News & Updates
October 15, 2021
COVID-19 Safety Steps Continue Moving Forward
Update: 84% of Faculty and Staff
Working in Schools Are Vaccinated
The well-being and safety of students, faculty, staff, and our community are of the utmost importance to the City School District of New Rochelle (CSDNR). As such, an important and essential agreement between CSDNR and the two unions representing CSDNR staff, the New Rochelle Federation of United School Employees (FUSE) and the Administrative and Supervisory Association (A&S), was reached to establish a COVID-19 policy requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and submit written proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or be subject to weekly tests.  

As part of this joint agreement, CSDNR, FUSE, and A&S agreed that any employee who does not comply with the policy will be placed on an unpaid leave of absence until he/she either submits written proof of being fully vaccinated or complies with the mandatory testing requirement. The initial approach for testing unvaccinated employees will require a self-administered saliva test weekly and submission of the sample to the school district. The specific type of test and frequency is subject to change, should the school district deem this necessary. CSDNR Cabinet Members are working in conjunction with our FUSE and A&S leaders to continue to strongly encourage our colleagues to be fully vaccinated and submit written proof of vaccination for COVID-19 or be subject to weekly tests.  

On Oct. 12, 2021, Superintendent Jonathan Raymond reported at his monthly Town Hall Meeting that 56% of our school-district-wide employees (which also includes central office employees, custodians, building and grounds workers, food service workers, etc.) have submitted proof of their vaccination status. While this percentage may seem low, this number does not represent the New Rochelle High School teachers who have not physically been in the school district to provide this proof to authorized personnel. 

This number does not mean only 56% of our teachers, clinicians, and teaching assistants (those persons who spend most of the day in close proximity with students) are vaccinated. When disaggregated by the percentage of teachers, clinicians, and teaching assistants who have submitted written proof of vaccination for COVID-19, the numbers at our schools (with the exception of NRHS staff members until they return full-time) are higher than the district-wide percentage. 

Our percentage of written proof of vaccination for COVID-19 rates for teachers, clinicians, and teaching assistants by building as of Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021:

  • Barnard Early Childhood Center: 85%
  • Columbus Elementary School: 87%
  • Davis Elementary School: 83%
  • Jefferson Elementary School: 87%
  • Trinity Elementary School: 89%
  • Ward Elementary School: 87%
  • Webster Elementary School: 89%
  • Albert Leonard Middle School: 85%
  • Isaac E. Young Middle School: 90%
  • New Rochelle High School/Huguenot Academy: 57% (majority of teachers, clinicians, and teaching assistants not yet in person)

Based on this disaggregated data, CSDNR is at 83.9% of teachers, clinicians, and teaching assistants who have provided written proof of vaccination for COVID-19.

Weekly Saliva Testing to Begin
In the coming days, the City School District of New Rochelle will begin its “Weekly PCR Saliva Test Program” in our elementary and middle schools. Due to storm damage, testing at New Rochelle High School will begin in November. The program is voluntary.

Learn more in the attached letter from Superintendent Jonathan Raymond.
58 Get Vaccinated at Albert Leonard; Columbus Clinic Set for Oct. 27
Are you a City School District of New Rochelle student 12 or older or a staff member seeking a COVID-19 vaccination? Sign up for the Oct. 27 clinic to be held from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Columbus Elementary School gym. (View flyer here.)

You’ll join the ranks of 58 others who were vaccinated (see photos) at a clinic this week at Albert Leonard Middle School, which also was sponsored by the school district in partnership with the Westchester Department of Health. The school district advocates vaccinations as the most effective way to end the pandemic and keep children and the community safe. Parents must accompany their children.

Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital offers walk-in public vaccinations for the public weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 5 p.m. For the second dose, bring your vaccine card. Learn more here.

For information about being tested for COVID-19, visit this Westchester Department of Health website
Daily Health Screenings to End; Continued Vigilance Requested
Beginning Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, students and staff will no longer participate in a daily health screening that includes a “symptoms, temperature, and COVID contact” checklist and daily temperature check in order to enter school district buildings. The City School District of New Rochelle will reinstitute this practice upon being required to do so by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the Westchester County Department of Health (WCDOH).

