City School District of New Rochelle

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Students Celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month
Through music, dance and art, and classroom activities that involve reading, writing and research, students across the City School District of New Rochelle have been celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month in many engaging ways. 
At William B. Ward Elementary School, students enjoyed a performance by artist Felix Pitre called "Stories and Songs of Latin America" and they have been learning a new word in Spanish each day during morning announcements.
"Our celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month at Ward is informative and exciting," said Principal Franco Miele.
Ward's observance of the month spans first through fifth grades, studying Hispanic countries and creating posters and flags. Second graders in the Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools (FLES) were learning "Que Bonita Bandera" ("What a Beautiful Flag"), a traditional song from Puerto Rico, in addition to studying the geography of Spanish-speaking countries.
Third graders in Tracy Visceglia's class studied Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera and created self-portraits that highlighted what is special about themselves and their cultures.
At Daniel Webster Magnet School, fourth and fifth graders in the FLES program researched Spanish-speaking countries. The fifth graders completed their projects in Spanish.
At New Rochelle High School, Social Studies and Business Chairman Gustavo Barbosa's students have been studying the life, career and accomplishments of New York Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher Mariano Rivera, who is originally from Panama. They learned about Rivera's philanthropic spirit and how he has dedicated his retirement to helping others.
"Mariano and his wife are great philanthropists because they seek to promote the welfare of others, especially by their generous donations for good causes," said senior Chrislande Joseph.
NRHS English teacher Olga Locke and Social Studies teacher Francisco Sandoval are celebrating the month by asking students to learn about an influential Hispanic person. Those studied include U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor; composer, playwright and producer Lin-Manuel Miranda; and labor leader Cesar Chavez.
At Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center, the young students were captivated by an interactive performance by the Phyllis Rose Dance Company. Many students joined the professional dancers on stage to perform traditional dances from the Caribbean, Latin America and Spain.
"Our students were thoroughly engaged in movement, dancing and singing throughout the entire performance," said Barnard Principal Nicolas Cracco. "They loved the show from start to finish."

The celebrations continue. A Hispanic Heritage Celebration is scheduled at Columbus Elementary School on Friday, Oct. 11 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Families join in the celebration dressed in clothing representing their native countries. Jefferson Elementary School is looking forward to a concert for a Spanish/Italian celebration on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m.

Teacher Debra Kohn teaches William B. Ward Elmentary School second graders the song "Que Bonita Bandera."
NRHS Students Get Ready to Rock to Vote
More than 20 New Rochelle High School students are now ready to vote for the first time in the Nov. 5 election thanks to a voter registration effort held at school last week.

The school's chapter of the National Social Studies Honor Society teamed up with the League of Women Voters of New Rochelle for National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 24, a day when citizens are encouraged to register.

"We need to participate and vote," said NRHS senior Thomas Dias, who stopped by the registration table. While he is too young to cast a ballot this year, he will be able to vote in time for next year's presidential election. "It is what makes our society a democracy. If you do not vote, you have no say in what happens in our country."

The annual event raises students' awareness of ballot initiatives, local elections and more. 

Gustavo Barbosa, the Social Studies and Business Chairman, and Joan Alexander, of the League of Women Voters of New Rochelle, were delighted to see students express an interest in exercising their right to vote.

"As a Social Studies department, we believe that it is extremely important to provide our students with information related to voter registration," Barbosa said. "Voting is an essential element of civic engagement, and that is something we are committed to promoting among our students." 

Sports Schedule
For upcoming New Rochelle athletic competitions, check out*

* This link connects to an outside website
Dates to Remember
Saturday, October 5: SAT 8 a.m.

Monday, October 7: ALMS Blue Shirt Day, World Day of Bullying Prevention

Monday, October 7: NRHS Spirit Week Begins

Monday, October 7: Board of Education Regular Meeting, District Offices, 7 p.m. (Public portion)

Monday, October 7: PTAC Meeting, 7 p.m. NRHS Room 222, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, October 8: ALMS Grade 8 Picture Day

Wednesday, October 9: Yom Kippur - District Closed

Thursday, October 10: ALMS Grade 7 Picture Day

Thursday, October 10: Progress Reports, Grades 6-12, available online. (fixed typo)

Friday, October 11: ALMS Grade 6 Picture Day

Friday, October 11: ALMS Pizza & Karaoke Night (fixed typo), 7:00 p.m.

Friday, October 11: Ward Popcorn Friday

Friday, October 11: Columbus Hispanic Heritage Celebration, 6 p.m.

Friday, October 11: NRHS Homecoming Game, 6 p.m.
PAVE art students creating charcoal drawings of trees that will be on display during ArtsFest.
NRHS Students Preparing
To Show Works at ArtsFest
New Rochelle High School students have been preparing to showcase their works - paintings, videos, charcoal drawings and more - during New Rochelle and Pelham ArtsFest, which began today and ends Sunday.

Tomorrow (Saturday, Oct. 5) is the day when festivalgoers will enjoy the students' works, from the Starbucks in the Wykagyl neighborhood to Hudson Park overlooking Echo Bay.

