2017-2018 school budget review sessions begin March 9
In preparation for the May 16 school budget vote, the City School District of New Rochelle Board of Education will be holding its 2017-2018 school budget review sessions. The district welcomes the community's input.
The district's finance staff is working on crafting a proposed budget to present to the board for adoption at its April 19 meeting. Final numbers for the proposed budget will not be available until April.
Meetings will take place on March 9, 14 and 21 at 7 p.m. at the New Rochelle High School Library. All meetings will be broadcast live on the district's website and rebroadcast on Cablevision Channel 70 and Verizon FiOS Channel 30.
Putting together a school budget in New York State is complex. The district continues to follow zero-based budgeting development practices, meaning all expenses must be justified for each new period, starting from a "zero base," with every function analyzed for its needs and costs.
"We stay focused on what's most important, and that is providing the best educational programs and services to our students, while making sure everyone's needs are met in a healthy and safe environment," said Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne. "We prioritize continuing approaches that are working, and then we look at what enhancements we can make to better support all our students."
Osborne stressed that the community's involvement is important. "The input that we receive matters, and we appreciate the engagement of the community."
City School District of New Rochelle
Rent the Runway making prom magic for seniors
New Rochelle High School seniors will have the opportunity to walk into their prom in June dressed in free high-end designer clothes, courtesy of Jennifer Hyman, a NRHS alum and CEO of Rent the Runway.
Hyman, Class of 1998, made the generous offer in October when she was inducted into the New Rochelle High School Wall of Fame. She said the gift was her way of giving back to her alma mater, where she developed the confidence to face the world.
Rent the Runway is a successful New York City-based online service that provides designer dresses and accessories for rent at a fraction of the retail price. The company also has a handful of stores in major U.S. cities, including New York City.
On Friday, March 24, starting at 8 p.m., Rent the Runway's flagship store at 30 W. 15th Street will be open exclusively to NRHS seniors. Students can visit the store to select dresses and accessories.
Students who are unable to go to the store will receive a free promo code that will allow them to rent their dresses and accessories entirely online. Their selections will then be mailed to their homes.
"That will be a lot of pressure off parents because it's very expensive to dress for the prom," said NRHS Principal Reggie Richardson. "With Rent the Runway, every girl can dress in high quality designer clothes. Jen is giving our students the opportunity to experience a rite of passage that isn't affordable to everyone in our community."
This is the second time that Hyman has provided prom dresses to NRHS seniors. She made the offer last year as well, but because the announcement came in May, most students had already made arrangements for their prom dresses. Only 80 students availed themselves of the opportunity.
Richardson said details of the Rent the Runway offer came early enough this year to greatly increase the likelihood of participation.
City School District of New Rochelle
Jefferson teachers moving beyond traditional methods
At a recent meeting, teachers and administrators from Jefferson Elementary School shared with the Board of Education how professional learning strategies are impacting classroom instruction. The instructional practices they discussed were student-driven and focused on the application of acquired information, as well as problem solving.
When discussing literacy instruction, Principal Kimmerly Nieves shared that teachers at Jefferson are going beyond traditional methods. She was particularly excited about the success students are having when they use an instructional practice called accountable talk. Accountable talk involves collaborative discussion among students and includes repeating what was read, clarifying the meaning, making connections and revising understanding upon further reflection.
Teacher Stefanie Syken shared how Jefferson teachers are supporting their students in mathematical investigations that are leading to higher understandings. The guiding principle of these investigations is that students come to school with existing ideas about numbers and then build upon those ideas when provided with the proper environment, interaction and support.
Regardless of the subject, the students at Jefferson are being provided with valuable opportunities to talk with their peers about their ideas, discuss different viewpoints and continually add to their prior knowledge. And through ongoing professional development and colleague support, educators are learning how to better support their students in their investigations and discoveries.