The rationale for eliminating the Daily Health Screening Questionnaire and Temperature Assessment is based upon:
  • On March 17, 2021, the CDC issued new guidance related to “daily health screening in public schools.” Effective that date, the CDC no longer recommends schools with “low to moderate” transmission rates conduct symptoms screening for all students in grades K-12 on a routine (e.g. daily) basis either by questionnaire or temperature assessment.
  • Westchester County currently has a low infection rate of 0.89%, and it has been moderate to low since Aug. 15, 2021.
  • The school district’s Interim Medical Director, Dr. Louis Corsaro, suggests that parents/guardians monitor their children for symptoms by asking the following health-related questions:  
  • "Are you feeling well today?"  
  • "Do you feel well enough to go to school?"  
  • "Do you have a fever?"  
  • "Do you feel warm?"
  • Students who are sick should not attend school, and parents should have their child(ren) assessed by their primary care physician. In addition, please notify your child's school nurse about any illness. As Superintendent Jonathan Raymond suggests in his automated phone calls to homes, please keep a child home when he or she is sick.
  • The addition of the school district’s COVID PCR Saliva Testing Program, scheduled to commence the week of Oct. 25, 2021, is another layer of mitigation that the school district is implementing for the safety of our students and staff.

In lieu of the daily health screening questionnaire and temperature assessment, the school district will send a daily text reminder to parents to do a symptoms check of their child.
Town Hall Expands Dialogue with the Community
City School District of New Rochelle Superintendent Jonathan Raymond hosted the first of what will be monthly Town Hall meetings Tuesday evening, another step in fulfilling his promise to listen and learn about his new community and to enhance and cultivate communication across our school district and city.

Attendees gathered both in person at the New Rochelle Public Library and virtually, through a Zoom link, to hear updates on a variety of topics from the Superintendent and Board of Education President Julia Muggia Ochs and ask questions. The discussion was moderated by the Rev. Dierdra Clark of the New York Covenant Church. (Raymond, Muggia Ochs, and the Rev. Clark are shown left to right in the photo.)

The power of education, hope, and the importance of providing a caring environment was a recurring message. “Through the culture and climate of our schools, we need to instill in our young people a sense of what’s possible,” said Raymond. “We have adults who really care about our children. I think we need to love our students a little bit more this year and going forward.” He added, “We need to give our young people a voice, opportunity, and agency in their education and their future.”

Raymond thanked those who have been working diligently to make repairs to New Rochelle High School and Isaac E. Young Middle School, both of which sustained significant damage in late August from Hurricane Ida. He affirmed that the high school is on schedule to open on Nov. 1, as is the cafeteria at the middle school.

“We appreciate everyone’s patience and will be ready for students to safely return to facilities that have been restored, cleaned and fully prepared for teaching and learning,” Raymond said. Isolated areas of both buildings that sustained major damage – music rooms at the middle school and the library, pool, and athletic wing at the high school – will remain closed as complex repairs to mechanical equipment and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems continue.

About two dozen questions were addressed. Highlights:

Approach to Education
  • Raymond discussed the school district’s emphasis on providing education for the whole child. He said this includes academic excellence, social and emotional well-being, and instilling skills that prepare students for college, careers, and life. He also noted that the school district will explore ways to increase interest and training in the trades.

  • The school district continues to work with its busing vendors to rectify on-time pickup/delivery issues, and to advance COVID-19 safety on buses, including open windows, seating charts, and masking.

