The Rye City Board of Education’s January 13 meeting featured the presentation of Recognition of Excellence Awards to 48 student-athletes,
By Sarah Varney
The Rye City Board of Education’s January 13 meeting featured the presentation of Recognition of Excellence Awards to 48 student-athletes, including the members of the 2014-2015 Rye High School football team, which won the Class A title during the season. Divers Katie Laverty and Maddy Kenny, both 7th graders, were honored for their prowess, as was runner Jack Ryan an 11th grader.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Frank Alvarez proudly reported that, “all of our fall varsity teams have earned the distinction of Scholar/Athlete team, awarded by the New York State Public High School Athletic Association. To win this honor, a team must earn a grade point average of 90 or higher. In the case of Rye High, every fall interscholastic team qualified.”
Future teams should have more athletes vying for team spots if enrollment numbers continue to increase. According to a presentation by Assistant Superintendent for Business Gabriella O’Connor, a ten-year look at enrollment numbers shows a total increase of 18.16 percent since 2005. At Rye High, enrollment has increased by 35 percent over the past decade. Today’s total student enrollment stands at 3,344, up from 2,830 in 2005-2006.
The increases are flattering in some regards, but they’re also worrying, said O’Connor. Part of that worry is that the increasing number of students seems unending. “Registration never seems to end. We had two more students come in today,” she said.
Board President Laura Slack pointed out some of the more subtle effects of more students. Katy Keohane Glassberg, Vice President, brought up the issue of heavier loads for guidance counselors helping students with college applications. The last time an additional guidance counselor was hired was nine years ago, noted Slack. Board member Karen Belanger mentioned how overrun afterschool help sessions –X Periods — have become, particularly in the high school. “In addition to class sizes, when you add in all the extra kids coming to X Period, it’s a mob scene,” she said.
The biggest effect is the non-effect increased enrollments have under the state’s 2% property tax cap. “This is a major matter of concern. Our elementary schools are very, very full,” said Board member Chris Repetto. “But Albany doesn’t care if your enrollment goes up 10 percent. It has no effect.”
Concerning more immediate matters, Dr. Alvarez also addressed the recent bomb threats at the high school. He said the Westchester County Police are receiving help from the FBI’s cyber crime division and the Assistant District Attorney’s office to track down the origin of the most recent threat, which was emailed. “We share your concerns and frustrations. We want to get some resolution of this matter,” he said.