City School District of New Rochelle
New Rochelle schools host immigration workshops
Hundreds of local residents packed New Rochelle High School and Columbus Elementary School last month to attend immigration rights workshops held just days after the Trump administration announced measures that would greatly expand the deportation of illegal immigrants. The workshops were planned in response to anxiety expressed by residents who were hearing rumors about immigration raids.
At NRHS, three student groups - Hispanic Culture Club, United Cultures Club and Newcomer Ambassadors - asked the school to host a workshop. Columbus Elementary opened its doors after Councilman Louis Trangucci reached out to Principal Michael Galland and voiced the need to come together to squash rumors and reassure residents that New Rochelle is a welcoming and caring community that values all law-abiding people and families.
"Many families are terrified. There is uncertainty, fear and confusion about what the authorities will or will not do, and that stress is being absorbed by children," said Galland. "As educators, our duty is to nurture children emotionally, socially and intellectually."
More than 500 people attended the Feb. 16 immigration forum at Columbus Elementary, which included a presentation by The Westchester Hispanic Coalition that addressed issues related to immigration laws. Graciela Heyman, the executive director, spoke about the rights of immigrants and offered advice on how to respond when face-to-face with immigration officials.
Commissioner Patrick Carroll and Captain Adrian Navarrete of the New Rochelle Police Department were present to reassure residents that police officers would continue to focus on the safety of the community.
More than 200 people attended the workshop at NRHS on Feb. 15. It included a presentation on scholarship opportunities for undocumented students, including those who were brought to the United States as children, currently covered under the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
The discussion was led by representatives of the CUNY Becas scholarship program and The Guidance Center of Westchester. The Hudson Valley Community Coalition also provided information on DACA and undocumented immigrants.
Officer Edward Martinez of the New Rochelle Police Department addressed the gathered families and told them that officers would not pursue immigrants or ask them to produce documents. Rather, he said, the focus would continue to be on fighting crime.
Gustavo Barbosa, house principal at NRHS, said the evening was successful because of the support by Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne and other district officials.
"Not many school districts are willing to provide this level of support to immigrant families," said Barbosa. "In New Rochelle, we really understand that what happens in our community has a direct impact on our students' academic performance and how they feel when they come to school. That's why it was important to reach out."
City School District of New Rochelle
School Budget Community Input Forum and School Budget Review Sessions
Please see attached letter to New Rochelle Neighbors from Ms. Rachel Relkin, President, Board of Education
Nicolas Cracco named new principal at Henry Barnard
The City School District of New Rochelle has appointed Dr. Nicolas Cracco as the new principal of the Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center. The Board of Education approved the appointment of Dr. Cracco at its meeting last week.
Dr. Cracco was the assistant principal of the Early Childhood Discovery and Design Magnet School, P.S. 185, in New York. He previously taught mathematics at Knowledge and Power Preparatory Academy in the Bronx.
"His experience as an educator and administrator will be a great asset as we continue to provide an excellent early childhood education for students at Henry Barnard," said Superintendent Dr. Brian Osborne.
Dr. Cracco received a bachelor's degree in psychology from C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University, a master's degree in mathematics from the City University of New York, and a doctorate of education in instructional leadership from St. John's University. He also earned an advanced certificate in school building and school district leadership from St. John's University.
"It is an honor to come lead a prestigious school such as Henry Barnard Early Childhood Center as its next principal," Dr. Cracco said. "I look forward to building on the programs that are in place and can't wait to begin working with the parents, students, teachers and staff."
He will join Henry Barnard as principal on Jan. 3, 2017.
City School District of New Rochelle
Board of Education Appoints Supervisor of Physical Education and Health
Thanksgiving Message from the Superintendent of Schools - Español Abaja
This Thanksgiving and every Thanksgiving, we, as members of The City School District of New Rochelle, are thankful for and embrace our rich diversity. Please read this message from our Superintendent of Schools Dr. Brian Osborne shared at the November 22 Board of Education meeting:
Since our last meeting on November 1st there was an election for President of the United States. In the wake of this Presidential election, many voices have been heard throughout the country and here in New Rochelle. Some of those voices have expressed concern about divisions among us; some have expressed hope that we will be able to come together as one country; and some have expressed messages of hate and contempt for others which are deeply troubling.
