City School District of New Rochelle

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Town Hall Meeting to Focus on World Languages
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 was presented at this week's Board meeting. Find the report here.
                                                         
Questions for the Town Hall may be submitted in advance to kvalenti@nredlearn.org . Community members will also be able to submit written questions at the meeting.
Residents' Input Sought at Mar. 21 Budget Café Session
The City School District of New Rochelle invites you to a café session to discuss the 2019-2020 school budget on Thursday, March 21 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in New Rochelle High School.

At the meeting, several stations will be staffed by administrators and other District personnel to answer residents' questions and to take input. Each station will focus on a different aspect of District spending. They will be:
  • Special Education
  • Social-Emotional Learning/Clinical Support
  • Transportation
  • Facilities/Transfers to Capital
  • New Rochelle High School - New Initiatives
  • Middle Schools
  • Elementary Schools
Moving from station to station, community members will be able to speak with the District administrators and other personnel who have the highest levels of expertise in each topic. The District is eager to hear community members' priorities, which will be integral in formulating next year's spending plan.
Family University Program Open
to Students, Parents, Caregivers
The New Rochelle High School PTSA invites students, parents and caregivers to Family University on Wednesday, March 27 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the high school. The event is sponsored by NewYork-Presbyterian/Lawrence Hospital in an ongoing effort to educate and inform middle and high school students as well as parents and caregivers on important mental health and social media issues affecting young people.

The keynote speakers include: bestselling author and nationally renowned speaker Bobby Petrocelli; lifestyle and technology founder Stephanie Humphrey; and leading mental health educator, author and family life coach Joshua Wayne. New York Yankees legend Mariano Rivera will appear as a guest speaker, sharing his personal journey from bullied child to baseball legend and telling how mentorship played an important role in his success.

Family University will also feature a panel discussion centering on the warning signs of stress, anxiety and depression, as well as a session that focuses on the importance of youth mentoring.

It all starts with a dinner at 6 p.m. sponsored by Gemelli Pizzeria. The program begins at 6:45 p.m. in the Whitney M. Young Jr. Auditorium near the 265 Clove Road entrance for students and in the Linda E. Kelly Theater, near the Braemar Avenue entrance, for parents and caregivers. Spanish language translation will be available. Registration for Family University is $6 and can be booked in advance via the PTSA website or at the event.

Learn more about Family University here.
IEYMS Students
 Study Egypt, Recreate Glyphs
Isaac E. Young Middle School has taken on a certain museum-like air with handmade ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs on display.

They are the works of students who researched and studied symbols and glyphs from the era. Each student picked a glyph that he or she was interested in, and recreated it in clay. They had help and guidance from professional artist Miguel Cossio on various artistic skills.

The project was spearheaded by teacher Dennis Loosen and assisted by Interim Principal Dr. Tawanda Robinson and Social Studies Chairperson Gustavo Barbosa.

"Integrating arts into the study of ancient civilizations provides an alternative pathway to learning that helps students develop a deeper understanding of a culture," Dr. Robinson said. "It provides real-life context and relevancy into the lives of people that existed hundreds of years ago."
Sports Schedule
For upcoming New Rochelle athletic competitions, check out NewRochelleAthletics.org*

* This link connects to an outside website
Dates to Remember
Monday, March 11: PTA Meeting, Trinity, 7 p.m.

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

Monday-Friday, March 11-15: Trinity Book Fair

Monday-Friday, March 11-15: Davis Initial Kindergarten Registration

Monday-Friday, March 11-15: Trinity Kindergarten Registration

Tuesday, March 12: Principal's Luncheon, ALMS

Tuesday, March 12:  Town Hall Meeting Topic:  World Languages  - Jefferson, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 13: Taste of New Rochelle, ALMS

Thursday, March 14: Pi Day, IEYMS

Thursday-Saturday, March 14-16: TheatreWorks Musical, NRHS, 7:30 p.m. (also 2 p.m. Saturday, March 16)

Friday, March 15: Deadline for Columbus and Webster Magnet applications, 4:30 p.m.

Friday, March 15: Popcorn Friday, Ward

Saturday, March 16: Science Research - Westchester Science and Engineering Fair at Sleepy Hollow, 6 p.m.
Melissa Ramondelli and Anthony Johnson in a scene from See Rock City and Other Destinations
NRHS TheatreWorks Invites
You to 'See Rock City'
Get ready to see Rock City.

The TheatreWorks performers at New Rochelle High School want to take you there and some other tourist-luring locales in the musical See Rock City and Other Destinations, playing next weekend in the Linda E. Kelly Theater.

Never heard of the show? That's just fine with the actors, who are eager to be the first ones many audience members see performing it.

"It brings a new level of interest, because you don't know what to expect," said senior Chloe Werner, who plays a Niagara Falls tour guide.

Director Anthony Stirpe steered clear of the more famous musicals and chose this relatively unknown show of vignettes of self-exploration, each centered around a different landmark.

"This show is about community and taking chances while moving forward," Stirpe said. "That's what we need right now."

Showings are Thursday, March 14 through Saturday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m. on March 16. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors.

