City School District of New Rochelle

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Restorative Practices Workshop Monday
A workshop on Restorative Practices will be held for parents and guardians of students in New Rochelle High School, Albert Leonard Middle School and Isaac E. Young Middle School at 6 p.m. Monday, January 7 in Room 207 at NRHS.

Parents and guardians who would like to attend the session are asked to register in advance. Register here or by calling your child's middle or high school.
IEYMS Students Go to See Film for a Purpose
More than 100 Isaac E. Young Middle School students entered the Spider-Verse recently, and returned to this realm a little wiser.

Teachers took sixth and seventh graders to see the movie "Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse" at New Roc City in downtown New Rochelle as part of an exploration of emotional growth. In the movie, they saw a more diverse take on the superhero, and a main character - Miles Morales - who deals with problems young people face, such as peer pressure.

Students also read, "Black Widow, Red Vengeance," a 437-page novel from the Marvel Comics Universe. They were among the 12,000 books the Federation of United School Employees (FUSE) received in September to offer to community members through a partnership with the organization First Book and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). 

Teachers Calvin Heyward and Claudia Gianserra are planning on setting up an on-line book club to discuss the novel.

For many of the students, thoughts about what it takes to be a real superhero had less to do with incredible strength or invisibility and more to do with the potential we all carry inside.

"To be a superhero you have to be brave and you have to face your problems head on," said seventh-grader Soleene Garcia.

"Bravery, courage and selflessness," were the traits of a superhero as listed by Oscar Ramirez, who also is in seventh grade.

"It takes bravery and resilience to be a superhero," said sixth-grader Pedro Esquivel Lopez. "And, also a kind heart."

The animated blockbuster movie they saw expands and twists the story of Spider-Man from the tale of Peter Parker to one filled with diverse variations on the arachnoid hero.

"It's a coming-of-age story," Heyward said. "Miles has to discover who he is and what his powers are."

Some of the students said they have gained insight from the exploration, and that they see their community differently after viewing the movie.

"Yes," seventh-grader Venessa Reyes answered, "because everyone has potential to do something great."
Sports Schedule
For upcoming New Rochelle athletic competitions, check out*

* This link connects to an outside website
Report Building Issues with Tracking System
The system for reporting issues with City School District of New Rochelle school buildings is easy to find on the District's  homepage. Look for the icon of a school building and the words "Report issues with school buildings and facilities" above the "Quick Links" section. Access the District's condition reporting system directly  here and also under the word ATTENTION on the Health & Safety page found under SERVICES.
Dates to Remember
Saturday, January 5: Senior HS Jazz Auditions, Hommocks Middle School, 9 a.m.

Saturday, January 5: Shoreline Wrestling Competition, NRHS, 9 a.m.

Monday, January 7: Restorative Practices Workshop, Room 207 at NRHS, 6 p.m.

Monday, January 7: PTA Meeting, Trinity, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, January 8: Board of Education Regular Meeting, Central Administration, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, January 9: PAVE 1 Vocal, NRHS, 7 p.m.

Thursday, January 10: Science Research Application Information Session, NRHS, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, January 10: PTA Meeting, Jefferson, 8:30 a.m.

Thursday, January 10: PTA Meeting, Barnard, 7 p.m.

Friday, January 11: Kermes, Columbus, 6 p.m.

Saturday, January 12: Chess Tournament, Webster
Kailie Strutin, Isabel Sanchez, Sofia Valerio and Sofia Halpern
NRHS Awards AP Capstone Diplomas, Certificates
Four current and former New Rochelle High School students recently became the school's first to receive diplomas and certificates from the rigorous two-year Advanced Placement Capstone program.

"It's very independent," said Sofia Halpern, who graduated NRHS in June and now attends Cornell University. "Even though you're collaborating with each other, it takes a lot of self-motivation and figuring things out on your own."

The other three students - Isabel Sanchez, Kailie Strutin and Sofia Valerio - are seniors. Sanchez is no longer in the School District ; Strutin and Valerio remain at NRHS.

AP Capstone is a College Board diploma program comprised of two year-long AP courses - Seminar and Research. Strutin and Valerio received the certificate from the program. Halpern and Sanchez received the diploma, which requires earning qualifying scores on four AP exams in addition to the two years of study.

"Both courses prepare students for college and career success through the development of critical thinking, academic research, collaboration, presentation and time management skills," said Lakia Robinson, the AP Research teacher.

In their research projects, Halpern studied the effects of social media on teenagers' relationships; Sanchez explored how the level of parental involvement influences a high school junior's achievement; Strutin looked at the connection between participating in music class and positive personality traits; and Valerio looked at how a school district's health education curriculum meets students' needs.

