City School District of New Rochelle

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IBM Scientists Teach IEYMS Students

The goal was to see how many breaths it took to push a small, wind-powered car with mint Lifesavers for wheels across six feet of classroom floor. Some of the designs in Claudia Gianserra's seventh-grade class at Isaac E. Young Middle School exceeded expectations.

"Nine feet in two breaths!" IBM scientist Brian P. Gaucher said as Team 3's design sailed easily over the masking tape finish line. "Nice job!"

The exercise - creating a vehicle from straws, paper, paper clips and the round hard candies - was one of several activities led by Gaucher and six other scientists from IBM on their annual visit to IEYMS. Every year for 19 years, they have spent a day in the school teaching the seventh-graders about the life and work of an engineer.

The scientists stressed the importance of trying different ideas and not being discouraged when they don't reach the set goal. Consider Thomas Edison, who is said to have found 1,000 ways not to create a lightbulb before he invented a working version of the now-ubiquitous device.

"All that mattered is that we tried," said student Jose Partida.

They also learned the importance of working on a team.

"If you use teamwork, everybody can make comments and make changes," said student Joshua Smith.

The day is presented by the school's counseling department and organized by counselor Martha Rodriguez.

"The lesson beautifully models the state's Next Generation Standards for science," said Gianserra. "We try to make a connection between what we're learning and real life. The goal is to design, test the design and improve the design."

"We are deeply grateful to the scientists from IBM for giving their time and sharing their expertise with our students," said Interim Principal Dr. Tawanda Robinson. "They're not only learning science from those who are at the top of the field, but they also get to see that scientists are people just like them."

'We Are One' Gala
The New Rochelle Special Education PTA honored educators from across the City School District of New Rochelle - plus one student and a regional Special Olympics organizer - at the annual "We Are One" Awards Dinner recently.

The gala event was held May 2 at The VIP Country Club on Long Island Sound.

"Congratulations to all those receiving awards tonight," Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey said at the event. "What you do for this District, the students and the community cannot be overstated. You are true bright spots in this city and we appreciate your devotion and commitment."

In the event some call "The Greatest Night in New Rochelle," SEPTA gave awards to at least one educator from each school, plus the main office. The awards are given to recognize those who foster inclusion in the schools.

The recipients were: Special education teacher Dorothy Vento from Albert Leonard Middle School; special education teacher Jessica Bahar from the Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center; Assistant Principal Shelli Owens of Columbus Elementary School; physical education teachers Gianmattia Catanzaro and Paul Williams of George M. Davis Jr. Elementary School; technology education teacher Mark Spreter of Isaac E. Young Middle School; special education teacher Cynthia Milite of New Rochelle High School; fourth-grade teacher Deirdre Dillon of Trinity Elementary School; physical education teachers James Apoldo, Armanda Oliveira and Mike Sgobbo of William B. Ward Elementary School; teacher Lisa Brenna of Daniel Webster Magnet School; and psychologist Dr. Dan Billups of the District offices.

The organization also honored Ellen Pikula, Director of Programs for the Special Olympics Hudson Valley Region with its Bridges Award and ALMS student Elena Adams with the Student Bridges Award.
'Poetry Out Loud' Festival Returns Monday
Eighty young poets from across the City School District of New Rochelle will recite their works in New Rochelle High School's Whitney M. Young Jr. Auditorium at 7 p.m. Monday, May 13, in the annual celebration, Poetry Out Loud: A Festival of Children's Poetry.
The free event, a 21-year-old tradition, showcases the verse of students in grades three through six. It features 10 poets from each of the six K-5 elementary schools and the two middle schools.

Their poems, published in a special journal tied to the event, cover many topics - seasons, siblings, broken hearts, getting by in a new country and mourning the loss of a pet.
Mayor Noam Bramson will emcee. Board of Education President Jeffrey Hastie and Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey will also read poems.
The event is presented by the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence. The school is located at 265 Clove Road.
Sports Schedule
For upcoming New Rochelle athletic competitions, check out*

* This link connects to an outside website
Dates to Remember
Saturday, May 11: PTA Car Wash, Trinity

Saturday, May 11: Mother's Day Plant Sale, Barnard, 10 a.m.