There is more to the works than meets the eye. Students in Performing and Visual Arts Education (PAVE) years 1, 2 and 3 - in the classes of teachers Alexi Brock, Scott Seaboldt and Moira McCaul - created charcoal drawings of trees around Huguenot Lake. That was part of a unit that involved a deeper exploration of trees. Students learned from arborist-turned-artist Frank Buddingh' (whose works will be on display in the Museum of Arts & Culture) and watched a TED talk on the ways in which trees communicate with each other.

"The arborist told us about the different hidden connections between trees," said sophomore Ben Cowles. "I never knew how interconnected the they are."

Their works, complementing the Buddingh' exhibit, will be on display outside the Museum of Arts & Culture in NRHS (near the entrance off Braemar and North avenues) from noon to 5 p.m.

PAVE 4 students have been preparing Venti on the Veranda, monologues and musical numbers they will perform on the patio of the Wykagyl Starbucks. Performances will include the "Fact Checker" monologue from the play Goodbye Charles and "Suppertime" from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

The performance will take place from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Starbucks at 1278 North Ave.

Several classes joined together for a project that begins with a few poems and ends with multi-media displays. Students bring the verse to life and draw inspiration from it in paintings, dance and short movies. The project allows viewers to discover dance videos and other elements by holding up their smart phones to the paintings.

How does this expand the students' appreciation of the original poems?

"It takes the poem and applies it to all aspects of their lives," said teacher Anthony Stirpe, who spearheads the project. He has explained the process to national audiences at Apple Distinguished Educator Americas Institute.

The project will be on display in the House 4 cafeteria of NRHS during an Artisan Craft Market from noon to 5 p.m.

More paintings - these of flowers - will be on display at the Queen City Art Gallery in the lobby of Montefiore New Rochelle Hospital. They were created by students who studied the flower paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe and drew further inspiration from viewing flowers on a visit to the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.

View the works between noon and 5 p.m. at the hospital, 101 Glover Johnson Place.

Students will also volunteer as face painters and pumpkin painters at Hudson Park Children's Greenhouse from noon to 3 p.m.

At several venues, students will serve as docents.
Author Speaks to Students About Overcoming Fears
When children's book author James McLeod spoke to the students at George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School about being happy with who they are, he spoke from experience.
McLeod was bullied as a boy when he developed vitiligo. Now he speaks to audiences with upbeat energy to tell them it's OK to be different.

"My goal is to empower kids to overcome their insecurities and fears," said McLeod, the author of "The Boy Behind the Face." His website is "That Vitiligo Guy."
A force of infectious positive energy, McLeod spoke to the students in the school auditorium, then had pizza for lunch with some of them in the school library.

"It makes you feel good about yourself," fourth grader Cecilia Martinez said about his presentation.

Third grader Jake Bauman enjoyed McLeod's stories of how he overcame bullying.

"I was inspired by how he stood up for himself," he said.

The presentation also complemented a writing program the students are engaged in.

"In addition to supporting the inclusive ideals that we foster at Davis, it was a wonderful opportunity for students to see how the power of their own words and their own stories can have a positive impact on others," Principal Anthony Bambrola said. "All of our classes, from kindergarten through fifth grade, are engaged in narrative writing units right now. This presentation showed them that, no matter how young or old we are, our stories can change the world!"

Martinez was also impressed by McLeod - "He's strong and he's bold," she said - and she appreciated his message.
"It's good to be different," she said. "It makes you stand out."
Author James McLeod sharing a pizza lunch with George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School students after his talk.
NRHS is in News 12
School Spirit Showdown
The News 12 School Spirit Showdown continues, with New Rochelle High School is in the running! Vote now, and vote frequently. The rules of the contest allow you to vote every 12 minutes.
The contest runs through Oct. 21, as four winners are chosen.
So check it out and show your Purple Pride!
SAT/ACT Diagnostic Test
To be Offered at NRHS
Students who need to decide whether to take the SAT or ACT for college entrance can get some practical help making their choice from a diagnostic exam that will be offered at New Rochelle High School on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The test is being offered by t he New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence in conjunction with Applerouth Test Prep.
The practice test will feature questions from both the SAT and ACT formats, and comes with a detailed score report that will assess which test type each student scored best with. The scores will be available the week after the exam and will highlight the student's strengths and weaknesses on each type of problem. 
Registration is required, and the fee is $30, with all proceeds going directly to New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence in support of the SAT/ACT Prep Program. 
To register, go to and enter the event code M367650.  For sign-up help or questions, please contact the Fund at or Jill Steinberg of Applerouth at .
School Board Meeting
To be Held Monday
Please note that next week's regular Board of Education meeting will be held on Monday, Oct. 7 rather than Tuesday, when most meetings are held. The change was made because of Yom Kippur, which begins Tuesday evening and ends Wednesday.

Can't make it? The meeting will be streamed live on the City School District of New Rochelle's website,