me throughout high school and got me to where I am today.”

Freed also is interested in majoring in biomedical engineering, and is thankful to be recognized. “It’s an honor. The work that I’ve done throughout high school was a lot. It’s nice to have some recognition for that,” he said.

Glennon said she is grateful to her family and friends who have helped support her and uplift her during the times she was struggling throughout high school. She is planning to study mathematics in college and hopes to become a math teacher. “I was really excited to be named as a finalist. It just made me feel very grateful, because I think my status as a finalist not only reflects on me and my accomplishments, but it’s also a testament to the people who have uplifted me throughout my high school career,” Glennon said.

More than 15,000 students nationwide were named as finalists. Approximately 7,500 students will be selected as Merit Scholarship winners. This month, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation will begin notifying winners by e-mail, with confidential notification sent to their high schools. Four major news media announcements of Merit Scholar designees will be made in April, May, June, and July.

Roughly 1.5 million high school juniors across the country entered the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship qualifying test, which screened all initial program entrants. The pool of semifinalists, which represents less than 1 percent of all United States high school seniors, includes the highest-scoring entrants in each state. To become a finalist, a semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by the high school principal, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on the qualifying test.

Magnet School Lottery Starts Online March 9


The City School District of New Rochelle is offering current New Rochelle residents K-5 placement for the 2022-2023 school year at three Magnet Schools (Barnard Early Childhood Center, Columbus Elementary School, and Daniel Webster Elementary School). The lottery will be managed online to make it easier for families to register once they have accepted a placement.

The Magnet lottery process will open on March 9. Families will have until March 25 to enter and rank their preferences for programs and locations. Every effort will be made to accommodate families’ choices. Starting March 30, 2022, families will be notified about next steps, including registering for a specific program.

To learn more, including how to participate in open house introductory programs via Zoom March 8 and 9, visit In addition, the school district’s Office of Elementary Education, in partnership with the New Rochelle Public Library, will offer two Saturday Support Center sessions this month to provide Magnet lottery and kindergarten registration help to families. School district employees and volunteers will be available to assist families in both English and Spanish on Saturday, March 12 and Saturday, March 19 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at the New Rochelle Public Library, 1 Library Plaza at Lawton Street.

New Rochelle High School Students Win Scholastic Art & Writing Awards

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Nine New Rochelle High School students recently won a total of 14 regional Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

The awards are given out by the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their work to the world through the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards.

The awards recognize student achievement in the visual and literary arts. Since the program started in 1923, the awards have fostered the creativity and talent of millions of students. Former winners include poet laureate Amanda Gorman, novelists Stephen King and Joyce Carol Oates, and artist Andy Warhol.

“We are remarkably proud to have our students receive awards from the Scholastic Art & Writing competition. This recognition proves that our students are among the most creative and talented in the region. It also shows the commitment to arts education from our school district. Credit should also be given to the New Rochelle High School art teachers who inspire these students every day,” said Deepak Marwah, Director of the school district’s Performing & Visual Arts Program.

Each work of art and writing is blindly adjudicated. Projects are judged locally by affiliates of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, then nationally, on originality, technical skill, and the emergence of vision or voice.


New Rochelle High School students Maribela Dias and Octavia Liku won Gold Key awards, the highest honor in the regional competition. Students Diana Cao, Maribela Dias, Josephine Merigliano, and Zelda Sill won Silver Key awards. Honorable Mentions went to students Lea Cohen, Diana Cao, Micaela Waterston, Maribela Dias, Rebecca Power, and Abigail Jean-Bapiste. Click here for a full list of New Rochelle High School students who won, and descriptions of their projects.


Special thanks to New Rochelle High School teachers Alexandra Brock, Moira McCaul, and Scott Seaboldt for facilitating student submissions.

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Saturday: Event Celebrates 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 more about 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.

Social Studies Honor Society Observes Black History Month

Students in New Rochelle High School’s Social Studies Honor Society engaged in three concurrent projects in February in honor of Black History Month.

The first cohort of students researched an overview of segregation within New Rochelle and continued through the modern-day success stories of local black business owners. In their presentation, students addressed the Lincoln School case, in which the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1961 that New Rochelle’s education system was segregated. They also studied the landmark 1954 Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education case, which outlawed segregation in schools, and the transfer policy for students in the New Rochelle district. In their research, students continued to highlight influential leaders who impacted New Rochelle as well as shed light on the local black business owners within the community. 

