It was “Back to School” night for Rye City School administrators and Board of Education members September 9
By Sarah Varney
It was “Back to School” night for Rye City School administrators and Board of Education members September 9 and while no one showed off shiny new shoes, Superintendent Dr. Frank Alvarez did announce that on Monday, the new Science Wing was informally opened to accommodate a number of new classes.
“Yesterday kids actually walked into the Science Wing and started classes. It’s not absolutely the way we want it to be yet but it’s safe and the teachers and kids are very excited,” said Dr. Alvarez.
District officials said they plan to have a formal opening ceremony at the end of the month. Board members and those in the audience applauded administrators Gabriella O’Connor, Assistant Superintendent for Business Affairs and Elaine Cuglietto, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources for their tireless work in getting the Science Wing open and the 28 new staff and faculty up and running for the new school year.
Rye High received more good news as Principal Patricia Taylor revealed that 15 members of the Class of 2015 have been named National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists. They are Morgan E. Cobban, William J. Costine, Judson A. Ellis, Caleb K. Glassberg, Bonnie F. Gould, Amelia P. Haddad, Charles Hager, Chloe M. Jennings, Rebecca P. Jordan, Min Kyo Kim, Kiefer Mueller, Samuel Papert, Daniel Philip, Jacob N. Rowen, and Jici Wang. Said Taylor, “This is a strong class and I look forward to their accomplishments in the future,” she added. National Merit Scholarship semi-finalists are drawn from a pool of 1.4 million students from over 22,000 high schools in the United States. There were 165 finalists from Westchester County.
Dr. Alvarez was pleased that the September 4 first day of school for students went smoothly. He noted that the current head count for students across the District’s schools is 3,054, including 239 kindergarteners.
Students at Rye Middle School are enjoying a refurbished gym floor and a newly installed outdoor Ga-Ga court. Ga-Ga, which is also known as “Israeli Dodgeball,” uses one ball on a small court and only a ball strike below the knees counts as a hit.
On a more serious note, Alvarez noted that the new public address system, recommended in the 2013 Stonegate Security report commissioned after the Middletown Massacre, is now in place across all of the schools, gymnasiums, and outdoor play areas. “The gives us the ability to communicate with faculty and staff in large group areas as well as classrooms,” he said. A new swipe card system that identifies and logs faculty and staff movements is also in place. “These are things that we’ve been working on for a year and a half.”
With security concerns addressed for the time being and the latest ELA/Math scores on the way, students will quickly be more consumed with homework than Ga-Ga, and for that there was news as well.
Rye Free Reading Room Director Christopher Schumacher presented the library’s new “Homework Hub” program to the Board. The program starts September 16 and will be available to Rye Middle and High school students on Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. The program is an extension of the library’s “Teacher in the Library” service for grades 1 through 5, which has been in existence for 12 years.
The next Board meeting is scheduled for September 23 at 8 p.m. in the Rye Middle School Multi-Purpose Room.