At least for the moment, we are seeing an escalated national level of intolerance, incivility and intimidation. Our students are well aware of current events, and many have articulated to me that there is fear among some that they will not be afforded the protections they deserve, or will be treated as non-participants in the American dream.
The success of public education in New Rochelle and the meaning of our mission statement is more important than ever. As the leader of this school district, I am confident that I speak for our faculty, our administrators, our support staff and our community when I say that our schools will and must be a place of welcome and support for all of our students. All means All. Our mission statement says that we embrace our rich diversity. We are intentional in this language. It is not our mission to tolerate difference or accept those unlike ourselves. We embrace our rich diversity.
This means that we actively welcome, celebrate, support, and serve all our students and families, and that the differences among us add value for all of us. All means all - all ethnicities, all religions, all races, all family structures, all sexual identities, all sexual orientations, all learning challenges, all differences in physical abilities, all places of birth, all immigrants, all income levels, all walks of life.
In the presidential campaign and the aftermath of the election, the rhetoric of our national political discourse at the highest levels has stereotyped, targeted and blamed many groups by name, provoking fear and doubt. In response to that rhetoric, let us be clear that embracing our rich diversity means that here in the City School District of New Rochelle, we honor, embrace and celebrate those who are Muslim, Jewish, Christian, or searching; those that are of African descent, who are Latino or Asian or Indian or Native American, or European; those that are biracial or multiracial; those who are undocumented or documented or citizen, born in the US or anywhere else; those who are differently abled or who learn differently; those whose native language is Spanish or Creole or English or any other language; those who are female, transgendered, cisgendered or male; those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transexual, or questioning - and all who are rich and complex intersections. And we mean this about each one of our children and staff and parents and community members, taking our individual differences not as something to tolerate but as something to celebrate, something that adds value, to be supported and protected.
Accordingly, in this time of uncertainty, we reaffirm our commitment to the dignity of each person and the values that reflect the strength of our democracy, and the continuing vitality of our national founding documents:
♦ Our schools will remain places of civility and respect, and we will not accept abusive conduct towards any student.
♦ Our schools will remain havens of safety for all students where differences in race, ethnicity or religion will be respected and appreciated
♦ Our schools will remain havens of safety for students of all gender identities or sexual orientation.
♦ Our schools will remain havens of safety for all students of all national origins and without regard to immigration status.
I’ll end the superintendent's update by quoting from Principal Richardson’s powerful letter to students the day after the election: “I want you to know that you are loved and supported by your family, all of the adults here at school as well as those in the community. We are so fortunate to be a part of such a diverse, vibrant and inclusive community as New Rochelle. I ask that you never take this for granted and take full advantage of the opportunities presented by living and learning in a community as diverse as this one.”
Desde nuestra última reunión el día 1 de noviembre hubo elecciones para Presidente de los Estados Unidos. A raíz de esta elección presidencial, muchas voces se han escuchado en todo el país y aquí en New Rochelle. Algunas de esas voces han expresado su preocupación por las divisiones entre nosotros; algunos han expresado la esperanza de que podamos unirnos como un solo país; y algunos han expresado mensajes de odio y desprecio hacia otros que son profundamente preocupantes.
Por el momento, estamos viendo un escalado a nivel nacional de intolerancia, incivilidad e intimidación. Nuestros estudiantes están muy conscientes de los acontecimientos actuales, y muchos me han expresado que hay miedo entre algunos que no se les dará las protecciones que se merecen, o serán tratados como no participantes en el sueño americano.
