City School District of New Rochelle

Stay Connected 
with CSDNR
In This Issue
   Like us on Facebook          View our videos on YouTube      Follow us on Twitter
Sixth-grader Earns Trip to Assembly for Winning Essay
Albert Leonard Middle School sixth-grader Abigail Rittenberg has an idea for keeping young people safer - ban vape and smoke shops within a certain distance of schools, day care centers and similar places.

Her essay on the topic was persuasive enough to earn her a visit to Albany with Assemblywoman Amy Paulin, and has a shot at becoming the law of the land. Rittenberg was one of three winners of Paulin's "There Ought to Be a Law" competition.

"I wanted to send a message about keeping yourself safe and not harming your body when you need something to help you feel better," Rittenberg said.

Paulin usually brings one winner to Albany while also honoring second- and third-place winners. This year, the top three entries were so good, Paulin decided to take them all to Albany in June. The others are Pelham Middle School seventh-graders Bennett Wies and William Bland. Paulin will introduce bills with all three students' ideas. She will also introduce all the students on the Assembly floor to be celebrated by lawmakers from across the state.

Paulin said she is always impressed by the students in the contest and their "creative, well-researched and well-written" essays.

"A number of additional schools, including Albert Leonard Middle School, participated for the first time this year, which made the competition particularly strong," she said. "Abigail's essay pointed out a critical problem with the increased use of e-cigarettes and devices like JUUL."

Rittenberg was eager to see the Legislature entertain her idea.

"I'm a little nervous," she said, "but I'm also really excited, because more people will know about it." 
Abigail Rittenberg and Assemblywoman Amy Paulin
Arts Out Loud Event to Feature Music, Art, Poetry on Monday
All are invited to a free festival of music, art and poetry when Arts Out Loud comes to the Whitney M. Young Jr. Auditorium in New Rochelle High School on Monday evening.

Now in its fifth year, the event will celebrate the creative works of about 80 seventh- and eighth-graders from both Albert Leonard and Isaac E. Young middle schools. It begins at 6:30 p.m. with a showcase of artwork in the area outside the Whitney, along with a scavenger hunt for all to enjoy.

The evening continues in the auditorium at 7 p.m. with poetry readings and original music compositions, with a special performance by ALMS's Pride Step Team. The Masters of Ceremony will be ALMS Principal John Barnes and IEYMS Interim Principal Tawanda Robinson.

A keepsake journal of the poems and artwork and a list of the composers will be handed out.

The Whitney Auditorium is located near the high school's main entrance, 265 Clove Road.

Arts Out Loud is presented by The Jeremy Scheinfeld Publishing Center, a program of the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence, in partnership with the City School District of New Rochelle.
Residency Program Enters Final Phase
with Grades 10, 11
The residency verification program will return to New Rochelle High School for its final round this Thursday, verifying students in grades 10 and 11. The program will also verify all students in the Alternative Campus High School.

Registrars will be available at NRHS from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each school day through June 28. Evening hours will also be offered Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. Parents and guardians are asked to bring five documents - three proofs of address, a photo identification of themselves and a birth certificate for their child.

Entrance to the school will be via the Embassy, at the main entrance, 265 Clove Road. Signage will be posted to direct people.

The program began last summer with students who are now in ninth grade at NRHS, then moved through every elementary school and both middle schools. It is winding down now at Daniel Webster Magnet School.

Following his usual practice, Dr. Charles Coletti, the residency verification manager, will assign one additional registrar to remain at Webster to continue the process for those who have not yet submitted their information.

Documents may also be submitted the following ways:

Email: to Dr. Charles Coletti, Residency Verification Manager,
Mail: to Dr. Charles Coletti, Residency Verification Manager, City School District of New Rochelle, 515 North Ave., New Rochelle, NY 10801.
Deposit Documents: In the drop box at security desk by the NRHS main entrance. (Please enclose documents in an envelope and write student's name on the outside. Students may deposit documents in the drop box upon entering school.)

For information, contact Dr. Coletti at or (914) 727-0129.
Sports Schedule
For upcoming New Rochelle athletic competitions, check out*

* This link connects to an outside website
Report Building Issues with
Tracking System
The system for reporting issues with City School District of New Rochelle school buildings is now easier to find on the District's homepage. Look for the icon of a school building and the words "Report issues with school buildings and facilities" above the "Quick Links" section. Access the District's condition reporting system directly here and also under DISTRICT SERVICES on the Health & Safety page.
Dates to Remember
Saturday, June 1: Science Research: Westlake Science Fair, Westlake High School

Sunday, June 2: PTA Carnival, Barnard, 1 p.m.

