City School District of New Rochelle

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Black History Celebration Scheduled
for February 9
The Westchester Alliance of Black School Educators (WABSE), in partnership with the New Rochelle Black History Month Committee, are presenting the 7 th Annual Black History Celebration from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 9, at New Rochelle High School. The event will celebrate freedom through the arts and commemorate the life and legacy of Aretha Franklin.

Every school in the City School District of New Rochelle will be represented and all families are invited. Students, faculty and community members will be honored.
The event will include:
  • WABSE Spoken Word and Art Show: Student work
  • Kids activities: Face Painting, Crafts, Dance party, Planetarium visits
  • Food vendors: Chef El Amin, Andrea's Place
  • Crafts vendors: LYL Apparel, Shelly's Quality Accessories
  • Book sales: The Voracious Reader
  • Author signings: Jasaun Young, Michael Eaddy, Luis Quiros, Linda Tarrant-Reid
  • Student performances: NRHS, Isaac E. Young Middle School, Albert Leonard Middle School, Barnard School, Webster School
  • DJ: DJSmithyBoy (Maison Smith)
  • Professional performance: Asase Yaa Cultural Center
  • Photography: Max Pottinger
The art show and kids activities will be free and performances cost $5 for adults and $3 for students. All proceeds go to scholarships.

The event is organized by the District's Black History Month Committee, WABSE, The New Rochelle Council on the Arts and the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence.
Jordan Forrest
Forrest Earns Player of the Year Honors from Sportswriters
The New York State Sportswriters Association this week announced that New Rochelle High School student athlete Jordan Forrest captured the organization's Player of the Year Award for Class AA.

The senior running back led the Huguenots to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association championship game in November. On the season, Forrest ran for 1,672 yards and 22 touchdowns. He led all rushers from both teams in the championship game with 26 runs for 170 yards, and scored two touchdowns. 

The association released its large-school all-state teams, including naming NRHS senior defensive lineman Khairi Manns to the first team defense, senior linebacker Halim Dixon-King to the third team defense, and senior defensive back Omari Walker to the fifth team defense.
App Makes Home Access Center More Convenient
Parents and guardians who review their students' attendance, report cards and other information on the Home Access Center (HAC) can keep track of the information even more conveniently with the center's app. Look for "eSchoolPLUS Family" in the App Store for iPhones and the Google Play Store for Androids. (To make use of the app, it is necessary to have an HAC account. If you don't have one, sign up here .)
Sports Schedule
For upcoming New Rochelle athletic competitions, check out*

* This link connects to an outside website
Dates to Remember
Monday, January 21: Martin Luther King Jr. Day, District Closed

Tuesday-Friday, January 22-25: Columbus Book Fair

Tuesday-Friday, January 22-25: No Name Calling Week, ALMS

Wednesday, January 23: STREAMS Convention, Columbus, 6 p.m.

Thursday, January 24: STREAMS Convention, Columbus, 6 p.m.

Friday, January 25: School Spirit Day, Barnard

Friday, January 25: PTA Movie Night, Trinity

Friday, January 25: STREAMS Day Convention, Columbus, 9 a.m.
Town Hall Meeting to Discuss Prioritizing Resources
The Board of Education's next Town Hall meeting, "Prioritizing Resources for Quality Programming," is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 22, in the Linda E. Kelly Theater of New Rochelle High School.

The session will focus on quality instructional programming and the resources needed to sustain them. The panel will consist of the two middle school principals, John Barnes and Anthony Bongo; Columbus Elementary School Principal Michael Galland; Daniel Webster Magnet School Principal Melissa Passarelli; Board President Jeffrey Hastie; and Vice President Amy Moselhi.

The theater is near the high school's Braemar Avenue entrance off North Avenue. Spanish translation will be provided and the meeting will be streamed live at

Participants may submit questions in advance to Public Information Officer Ken Valenti at
Aliyah DeVane (left) and Adrian Harewood
Two NRHS Students to be Honored at MLK Day Celebration
Two New Rochelle High School students have received Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Legacy Youth Awards from the African American Men of Westchester (AAMW), and will be celebrated at the organization's annual luncheon on Monday.

