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
Tips to Get Ready For Opening Day
The lazy days of summer are coming to an end and the first day of school is around the corner. Now is the time to soak up the last few days of summer fun while preparing for the new school year.

"You do need to transition your children to a back-to-school mindset while at the same time letting them enjoy the last
remaining days of summer," said Dr. Tawanda Robinson, Interim Principal of Issac E. Young Middle School. "A final getaway or trip would be great, or even a staycation. Whatever it is, allow children to enjoy what remains of the summer. Back to school can be overwhelming for some students. R eassure children that they are going to have an awesome school year and that there are people who will support them that through the back-to-school transition."

Dr. Robinson emphasized the importance of routines and organization. Families should explain the expectations and routines for homework, study time and daily reading. Begin to limit time spend on video games and social media. Parents can teach middle school students how to use an agenda book and the importance of keeping track of assignments."

"Most importantly," she said, "families should make clear to their children what they expect of them for the school year. This can include good behavior, good grades and a positive attitude."

Albert Leonard Middle School Principal John Barnes recommended setting SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely) for the opening week of school, the first full week of classes and the first month.

Both middle school principals recommended, for those who will be using a locker for the first time, buy the lock in advance, memorize the combination and practice opening it before the first day.
 
Students should also remember to eat healthy because it gives them energy and helps them focus.
 
Dr. Nicolas Cracco, principal of Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center, suggests parents reassure their children that they will see them after school. "Reassurance for young children that it's a 'see you later' and not a 'goodbye' can make them more comfortable," he said.
 
Dr. Cracco also recommended visiting the bus stop before the first day of school, having students practice saying their teacher's name and assuring them that school is a welcoming place.
Latest Step in School Cleaning: Purifying the Air
Now that custodial crews in the schools have advanced their cleaning of desks, doorknobs and other frequent touch points with greener and more effective measures, they are taking the next step to a futuristic-sounding method of cleaning the air itself.

New Novaerus air-scrubbing units installed in the schools use an ultra-low-energy plasma discharge of electrons and ions to zap viruses and harmful bacteria such as E. coli and MRSA. Novaerus plasma is powerful, yet gentle and produces no harmful byproducts.

The units are designed for rapid or continuous infection control, odor mitigation and particle reduction. Crews have installed the units in the locker rooms, weight rooms, wrestling rooms and nurses' offices. The Facilities Department expects to expand their use to other areas.

"Cleaning the air itself is the next step in a comprehensive program of cleaning methods and products that are safer, more effective and easier on the environment," said Keith Watkins, Assistant Director of Facilities.

For the past year, the cleaning crews have been using the EvaClean Protexus system that allows a custodian to disinfect surfaces with the wave of an applicator. The device spreads a mist that uses static to cling to all open surfaces, including, say, a haphazard collection of markers, as if someone withdrew and wiped each marker individually.

The solutions are created by machines in the buildings that apply electrostatic energy to convert water and a type of salt into two solutions - one for general cleaning, one for disinfecting. No traditional, harsh cleaning chemicals to wash into the drains. No stacks of empty chemical bottles to dispose of.

In other measures, the custodians are replacing cotton cloths and rags with microfiber cloths that use smaller amounts of cleaning chemicals and that pick up and hold surface dirt instead of pushing it around. They clean floors with backpack vacuums and will soon polish terrazzo surfaces common in schools with diamond-chip honing pads that polish the stone without the need for wax. That means no coating to be periodically scrubbed, stripped and washed into the environment.

"Clean, healthy rooms and hallways are fundamental to providing environments where students can safely explore, learn and discover," said Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey. "These advanced measures from the Facilities Department help make the schools brighter, fresher, more pleasant places, and also ease the schools' impact on the community and the environment."

Continuing Ed Brochure Available
Adults, are you looking to try your hand at ceramics, dabble in real estate or learn to tango? Those courses and more are available in the Continuing Education program at New Rochelle High School, which has released  its 2019-20 brochure.

Up for fitness? Try pilates, yoga or water aerobics. Love languages? Learn to hablar espaƱol or parlare italiano. Check the brochure for a full list.

