City School District of New Rochelle

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Boston University Awards Student with National Merit Scholarship
New Rochelle High School senior Edward Jones is the recipient of the National Merit Boston University Scholarship. He is among 3,500 winners of National Merit Scholarships financed by U.S. colleges and universities who were announced this week by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.

Edward Jones
"It's very gratifying and affirming," Jones said. "I've worked very hard these past four years of high school. I've put in the time, I've done every single assignment, I've worked as hard as I could on every single test. It already meant a lot to be chosen as a finalist. To receive this award now means even more."

Jones sees Boston University as an ideal school to explore his wide range of interests, which include education, biology, history and political science. He is also considering becoming involved in the college radio station, where he'll be able to put his love of music into play.

"Edward is a conscientious, intelligent and a hard working young man, who maintains a high level of dedication in all of his academic and extracurricular activities," said Jones' guidance counselor, Kevin Austin. "I have worked with Edward for four years and believe his attitude, internal drive and tremendous work ethic will make him a wonderful asset to the Boston University student body."
Boston University chose Jones from among the finalists in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program who plan to attend their institution. These awards provide between $500 and $2,000 annually for up to four years of undergraduate study at the institution financing the scholarship. An additional group of scholars will be announced in July, bringing the total number of college-sponsored Merit Scholarship recipients in the 2019 competition to about 4,100.
Alternative Campus Program Administrator Joel Fridovich, second from right, receives his retirement plaque.
Board of Education
Meeting Notes
The following are highlights from the Board of Education meeting held Tuesday, June 4 , in the Linda E. Kelly Theater at New Rochelle High School:

The Board of Education and administration celebrated the contributions of 33 retirees, some of whom have served for decades.

"You have committed significant years to our district and words cannot express our sincere appreciation for your dedication to our students," Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey said.

The longest-serving retiree was Secondary Plant Supervisor Michael Carew, with 45 years. The group included administrators, teachers, nurses, lunchroom managers and more. Among them are Joel Fridovich, Director of the Alternative Campus High School; Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center Assistant Principal Dr. Lori E. Pisani; and Jefferson Elementary School Assistant Principal LeAnn Bruno.

Twenty-six educators and other pedagogic staff members were granted tenure, including elementary, middle and high school teachers, special education teachers, speech pathologists and more.

Summer Programs
Students can prevent that "summer slide" by taking classes and participating in other programs during July and August. Assistant Superintendent Anthony Bongo and Interim Assistant Superintendent Amy Goodman presented an overview of the summer opportunities, which provide academic intervention or enrichment or athletic activities.

Some are run by partner organizations to the District, such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of New Rochelle, the New Rochelle Public Library, the City of New Rochelle Youth Bureau and Parks and Recreation Department, among others.
Scholarships help some families cover the fees that come with some programs. 

The organization New Ro Connects helps increase accessibility by sharing information about the programs and opportunities.
Trinity Students Take Part in Green Writing Contest
Four weeks ago, students at Trinity Elementary School were invited to participate in a green writing contest with the chance to win cash prizes. More than 75 students rose to the challenge and wrote beautiful essays about the topic "Everything I do matters!"

The contest was sponsored by the family of the late Nina Chin. Chin was a lifelong educator and believed strongly that good writers are good learners. To encourage her own students to write, every year she sponsored a writing contest and provided cash prizes. Her family loved this tradition and now continue it in her memory. Each year, one or two New Rochelle schools is chosen to take part.

We Future Cycle is an organization that brings sustainability programs and education to the District's students and administers this award. This year, the essays all centered on the garbage in the oceans, and the students all realized that everything they do has an impact.

The winners were:
Third Grade
Mariah Valencia, Gaby Sanchez, Mateo Rojas, Zaire Spencer, Samin Ashrafi and Katherine Kann.
Fourth Grade
Ricardo Mendoza and Kristina Sacarello.
Fifth Grade
David George, Kamryn Tung, Lincey Basile, Lennon Dascal, Kelis Gardner, Andrea Storvig Newson and Michelle Zheng. 
Sports Schedule
For upcoming New Rochelle athletic competitions, check out*

* This link connects to an outside website
Dates to Remember
Monday, June 10: NRHS Senior Class Prom

Monday, June 10: PTAC Meeting, NRHS Room 222, 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 11: Carnival, Columbus
Wednesday, June 12: NRHS Senior Class Trip

Wednesday, June 12: PTA Meeting, ALMS, 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 13: Fifth-grade Awards, Trinity, 10 a.m.

Thursday, June 13: Grade 5 Trip, Ward, Quassy Amusement Park

Thursday, June 13: Awards Night, ALMS, 7 p.m.

Friday, June 14: School Spirit Day, Barnard

Friday, June 14: Awards Ceremony, NRHS, 9:30 a.m.

Friday, June 14: Grade 5 Moving Up Ceremony, Jefferson, 10 a.m.

Friday, June 14: Popcorn Friday, Ward

Friday, June 14: Senior Class Barbecue, Noon
Attorney Brian McCloskey teaches Jefferson students about the Fourth Amendment.
Attorneys Visit Classes
to Teach About Rights
Fifth-graders in every classroom in the City School District of New Rochelle are learning about the rights Americans are guaranteed from the professionals who deal with them most directly - lawyers.

Thirty-one attorneys from New Rochelle and neighboring communities - most of them members of the New Rochelle Bar Association - have been visiting the schools weekly for the past month to offer the lessons in the Lawyer in the Classroom program.

This year, lawyers focused mainly on the Fourth Amendment, using an actual U.S. Supreme Court decision that upholds the authority of school officials to search students. They were able to present a practical guide to protections guaranteed to all individuals and when authorities may conduct a search.

