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Schools and Camps
Schools and Camps

Mayor Marvin to Push for Security Cameras at Bronxville Metro-North Railroad Station PDF Print Email

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By Carol P. Bartold, Senior Writer

Sep. 18, 2019: Concerns about civil behavior, quality of life, and jurisdictions in Bronxville have reached a critical point. Mayor Mary Marvin reported to the Bronxville Board of Trustees that over the weekend of September 6, racist, lewd, and taunting graffiti was painted on the interior walls of the tunnel leading from Pondfield Road to the southbound platform at the Metro-North Bronxville station.

Marvin described the graffiti as mostly spray painted and primarily aimed against Bronxville Police officers. It appeared the evening of Friday, September 6, and was not removed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) until Monday, September 9.

She added that, since the station is the railroad’s property, enforcement jurisdiction falls to the MTA Police rather than the Bronxville Police Department. Bronxville officers reported the defacement to the MTA Police. “Our influence over there is zero,” Marvin said.

The mayor reported that she has contacted the office of New York State Assembly Representative Amy Paulin for assistance in persuading the MTA to install security cameras at Bronxville Station. “Metro-North has no cameras on any of its property in Bronxville and we have to make a push for them,” she said. “Metro-North has cameras in most places.” She indicated that the railroad has refused to install security cameras at Bronxville Station. The agency will not permit the village to install cameras on its property. Because there is no such equipment, Marvin said, the people who painted the graffiti will never be found.

Marvin also reported that, over the summer, the Bronxville downtown business district experienced an influx of large groups of young people on the weekends. They have not only acted in a highly disrespectful and vocally abusive manner toward Bronxville Police officers but also have impaired the quality of life for the village’s downtown residents. Marvin stated that she has fielded numerous calls from distressed citizens who live on Tanglewylde Avenue and Pondfield Road.

According to Chief Christopher Satriale, the groups are doing nothing illegal, but they have used cell phones to record their verbal altercations with Bronxville officers and, in an attempt to claim police brutality, tried to bait the officers to touch them.

Mayor Marvin announced that the police department planned to put several officers on overtime for the weekend of September 13.

“I can personally say I have zero tolerance for this,” Marvin emphasized. “It’s sad and upsetting news and we need to be in the forefront of stopping this kind of thing.”

Pictured here:  Bronxville Village Board of Trustees (L to R): Bob Underhill, Mary Marvin, Bill Barton, Randy Mayer, and Mark Wood.

Photo by A. Warner


 
Innovative Approach to Reimagining Bronxville High School PDF Print Email

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Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax, for The Bronxville School

Sep. 18, 2019:  As part of a collaborative effort, members of the Design Team, comprising administrators, teachers, students, parents, and board of education members, have immersed themselves into defining the current state of Bronxville High School to determine where it should be headed next.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Bronxville School Foundation, they partnered with Kynan Robinson, COO and CEO of NoTosh Inc., an international company that works with schools and organizations, to assist them in using design thinking as a process to innovate within the district. 

“We have a lot of innovative things going on in the district, but we are thinking about what is, at this point, constraining us to push further,” said Bronxville High School Principal Ann Meyer, who wrote the grant with Director of Curriculum and Instruction Dr. Mara Koetke. “It’s a totally different approach to looking at where we are and where we could go.”

Prior to the start of the school year, Design Team members began generating data about the status quo of the high school and, over the next six months, they will continue to generate ideas and prototypes with innovative approaches to learning. They will also interview members of the school community to elicit information about people’s different experiences within the school and seek feedback from all constituents.

“It’s exciting to work with NoTosh Inc. because they’re really on the cutting edge,” Meyer said. “The fact is, the world around us is changing extremely quickly and this is an approach that can speed up the change process within our schools. But I think, in addition, it exposes us as an organization to how quickly things are changing outside of education. The tools that we’re using are also tools that teachers can use in their classrooms to do more innovative, immersive experiences with students.”