Courses are open to adults 18 years old and older. Registration begins September 9 by mail and September 17 in person. The Continuing Education office is in room 145 of New Rochelle High School, 265 Clove Road, and is open 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

For more information, call (914) 576-4547 or e-mail program director Maureen Maire, mmaire@nredlearn.org.
Dates to Remember
Monday, September 2:  Labor Day. District closed.
 
Tuesday, September 3:  Opening Day - Staff Only.
 
Tuesday, September 3: Board of Education Regular Meeting, Linda Kelly Theater, NRHS, 7 p.m.
 
Wednesday, September 4: Opening Day, Pre-K through 9th Grade.
 
Wednesday, September 4:  Barnard Pre-K Transition Day.
 
Wednesday, September 4:  Webster Wrap Sale.
 
Wednesday, September 4:  PTAC Orientation, NRHS Room 222, 7 p.m.
 
Thursday, September 5:  Opening Day, Grades 10, 11 and 12.
 
Thursday, September 5:  Barnard Pre-K Transition Day
 
Thursday, September 5:  PTSA Parents Welcome, NRHS House 4 Cafeteria, 7 p.m.
 
Friday, September 6:  Barnard Pre-K Transition Day.
 
Friday, September 6:  Ward School Spirit Day.
 
Friday, September 6: Webster School Coffee With Principal, 9 a.m.
Seniors Graduate in
End-of-Summer Celebration
Dressed in purple robes, more than a dozen New Rochelle High School graduates marched down the stairs in the school's Linda E. Kelly Theater on Wednesday to become New Rochelle alumni - and to start a new tradition.

Every year's class includes some students who meet the requirements for graduation, but not in time for the June ceremony. Those students receive their diplomas in August. This year, the District held a ceremony to recognize their accomplishments, as had been done for their classmates in June.

"That we were able to do this means a lot to us," said graduate Daisy Barragan. "It makes us feel special."

Barragan will attend the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, California, where she will train to become a reserve peace officer. On Wednesday evening, she basked in her achievement thus far.

"I'm very blessed to share this with my friends and my family," she said.

The students marched to Pomp and Circumstance and were praised by District leaders for reaching the milestone. NRHS Interim Assistant Principal Rachel Cornelius, who spearheaded the organization of the event, said the administrators were enthusiastic about it from the moment it was suggested earlier this summer.

"It is important that we celebrate our students who showed tremendous perseverance and stuck steadfast to their goal," she told the graduates and the audience.

Fourteen August graduates took part in the ceremony, with friends and family in the audience. Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey said the District plans to make this first-time event a new tradition.

"The academic path to graduate from high school in New York State is rigorous," she told the group. "You have earned the right to be proud of yourselves."

Interim Principal Joseph Starvaggi encouraged the parents and guardians to share in the pride of the occasion.

"Take in this wonderful site," he said. "Your child has graduated. Drink in this moment and celebrate all the hard work and the success of your child."

The graduates are off on diverse career paths. Manuel Hernandez Jr. is joining U.S. Marines to build his leadership skills and for the camaraderie. He will bring to the military a key lesson he learned in New Rochelle: "To work hard and to not give up on myself."

Dr. Anthony Bongo, the District's Assistant Superintendent for Support Services, and a 1976 graduate of NRHS, welcomed his newly minted fellow alumni into "a brotherhood and sisterhood of remarkable people."

"Wear that purple proudly, wherever you go," he said. "And know that no matter where you go, the values that were instilled in you by your parents, families and guardians and by New Rochelle are going to stay with you forever."
Newly installed bleachers in the NRHS gymnasium.
Summer Construction Wrapping Up
Construction crews are putting the finishing touches on renovations at several schools - planting landscaping in front of Albert Leonard Middle School and preparing to install railings on the new stone staircase at Jefferson Elementary School facing Weyman Avenue, among other work.

Since class let out in June, the crews have swept through six schools, upgrading electrical equipment and heating and cooling systems and performing asbestos abatement. In addition to ALMS and Jefferson, work was done on New Rochelle High School, Isaac E. Young Middle School and Columbus and Trinity elementary schools.