"When it's a reasonable search, whatever they find in there they can submit into evidence," attorney Brian McCloskey told students at Jefferson Elementary School in one lesson.

For about the past eight years, the program has given fifth-graders throughout the District a real-world look at the lessons they learn about government. Before the program begins, the lawyers take a two-hour training course that includes a review of the curriculum and the four detailed lesson plans, which were prepared by Corey Andrews, a teacher at William B. Ward Elementary School.

"I think it's a great lesson," said Jefferson student Melony Escobar. "We actually get to see how the law works."

The program this year is organized by attorney David Lacher, a vice president of the New Rochelle Bar Association who served 25 years on the New Rochelle Board of Education before stepping down in 2017.

"It's an opportunity for the students to get a broader exposure to civics," said Lacher, who is teaching the lessons to three classes of students at the Daniel Webster Magnet School. "Our volunteer lawyers get as much out of their exchanges with the students and teachers as they give. And this is a true equity program, since every fifth-grader in the entire District receives the identical curriculum, even at very nearly the same time."

Every fifth-grader receives a certificate of completion, signed by Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey and Bar Association President Ronald Zezima. Certificates for nearly 800 students were printed and donated by Frank Miceli of Minuteman Press in New Rochelle.
Social Studies
Honor Society Revived
The 42 New Rochelle High School students inducted recently into the school's chapter of the National Social Studies Honor Society were making a bit of history themselves. They were celebrating the revival of the chapter by holding its first ceremony in about five years.

Faculty advisors said it was the students who pushed for the chapter of Rho Kappa to start up again.

"There's a hunger to connect to our past and hopefully to influence the future," said Jon Beck, an advisor along with Tim Orlando.

"It helps to re-define the importance of history," junior Tiniya Martin, a member of the society, said after the May 30 ceremony in the Linda E. Kelly Theater. Students lit four candles to represent the society's values of truth, knowledge, wisdom and service.

Honor society chapter projects this year included converting the hallway to the school library into a history gallery, which displayed exhibitions on the 100th anniversary of World War I's end, notable African Americans during Black History Month and Holocaust remembrance. The students' appreciation for history has been strengthened by discovering how deeply New Rochelle's past is connected to that of the nation.

"A look at New Rochelle history is a look at the country's history," City Historian Barbara Davis told them in a keynote address at the ceremony.

They learned about the many contributions that waves of immigrants have made, both locally and nationally.

"We are a country of immigrants and we contribute to the success of this country," said senior Daniela Sandoval, another member of the society.

Social Studies Department Chairman Gustavo Barbosa lauded the students for bringing the Social Studies Honor Society back to the school.

"Today's ceremony is very special to us, and you are a special group," he said. "You were instrumental in bringing history to our school, and creating opportunities for our school community to interact with important historical events."
Arts Out Loud Showcases Art, Music, Poetry
The hallway was lined with paintings, collages and more, while inside the auditorium, poetry and music filled the air.

Arts Out Loud, showcasing the creative works of about 80 seventh- and eighth-graders from both middle schools, returned to the Whitney M. Young Jr. Auditorium in New Rochelle High School on Monday. In its fifth year, the event allows the students to express their passions, joys, fears and wisdom to families, the school community and other fans.

"There is nothing that you need to do but live your life and just be you," concluded the poem "Insecurities," written and recited by Albert Leonard Middle School seventh-grader Micaela Waterson.

Artwork hung on the brick wall outside the auditorium, where attendees joined a scavenger hunt. The stage show alternated sections of poetry with the playing of recorded music composed by students.

"We come together tonight as a middle school family, as one," said Isaac E. Young Middle School Interim Principal Dr. Tawanda Robinson. She was a master of ceremonies along with ALMS Principal John Barnes.

"Tonight is dedicated to the hopes, dreams, angst, passion, heart and soul of today's young adult and tomorrow's leader," Barnes said.

Poems touched on themes that included loneliness, the love of a mother and grandparents, and being who you are. IEYMS seventh-grader Michelle Casasola wrote an ode to Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. ALMS seventh-grader James Palermo wrote an ice hockey poem called "One Dream One Team."

IEYMS seventh-grader Darlene Vertilus wrote an account of growing up in Haiti when the devastating January 2010 earthquake struck. Even years later, she wrote, "I wake up with that old fear. Shaking, stomach in a knot."

Arts Out Loud is presented by The Jeremy Scheinfeld Publishing Center, a program of the New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence, along with the City School District of New Rochelle. The stage was decorated in balloons of the school colors - blue for ALMS and green for IEYMS.

Attendees received a keepsake book featuring the poems and artworks. 
14 Sophomores Place
at Westlake Science Fair
Of 19 New Rochelle High School sophomores competing in this year's Westlake Science Fair, 14 of them placed. The event featured proposed research from 260 sophomore students from 16 schools in southern Westchester County. The NRHS students are part of the Science Research Program. Those who placed were:

Animal Science: Nina Pena, 3rd place
Behavior: Wenting Yu, 1st place; Maya Cole, 2nd place; Chi Nwankwoala, 2nd place
Biochemistry: Akshara Koottala, 1st place; Max Acosta, 2nd place
Cell and Molecular Biology: Sara Fryxell, 2nd place; Ava Vernor, 3rd place
Physics and Astronomy: Alex Mulder, 2nd place
Environmental Science: Sarah Athir, 1st place
Medicine and Health: Rachel Fox, 2nd place; Arlene Shaji, 2nd place; Zoƫ Wilson, 2nd place; Hayden Roberge, 3rd place

The Westlake Science Fair is open to first-year science research students. Each competitor spends about eight minutes discussing his or her project, in front of a poster created to illustrate their work. The student then takes questions from the judges.