Senior Aliyah DeVane and junior Adrian Harewood joined five other students from across the county who will receive awards at the ceremony in the DoubleTree by Hilton in Tarrytown.

DeVane earned the Peace & Non-Violence Award and Harewood earned the Building Bridges Award for their community involvement and for carrying on the legacy of the civil rights leader. Both students spoke about the importance of remembering Dr. King.

"I think about his leadership and how he helped everyone by taking a stand and becoming that placeholder of hope," Harewood said. He has attended the annual luncheon with his family since he was a child and he saw his older brother Aaron receive an award at one several years ago. 

Among his activities, Harewood is president of the Youth Explosion group at his church, coordinating the delivery of sandwiches, soup, hats, socks and handwritten cards to nursing homes in New Rochelle and to other residents. Last year, he spent nine days in Haiti as Youth Ambassador of Mission from his church, delivering school supplies and sporting equipment, helping prepare meals for children and families and assisting in the building of a retaining wall.

DeVane is Senior Class Treasurer at NRHS and participates in the school's Student Advisory Council. A 13-year member of Girl Scout Troop 2129 in New Rochelle, she volunteers at the Willow Towers Assisted Living center and serves dinner at a local food bank. She has tutored fifth-graders for state exams, serves as an NAACP Youth Council member and has participated in the National Urban League's Youth Leadership Summit.

Of Dr. King, she said, "He was a phenomenal person who had a huge impact on this country, and on black people specifically. His principles, his teachings and the messages that he tried to give to everyone in America on racial equality are still important. Taking time to remember the sacrifices that people like him made so I could be here today is something important to note."

The AAMW event is a "family-friendly luncheon program ... filled with inspirational messages, uplifting music, and special acknowledgements," the organization says. The luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. Monday in the hotel, at 455 South Broadway, Tarrytown. Find out more about it at the AAMW website,
NRHS Junior Accepted into Cooper Union Outreach Class
For several weeks, New Rochelle High School junior Molly Weckesser has been spending her Saturdays at the Cooper Union in lower Manhattan, taking day-long art classes.

Weckesser was accepted to a free five-week class as part of the college of architecture, arts and sciences' Outreach Pre-College Art Program. She is enjoying the 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. sessions for the opportunity to focus on creative works.

"I can dedicate a lot of time to one thing and it's like an escape," she said.

Acceptance standards are high for the program, said Sam Chun, the recruitment and communications liaison for the school. Many students in the New York City area apply, but the program accepted only 32 students in the class, to focus on instruction. Professional artists teach all courses, and Cooper Union undergraduates serve as teaching assistants. Classes are free, including materials.
"We help students to create strong work for their portfolios," Chun said.

Weckesser and her classmates in the program have been working with mixed media and collages and will branch into graphic design. She is benefiting from both the teachers and the fellow students.
"I'm with other artists who are my age and yet they can have such different ideas," she said.

Weckesser previously attended a similar program at New York University. NRHS teacher Kerry Sharkey said Weckesser, who is in her graphic arts class, is an ideal student for such courses.

"She's creative and innovative," Sharkey said. "She goes in with a thirst for learning and is willing to work in unfamiliar media and out of her comfort zone to broaden her skills and expand her capabilities."
Trinity Students Learn About Parts of Plant Bulbs
Third-grade students in Denise Larkin's and Judy Joy's class at Trinity Elementary School studied plant bulbs with Joyce Kent and Naomi Gams-Towers from Hudson Park Children's Greenhouse recently.  They learned the parts of a bulb and examined a dissected Paperwhite bulb with magnifying glasses, then set a whole bulb in water and pebbles to grow. 

The students explored Amaryllis bulbs in more depth - weighing them and measuring their height and circumference, as well as using their senses of sight, touch and smell to describe them. All of this was recorded in the students' Amaryllis observation booklet. 

Finally, they planted the bulbs and entered the date on the data sheets, where they will keep track of the plants' growth and change.  Each bulb "belongs" to a group of four students who will be in charge of their care. 

Kent and Gams-Towers will come back when the blooms are ready to be pollinated and again when, hopefully, seeds have been produced.