The entrance to ALMS was a major project; new underground drainage was installed. A temporary pavement placed on the lot will be replaced next summer. A significant amount of roofing was replaced as well.

"We're ready for the students to return," said Director of Facilities Carl Thurnau. "These projects make the schools even more inviting for the students from the entrances and hallways to the learning spaces and athletic areas."

Most of the work is in Phase III of the $106.5 million 2016 construction bond act. The $29 million Phase III will be divided into two parts, with much of the work planned for summer 2020.

The outdoor staircase leading to Jefferson's auditorium was replaced as the final major piece of the $46 million Phase II of the bond work. The school also received new electrical switchgear and a new auditorium air conditioning system.
Trinity received a new ceiling in the main entrance and the hallway alongside the gymnasium. Crews also re-carpeted the library, renovated bathrooms and replaced some roofing.

The Facilities Department also completed projects that were not related to the bonds. At NRHS, the swimming pool was reopened with re-grouted tiles marking the lanes, bulbs in the underwater lights replaced and former viewing windows removed and filled in. New chemical control and water filling systems were installed. The water is cleaned by a new robotic vacuum. The NRHS gymnasium sports new bleachers and a gleaming new floor, and the replacement of doors continues.

The NRHS girls swim team practicing in the re-opened pool.
New Administrators
Join District
New administrators and educators have joined the City School District of New Rochelle, bringing expertise and fresh outlooks from schools systems throughout the region.

"We're excited that so many professionals devoted to education are bringing their skills and their dedication to serve our students," said Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey. "They will bring new ideas to the strategies and approaches that already make our District an outstanding school system."

The new District members are:

Debra Fishman, Assistant Director of Instructional Technology
Bringing almost three decades of experience, Fishman will fill a new position in New Rochelle, integrating technology into instruction consistently across schools and grades.

Fishman began teaching special education in The Windward School's middle school in White Plains in 1990. From 1994 through 2016, she served the Rye City schools as a special education teacher, elementary school teacher, language arts coordinator and staff developer. Since 2016, she has served as Supervisor of Literacy and Learning for the Southern Westchester Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

Christopher Francaviglia, Middle School Social Studies
Chairperson
Francaviglia comes to the newly created position from IS 227 Louis Armstrong Middle School in Queens, where he has served as a social studies and science teacher, an instructional coach and an administrative intern. He previously taught at a private school. He has also served as an adjunct lecturer at Bronx Community College and an educational specialist with the community organization Maspeth Town Hall.

Andrea L. Schwach, Administrator, Campus Alternative High School
Schwach has been a Living Environment/Forensics Teacher at New Rochelle High School since 2005. She has also served as a Small Learning Community Team Leader, a member of the PBIS Committee and a Co-Advisor for the student council General Organization.
 
Matthew Lucero, Assistant Principal, Albert Leonard Middle School
Lucero served since 2016 as the Music Department Chairman of Nyack Public Schools, where he supervised all department teachers and coordinated all department programs. He was an Orchestra Teacher in the same district from 2010 to 2016.
 
Francis Cruz, House II Principal, New Rochelle High School
Cruz brings a decade of experience as an administrator, special education teacher and instructional coach. Since 2017, she has served as Assistant Principal at P.S. X721, the Stephen D. McSweeney School, in the Bronx. She joined the school as a special education teacher in 2009 and served as an instructional coach for the 2016-17 school year.

"Please join me in welcoming these new members of our District family and in congratulating Andrea Schwach on her new role," said Dr. Parvey. "With such talented new staff adding their expertise and devotion to the dedicated teachers, administrators and others who have been serving our 11,000 students, I am looking forward to a wonderful school year."
Home Access Center Open
The online Home Access Center (HAC) has re-opened for families to view students' schedules. HAC offers parents and guardians password-protected online access to their students' report cards, attendance records and other information.
New Rochelle  Street Fair
At City Hall o n Sept. 8
After the first days of school, take a break at the Seventh Annual New Rochelle Street Fair on Sunday, September 8 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at and around City Hall, 515 North Ave. (Not that this is a new location; the fair is not downtown this year.) Enjoy DJ-spun music, food, entertainment, games and vendors, inflatables and much more.  It will take place rain or shine.