NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- Here are some highlights from the Oct. 30 Board of Education meeting:
Lincoln Attendance Zone: The Board returned to the Lincoln attendance zone this week with a second meeting at the Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle - Remington Unit. The meeting took place in an area of the city that was served by the Lincoln Elementary School before it closed in the 1960s following a landmark desegregation case.
The session, coming about a year after the Board's historic first meeting in the zone, was well attended. More than 150 community members were present.
"We are returning now because our commitment to serving this area of the District - to serving the entire District - remains as strong as ever," Dr. Parvey told the audience. "It is wonderful to see you all here."
Many residents spoke about changes the District is considering in its elementary school foreign language offerings, including the potential phasing out of the immersion program called CILA offered at William B. Ward Elementary School. The Board has not made a final decision on language programs. If a program were phased out, students enrolled would be allowed to complete the program.
"Every Student Succeeds" Funds: Director of Instructional Support Tiara Reyes-Vega presented an overview of the District's programs under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act. Grants are available in categories called Title I through Title IV, serving a wide range of students, including immigrants and English language learners, those in academic need and the homeless.
The federal support is "meant to supplement, not supplant the district resources," Reyes-Vega said.
Title I funds support basic programs. Three times a year, Reyes-Vega holds a meeting with the principals of the District's four Title I schools - the Barnard Early Childhood Center and the Columbus, Jefferson and Trinity Elementary Schools - to talk about how to allocate the funds and to discuss the programs implemented.
Title II funds help create more effective educators with professional development and other programs; Title III supports immigrant students and English language learners; and Title IV funds are allocated to student support and academic enrichment.
The funds are also used to guide parents and guardians in ways to support the education of their children.
"We want parents to be part of their children's educational process," Reyes-Vega said.
School Buddy Updates: Board of Education members began the school year at assemblies, parent nights and other events in the recently established School Buddy program. The initiative pairs each Board member with a school, encouraging the trustee to build a stronger bond with each building and its family.
"It's been a great experience for Board members to get to know the schools better," Board Vice President Amy Moselhi said at the meeting.
Members listed some of their activities; Julia Muggia Ochs enjoyed Hispanic Culture Night at New Rochelle High School, Dr. Salvador Fernandez joined a mothers' group meeting at Columbus Elementary School and Rachel Relkin joined a Trinity Elementary School barbecue, as just a few examples. Board members said that, as they are paired with new schools each quarter, they are not moving on, but accumulating school communities they feel more connected to. As Board member Christopher Daniello said; "My goal is to be a buddy for all the schools."