The New Rochelle Board of Education will discuss tonight, for what will be the third time, why the school district is hiring people without background checks as required under New York State law. The above video is a compilation of three clips, the first from the November 29th Board of Education meeting, the second two are from the December 6th Board of Education meeting which represents the entirety of the public dialog that has taken place so far.
Residents who are concerned that the District continues to hire employees without first completing the required background checks are encouraged to attend tonight's board meeting at the Linda Kelly Theater at the New Rochelle High School tonight at 7:00 P.M.
So far, the district has put up a variety of explanations and excuses and more can be expected tonight so those who intend to come tonight need to watch the video above, paying close attention, and then contrast that with the claims made by the district tonight.Read more
Two months ago, in October of this year, Dr. Rhonda Jones, Director of Pupil Services for the New Rochelle Board of Education, addressed the board on the topic of residency verification. Her work and that of her team amounts to the sort of residency audit that Talk of the Sound has been calling for since 2009.
Dr. Jones appears to have conducted a thoughtful, well-thought out pilot program and presented a great deal of useful data. Missing from her report was any sort of analysis of the data which this article seeks to amend. There were still a few unexplained details in the report.Read more
The New Rochelle Board of Education tabled a resolution at its December 6th meeting that would have brought Bill Evans, former Albert Leonard Middle School principal, back to New Rochelle early next week. A draft resolution the week before stated that Evans would fill in for the Assistant Principal at Ward Elementary School for 36 days. Kimberly Peluso will be out on parental leave from January 3, 2012 until March 16, 2012.
Some board members were uncomfortable with the generous pay package offered to Evans: $830 a day for 36 days or $29,880 which is just $20 below the maximum Evans could earn and still receive his full pension for 2012. On an annualized basis, $830 per day is $215,800 a year. These board members wanted to the district to find a less costly option to cover for Peluso.Read more
Jorge Ron, a math teacher at Isaac E. Young Middle School in New Rochelle, NY was escorted from the building earlier today after allegedly striking a student, sources tell Talk of the Sound.
"He smacked her in the face", said one source who asked not to be identified.
Talk of the Sound has learned that sometime this morning a female student went to the school nurse and reported that she had been hit by a teacher. The teacher was later told to leave the building. He was followed by school security guards who observed him to make sure he left the building and the campus. The police were not called to the scene.Read more
Two former New Rochelle High School students have agreed to plead guilty to charges stemming from their arrest last February in an attempted armed robbery at the school.
Jermaine McCleod, 19, and Rashad Simpson,17, were arrested on February 10, 2011 by New Rochelle police at the New Rochelle High School on charges of Attempted Armed Robbery in the 2nd Degree and Attempted Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree.
The incident occurred on February 9th, just a day after McCleod had been caught stealing money from a cash register at the school cafeteria. McCleod and Simpson are well-known to police and prosecutors.
According to Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for the Westchester County District Attorney's Office, Simpson will be sentenced on January 10, 2012 for a guilty plea of Attempted Grand Larceny in the 4th degree. McCleod will be sentenced on February 9, 2012 for his plea to Attempted Robbery in the 3rd degree.Read more
With the framework of New York State and Federal Law, the City School District of New Rochelle is governed, on a day to day basis, by Superintendent's Regulations. To understand what has gone on with Jose Martinez, the hiring of 9 people in the last 6 weeks without the required background checks and, in particular, the hiring of Nadine Pacheco as administrator at Trinity Elementary School, one needs to understand the district's own rules and the ways in which they were not followed.
In particular, it is important to be familiar with Superintendent's Regulations 4110, 4120 and 412, as well as, Section 2573 of the New York Code Rules & Regulations.
4120 explains the need to consider only qualified candidates:
"All persons nominated for employment shall meet all qualifications established by the State Education Department and the Board of Education for the type of positions for which the nomination is made." Also, "Recruitment activity shall insure that an adequate number of properly certified and qualified candidates are recruited." (emphasis added).Read more
New York State Schools Chancellor John King made a short visit to New Rochelle today. Two programs were highlighted, one at Daniel Webster Elementary School and another at Columbus Elementary School.Read more
According to a statement issued by the New Rochelle Board of Education, former Trinity Assistant Principal Nadine Pacheco submitted her resignation on October 14th. The resignation was formally accepted by board on November 1st under Resolution 12-153-4. That same night there was a second resolution, No. 12-153-14 under which Pacheco was to be appointed a teacher at Trinity at a salary of $114,165, effective October 17th. That same resolution also contained an appointment to Interim Teacher for Nicole Mussolini. The resolution was tabled.
On November 3rd, after a Trinity PTA meeting met in an illegal "emergency executive session" and passed Resolution 12-153-4 appointing Nicole Mussolini as Interim Teacher. No such resolution was ever passed for Pacheco.Read more