A second group of students partnered with the Art Honor Society has developed a plan to paint some of the school’s lockers with titles from influential African-American authors, social activists, and others who have demonstrated excellence in fields ranging from the arts to the sciences and sports. 

The final group of students read chapters from Professor Mia Bay’s book, “Traveling Black.” Bay is a professor of American history at the University of Pennsylvania. The group developed a slideshow on the Civil Rights Movement through the lens of African-American travelers, and facilitated a discussion on the topic via Zoom, on Feb. 28.

New Rochelle High School Junior Meets with State Senators to Discuss Climate


New Rochelle High School junior Sofia Acosta recently met with New York State senators via Zoom to express her concerns about climate change.


Acosta is the president of the Green Club at New Rochelle High School. Participants organize environmental cleanups, discussions on environmental events, and other environment-related activities. Senators participating were Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, Pete Harckham, Shelley Mayer, and Elijah Reichlin-Melnick.


“First, my school suffered catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ida, forcing us to start the school year remotely,” Acosta said. “Even today, we still don’t have a library. This is all a result of climate change which has caused extreme weather events.”


Acosta encouraged the state senators in the meeting to take action to prevent further climate change. “Not enough action has been taken by legislators, and we don’t really have time to waste,” she said. “New Rochelle High School’s Green Club is asking all senators in the Westchester delegation to co-sponsor NY State Senate Bill S6843A, also known as the 'All-Electric Building Act,' which would help reduce fossil-fuel use and environmental impact. The bill would ensure that no city, town, or village would issue a permit for new buildings that are not all-electric."

New York City passed similar legislation in December 2021. A vote on the statewide bill has not been scheduled. Lobbying efforts continue to secure passage of the legislation.

Food Pantry Returns Wednesday


Thousands of New Rochelle community members have benefited from the Mobile Food Pantry, which returns to Isaac E. Young Middle School on Wednesday, March 9 from 4-5 p.m. All are welcome.

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. Click the image for more information.

Traffic Advisory for Columbus Elementary School


The City of New Rochelle recently started a pilot program to ease traffic congestion near Columbus Elementary School.

Starting Feb. 25, Washington Avenue was temporarily changed from a two-way to a one-way westbound street in front of the school between Fifth and Sixth Streets. Fifth Street was also temporarily changed to a one-way southbound street between Washington Avenue and Union Avenue. The goal is to test if the new traffic patterns reduce gridlock near the school and Saint Joseph’s Church. City officials also hope the changes will help improve pedestrian safety for students and potentially make room for a drop-off and pickup lane at the school. Learn more at

Reminder: is now available to all School District Students, Pre-K through Grade 12


The City School District of New Rochelle has partnered 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.

Connecting with a tutor is quick and easy: Students can access by signing into their school district devices, accessing the school district’s launchpad, and simply clicking the icon to start a live tutoring session.

Students using a non-district-provided device must sign into launchpad ( first, then click the icon to access


Davis Elementary School Community Mourns Loss of Longtime Secretary Abigail Wiegel

The Davis Elementary School community is mourning the loss of longtime secretary Abigail Wiegel, who passed away on February 22, at the age of 91.


Wiegel worked in the main office at Davis Elementary School for nearly 40 years, from 1983 until August 2021. Most recently, and for the majority of her time with the school district, Wiegel faithfully worked as head secretary.


“Across our staff and families, as well as many more of whom have called Davis home over the past four decades, Abbie is remembered fondly and with so much love,” said Davis Elementary School Principal Anthony Bambrola. “Although our community will always evolve and grow, it will never be the same. She was one of those unique individuals who had a way of impacting every person she crossed paths with. Some called her the ‘heart and soul’ of Davis.”

Wiegel was laid to rest on Saturday, February 26 at Greenwood Union Cemetery in Rye. Those who wish to share tributes and memories of Wiegel are encouraged to do so here.

Senior Studies the Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Nursing


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: Riley Fullerton, senior

Mentor: Jeff Wuebber, New Rochelle High School science teacher and director of the Science Research Program

Artificial intelligence (AI) has had a major impact on health care over the last few decades. But is AI actually a good thing? Despite its many benefits, some believe AI could take jobs away from hard-working nurses and other health care professionals in the future.