As the district is reimagining its work around innovation and developing a plan to meet its goals, it is also building facilities that can support it. Thanks to the community’s support with the approval of the capital bond projects last spring, construction for the third-floor learning community space in the high school is taking place over the next year. The new expanded space will be flexible and allow students to work in different groups, collaborate with one another, and engage in innovative work. In addition, thanks to the support of the Bronxville School Foundation, several classrooms have already been redesigned with new furniture and technology.

“It keeps the possibilities open for what we can do, which makes it super exciting,” Meyer said. “It’s the type of work that energizes me. We’re very lucky to have a supportive community, wonderful students, and enthusiastic, smart, dedicated faculty who are on board for this type of work.”

Meyer said the administration, board of education members, and parents have been supportive and given educators the freedom to explore different possibilities to move the school forward.

“What I hope educators, in particular, who are part of this group, take away is excitement and energy for their work and the work of the school and this idea that we always need to be changing,” Meyer said. “Change is essential. We need to change and constantly look at what we’re doing.”

Meyer said school leaders are continuously working to create more student-centered learning opportunities and challenge their students to solve authentic problems that are real in the community and in the world. They also strive to create an environment where teachers work as facilitators and foster curiosity and enthusiasm for learning. Another goal of educators is to continue creating more interdisciplinary projects and involve community members as resources for students and their work.  

Pictured here: Bronxville High School teacher Bill Meyer.

Photo courtesy The Bronxville School 

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.





 

 
Bronxville School Buzzes with Energy on First Day of School PDF Print Email

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Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax, for The Bronxville School

Sep. 11, 2019:  With new school supplies in tow, Bronxville School students returned to school on September 4, ready to seek new learning opportunities during the 2019-2020 school year.

“It is a tremendously exciting time for students, teachers, and parents,” Superintendent Dr. Roy Montesano said. “When the students come in, the building feels alive again. Everybody is just so positive, and the place is buzzing with energy. The first day represents a time of opportunity and potential and reminds us of the important job we have as educators.”

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Kindergartners experienced an exciting day of firsts as they got familiar with their new surroundings and teachers, who greeted them warmly to prepare them for an exciting educational journey. First- through fifth-grade students also enjoyed a busy first day of school as they organized their school supplies, got to know their teachers, and participated in reading and writing activities.

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Meanwhile, middle school students learned about their new schedules, located their classrooms, and greeted their teachers, who guided them through their expectations for the year.

Prior to attending their first class, ninth-grade students met with members of the Freshmen Transition Leaders team, who gave them tours of the building, helped them find their classrooms, and answered questions so they could make a smooth transition to high school.

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Throughout the day, excited chatter and smiles filled the hallways and K-12 classrooms as the students got to know new classmates, reconnected with friends, and met their teachers, who welcomed them back for another fulfilling academic year. 

Pictured here: Bronxville School students returned to school on September 4, ready to seek new learning opportunities during the 2019-2020 school year.

Photos courtesy The Bronxville School

Editor's note: As a public service, MyhometownBronxville publishes articles from local institutions, officeholders, and individuals. MyhometownBronxville does not fact-check statements therein, and any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the thinking of its staff.

 

 
Renovation of Bronxville School Library Nearing Completion PDF Print Email

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By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter

Sep. 4, 2019: The reconfigured Bronxville School library, still an active construction zone, is expected to be open for student use on Monday, September 9, according to Dan Carlin, assistant superintendent for business.

The updated library is designed to create an adaptable space that will accommodate changing program needs and move away from the traditional, more static 19th-century book depository model. The newly refurbished library will open as a space conducive to flexible, project-based learning, collaboration, and interaction among students.

Architectural changes to the library include a new glass wall along the corridor, which will give passersby a view into the space. Most of the book stacks have been removed from the main room and, Carlin said, although some shelves will remain for books, the number of books to be housed in the library has been cut by one-half to two-thirds. Removal of the stacks will make the stained-glass windows more visible, as well as let more natural light into the room. Space previously occupied by the stacks will be for collaboration and workspace for students.

