City School District of New Rochelle

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Spring Break
Principal Search Consultants Introduced to Community
The New Rochelle community met the consulting firm conducting a search for the next New Rochelle High School principal last night.

Representatives of School Leadership LLC welcomed input from members of the public on the aspects of the District that would entice candidates to seek the position, and on the challenges the school's next leader will face. The session took place in the school's Whitney M. Young Jr. Auditorium.

Residents are also encouraged to fill out a brief survey about what skills and experience they would like to see in the next NRHS principal. The online survey will be available through April 21. I nput from the surveys will help guide School Leadership and the District in seeking candidates for the position.


STEM Academy Makes Saturday School Fun
Twenty-three New Rochelle students from Columbus, Trinity, Jefferson, and Ward elementary schools, Albert Leonard and Isaac E. Young middle schools and New Rochelle High School wrapped up an exciting educational opportunity last weekend at Mercy College - a four-week STEM program entitled The Saturday STEM Academy. The Academy, hosted by the college's Center for STEM Education, gave the students an opportunity to engage in hands-on STEM learning led by distinguished STEM educators over four consecutive weekends.

The Academy aims to excite participants about opportunities in STEM fields, while preparing them with the tools they need to pursue them in both college and career.
 
"We are extremely proud of the enthusiasm and engagement our STEM education program has elicited from students districtwide," said Trinity Elementary Principal Michael Hilderbrand. "The Mercy program has been a tremendous complement to our curriculum; a great way for them to expand their learning."
 
"They've become even more charged up about STEM by attending the Academy," added Dr. Tawanda Robinson, Interim Principal at IEYMS. "They learned new STEM concepts and skills and put them into practice these past four weekends, and they've loved it!"   
 
Each session, led by Mercy College faculty or other experts in STEM fields, focused on hands-on, collaborative learning based in the scientific method. Week to week activities included smashing geodes to observe the crystals inside; understanding physics by building catapults; coding robot finches to make them dance; programming robots built of LEGO; creating models of human body systems and even performing neuroscience experiments.
 
"What these students experienced was incredible," said Columbus Elementary School Principal Michael Galland. "Coding, examining microbes, learning about energy and motion from college professors and folks from Westchester Children's Museum - it was a remarkable opportunity to develop skills, at such a young age, which are critical in today's collegiate and career world." 

The Academy included an information session by Mercy College admissions about what it means to go to college, how to prepare for it and setting goals to get there.

The Saturday STEM Academy wrapped up on April 6 with a certificate ceremony. It  will return again in the fall of 2019. 
Three Schools Participate in Certamen
 de Deletreo
Thirty-six students from Trinity, Jefferson and Ward B. elementary schools competed in the Certamen de Deletreo, or Spanish spelling bee, at Trinity on Monday. In a contest that included words such as "fotosíntesis," "estacionamiento" and "cuadrenjenticimo," Trinity third-grader Saharra Vallejo eventually won with the word "tóxico."
Sports Schedule
For upcoming New Rochelle athletic competitions, check out NewRochelleAthletics.org*

* This link connects to an outside website
Dates to Remember
Monday-Monday, April 15-22: Spring Break, School Closed

Tuesday, April 16: School Budget Review Session, NRHS library, 6:30 p.m. 

Tuesday, April 23: Board of Education Special Meeting (hosted by Campus School), Linda E. Kelly Theater, NRHS, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, April 23: World Book Day - Jefferson

Wednesday, April 24: Planetarium Show, NRHS, 7 p.m.

Tuesday-Thursday, April 23-25: Kindergarten Registration (paperwork only)

Thursday, April 25: PTSA Meeting, Linda E. Kelly Theater, NRHS, 7 p.m.

Thursday-Friday, April 25-26: Kindergarten Registration, Trinity

Friday, April 26: School Spirit Day, Barnard

Friday, April 26: Groovy School Dance, Grades 4 and 5, Ward, 7-9 p.m.

Friday, April 26: Columbus Kermes, 6 p.m.

Friday, April 26: PTA Sports Night, Barnard, 6:30 p.m.

Friday, April 26: Spring Fling Dance for Grades 6 and 7, IEYMS, 6-9 p.m.
District Introduces $281M
Spending Plan for 2019-20

The City School District of New Rochelle administration introduced a $281,067,000 superintendent's recommended 2019-20 budget this week that adds supports in range of areas from special education to school cleaning, maintains programs, addresses priorities expressed by administrators and the community and stays within the state-mandated property tax cap.

The budget includes special education teachers, English as a New Language instructors and academic intervention specialists. It also calls for an additional fifth-grade teacher at Columbus Elementary School and literacy coach, Spanish teachers and clinical workers such as a speech teacher, social worker and counselor.
 
On the non-instructional side, the budget calls for eliminating two central administration positions and adding custodial security and technology staff.

The Board of Education set a third budget review session for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in the New Rochelle High School library.
 
Under the plan, spending would increase $10.7 million, or 3.95% percent, over this year's $270,381,160 budget. The plan is supported partly by increases of $4 million in state aid and $2 million in other non-tax revenue.
 