  • Monthly vaccination clinics will continue to be held in partnership with the Westchester County Department of Health. Please see the news item above about the upcoming clinic at Columbus Elementary School.
  • Raymond again urged parents to ensure that all students 12 and older get vaccinated, especially those participating in athletics, and reiterated the importance of vaccinations for everyone. He said his continued emphasis on vaccination is rooted in promoting good health, and in turn, promoting learning. He especially urged all adults who work in an environment where children are present to be fully vaccinated, and noted that school district employees who have not shown proof of vaccination will be required to submit to weekly testing beginning the week of Oct. 25. “If you see how happy our children are to be back in school, you will embrace the importance of how in-person learning directly aids their education, as well as their social and emotional development," he said. "We have to do everything we can as a community to keep these young people in school.”
  • Virtual learning is available to students who have COVID or have been quarantined through contact tracing by the Westchester Department of Health.

CARES Act Federal Funding
  • The school district continues to explore how to maximize federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding, based on community input. “Addressing unfinished learning and the wellness needs of our students are two major areas to support going forward,” Raymond said.
  • After-school and summer programs will become more of a priority, particularly the expansion of enrichment and summer bridge programs, he said.
  • The school district is considering how to more authentically engage parents in their children’s education, he added. This would include educational programs such as "parent universities" and more opportunities to connect with individual schools.

Huguenot Academy
  • The school district is close to finding a temporary off-campus space for the alternative high school, Huguenot Academy. Raymond said its previous location, adjacent to the library at New Rochelle High School, was inadequate and that its damage during Hurricane Ida provides an opportunity to start fresh.
Indigenous People’s Day
  • Raymond and Muggia Ochs said the recent board resolution to celebrate both Columbus Day and Indigenous People’s Day on the second Monday of October allows the community to honor the contributions of Italian Americans as well as New Rochelle’s rich history as an Algonquin homeland.

A video of the Town Hall can be viewed here. Information about next month’s Town Hall will be forthcoming.
Training Seeks to Ignite Girls' Careers as First Responders
NRYB Girls on Fire participants explored careers in the emergency response fields this summer.
A collaboration among the New Rochelle Fire Department, the New Rochelle Youth Bureau and the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services gave a group of young women some firsthand experience in emergency services.

The program is called NRYB Girls On Fire. About 20 participants recently wrapped up the six-week summer course, in which they learned about emergency response services including firefighting, emergency medical services, emergency management and dispatching. They also became certified in skills such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and addressing wounds. The program is designed to create interest in a first-responder career path among young women and open up opportunities for them that they might not previously have explored.
A post-completion survey revealed 18 of the 19 girls who participated would pursue a career in firefighting. “I think that’s something really cool that I would like to do,” said student Maya Davis.

“Currently, there are only five women firefighters in Westchester County, and none in New Rochelle,” said New Rochelle Youth Bureau Executive Director Kelly Johnson, who helped coordinate the program. “By exposing this career choice to girls at an early age, one day we can see the first female firefighter in New Rochelle.”

Luci Labriola-Cuffe, chief of fire training for the Westchester County Department of Emergency Services, echoed the importance of creating this interest in girls while they are young.

“These girls now have a head start in their emergency services training and will help guide them to gain the skills any man entering the profession would,” she said.
Sports: Tennis, Soccer, and Cross Country Rack Up Impressive Successes; Registration Opens Saturday for Winter Sports
New Rochelle High School’s boys’ varsity soccer team celebrated its Senior Night on Wednesday. The team went on to defeat league rival Mamaroneck, 3-0. Congratulations to our seniors and thank you for four great years!

The high school’s girls’ varsity cross country team finished in fifth place out of 24 teams in the prestigious Manhattan College Invitational held at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. In the photo from left to right are eighth-grader Rosie Palmer, Jordan Weiner, Kaela Godfrey, Ariel Esposito, Jackie Gomez, and Kaitlyn Casas. Casas finished third out of 126 runners in the girls’ varsity E race with a time of 16:05.4. Palmer finished in 18th place with a time of 17:01.3. Coach Andy Capellan is very upbeat about the team’s potential.

Also, congratulations to the Girls Varsity Tennis Team on winning the league championship. The girls went on to play Pelham in the Section One team tournament, and were defeated by the Pelicans 4-2. A great season, young ladies!

