contentsNew Rochelle NY Chamberads

Education

New Rochelle High School in New York prides itself on diversity. About 3,400 students from 60 countries pass through its doors.

The high school offers a vast array of more than 240 desirable courses, including architecture, business, fine arts, computer science and 40 Advanced Placement (AP) and honors classes.

“We offer a rigorous college preparatory curriculum that is aligned to the common core learning standards,” Principal Reginald Richardson said. “Because we are committed to developing fully prepared and engaged 21st century citizens, our academic program provides students with opportunities to explore a wide variety of interests beyond the state mandated curriculum.”

The high school’s mission statement is as follows:
“New Rochelle High School, with its smaller learning communities, is dedicated to developing responsible, respectful, tolerant citizens who value cultural diversity and who possess the intellectual, social and emotional independence to become lifelong learners and contributing members of a global society.”

The high school is part of the award-winning City School District of New Rochelle, which is home to nearly 11,000 students and 10 schools. Other schools include an early childhood center, six elementary schools and two middle schools.

“The City School District of New Rochelle, through an active partnership amongst community, parents, staff and students, will provide access to a high-quality and challenging education for every child, in a safe, nurturing environment that embraces our rich diversity and drives our success,” Superintendent Brian Osborne said.

The district is in the midst of a five-year, $106.5 million strategic improvement plan. The bond, approved by voters, is aimed at funding fund health and safety upgrades to every school. Scheduled updates include replacements of some roofs and windows, as well as the pavement and drainage infrastructure. In addition, masonry work and ADA compliance upgrades have been slated.

Superintendent Osborne called the district one that is committed to providing a learning environment “where our students are challenged, engaged, and love to learn.” Recently, the district celebrated many student accomplishments, including:

— Six National Merit Scholarship finalists
— Chess team wins
— Finalists in the MIT Inspire Competition
— A U.S. Presidential Scholar
— Division 1 college athletic scholarships
— Winning the SIFMA (Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association) Stock Market Game
— And music, art and theater recognitions

New Rochelle administrators believe that it is a school’s job to find out what makes each individual student flourish. There is no broad brush for school success. Individual attention is key.

“Every child deserves the opportunity to shine, whether academically, through the arts, in sports or via community service,” Osborne wrote in a regular online column he pens.

That means offering a robust curriculum and creative solutions to financial constraints that may limit beloved extracurricular activities, such as the arts and service clubs, that are particularly meaningful to some students, he added.

New Rochelle promotes a well-rounded school experience, as evidenced by some of the district’s more unusual athletics offerings such as rugby and a merged ski team with a nearby school district. But to prove that the ultimate emphasis is on academics, the superintendent notes that five teams (boys’ varsity cross country, girls’ varsity cross country, girls’ varsity soccer, girls’ varsity swimming and girls’ varsity tennis) earned prestigious New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Scholar-Athlete Team Awards. These awards are only given out when members of a team maintain report card averages of 90 percent or greater during a sport’s season, Osborne noted.

The district believes in educating the whole child – meaning educating the family as well. One example of that is the partnership it’s had with My Sisters’ Place, a domestic violence awareness organization. Since 2011, the organization has gone into the district’s schools to teach and model examples of healthy relationships and to define and expose what abuse looks like. An extension of this partnership is Project Team On, which provides training and education to cheer, football, soccer, and volleyball teams, as well as workshops for coaches, older students and their parents.

Their “Vision 2020” plan aims to reduce the achievement gap – a national goal emphasized by many educational experts and associations. In other words, they are using data to even the educational playing field by diminishing disparities in outcomes related to categories like race, disability and geography, to name a few. Another major goal is to grow a staff that more ethnically resembles the student body.

For more information, visit www.nred.org.

previous topic
next topic
Town Square Publications