“We tried to keep the old look in the middle section and make the two side rooms more modern,” Carlin said. Original light fixtures are being restored and will be installed with up-to-date wiring and LED lights.

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Rooms at either end of the library’s main room will be interactive learning spaces outfitted with educational technology. New, wider doorways promote flow from these areas into the main room. These more modern spaces will have lighter-weight, modular furniture pieces that accommodate flexible configurations for small-group learning. State-of-the art projectors and sliding white boards will be installed.

The educational technology room to the north of the library’s main room will ultimately have a dropped ceiling. The room’s HVAC system, which will be installed above that ceiling, is part of the overall bond project for capital improvements and will be installed during the summer of 2020. “We’re leaving that ceiling as is for now,” Carlin said, “so this room will remain a bit incomplete.”

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The library renovation, conceived in 2014, approved by the New York State Education Department, and supported financially by the Bronxville School PTA, suffered a delay in 2018 when bids for the $1 million refurbishment resulted in bids between $1.4 million and $1.5 million. Ultimately, those bidders decided not to proceed with the project.

“It took us three or four tries to get a design that would be effective with that $1 million funding,” Carlin noted. “That’s why this project has taken so long.” He added that, with the approval of the bond referendum, the district could move the cost of the library’s HVAC upgrade to the overall bond project. “That’s what finally made the library renovation work,” he said.


Pictured: Bronxville Library under construction in late August.

Photos by A. Warner


 
Bronxville School Opens 2019-2020 Academic Year with Construction Projects in Progress PDF Print Email

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By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter


Sep. 4, 2019: 
 Bronxville School Superintendent Dr. Roy Montesano noted that the school “has been a busy place” recently preparing for the 2019-2020 school year. New teachers have received their orientation and curriculum leaders have met. Both the track and Chambers Field are open, and the school’s teams are using those facilities for practice. New public address system digital clocks, with the ability to scroll announcements, have been installed in hallways and every classroom.

The library renovation is approximately one week behind schedule because of a long lead time for custom casework. Dan Carlin, assistant superintendent for business, anticipates that the library will be open to students the second week of September.

Work has commenced on the Meadow Avenue storm drain, which will cross the school campus next to Hayes Field and connect with the large storm drains that are part of the flood mitigation project in place. The project is designed to alleviate flooding in the Meadow Avenue area during heavy rains. Although crews have dug up the sidewalk and hauled the concrete away, egress to the high school will remain in place until the pipe is delivered. At that point, the sidewalk area and high school entrance will be closed and the pipe laid in sections.

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Drainage equipment arriving at the Bronxville School; Photo by A. Warner

“We will start the year with the normal high school entrance,” Montesano noted. He predicts that in late October that entrance will be closed. At that point, high school students will use the school’s front entrance. The district has made arrangements with the Bronxville Police Department and village administrator to designate the section of Pondfield Road at the front of the school as a drop-off and pick-up point. No parking will be allowed on the school side of the street from 7:00 am to 9:00 am and from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Other construction work at the school includes preparation of the courtyard for the cafeteria expansion. Vegetation and cement have been cleared from the area and construction crews will drive a pile to test the soil. A total of 45 piles will be driven for the project, but Superintendent Montesano emphasized that this work will not be done during school hours. He added that nothing inside the cafeteria itself will be touched during the 2019-2020 school year. Construction crews will erect a protective wall to shield the cafeteria during their work on the courtyard. During the summer of 2020, they will break through the existing walls to complete the cafeteria renovation.

Dan Carlin reported that the district finished the 2018-2019 academic year in a better fiscal position than he had forecast. Not only will the 2020 property tax levy be offset by a $500,000 contribution from the unrestricted fund balance, but an equal contribution was made to the capital reserve fund. Carlin stated that the new, increased Westchester County sales tax rate, which was not budgeted for, will put the district in a favorable revenue position for the 2019-2020 year.

The Bronxville Board of Education will hold its next meeting on Thursday, September 19, at 7:00 pm.


Pictured at top: Bronxville School Board of Education.

Photo by N. Bower

 
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