City School District of New Rochelle

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Black History Celebration Scheduled
for Tomorrow
Students across the City School District of New Rochelle have been rehearsing and preparing for the 7th Annual Black History Celebration, which takes place from 4 to 8 p.m. tomorrow - 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.

For this free event, the doors open at 4 p.m. There will be two 15-minute presentations in the NRHS planetarium showing visitors the stars and constellations that enslaved people in the South used to guide them as they escaped toward freedom. The shows are scheduled for 4:15 and 4:50 p.m. There will be a dance party to Aretha Franklin music, food vendors, the WABSE Spoken Word and Art Show, book sales, author signings, craft vendors and face painting.

Admissions for performances in the Whitney M. Young Jr. Auditorium are are $5 for adults and $3 for students. The shows include drumming and dance by the Asase Yaa Cultural Center, the New Rochelle High School Renaissance Choir, the Isaac E. Young Middle School Castle Choir, the Webster Elementary Choir and the Barnard Kindergarten Singers. DJSmithyBoy (Albert Leonard Middle School sixth-grader Maison Smith) will provide the interlude between performers.

The event is presented by the Westchester Alliance of Black School Educators (WABSE) and the New Rochelle Black History Month Committee, with support from the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence and the New Rochelle Council on the Arts.

For more details, click here.
Board of Education Notes
The following are highlights from the Board of Education meeting held Tuesday at Columbus Elementary School.

House Principals Named: The Board appointed two house principals for New Rochelle High School. LaToya Pryce, who had been a special education teacher at NRHS, has been named House I principal. She replaces Daniel Gonzalez, who is now the House IV principal. She began the position on Jan. 27, subject to the Board's approval. Rachel Cornelius, an assistant principal at a high school in New York City, was named House III principal. She will begin Feb. 25, replacing Shomari Akil, who left the District.

Phase III Construction: The Board approved six contracts for Phase III of construction from the $106.5 million bond passed by voters in 2016. The phase will begin this summer, with work planned on Albert Leonard and Isaac E. Young middle schools and Columbus, Jefferson and Trinity elementary schools. All five schools will receive some interior work, such as plumbing and electrical upgrades and work on walls, floor tiles and other items. ALMS, Trinity and Columbus will also receive exterior work. Exteriors of IEYMS and Jefferson were renovated as part of Phase II, which is expected to wrap up this fall.

Find a presentation on the construction projects here.
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 .)
Sign Up For Sports Online 
The District now offers the convenience of signing up for athletic teams online through FamilyID. Learn more on the new web page found here.
Sports Schedule
For upcoming New Rochelle athletic competitions, check out*

* This link connects to an outside website
Dates to Remember
Saturday, February 9: Black History Month Extravaganza, Whitney Young Auditorium at NRHS, 4-8 p.m.

Saturday, February 9: Science Research - Junior Science and Humanities Symposium, John Jay High School, Cross River

Monday, February 11: PTAC Meeting, NRHS Room 222, 7 p.m.

Monday, February 11: PTA Meeting, Trinity, 7 p.m.

Monday, February 11-Thursday, February 14: Kindergarten Registration by Appointment, Jefferson

Monday, February 11-Friday, February 15: Cupids Boutique Week, ALMS

Monday, February 11-Friday, February 15: Spirit Week #2/Random Acts of Kindness Week, ALMS

Monday, February 11-Friday, February 15: Random Acts of Kindness Week, NRHS

Tuesday, February 12: PAVE III Acting, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, February 12-Wednesday, February 13: Senior HS Jazz Rehearsal, Hommocks MS, Mamaroneck, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, February 12-Thursday, February 14: Valentine's Day Boutique, Columbus

Tuesday, February 12-Thursday, February 14: Valentine's Day Boutique, IEYMS

Tuesday, February 12-Thursday, February 14: Valentine's Day Boutique, Webster

Wednesday, February 13: PTA General Meeting, Webster, 9:10 a.m.

Wednesday, February 13: PTA Meeting, Davis 7 p.m.

Wednesday, February 13: Literacy - Parent Workshop, Webster, 9:10 a.m.

Wednesday, February 13-Thursday, February 14: Valentine's Day Sale, Jefferson

Friday, February 15: School Spirit Day, Barnard

Friday, February 15: Popcorn Friday, Ward

Friday, February 15: PTA Meeting, Columbus, 9 a.m.
NUL President Marc Morial speaks in the Linda Kelly Theater.
National Urban League President Addresses Students
The president of the National Urban League (NUL) urged an audience of New Rochelle High School students this week to delve into their personal and cultural histories - and to appreciate others' stories as well.