Monday, June 3: Testing Day - Global History, NRHS

Monday, June 3: Field Day Grades K and 1, Columbus

Monday, June 3: Kindergarten Punch, Ward, 10 a.m.

Monday, June 3: PTAC Installation Dinner, Radisson Hotel, New Rochelle, 6 p.m.

Monday, June 3: Arts Out Loud, Whitney Young Auditorium, NRHS, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, June 4: Field Day Grades 4 and 5, Columbus

Tuesday, June 4: Board of Education Regular Meeting (Retiree Recognition), Linda E. Kelly Theater, NRHS, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, June 5: Eid al-Fitr, School Closed

Thursday, June 6: Field Day Grades 2 and 3, Columbus

Thursday, June 6: Barnard Grade 2 students visit their new schools

Thursday, June 6: PTA Meeting, Barnard, 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 6: Kindergarten Performance, Davis

Thursday, June 6: Grade 8 Prom, IEYMS

Thursday, June 6: PAVE I Dance Concert, Whitney Young Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Friday, June 7: PTA Meeting, Davis, 9 a.m.

Friday, June 7: School Spirit Day, Davis

Friday, June 7: Kindergarten Fun Fest, Jefferson, 9 a.m.

Friday, June 7: Field Day, Webster

Friday, June 7: End-of-Year Picnic, Trinity, 5 p.m.

Friday, June 7: Kindergarten Orientation, Jefferson, 1:30 p.m.

Friday, June 7: Grade 5 Dance, Ward
Katherine Burr places evidence markers as part of her final exam.
Forensic Science Students Collect Evidence for Exam
Students in New Rochelle High School's forensic science classes took their final exams at Nature Study Woods Wednesday. Teams of students descended upon mock crime scenes, working together in groups of four to six to collect evidence correctly to ensure its purity. The goal was to follow an investigative process and do things the right way, not necessarily to solve the crime.

More than 180 students from seven classes discovered blood spatter, bullet casings and tire tracks. The eight homicide scenes each had unique challenges, leading students to analyze torn clothing, body positioning and shoe prints. 

Students collect and document evidence at a mock crime scene.
Three of the forensic science classes are college level, providing students with four college credits from Syracuse University upon completion.

"I wasn't expecting the course to be processing crime scenes," said junior Katherine Burr. "I was expecting more investigation - how to solve a crime. ... But this course assured me that I want to take care of people. It was a lot of fun!" 

Burr wants to become a flight nurse, transporting patients during crises back to the hospital by helicopter.

She was the evidence technician as part of her four-member team, which also included a forensics administrator, an investigator and a photographer. They probed a scene in which a body had been stuffed into a drainage pipe. Evidence included a bullet casing, footprints in the mud, a notebook stuck in a log and sunglasses in a tree.

"The students have been preparing all year for this final demonstration of understanding and application of forensic science skills in this real world setting," said teacher Scott Rubins, who coordinates the exam along with teacher Peggy Younger. "I am so thankful for the help of the New Rochelle Police Department, our class alumni and everyone in the community who helped put this together. These students are thinking through and processing these detailed crime scenes and are interacting with real police officers. All of our students can take these methodical and observational experiences with them in their futures, whether or not they pursue forensic science as a career."

"The collaboration among the School District, the Police Department and the community is what makes this such a successful event every year," Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey said. "Our students benefit so greatly from this partnership and we are very thankful for these relationships the District has with the community to create authentic experiences."

Caleb Evans, a junior, was surprised at how quickly the time went by for his team during the 55-minute exam. Forensic scientists typically have much more time to process a crime scene. But he likes forensics because it is a hands-on science class and he thinks his team did well. "We had very little time to process it but we really tried our best to package up what evidence we could in that time."

"The course is all about teaching them to think and to process the information," Rubins said. "The forensics is the icing on the cake."
Trinity second-grader Jane Zhao at the piano in the school's auditorium.
Trinity Second-grader Wows
in Music, Art and More
How many musicians can say they have played Carnegie Hall - by the age of 8?

Jane Zhao, a Trinity Elementary School second-grader, can make that claim. Not quite three years after taking up the piano at the age of 5-and-a-half, the multi-talented student finished second in her age group in the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition 2019, with competitors from as far away as Australia.

"I was excited but I was calm, because I knew I was practicing the songs since last year's summer vacation," she said. "So I knew I was going to be OK."

She performed Chopin's Polonaise in B flat Major [Op. Posth] on the piano. Competitors in the event came from homes as far-flung as Australia, Japan, Germany, South Korea and Costa Rica.

"We're so proud of Jane here in Trinity," Principal Michael Hilderbrand said. "Her accomplishment is inspiring to so many people."

