City School District of New Rochelle

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Safety and Security was Focus of Town Hall Meeting
The safety and security consultant hired by the District in December joined leaders of the City School District of New Rochelle and the city's police and fire departments in addressing questions about school safety from the community Monday evening.

In the Town Hall session, held in Isaac E. Young Middle School, the community heard from the head of the Altaris Consulting Group, which the Board hired to implement safety and security practices and procedures. Altaris will make use of the recommendations from the report issued by last year's Task Force on Reducing Violence in the Lives of Children and Youth.

Joining Altaris founder and chief executive John LaPlaca on the dais were New Rochelle Police Commissioner Joseph Schaller and Deputy Commissioner Robert Gazzola and New Rochelle Fire Department Chief Andrew Sandor and Captain Barry Nechis. New Rochelle Board of Education President Jeffrey Hastie and Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey also answered questions.

LaPlaca explained that Altaris focuses exclusively on K-12 schools and serves more than 200 schools, mostly on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley. The districts they serve in Westchester include the public schools in White Plains, Rye, Scarsdale, Bronxville, Irvington and Peekskill.

Altaris provides a thorough approach that focuses on working collaboratively with school districts through the process of making improvements and helping manage safety and security effectively, LaPlaca said. The firm then works with a school district to maintain safety and security standards and procedures and improve operations as needed.

The firm has a one-year contract with the School District for $104,000, which is 52 percent reimbursable by New York State aid.

"We've just begun our work with the District but one pleasant surprise is that we are finding a lot of initiatives are already being done," he said.

Altaris is meeting with each of the schools, individually, to determine improvement opportunities. Most school principals in the District attended the meeting Monday night.

The firm will develop a timeline of project work, implement training and collaborate with outside emergency services personnel.

Find questions and answers from the meeting on the District homepage at 

Watch the meeting here.
ALMS to Host Regional Special Olympics Tournament
The New Rochelle Special Olympics team is preparing for one of the year's highlights, the Westchester-Putnam Special Olympics 2019 Basketball Invitational hosted by Albert Leonard Middle School.
The tournament, which typically features 10 to 12 teams from throughout the region, will take place Saturday, March 9, starting at 9 a.m.
ALMS has held the regional tournament for the past five years. It is a favorite tournament of the New Rochelle Special Olympians, 20 of whom will compete in this one.
"It's a fabulous event for them because it's in our backyard," said Coach Rhonda Boychew. "It gives them an opportunity to shine right here in New Rochelle."

Jacob Kuligowski, like his fellow athletes, is looking forward to the day.

"I like having it in New Rochelle because it is close to where I live," he said. "It is amazing that we have the honor of using the Albert Leonard gym every year for our basketball tournament."
New Policy Ensures
No Student
Misses Lunch
The New Rochelle Board of Education has adopted a policy, required by the Federal government, to ensure that no student has to go without lunch, and that no one is shamed for being unable to pay for a meal.

Called the "School Lunch Charge Policy and Prohibition Against Shaming," the rule states that any student who comes to school without enough money to pay for lunch will be served a meal if he or she asks.

"The City School District of New Rochelle recognizes that, on occasion, students may not have enough funds for a meal," the policy reads. "To ensure that students do not go hungry, the Board of Education will allow students who do not have enough funds to 'charge' the cost of meals to be paid back at a later date subject to the terms in this policy."

A student who cannot pay for a meal or who carries unpaid meal debt will not be publicly identified. The student will be permitted to choose from the day's selection of meals, but not extras, a la carte items, side dishes, additional meals or snacks.

The policy says that students "whose parents or guardians have unpaid school meal fees shall not be shamed or treated differently than" any other student.

Find the entire policy here.
Sports Schedule
For upcoming New Rochelle athletic competitions, check out*

* This link connects to an outside website
Dates to Remember
Saturday, March 2: Elementary/Intermediate All County Performances, SUNY Purchase, 11 a.m. - Band; 4 p.m. - Chorus

Sunday, March 3: Elementary/Intermediate All County Performances, SUNY Purchase, 11 a.m. - Orchestra

Monday, March 4: Half-day Elementary Schools - Professional Development

Monday-Friday, March 4-8: Webster Initial Kindergarten Registration

Monday, March 4: PTA Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, Jefferson, 1 p.m.

Tuesday, March 5: Board of Education Regular Meeting, Jefferson, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, March 5, 7 and 8: Davis Initial Kindergarten Registration

Thursday, March 7: PTA Meeting, Barnard, 7 p.m.

