The Board of Education unanimously but unofficial supported moving towards a certified graduation for the 2010-11 school year. At the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, Sara Richmond, President of the New Rochelle Board of Education, took a non-binding straw poll of board members. All board members supported the change.
The New York State Education Department has, for years, not certified New Rochelle graduation ceremonies. While the district does not release the numbers, reliable sources tell Talk of the Sound that roughly 100 of the students who walk in the graduation ceremony have not actually earned a diploma.
In other news, the City School District of New Rochelle has elected not to offer the New York State Retirement Incentive to district employees.
SED tests will change, removing the Social Studies test for Grades 5-8.; plans are underway to eliminate all foreign language Regents exams except for Spanish and French.
The district received an additional grant of $1.5mm for five years for Mandarin language programs in New Rochelle. This is in addition to a $900,000 grant over three years. In announcing the grant, Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak did not say whether the grants were “matching” grants or given without additional funding requirements.
Quay Watkins spent 10 days in Shanghai, traveling with the New Rochelle Chorale group.
DISCLAIMER: By previous written policy directive, Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak has ordered administrators and building principals in the City School District of New Rochelle not to respond to requests for information from Robert Cox and/or Talk of the Sound. Further that Robert Cox is banned from school property except for purposes of attending a public meeting or event or for matters related to a child enrolled in a particular school and that the school district refuses to comply with FOIL requests made by Robert Cox — both of which are violations of New York State law. Talk of the Sound makes a reasonable effort to get official, on-the-record comment from school officials but this is made all but impossible due to district policy.