NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Despite changes in New Rochelle demographics and economics, the high school continues to provide excellent outcomes, thanks in part to community partnerships.
Statistics reflect a growing base of Hispanic students (from 31 percent of the student population in 2005-06 to 46 percent in 2015-16) as the number of white (not Hispanic) students has decreased (41 percent to 27 percent), Principal Reggie Richardson said in a recent presentation to Board of Education.
Economically disadvantaged students grew to 51 percent from 41 percent.
Richardson showed how graduation rates continue to rise, from 84 percent in 2013-14 to 86 percent in 2015-16.
Richardson said the high school has been successful because of the hard work of teachers, counselors, administrators and sports staff. The district's community partnerships help "fill in gaps for our students."
Several students spoke about their participation in the partner programs, explaining the positive mentoring they received from the programs and how their lives were affected by the extraordinary experiences.
Junior Bryce Maddow was a part of The Guidance Center.
"The Guidance Center has welcomed me with open, loving arms," he said, noting the center helped him to develop life skills and decide where to go to college. "There's been a collaboration, which has allowed me to become the person I am today."
"I can get help for myself, this is a great experience," he added. "The opportunities I have received are unbelievable. I thank them for everything I have been exposed to."
Senior Jeanneney Currie was part of the Iona College STEP program.
"Each day of STEP is filled with math and science classes to prepare them (students) for the upcoming school year," she said. "The teachers collaborate with students on projects. Overall, the project is designed to help the student be prepared and excel in the upcoming school year."
Student Marcia-Ruth Ndege spoke about her experience with Girls Inc.
"We're allowed to express ourselves and be ourselves fully," she said. "We do things such as college visits, like to Columbia. I'm exposed to professional women. I feel like I've grown a lot from this program."
Olivier Domond and Joshua Bennett are part of the Higher Aims group.
"Personally, this club has helped me tremendously. It helped me to keep focused," said Bennett. "It's made me, as a senior, have a bond with ninth-graders and 10th-graders."
Domond spoke of their community service projects, adding: "We have the responsibility of making sure the younger ones are on track with their homework and help them out."
"These programs are so important to help us provide supports for students beyond what we are able to offer in our typical programs," Richardson said. "These enrichment and support opportunities ensure that our kids have access to all opportunities in the high school and help us reach the objectives that are outlined in the district's Strategic Roadmap."
Richardson said those objectives include increasing the overall four-year graduation rate and decreasing disparities in rates among groups, and increasing the quality and quantity of partnerships and collaborations with community organizations and local colleges to increase opportunities for students.
NRHS Community Partners include:
- My Brother's Keeper
- The City of New Rochelle and the New Rochelle Youth Bureau (Youth Court; Youth Council; SYEP and Youth Police Initiative)
- The Guidance Center of Westchester (Center for College and Careers and School Based Mental Health Clinic)
- The Westchester Clubmen (Higher Aims)
- Westchester Community College (The Step-Up College Transition Program)
- Iona College (Science Technology Entry Program)
- The Links Inc. of Westchester (The Young Achievers)
- Student Assistance Services (SADD)
- Nepperhan Community Center (empowerYOU)
- Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers
- Girls Inc.
- The Boys and Girls Club of New Rochelle
- The New Rochelle Fund for Educational Excellence
- The Power of Peace
- Ignite Mentoring
- Con Edison
- Alpha Kappa Alpha Inc.
- Her Honor (Judge Judy)
- Montefiore (Project Search)
- Modern Restaurant (Culinary Arts Program)
- transFORM Gallery
- Hero's and Cool Kids
- Hope's Door/STAR
- Let's Get Ready