Theater-goers will see the story of three sisters who travel together to scatter their father's ashes on Glacier Bay, and of Kate, a runaway bride, who is tempted to take a risk by the Niagara Falls guide.

"We're all trying to find something," said Anthony Johnson, who plays Jess, the character who heads to the titular Rock City with Dodi, played by fellow senior Melissa Ramondelli.

Students were enjoying the challenge.

"A lot of the harmonies are very complicated, and we tackle a lot of sensitive topics," said Donatello Immediato, a senior. He plays one of two friends who skip school to take a trip to Coney Island.

(The show also includes some slightly stronger-than-usual language, which Stirpe advises may be inappropriate for children under 13.)

The students also enjoyed putting on a show with plenty of substantive parts to play.

"There is no one character who's the lead," said junior Dylan Feldman, who plays Grampy. "Everyone gets to show their talent."
Board of Education
Meeting Notes
The following are highlights from the March 5 Board of Education meeting at Jefferson Elementary School:

Budget: Interim Superintendent for Business and Administration Thomas Ryan offered a preliminary budget presentation that proposed staying within the state property tax cap. The tax levy - the total amount of money collected in property taxes across the District - could increase $3.4 million without breaking the cap, he said.

Based on budget assumptions Ryan used, the $276.4 million 2019-20 budget would require a 1.87 percent tax rate increase.

Science Research: Jeff Wuebber, supervisor of the Science Research Program at New Rochelle High School, discussed the program that has grown from 33 students in 2015 to 76 students now. Helping with the presentation were NRHS student scientists Ruqiyah Syed and Leora Segal, who were among those who exceled in the Westchester-Rockland Junior Science and Humanities Symposium on Feb. 9.

Science Research students are preparing for the Westchester Science and Engineering Fair (WESEF) competition that takes place March 16 at Sleepy Hollow High School. The public viewing session is from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Many people had been impressed by the presentations students made at the WESEF practice night in the House 4 cafeteria at NRHS last week. Wuebber said the feedback from the community greatly improved the students' presentations .

Jefferson Reads: Jefferson Elementary School Principal Kimmerly Nieves led a presentation on a rigorous course of reading students at the school have been pursuing. Fourth-graders, for example, studied the Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919 because of the challenging text describing the long-ago disaster. (Its centennial was January 15.) The students explored questions such as how the incident could have been avoided.

As part of the presentation, the fourth-graders sang a song commemorating the flood.
Jefferson School fourth-graders singing about the Boston Molasses Flood
ALMS is A-Buzz
About GeoBee Semifinalist
Rebecca Ploski, an eighth-grader at Albert Leonard Middle School, has qualified for the 2019 National Geographic GeoBee New York State Competition. She received word of her impressive achievement on Monday, and is now preparing for the state competition, which takes place on Friday, March 29 at the New York State  Museum in Albany.

Ploski, an A-plus student in social studies (her favorite subject) has  been a geograp hy  buff since  the  age of 5.

"I've liked geography for a long time," she said. "Ever since my Dad gave me an atlas when I was really little."

Ploski and her Dad used the atlas to create a game called
 Ambassador, which entailed her Dad pointing out European countries and Ploski identifying their capitals. Today, Ploski does geography quizzes online for fun, and the hobby has turned out to be excellent
practice.

The GeoBee is an academic competition developed by the NationalGeographic Society to promote geographic knowledge among young people in the United States. Students from nearly 10,000 schools participate annually, and over its three-plus decades, more than 120 million students have learned about the world through GeoBee participation. 

Ploski is now ranked as a semifinalist overall in the national competition. 

"This is super-exciting for the Albert Leonard Middle School Community and the City School District of New Rochelle," said Principal John Barnes. "Considering how high Rebecca has placed, it just goes to shows what can happen when a person chooses to use their free time productively. Rebecca made learning geography a fun thing for herself and by spending more time on task it led to this wonderful opportunity. She is a great example for her peers."

A win at the state competition would earn Ploski a trip to Washington, D.C. in May, to represent New York in the National Championship at the National Geographic Society headquarters. First prize includes a $25,000 college scholarship, $1,000 in cash, a lifetime membership in the National Geographic Society and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the National Geographic Endeavour ll.

So, does Ploski have her sights set on the title?

"Well, it would be cool to win it. I'll try, but I don't know," she said. "I looked up some of the questions and they're, like, the most specific things ever!"

There's no doubt she has the knowledge to go far, especially if a certain topic comes up.
Webster First-Graders Learn Cultures Through Dance
First-graders at Daniel Webster Magnet School wrapped up Black History Month with a celebration of dance.

In a March 1 show, they danced to the music of Nigeria, the Georgia Sea Islands and Jamaica. They were taught in a residency by Livia Drapkin Vanaver of the Vanaver Caravan, an international, non-profit dance and music troupe based in New Paltz, N.Y.

"This program allowed each first-grade class to gain an understanding of the cultural traditions, dance styles and music of three distinct cultures of the world," said Magnet Facilitator Kathleen Coyne.

The program included music and dance performed by professional artists as well. 

Incorporating the first-grade social studies and sociology-humanities studies, the program focused on building five C's in the students - celebration of diversity, cultural awareness, community building, character growth and creative expression.
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 tomorrow, 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.