New Rochelle High School senior Riley Fullerton has many family members who work in the health care industry, so he wondered how this technology affects them. This led Fullerton to conduct an online survey to determine how nurses feel about the possibilities of AI in health care.

“After reading countless articles on AI applications in health care, I designed a survey on Google Forms that would accurately evaluate nurses’ views on AI in their workplace,” Fullerton said. “I sent out this survey to my friends and family who work in health care. And my mentor (New Rochelle research science teacher and Science Research Program Director Jeff Wuebber) posted it on MTurk, a site that pays people to fill out surveys.”

Fullerton found the majority of nurses surveyed believe AI is beneficial to the health care industry and patients. Those nurses who already work with AI, via virtual nursing systems, also claim it makes their job easier.

According to Fullerton’s survey, while the majority of nurses surveyed believe AI is a good thing in some ways, they acknowledge the risks involved. The nurses surveyed believe they will work alongside AI for five or so years before the technology eventually replaces them. This begged the question: Should we invest in more AI and risk a lot of people losing their jobs?

Fullerton shared thoughts on the matter, saying, “With billions of dollars being invested in this technology by hospitals, it is important that we have a proper understanding of how it is affecting our essential workers. In health care, we should view it as an aid or tool, not a replacement for human care.”

Help Prep Students For Science Fair

The Westchester Science and Engineering Fair (WESEF), the largest local science fair in the nation, is March 19-20. New Rochelle High School Science Research Program students will be among the 600 students whose projects will be judged by professional scientists. Now, the Science Research Program is asking for your help so our students excel!

Please consider joining the Virtual WESEF Practice Night via Zoom on Tuesday, March 8, to serve as practice judges for our students. The session is from 7 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. Judges ask questions about students’ research and provide helpful feedback. No science background is needed. To register, visit

Upcoming Events

Friday, March 4: William B. Ward Elementary School Popcorn Friday and Spirit Day

Monday, March 7: Early dismissals, elementary schools; see note at the top of this Newsletter

Tuesday, March 8: Board of Education meeting, 7 p.m., Jefferson Elementary School and via Zoom

Tuesday, March 8: George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School PTA Meeting, time TBD

Wednesday, March 9: Albert Leonard Middle School PTA Meeting, time TBD

Thursday, March 10: Barnard Early Childhood Center PTA Meeting, 9 a.m.

Visit the full school district calendar of events at

Public Library:

Events Aplenty!

There’s an impressive range of programs during March at the New Rochelle Public Library. Upcoming events are below, and the full list can be found at

Computer Classes: Details: calendar. New Rochelle Public Library.

Children’s Programs: The Main Branch and Huguenot Children’s Library host daily programs for children, pre-kindergarten and up. Pre-K programs are currently remote, but will return to in-person on March 14. After-school programs, including daily homework help, is currently, and will remain in-person. Details: calendar.

Chair Yoga, Mondays, March 7, 14, 21, 28 12:30-1:30 p.m.; March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 1:15-2 p.m. New Rochelle Public Library. Drop-in. No registration required. Space is limited; first come-first-served. Masks required. Free.

Civics Class (Virtual), Thursdays, March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, 6 p.m. Free, online class to learn the process to become a citizen and prepare for the naturalization interview and test. Registration:

Cooking with Rinku (Virtual), Thursdays, March 3, 10, 17, 24 and 31, 6-7 p.m. Cooking series led by Rinku Bhattacharya, a cookbook author, chef and food blogger, offers one-pot meals from around the world. Participants will receive recipes ahead of time to cook along. Registration:

Yoga and Meditative Arts Workshop, Tuesdays, March 8 and 22, 6-7:30 p.m. 45-minute Gentle Yoga class with Breathing (Pranayama) and Movement (Asana) followed by a 45-minute Artistic Meditation (Pratyahra), with creative exercises including writing prompts, vision collage and mandala coloring. Ages 16 and older. New Rochelle Public Library. Free. Registration:, (find the event on the calendar, double click and proceed with registration. Register for each date separately.)

Building a Love of Reading: Parent-Child Literacy Workshops: Wednesdays, March 9, 16, 23 and 30, 4:30-5:15 p.m. with educator Kim Block. New Rochelle Public Library. Free. Drop-in.