Registration for winter sports gets underway on Saturday. FamilyID, the online registration platform for the high school's athletic teams, will open on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 9 a.m. and remain open until Thursday, Nov. 11 at 11 p.m. The link:

More Pep Rally Photos? Yes!

New Rochelle High School’s pep rally last Friday was a rousing celebration of #NewRoStrong pride! Here are more photos for you to enjoy, from junior Ben Feinblum!
This Week's Athletics Schedule
In the photo, check out our future Huguenots hitting the gridiron at Isaac E. Young Middle School! Superintendent Jonathan Raymond, a regular presence at school district sports events and other school activities, snapped this action shot this week! Good luck to our athletes at Isaac Young -- and at all of our schools, on all of our teams!

Please note: Schedule is subject to change due to weather or other circumstances. A = Away. H = Home.

Monday, Oct. 18
Varsity Volleyball vs. Mamaroneck (H - Albert Leonard Middle School) 4:30 p.m.
Junior Varsity Volleyball vs. Mamaroneck (H - Albert Leonard MS) 6 p.m.
Albert Leonard Middle School Boys Soccer vs. White Plains (Black) (A - Highlands MS) 4:30 p.m.
Albert Leonard Middle School Girls Soccer vs. Rye (Black) (A) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Football vs. Rye (Black) (H) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Boys Soccer vs. Mamaroneck (A - Flint Park) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Volleyball vs. Mamaroneck (Orange) (A - Hommocks Middle School) 4:30 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 19
Girls JV Soccer vs. Ossining (H - McKenna Field) 5:15 p.m.
Girls Varsity Swim and Dive vs. Tappan Zee (A - South Orangetown Middle School) 5:15 p.m.
Albert Leonard Middle School Volleyball vs. Scarsdale (White) (H) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Volleyball vs. White Plains (A - Highlands Middle School) 4:30 p.m.
7/8 Girls/Boys Cross Country vs. Edgemont MS (A) 4:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 20
Boys Varsity Soccer - Section One Tournament - 1st Round (Site and Time TBA)
Freshman Football vs. Somers (H - McKenna Field) 5:15 p.m.
Girls JV Soccer vs. Mamaroneck (H - Soccer/Softball Field) 4:30 p.m.
Varsity Volleyball vs. Mount Vernon (A) 4:30 p.m.
Junior Varsity Volleyball vs. Mount Vernon (A) 6 p.m.
Albert Leonard Middle School Football vs. Eastchester (A) 4:30 p.m.
Albert Leonard Middle School Boys Soccer vs. Pelham (Blue) (H) 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 21
Girls/Boys Cross Country - JV Meet at Woodlands High School 4:15 p.m.
Albert Leonard Middle School vs. White Plains (H) 4:30 p.m.
Albert Leonard Middle School Volleyball vs. Mamaroneck (Orange) (A - Hommocks Middle School) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Girls Soccer vs. Mamaroneck (A - Flint Park) 4:30 p.m.
7-8 Girls/Boys Cross Country vs. White Plains (A Highlands Middle School) 4:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 22
Girls Varsity Soccer - Section One Tournament - 1st round (Site and Time TBA)
Varsity Football vs. Mamaroneck (H - McKenna Field) 6 p.m.
Varsity Cheerleading at Football Game 6 p.m.
Varsity Volleyball vs. Ursuline (H - Albert Leonard Middle School) TBA
Junior Varsity Volleyball vs. Ursuline (H - Albert Leonard) TBA
Albert Leonard Middle School Volleyball vs. Rye (Black) (H - Albert Leonard) 4 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Boys Soccer vs. Port Chester (White) (H) 4:30 p.m.
Isaac E. Young Middle School Volleyball vs. Scarsdale (Maroon) (H) 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 23
Junior Varsity Football vs. Mamaroneck (A) 9:30 a.m.
Girls/Boys Cross Country - County Championship at Somers High School 10 a.m.
Boys Varsity Soccer - Section One Tournament - Quarterfinals (Site and Time TBA)