El éxito de la educación pública en New Rochelle y el significado de nuestra declaración de misión es más importante que nunca. Como líder de este distrito escolar, estoy seguro de que hablo por nuestra facultad, nuestros administradores, nuestro personal de apoyo y nuestra comunidad cuando digo que nuestras escuelas serán y deben ser un lugar de bienvenida y apoyo para todos nuestros estudiantes. Todos, significa, Todos. Nuestra declaración de misión dice que abrazamos nuestra rica diversidad. Somos intencionales en este lenguaje. No es nuestra misión simplemente tolerar la diferencia o aceptar a aquellos que no son como nosotros. Nosotros abrazamos nuestra rica diversidad.
Esto significa que acogemos activamente, celebramos, apoyamos y servimos a todos nuestros estudiantes y familias, y que las diferencias entre nosotros agregan valor a todos nosotros. Todos significa Todos - todas las etnias, todas las religiones, todas las razas, todas las estructuras familiares, todas las identidades sexuales, todas las orientaciones sexuales, todos los desafíos de aprendizaje, todas las diferencias en las capacidades físicas, todos los lugares de nacimiento, todos los inmigrantes, todos los niveles de ingresos y diferentes facetas de la vida.
En la campaña presidencial y las secuelas de las elecciones, la retórica de nuestro discurso político nacional a los niveles más altos ha estereotipado, apuntado y culpado a muchos grupos por su nombre, provocando temor y duda. En respuesta a esa retórica, seamos claros que abrazar nuestra rica diversidad significa que aquí, en el Distrito Escolar de la Ciudad de New Rochelle, honramos, abrazamos y celebramos a aquellos que son musulmanes, judíos, cristianos o los que andan en busca de creencia religiosa; Aquellos que son de ascendencia africana, que son latinos o asiáticos o indios o nativos americanos o europeos; Aquellos que son birraciales o multirraciales; Aquellos que están indocumentados o documentados o ciudadanos, nacidos en los Estados Unidos o en cualquier otro lugar; Aquellos que tienen diferentes habilidades o que aprenden de otra manera; Aquellos cuya lengua materna es el español o criollo o el inglés o cualquier otro idioma; Los que son mujeres, transgénico, cisgendered o varón; Aquellos que son homosexuales, lesbianas, bisexuales, transexuales, o que cuestionan su sexualidad- y todos aquellos ricos en complejas intercesiones. Y queremos decir esto sobre cada uno de nuestros hijos y el personal y los padres y miembros de la comunidad, teniendo nuestras diferencias individuales no como algo que tolerar sino como algo para celebrar, algo que agrega valor, para ser apoyado y protegido.
En este momento de incertidumbre, reafirmamos nuestro compromiso con la dignidad de cada persona y los valores que reflejan la fuerza de nuestra democracia y la continua vitalidad de nuestros documentos fundacionales nacionales:
♦ Nuestras escuelas seguirán siendo lugares de civilidad y respeto, y no ceptaremos conductas abusivas hacia ningún estudiante.
♦ Nuestras escuelas seguirán siendo refugios de seguridad para todos los estudiantes donde las diferencias en raza, etnia o religión serán respetadas y apreciadas
♦ Nuestras escuelas permanecerán como refugio de seguridad para los estudiantes de todas las identidades de género u orientación sexual.
♦ Nuestras escuelas seguirán siendo un refugio de seguridad para todos los estudiantes de todos los orígenes nacionales y sin tener en cuenta el estatus migratorio.
Terminaré la actualización del superintendente citando la carta del director Richardson a los estudiantes el día después de las elecciones: "Quiero que sepas que eres amado y apoyado por tu familia, todos los adultos aquí en la escuela, la comunidad. Somos tan afortunados de ser parte de una comunidad tan diversa, vibrante e inclusiva como New Rochelle. Les pido que nunca tomen esto por sentado y aprovechen al máximo las oportunidades que ofrece vivir y aprender en una comunidad tan diversa como esta.”
City School District of New Rochelle
Update on School District Water Testing
Please see attached letter from Dr. Osborne outlining the latest water testing results for district schools.