Robinson and AP Seminar teacher Eric Hedman thanked science teacher Dr. Patrick Cushing, school psychologist Dr. Joshua Logan and the teachers, professors and others at NRHS, Iona College and the College of New Rochelle who served as mentors and helped in other ways.

Currently, 16 students are enrolled in the AP Capstone program at NRHS, and the school hopes to engage more.

"It's rigorous and intensive but it's really rewarding because the students who participate in it get to leave here with solid research skills," she said. "They get to explore their passion and improve their writing."

"You really need to have a genuine interest," Valerio said. "You have to have passion for the topic."

"I truly developed as a writer," Sanchez said. "This class provided me with the opportunity to learn how to write a proper research paper."

The students often met at Sanchez's home to study for hours.

"We all became very close," she said. "We became a strong support system for each other."

Strutin added: "I think we would each say that it is definitely one of our proudest accomplishments."
Apple Taps High School Filmmakers for Feedback
A full boardroom of Apple executives teleconferenced in from the tech giant's Cupertino, California, headquarters recently to get feedback from 30 New Rochelle High School POEM Project students. The discussion focused on Apple's entire suite of filmmaking and media products, from their entry-level, social media-focused app Clips, right up to their professional level platform Final Cut Pro.

English teacher An t hony Stirpe 's POEM Project - now five years old - is a yearly undertaking that sees students create a series of five films that revolve around poetry. The goal: Make poetry more accessible through filmmaking. It is a perfect example of Apple's Everyone Can Create curriculum, which was launched with the idea of providing guides for teaching students to develop and communicate ideas through drawing, photography, video and music, and bringing these skills into any lesson, topic, or assignment.

Stirpe had the idea of merging English and filmmaking by utilizing iPads and the myriad media apps Apple offers.

"The POEM Project is one of the first mobile device filmmaking programs that was out there," said Stirpe.

As an early adopter of the technology, the New Rochelle program won a New York State English Program of the Year award in 2015 and an honor from The Center for Digital Education in 2016, for "breaking new ground in the use of digital content and curriculum."

"We're also one of just four programs that were acknowledged during the launch of the latest iPad," added Stirpe. "How exciting that at New Rochelle we have one of a select few programs from around the globe that have been featured in Apple communications?"

Over the years, Apple has frequently checked in on New Rochelle students' projects, and offered positive feedback. This time, Apple wanted the students' advice on how they used the apps when they create. The Apple execs wanted honest feedback, including what they might change, and they loved the students' input.

"They found the students were honest and very articulate," said Stirpe, adding that the Apple contingent also noted how well-versed in filmmaking the students were, coming from an English background. 

"We have accomplished so much since our first year, and it is amazing to see how much Apple cares about, and respects, our work," said Elizabeth Muriel, class of 2019. "It is great to know that they are committed to making positive changes for people who use their products, and it is remarkable to know that I am part of that process."

Last year, Mr. Stripe was honored with a Distinguished Educator Award from Apple, for creating and leading the program. View videos from NRHS's POEM Project on Stirpe's YouTube Channel  .
Davis Students Enchanted
by the Met's 'Magic Flute'
George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School students were gushing recently about the fantastical opera, "The Magic Flute," which they enjoyed in all its glory (even in an abridged version) at the Met.

"I liked the whole entire story," said Jasleen Mendoza, one of the 38 fifth-grade orchestra, band and choral students who traveled to The Metropolitan Opera in Manhattan just before the holiday break. They attended a preview of the Julie Taymor production that has become a holiday tradition. At a little under two hours, it is about half the running time of Mozart's 1791 original, but it retains the heart of the fairy tale with themes of true love and good versus evil.

"It's like 'Tangled' a little bit," said student Kerry Hunter, referring to the Disney animated take on Rapunzel. "The queen is like Mother Gothel."

The students attended the show as part of the Metropolitan Opera Guild's Access Opera program. Access Opera "engages students with the unforgettable experience of watching a performance live on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House and provides teachers with resources for drawing connections across literature, social studies, foreign language, and the arts," according to the guild's website. Davis music teacher Regina Talbot has begun taking workshops in the program. She spoke with the students about the different aspects of putting on an opera.

"Hopefully, it will inspire them to keep studying their own instruments and participate in performing ensembles as they grow older," she said.

Mendoza, who plays violin, was impressed by the way the orchestra's instruments supported the singing. She also enjoyed the dramatic variations in opera music.

"Sometimes it can be nice and smooth and then it can get nice and fast," she said. "It's also romantic at the same time."

Hunter, a singer, could identify the voices of the various characters.

"Tamino was a tenor and Pamina was a soprano," Hunter said. "The Queen of the Night was also a soprano, but her voice could go super high."