Friday, March 8: PTA Movie Night, Columbus
ALMS 8th-Grader Chosen as
Anti-Bullying Youth Leader
Albert Leonard Middle School eighth-grader Emma Farley has been chosen as one of 22 Youth Leaders across the country by the national organization STOMP Out Bullying.
The honor makes her a high-profile ambassador for anti-bullying initiatives.
"STOMP Out Bullying Youth Leaders are established student activists and leaders serving as representatives of the organization speaking to schools and the media, and attending conferences throughout the country," said Ross Ellis, founder and Chief Executive of the organization. "They are the voice of STOMP Out Bullying in their local communities and they are able to make a massive impact on both a local and national level."
Farley already serves as one of ALMS's Safe School Ambassadors, another anti-bullying initiative, and says she likes to help her peers feel like they belong.
"If you try to make sure everyone is having a good time in school, your friends are happy and it creates this really friendly and caring environment, which is what everyone wants," she said.
Farley was notified of her selection over the February school break.
In choosing Youth Leaders, STOMP Out Bullying looks for teenagers who have demonstrated public achievements and excellent grades and who are "leaders in their schools and communities (with) a track record of speaking in public," the organization's website says. Farley will take the torch from New Rochelle High School senior Jazz Jenkins, who will graduate in June.
Farley has developed public speaking skills as a member of the Model UN since sixth grade. She is looking forward to honing them further in the new role, and to also practice spreading a message through social media channels, another avenue Youth Leaders take.
ALMS Principal John Barnes said he was thrilled to see Farley chosen for the position.
"Emma is an absolute joy," Barnes said. "She is one of the most well-rounded students I have ever had the privilege of working with. She is a scholar, artist, athlete, up-stander, and a truly thoughtful and caring young woman. We are proud of Emma and know this is just the beginning of many milestone moments ahead."

NRHS Students Hone
Portrait Skills During Break
Six New Rochelle High School student artists spent their mid-winter break honing their skills in a Portraiture Intensive class at the Pelham Art Center.
For three hours a day over the course of four days, Kayla Garcia, Sophia Pelaez, Fatima Navarro, Kane Peterson, Brittney Benjamin, and Avryl Stephanie Jimenez learned key elements to jump start portrait-painting technique from artist and professor Edgar Jerins.
They took the class courtesy of the David Uskali Scholarship program.
"They learned about the proportions of the face and a new technique - sealing a charcoal drawing with shellac," said NRHS art teacher Alexandra Brock, who was instrumental in placing the students in the class. "Then they learned how to paint skin tones with oils, which is very difficult. And they did all of it with the benefit of a live model who posed for twelve hours, which is a huge benefit."
At three hours per day, the full four-day course was equal to a month of class time at NRHS, Brock said.
The students painted their artistic perspectives of model Rebecca Mills, who happens to be a New Rochelle High School alumna.
Brock said, "They really had a wonderful opportunity to have extended time on one project, which will be a strong addition to their portfolios for college applications. "
Trinity Students Learn About Basketball, Math and More
While many other students were away for the mid-winter break, 36 fourth- and fifth-graders at Trinity Elementary School continued taking classes and practiced shooting hoops as well.

The students took part in the Trinity Academic Basketball Camp, a pilot program of the New Rochelle Basketball Association (NRBA), funded with a grant from the Heisman Trophy Youth Development Fund. Tuesday through Friday, they blended athletic practice, computer lessons in math and engineering and half-hour sessions in character education to develop social and emotional health.

"We want the kids to be well-rounded," said NRBA board member Sean Oliver.

In one character education lesson, they discussed a short film about two cousins who learn to appreciate their differences; one enjoys sports while the other prefers books.

Fourth-grader Elijah Carter said he was learning about ideas such as empathy.

"We're getting to know how to work together as a team," he said.

"It's a tremendous opportunity for our students and our families so that there is no gap in their academic growth," Trinity Principal Michael Hilderbrand said. "It also gives them the opportunity in the winter to get out of their homes and off technology and to engage in physical activity that is focused and structured."

Fourth-grader Meaghan Doucet said she appreciated the opportunity to do something constructive during the chilly days off.

"I really like that we're not just sitting home not really doing anything," she said.
Board of Education
Meeting Notes
The following are highlights of the Feb. 26 Board of Education meeting in the George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School.

Assistant Superintendent Named: Dr. Anthony Bongo, the principal of Isaac E. Young Middle School, was named Assistant Superintendent for Pupil and Student Support Services. Dr. Tawanda Robinson, one of two assistant principals at IEYMS, was named Interim Principal.

Building Social Emotional Health: Davis School Assistant Principal Laurie Marinaro led a presentation on Nurturing Healthy Social-Emotional Environments at the Elementary Level. "Each school approaches the responsibility differently," she said, talking about the need to "heavily invest in positively engaging the young people in our care."

"We're talking about relationship-building and the power of positive mentoring," she said. It also means fostering a positive school environment, which at Davis includes creating safe spaces such as the Davis garden. "Here," Marinaro said, "they learn to cultivate friendships, not just vegetables and flowers."
World Languages 3/12
World Languages Town Hall
Scheduled for March 12
World Languages will be the subject of the Board of Education's next Town Hall meeting, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at Jefferson Elementary School, 131 Weyman Ave., New Rochelle.
The meeting will give the community the opportunity to ask questions of the administration and Board about a follow-up report on World Languages that will be presented at next week's Board meeting, which begins at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 5, also at Jefferson.
Questions for the Town Hall may be submitted in advance to . Community members will also be able to submit written questions at the meeting.