Monday-Friday, May 13-17: Book Fair Week, Columbus

Monday-Friday, May 13-17: Field Day Week, Davis

Monday, May 13: Poetry out Loud, NRHS Whitney Aud., 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 14: Spring Concert, Columbus, 9:15 a.m.

Tuesday, May 14: Band/Orchestra Concert, Ward, 6 p.m.

Tuesday, May 14: Spring Concert, Columbus, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, May 14: Spring Concert, Webster, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, May 15: Our Children, Our Artists - Secondary, NRHS Public Library, 4 p.m.

Wednesday, May 15: Parent Workshop: Free Speech vs Hate Speech, NRHS Room 207, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 16: Spring Concert II, ALMS, 7 p.m.

Thursday, May 16: Heritage Dinner, Davis

Friday, May 17: Music in the Park, A LMS

Friday, May 17: PTSA Staff Appreciation Spring Luncheon, NRHS, 11 a.m.

Friday, May 17: PTA Movie Night, Barnard, 6:30 p.m.
NRHS Valedictorian Named National Merit Scholar
New Rochelle High School senior Eliza Crocker, the Class of 2019 valedictorian, has been named a National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winner, earning a spot among 2,500 top student scholars across the country.
The scholarship winners were chosen from more than 15,000 outstanding finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program. The contest began in October 2017, when 1.6 million students took the qualifying test as juniors. In September, 16,000 semifinalists were named.

"I knew that just being chosen as a semifinalist was a really big honor," Crocker said. "So being named a semifinalist, then valedictorian and now being chosen for this scholarship on top of that is really humbling."
Crocker will attend Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in the fall. The captain of the school's Mathletes team, she has long planned to study math in college. This year, she has also become interested in political science while taking the AP US Government course at NRHS. She plans to study both subjects, as well as computer science as she decides on a career path in college.

"That's why I chose Dartmouth College," she said. "The liberal arts education will allow me to explore all my different interests."
An avid sailor, Crocker plans to join the Dartmouth sailing team. She is also the current president of the New Rochelle High School chapter of Junior State.
"Eliza is passionate about solving problems, whether that be how to encourage our freshman Junior State debaters to speak at conventions, the best course to take while sailing, or how to think creatively about problems facing society," said AP US Government teacher Deborah Minchin. "She brings her strong analytical skills to political issues. I am thrilled that she has been recognized as a National Merit Scholar."

"Eliza is amazing," said Assistant Principal Camille Edwards-Thomas. "She's humble, sweet, personable, and such a well-rounded student."

National Merit $2,500 Scholarship winners are the Finalists in each state judged to have the strongest combination of accomplishments, skills, and potential for success in rigorous college studies. They are judged based on academic record, scores from two standardized tests, contributions and leadership in school and community activities, an essay written by the finalist and a recommendation written by a high school official.
Altaris CEO Outlines Findings From Safety Report
John LaPlaca, chief executive of Altaris Consulting Group, outlined the findings of the firm's report on safety and security opportunities in the District at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday in New Rochelle High School.
The recommendations, made after Altaris visited each school, covered a range of areas, from threat assessment training and new electronic key systems to simple steps such as protocol flip charts for staff members to refer to in an emergency.
Some of the measures have been under way. Some other steps suggested, such as updating policies and procedures, could be implemented with little or no additional funds, LaPlaca said.
"Some of the most valuable improvement opportunities are things that may very well cost nothing at all," he said.
The District has retained Altaris not only to identify safety and security opportunities but also to help implement the measures, which the firm will do over the upcoming years.
The suggested measures included sturdy bollards to block vehicles from driving on grounds where they are prohibited, sensors for doors that remain open too long, upgraded camera systems, and the standardization of roles, responsibilities and supervision of security guards across all schools. The measures include appointing new emergency response teams, which could include a cross-section of members, such as first responders, school representatives and parents.
"We really want everyone to have a stake in safety and security in their buildings," LaPlaca said.