At such a young age, Zhao has been gaining notice for skills and abilities in several areas, including music and art. She speaks English, Mandarin and Spanish. If music is a language of its own, consider her quadrilingual, with a remarkable eloquence on the keyboard.

"She is quiet, but she really knows how to express herself through music," said her Trinity music teacher Jane Lim.

Zhao practices every day. When she's not playing piano, she plays tennis and swims. She has also created skilled oil paintings of a rowboat at rest, an autumn scene, a penguin and more.

Eight months ago, she took up the violin.

"I wanted to be in the orchestra," she said. She joined the Trinity orchestra early; the other musicians are fourth- and fifth-graders.

"As we recognize her very unique academic strengths and artistic talents, we have explored some enrichment opportunities for her to continue to grow and learn," said Hilderbrand. "Adding Jane to the orchestra as a second-grader is one example of how we meet students where they are."
Student Ruqiyah Syed with her project panels.
Science Researchers'
Hard Work Celebrated
Students in New Rochelle High School's Science Research Program presented their end-of-year data and findings to peers, parents and others during the District's annual Science Research Program Symposium. The event, held recently in the NRHS House 4 cafeteria and the Linda E. Kelly Theater, celebrated the hard work of more than 30 student researchers. They include seven seniors, who spent three years completing independent research projects.

"The Symposium is a celebration of what we've accomplished this year, and of our seniors' four-year journeys," teacher and program advisor Jeff Wuebber said. "It's a massive undertaking to be in the Science Research Program - a lot of work, a lot of time and effort - and these students deserve the recognition!"

Student Casandra Chen presents her research.
Students accepted to the New Rochelle Science Research Program participate in a rigorous course of independent study on a research topic of their choosing. The program is an additional pursuit to students' general curriculum science classes, and is open to anyone in Regents or AP science courses. Freshman may apply for the Pre-Science Research Program, a direct feeder for the larger, three-year program.

The main program includes two summer placements during which students conduct research alongside scientists, medical professionals and graduate students at institutions that have included New York Medical College, Albert Einstein School of Medicine, New York University, The New School, Memorial Sloan Kettering and Columbia University. During the academic year, students analyze data from their summer work, write research papers and create presentations to share their data and findings.

"What drew me to the program was having access to a research institution and learning how to do professional-level research at such a young age," said senior Casandra Chen, who spent last summer in a World Health Organization-funded lab working on a project to create a new mental healthcare infrastructure for Mozambique and other Portuguese-speaking African nations. "You don't always have an opportunity to do that, and I knew it was one that I wanted to take advantage of."

The program has experienced a surge in popularity in recent years. With 37 students currently enrolled from grades 10 through 12, Wuebber is preparing to welcome 38 sophomores and 60 freshman next fall. Wuebber says that a "passion for science" is the primary requirement he looks for in program applicants.

That passion has brought students success. This year alone, Science Research Program students have won more than 30 awards in local, regional and national competitions. In June, nine juniors from the program will travel to SUNY Oswego to compete against students from 70 other countries in the International Genius Olympiad.

The devotion is demonstrated by students such as senior Leora Segal, who presented her research on infantile spasms, a very rare form of epilepsy, which she conducted at New York Medical College.

"You can study whatever you want, and you're studying it at such a deep level, in a graduate level research lab," said Segal. "I've gotten experiences that I don't think many public or private school students have - working one-on-one with actual research scientists, learning how to write a research paper, reading these really difficult journal articles and being able to present what I learned at a very high level."
IEYMS French Students Visit Montreal, Quebec City
A group of Francophiles from Isaac E. Young Middle School - 37 French students and four teachers - immersed themselves in French-Canadian culture with a trip to Montreal and Quebec City over the long weekend.

Feasting on the sights, sounds and tastes of the historic cities and their environs, the students cruised the St. Lawrence River on a ferry, learned about making maple syrup at a traditional sugar shack celebration and created their own copper art at a copper mill. They braved an evening "ghost tour" and learned about Quebec's indigenous population with a visit to Wendake, the Huron reservation.

Other sites included Montmorency Falls and a light-and-music show at the Notre-Dame Basilica.

Of course, they also noshed on poutine, the iconic Québécois dish of French fries, melted cheese curds and gravy.

The trip was organized and chaperoned by IEYMS French teacher Elizabeth Goodwin, along with Anthony Martino, Angelica Guel and Chris Aquino.

Students raved about the trip, calling it "Awesome!" "Génial!" "Super!" "Phénomenal" and "Malade!" (That last is the Québécois French for "It was sick!" That's a rave.)