Dear parents and guardians,
The world’s cultures are found throughout the City School District of New Rochelle.
We see it in so many wonderful events such as African dance lessons and Día de los Muertos celebrations. We see it in the 40 flags that line the rafters in the New Rochelle High School “Embassy” entrance, representing the heritages of the school’s students.
We honor this diversity in the books read in our earliest classes, and woven into the lessons we teach. Even more fundamentally, it is in the training principals, teachers, and staff receive.
Today we celebrate the many ways in which we collectively draw on the heritages in our community to elevate the education we provide; It’s codified in our Mission Statement: "The City School District of New Rochelle, through an active partnership amongst community, parents, staff and students, will provide a high quality and challenging education for every child,
in a safe, nurturing environment
that embraces our rich diversity and drives our success
The District participated in a three-year professional development program on Cultural Competence and Diversity Training with New York University. All our principals have been trained in these areas and have studied the potential impacts of "privilege," "deficit thinking,” and "microaggressions." After extensive training, we believe our principals are able to bring the lessons learned back to their staff, holding information sessions and discussions on cultural competence, arranging teacher-driven workshops and administering a self-assessment survey for all staff to determine their own internal ideas and feelings about equity and diversity.
Some examples of the books students enjoy include those that teacher Randi Kamer utilizes at William B. Ward Elementary School: Titles like
The Colors of Us
by Karen Katz and
It’s Okay to Be Different
by Todd Parr.
The annual Black History Month Celebration in New Rochelle High School always proves to be a highlight of our year, bringing together artworks and performances from students throughout our District.
New Rochelle schools have treated their students to interactive showings of Addy & Uno, an off-Broadway musical that mixes puppets and live actors and celebrates people of different abilities.
Afterschool activities include the International Club at Isaac E. Young Middle School; It began as a gathering to help English as a New Language students and newcomers to the district from other countries to become acclimated with the school and the community. It has since grown into a broad group of students from many backgrounds coming together to socialize, read together and join in school service activities.
This year, IEYMS put a focus on viewing historical events from several different points of view, challenging traditional views of milestone occurrences to explore the varying ways they are viewed by groups of people involved in them. History is not static, we understand this.
Albert Leonard Middle School enjoys a strong link with STOMP Out Bullying and it students attend the organization’s Culture Shock event, in which participants look at our society and commit to doing our best to end hatred, discrimination and bullying.
Columbus Elementary School has asked one of its leadership teams to apply a laser-focus on enhancing history and social studies lessons to match the state curriculum requirements with lessons relevant to the students’ backgrounds. History is experience, and experiences vary.
We strive to do more to explore the richness that comes with this District where families speak more than 50 languages. Our newly appointed Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, Ryan Reed, is committed to hiring the best staff throughout the District that reflects the myriad facets of our student population.
Through our training, hiring, teaching and many activities, we continue to celebrate the many heritages and traditions that are woven together into the fabric of this wonderful city.