Women’s History Month: Jazz Concert, Saturday, March 12, 3 p.m. Jazz concert featuring an all-female ensemble. Presented by The Global Jazz Community. New Rochelle Public Library. Register:

Registration for Pre-K and

Kindergarten Now Open


The City School District of New Rochelle is looking forward to your youngster starting pre-kindergarten and kindergarten! Registration is now available online:

English: here

Spanish: here

Click the flyers to learn more, or visit

Albert Leonard Sixth-Grade Chorus Performs!


Did you have an opportunity to warm up on a cold day with a performance by the Albert Leonard Middle School Sixth Grade Chorus? These talented singers provided a 15-minute concert Wednesday via Zoom. Watch the performance here.

Former New Rochelle High School Basketball Star Writes Book


A former New Rochelle High School star basketball player has written a book about his experience as the first American basketball player to play behind the Iron Curtain.

Kent Washington graduated from New Rochelle High School in 1973, and started playing basketball in Poland in 1979. 

He released a book about his experience in late December, titled “Kentomania: A Black Basketball Virtuoso in Communist Poland.” The book details Washington’s basketball journey from sixth grade in New Rochelle through his time playing in Poland. 

“One of the main challenges in Poland was the language because I was unable to speak or understand it at first. I got used to it, because I was blinded by the passion of playing basketball,” Washington said. “There are two messages I try to get across in the book: That I was a purposeful and dedicated worker that set attainable goals; and that I embraced Poland and Poland embraced me. Communism is not an indictment on the people who live there.”

Washington says in the book that his greatest influence on his basketball career was his brother, Kurt. 

“He was an integrity-filled person, he understood sports, he took me with him to play basketball against older players in different parts of town so I could be exposed to better players. He was just very patient with me, a great brother,” Washington said.

Washington was inducted into the Westchester Sports Hall of Fame in 2021. At the induction ceremony, Washington told the crowd he took advantage of what the New Rochelle school system offered: diversity, good teachers, and teachers who kept structure in their classrooms.

“I also took advantage of the Girls and Boys Club, YMCA, and other recreational opportunities that were allowed to children,” he said.

From Poland, Washington went on to play basketball in Sweden. He has since moved back to the United States. He is now retired and resides in his hometown of New Rochelle. 

“Kentomania: A Black Basketball Virtuoso in Communist Poland” is available for purchase here for $14.99.

Students to Debut Original Music in Sunday Concert

A group of City School District of New Rochelle middle-school students will take part in a “Composers of the Future” concert this weekend, presented by the nonprofit group Songcatchers.

Songcatchers works to provide affordable and accessible music education to students in New Rochelle, especially those who may not otherwise have this chance to learn music. As part of the program, students work with professional composers from the New York Philharmonic to write their own original music.

The concert will feature performances of the children's pieces by a community string quartet, as well as musical analysis and introductions by the professional composers. 

New Rochelle students premiering music they wrote at this weekend's concert: 

Katherine Kann, grade six, Isaac E. Young Middle School

Alexa Rosa Moreno, grade seven, Albert Leonard Middle School

William Suarez, grade seven, Albert Leonard Middle School

Carlos Naranjo, grade eight, Isaac E. Young Middle School

Jose Yanez-Orejuela, grade eight, Isaac E. Young Middle School

The concert will take place this Sunday, March 6, at 3 p.m. at the New Rochelle Public Library. This is a free concert; no reservations are needed. Come enjoy a delightful afternoon of beautiful music!


Support Restaurant Week

The New Rochelle Downtown Business Improvement District is kicking off Restaurant Appreciation Week, a community-focused program where customers can show support to local restaurants. More than two dozen restaurants will offer $25 and $45 specials for dine-in, takeout, or ordering by phone through March 10. They will not be available to order on any apps. Mention the New Rochelle Downtown Restaurant Appreciation Week Special when ordering. For details and a list of participating restaurants, visit


Signing Ceremony for Future College Football Players

On Wednesday, March 2, the Athletic Department had a signing ceremony for two high school seniors who will play college football in the fall. Chris Tuck, Jr., will play at Fordham University, and Frank Gagliardo will play at Assumption University. Congratulations to Tuck and Gagliardo and to their families on this great accomplishment!

Spring Sports Registration 

Registration for the spring sports season is underway on FamilyID. The link is:

The season for the high school teams will begin on Monday, March 14; the season for the middle school teams will begin on Monday, March 28.


Congratulations to Steven Burrell, at right, for finishing his New Rochelle High School career with a third-place finish at the New York State wrestling championships.

City School District of New Rochelle |

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