Superintendent’s Town Hall Focuses
on Community Unity, Supporting
Student Achievement, and COVID Safety
Superintendent Jonathan Raymond recently hosted his third monthly Town Hall, the latest stop in his ongoing Listening and Learning Tour to interact with and enhance communication with the community.
The majority of the forum, at the New Rochelle Public Library and viewable via Zoom, focused discussion on; “What Divides Us and What Unites Us.” Board of Education President Julia Muggia Ochs moderated the event, which included about two dozen questions.
Raymond opened the Town Hall with an update on City School District of New Rochelle COVID-19 safety measures. He provided an overview on the most recent advancements to the PCR Saliva-Testing Program, the Test-to-Stay Program, and Contact Tracing protocols. Raymond reiterated that the health and safety of students, faculty members, and staff are school district’s top priority. Read more on the latest COVID-19 safety measures below in this Newsletter.
Highlights of the “What Divides Us and What Unites Us” discussion:
• Raymond reaffirmed the school district’s commitment to health and wellness for students, faculty, and staff. He explained that the school district proactively strategizes how to most effectively and efficiently respond to the unprecedented, ever-evolving circumstances of the pandemic. This includes strong COVID mitigation strategies to protect and continue in-person learning, an essential factor in students’ success.
• Raymond noted that the pandemic has divided some segments of the community, and said the school district is focusing on students’ achievement academically, socially, and emotionally. “The pandemic has impacted children in multiple ways and there is much work to do.”
• Raymond also noted that the school district’s immediate and long-term commitment is to address student and staff wellness and unfinished learning caused by the disruption of in-person education.
Budget and Strategic Planning
• The school district is embarking on a strategic planning process to identify goals and strategies on how to innovatively advance student achievement and development over the next five years.
• Raymond said the 2022-2023 school year’s budget-planning process is underway. Raymond said the budget and strategic-planning processes are “running parallel” to one another this year and will link in future years to ensure budget resources support the school district’s top priorities. These include safe, supportive, and academically challenging schools preparing students for college and career, engaging families and communities, and improving operations of the school district, specifically recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining staff.
• There will be public presentations that outline the proposed budget in upcoming months. Voters will consider the budget in May.
Transparency and Trust
• As part of his Listening and Learning Tour, Raymond has devoted significant time to getting to know the community. This includes school visits every week, meeting with students, parents, and community organizations, and nurturing new and existing relationships with partner organizations.
Partnering with the City of New Rochelle
• The school district is continuing to work with and strengthen its relationship with the City. Raymond told attendees he meets with the city manager every month and consults with Mayor Noam Bramson and City Council members on issues facing the city and school district.
The next Superintendent’s Town Hall is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. at the New Rochelle Public Library and via Zoom.