Teams will also take part in a threat assessment workshop coordinated with the Board of Cooperative Educational Services.
The discussion also included the question of whether to place armed School Resources Officers in the District. The matter will be discussed further at a May 31 meeting of the Board's Culture and Climate Committee, which is expected to make a recommendation for the full Board to vote on in July.
Readers Rule Children's Book Week at Webster
Last week was a real page-turner at Daniel Webster Magnet School, as students and staff celebrated the 100th anniversary of Children's Book Week. The yearly celebration of all things children's lit is meant to instill a lasting love of reading in students, and turn them into lifelong readers.
"The Children's Book Week motto for this year - Read Now. Read Forever. - really does speak to many of our literacy goals at Webster," said Principal Melissa Passarelli. "Students who build a relationship with books and enjoy books together now are more likely to embrace and benefit from reading and general intellectual curiosity throughout their lifetimes."
Last week's schedule included fun, exciting reading and sharing exercises that engaged students both singly and in peer groups, as well as with their teachers. All week, every student was encouraged to bring in a copy of their favorite book and, besides reading it, tell someone about its plot, characters and what they enjoyed most about the storytelling. Students were also asked to dress in tee shirts that other people could read, whether the message was book related or not.
There were plenty of opportunities for buddy reads with classmates, and students kept reading during their free time. They brought in stuffed animals to be their "reading buddies" during solo sessions. Readers took their turn as writers and illustrators, too, creating their own graphic novels and comic strips. The week culminated with students and teachers getting creative, and bringing their beloved book characters to life by dressing up in costume!
Of course, the Webster library saw plenty of action. Students continued to work on fun literacy projects during their library periods, and some were treated to imaginative readings performed by administrators.
"Assistant Principal Greg Middleton and I also enjoyed the week's events immensely, and even got to read aloud to the students from some seriously silly books during library classes," said Ms. Passarelli.
Children's Book Week, originated in 1919, is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country.
Special Olympians Bring Home Medals, Ribbons From Spring Games
New Rochelle's Special Olympians had a great time - and much success - at the Hudson Valley Regional spring games held at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point last Saturday.

The 10 Special Olympians from New Rochelle and their three unified partners - student athletes also known as typical peers who compete alongside them - came home with 44 medals and ribbons.

"Everyone who competed came home with at least one medal or ribbon," said Rhonda Boychew, the New Rochelle Special Olympics coach. Medals are given for the first, second and third place athletes while ribbons are given to those who come in fourth or fifth place.

Ten Special Olympians from New Rochelle participated along with three unified partners, who are typical peers competing alongside them. One of the team members, New Rochelle High School senior Kyle Fitzpatrick had the honor of carrying the torch part of the way during the opening ceremony.

As an added treat, each athlete was paired with a West Point cadet as an escort for the day.

This day seamlessly integrates athletics, team spirit and individual bravery to press forward through competition. 

"It is such a rewarding day to see the joy in the athletes faces, both when they are competing and when spending time with the unified partner's and the cadets," Boychew said.
Workshop on Hate Speech Set for Wednesday at NRHS
Leaders of the Holocaust and Human Rights Education Center (HHREC) will offer a workshop for parents and guardians on Wednesday, May 15, entitled Free Speech vs. Hate Speech: When Does it Become Hate Speech?
The session will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 207 of New Rochelle High School, 265 Clove Road. It will be presented by Steve Goldberg and Julie Scallero, Co-Directors of Education for the HHREC.
The City School District of New Rochelle has partnered with the HHREC to teach students about hate speech and symbols of intolerance. With this workshop, the District invites parents and guardians to learn more about this important topic in order to help foster a welcoming atmosphere for all in the New Rochelle schools and community.