The plan calls for saving $325,000 in salary and benefits on two central administration positions - a project manager post that has been abolished and the Director of Transportation post, which would be eliminated. Transportation staff would report directly to the Assistant Superintendent for Business and Administration.
 
The preliminary budget was presented over two meetings this week in the library of New Rochelle High School by Interim Assistant Superintendent for Business Thomas Ryan. The plan took into account input from administrators and community members who attended a Budget Café session March 21 to discuss their priorities, as well as a January 22 Town Hall session and other Board of Education meetings.
 
"This budget includes your input and that of our leaders," said Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey. "This is a spending plan that respects the community's values and remains mindful of the taxpayers while allowing us to continue providing high quality education for all of the almost 11,000 students in the District."
 
The tax levy - the dollar amount to be raised by property tax - would be $213,591,114 under the spending plan. That is an increase of $4,588,952, or 2.2 percent from the current tax levy of $209,002,162, staying within the increase permitted by the property tax cap.
 
The plan is helped by an increase in state aid. The District will receive $51,470,106 in aid for the next year, up from $47,416,327 for the current year's budget.
 
The property tax rate to fund the budget would be $802.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. That is an increase of $17.08 or 2.17% over the current rate of $785.72 per $1,000 of assessed value.
 
Positions added under the plan would include four general school aides who would assist with bus monitoring and school security; a night custodial supervisor; and a painter. An assistant director and two network technicians are recommended for the technology department.

Capital projects in the budget include a new press box ($250,000) and renovated concession stand ($200,000) at New Rochelle High School's McKenna Field, a retaining wall at Isaac E. Young Middle School ($170,000), partial roof replacement at several schools ($200,000) and the refurbishment and replacement of auditorium seating at several schools ($180,000).
 
The Board of Education is scheduled to adopt a final spending plan April 23. A hearing will be held May 7 and residents will vote on the plan May 21.
 
Read more about the budget on the District homepage, www.nred.org. Questions about the budget may be sent to budgetquestions@nredlearn.org.
Author and NRHS sophomore Shana Belfast discusses her book with ALMS students.
Sophomore Publishes Book About Life with Autism
New Rochelle High School sophomore Shana Belfast, who has chronicled the experience of growing up on the autism spectrum, returned to Albert Leonard Middle School on Monday as a published author.

She read to a sixth-grade class from her 123-page memoir, Colors Beyond Clouds: A Journey Through the Social Life of a Girl on the Autism Spectrum.

"I wanted to let them know that if they feel like they're alone or if they feel like no one understands them, they are not alone," she said after the reading. "I want to inspire acceptance."

Belfast's book was published this year and was chosen by Your Teen magazine, an online resource for parents of teenagers, for a list of "books for teens featuring neurodiverse perspectives."

Belfast wrote, for instance, about joining a group of friends who turned out to have different interests and mindsets from her own.

"Even though I was a part of a group, it was not right for me," she read to the class.

The teacher, Sara Yeterian, who also taught Belfast when she was a sixth-grader, said she hoped her former student served as a role model for her current class.

"I really wanted my students to experience what her struggles were, and to really understand that whatever struggles they have don't need to get in the way of going out and doing what they want to do," she said.

Students asked Belfast questions about her experiences, and came away with helpful advice - and fondness for the ALMS alumnus.
"She's a cool person," said student Arleth Perez.

Principal John Barnes was grateful that the students had the chance to hear from someone who was in their seat just a few years ago.

"It is a joy to welcome home Shana to share how she has overcome her obstacles," Barnes said. "The wisdom she is able to impart is inspiring and is a gift for the sixth-graders to receive."
Department of Health Offers Free MMR Vaccinations
The Westchester County Health Department is offering free MMR vaccinations after confirming that measles has been contracted by eight unvaccinated children, aged 6 months to 14 years, from northern Westchester.
 
"The Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine is safe and highly effective in preventing measles cases and containing outbreaks," said Commissioner of Health Dr. Sherlita Amler.
 
The Health Department will offer free MMR vaccinations at special clinics on the following dates and times:
 
* April 13, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 134 Court Street, White Plains
* April 16, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., 25 Moore Avenue, Mount Kisco
 
To receive a vaccine at one of these clinics, register in advance at www.health.ny.gov/gotoclinic/60.
 
The vaccination rate in the City School District of New Rochelle is 99 percent, said District Medical Director Dr. Brooke Balchan.
 
"However, now is as good a time as ever to become fully immunized, as the disease burden continues to spread into our area," Dr. Balchan said.
 
The Health Department asks that if your child exhibits signs or symptoms of measles, do not send them to a health care facility unannounced. Instead, contact the health care facility in advance so that arrangements can be made for them to be seen without placing others at risk for exposure.
 
If you have any questions about measles or the MMR vaccine, call the Westchester County Department of Health at 914-813-5000. The latest information about measles can also be found on the Health Department website www.westchestergov.com/health.