"Each of us should know our own family history, our own cultural history," NUL President Marc Morial told more than 150 students in the Linda E. Kelly Theater on Tuesday. "When you know and understand your own history, you then have a respect for other people's histories. So I encourage you to be curious, interested, probing, delving into, yes, black history, but not just black history. We must know our own history, but we must respect and understand the contributions and the histories of others."

Morial's appearance was the District's first major event of Black History Month. Morial said the annual month-long observance helps correct an imbalance by focusing on African American history, which had been dismissed for so long.

"We study black history because we should study and understand all history," he said.

The audience included mostly juniors and seniors from the school's two African American Studies classes, plus students from other social studies courses. Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey and Board of Education member Lianne Merchant attended the talk, as well as a representative of New York State Senator Shelley Mayer.

"We're honored to welcome such a distinguished guest as Marc Morial to address our students," Dr. Parvey said. "Mr. Morial is a leader in the fight for civil rights and equality, and we are grateful that he took the opportunity to bring us such an important message at the start of Black History Month."

The National Urban League, established in 1910, advocates on behalf of African Americans and combats racial discrimination in the United States. Morial has served as president of the civil rights organization since 2003.

He told the students they will see a shift in the country in their lifetimes.

"On your watch, America is going to evolve into a nation where no ethnic group is in a majority," he said. "I think that presents an exciting set of possibilities."

Students said the talk was inspiring and thought provoking. Senior Kamahri Valcourt took to heart the message about everyone studying his or her own family and cultural history.

"In the end, it will all bring us all together," said Valcourt, who is president of the school's Black Culture Club and co-president of the NAACP Youth Group. "If you understand your own history, you will be more open to others."
Cheerleaders Competing
for National Championship
Both New Rochelle High School's varsity and junior varsity cheerleading teams are in Orlando, Florida this weekend competing in the National High School Cheerleading Championship. The three-day competition takes place at Walt Disney's Wide World of Sports.

Accompanying the New Rochelle teams are: Varsity Head Coach Angela Trozzi, her Assistant Coach Ashley Brennan, Junior Varsity Head Coach Melissa Begendorf and Assistant Coach Laura Clement. Equipment Manager Jim Benge is also traveling with the team. Both teams last won the national championship in 2013.

The teams left by bus from NRHS on Wednesday, bound for a flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport to Orlando.

Learn more about the championship, including the schedule and how to follow all the action, here . Follow the hashtag #UCAnationals.
Television media interview Khairi Manns, center, and Jordan Forrest.
Forrest, Manns Sign
with Holy Cross, UMaine
Huguenots running back Jordan Forrest had already announced that he would attend College of the Holy Cross next year, but teammate Khairi Manns kept followers in suspense until the signing ceremony.
On Wednesday - National Signing Day - Manns, the football team's defensive end, revealed that he will attend the University of Maine. They held a ceremonial signing in the New Rochelle High School library, applauded by family, friends, teammates and supporters. Several reporters captured the event.
Forrest, Manns and the entire team have spent much of the year in the spotlight, mainly when they fought their way to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association state championship in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse in November. Ultimately, Aquinas Institute - a private school in Rochester - won the game, but the Huguenots' performance captured the hearts of New Rochelle.
Last month, Forrest was named Player of the Year for Class AA by the New York State Sportswriters Association. Last week, he  was named one of the "Golden Dozen" by the Westchester Chapter of the National Football Foundation for his excellence on the field and in the classroom.
Anne Hessel, one of the nine winners from New Rochelle High School, with her prize-winning work of art.
NRHS Students Recognized
in 'Young Artists' Exhibit
Nine New Rochelle High School art students were among the winners in the Young Artists on the Rise exhibition of the Mamaroneck Artists Guild (MAG). Awards were bestowed in a reception at the MAG, based in Larchmont, on Wednesday. Art works from several area schools were featured in the exhibition.

The winners from New Rochelle were: Javier Gonzalez, Andrea Reyes, Brooke Rieger, Ava Sunko, Alexander Melgarejo, Anne Hessel, Katherine Jaramillo, Adam Jones and Emmanuella Theodule.
It's Flu Season; Here's What You Need to Know
Flu season is here and Dr. Brooke Balchan, Medical Director for the City School District of New Rochelle, has some advice on how to avoid catching the ailment and what to do if your child does become ill. Find Dr. Balchan's letter here.
Residents Urged to Take
County Health Survey
The Westchester County Department of Health and local hospitals are seeking the views of residents age 18 and older about their own health and the health of their community.  Dr. Brooke Balchan, Medical Director for the City School District of New Rochelle, encouraged residents to take the county's survey on the matter. In English: