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Bronxville School Update: Grades Five and Nine are Largest in the School; Renovation Projects Under Way PDF Print Email

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By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter

Sep. 25, 2019: “We had a very nice opening. People came back very enthusiastic with a lot of positive energy,” Bronxville School Superintendent Dr. Roy Montesano said about the new 2019-2020 academic year.

Montesano presented elementary school Principal Trisha Murray with a certificate from the New York State Department of Education naming Bronxville Elementary School a Recognition School. Recognition Schools demonstrate high academic achievement and student growth under the New York Every Student Succeeds Act Plan.

In his remarks to the Bronxville Board of Education at its regular meeting on September 19, Montesano reported that the school opened the year with a total of 1,640 students in all three schools, one student shy of the projected total of 1,641. The high school has 557 students enrolled, the middle school 400 students, and the elementary school 683 students. Overall, from the 2018-2019 year, high school enrollment increased by eighteen students and middle school enrollment by fifteen. The elementary school has seven fewer students.

The high enrollment “bubble” that moved through the middle school entered high school this year, making the ninth grade, with 145 students, the largest class in the high school. Grade 5 also has 145 students, necessitating the addition of an extra class section.

Average class size in all three schools compares favorably with that of prior academic years. The average elementary school class size is 20.5 students. In the middle school, core subject sections of English, mathematics, science, and social studies have an average of 21.6 students. Average class size in the high school is 20.2 students, with most classes having 24 students or fewer.

Dan Carlin, assistant superintendent for business, reported that the library is expected to open for student use during the first week of October. Work slowed down, he said, because of items that have long lead times for delivery and completion. Countertops and overhead LED light fixtures are expected to arrive in the next two weeks.

The storm water connection from Meadow Avenue to the flood mitigation pump system on campus is expected to be completed by October 15. Although the contractor started work later than anticipated, Carlin stated that crews have done excellent work, safely, with minimal room to work in.

Per Carlin, work on the Meadow Avenue addition is scheduled to begin in December. That will be preceded by work on the third floor, which will be done on second shift, after school hours. Classrooms impacted by the work will not be taken offline until summer 2020. Work during the current school year will be on outside projects only.

Carlin also reported that the district recently sold $20 million in bonds to finance the large capital plan approved by referendum in March 2018. He noted that the favorable interest rate on the bonds, at less than two percent, will allow the board of education to consider some of the projects that had to be eliminated from the original plan when bids received were higher than anticipated. The low-interest rate gives the district an additional $2.5 million to $2.7 million in flexibility to issue more bonds and still keep the overall capital project tax neutral. Additional bonds could be issued only by referendum.

The Bronxville Board of Education will meet on Thursday, October 17, at 7:00 pm in the school's multipurpose room.

Pictured here:  Tricia Murray, Bronxville School Elementary School principal, and Roy Montesano, Bronxville School superintendent, displaying certificate from New York State Department of Education.

Photo by N. Bower

 
Two Bronxville High School Seniors Named Semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program PDF Print Email

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Contributed by Michael Ganci, Syntax, for The Bronxville School

Sep. 25, 2019:  Accomplished Bronxville High School seniors Brian Li and Sabrina Mellinghoff have been named semifinalists in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship program. They are part of the top 1% of students nationwide who were awarded the distinction.

“We are extremely proud of Sabrina and Brian, two well-rounded students who exemplify the tenets of the Bronxville Promise in all that they do,” Principal Ann Meyer said.

Li and Mellinghoff are among 16,000 high school students nationwide to be awarded the distinction by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation for earning some of the highest scores on the 2018 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which served as an initial screen of entrants. More than 1.5 million students from more than 21,000 high schools entered the academic competition by taking the qualifying test as juniors.

Mellinghoff, who was a member of her high school’s National History Day team, which earned first place in the finals of the 2018 national contest, now mentors freshmen and sophomore students in their work on National History Day. 

“Sabrina is not only academically successful, she is also a star runner,” her counselor, Ellen Cohen, said. “She is a talented musician in our orchestra, and one of her favorite periods of the day is Advanced Placement Music because she and her ninth-grade sister have strategically planned to take one class together before Sabrina graduates. They love having time together within the school day.”

Li is president of the Math Club, runs cross-country, and tutors at-risk students in Mount Vernon through Destination College. He has also done scientific research in a lab at Emory University.

“Brian is someone who is always caring for others,” said Cohen, who is also Li’s counselor. “He loves learning. His former English teacher relayed that Brian will draft and redraft his writing, as he is dedicated to always do his best.”

According to its website, the National Merit Scholarship program honors students who show exceptional academic ability and potential for success in rigorous college studies. The program will award approximately 7,600 scholarships worth more than $31 million next spring. To become a finalist, the students must submit a detailed scholarship application, demonstrate an outstanding academic record, write an essay, and earn scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test. About 90% of the semifinalists will advance to the next round, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship.

National Merit Scholarship finalists will be announced in February, while scholarship winners will be announced in the spring. 

Pictured here (L to R): Bronxville High School seniors Brian Li and Sabrina Mellinghoff.

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 Students Attend 'Winning Mindset' Workshop PDF Print Email

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By Kelly Dolan, Member, Board of Directors, The Bronxville School Foundation

Sep. 25, 2019:  The Bronxville Broncos kicked off preseason this fall with an inspirational presentation and interactive discussion led by Gene Zanetti of The Winning Mindset, a mindset-training program that helps athletes and students reach their full potential. The students attended Gene’s dynamic presentation, one of several Winning Mindset workshops that will be offered throughout the school year, thanks to a generous grant from The Bronxville School Foundation. 

Zanetti spoke about being mentally prepared for all situations and engaging in “strength training for the mind.” He told students that they can always control their effort, attitude, and aggressiveness and can remind themselves to work on those before each practice, game, or test. The lesson here: to win more and do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. This type of preparedness enables individuals to gain confidence from knowing there is a plan for everything. Small changes in one’s focus can tremendously affect the outcome in a positive way. 

As girls' varsity lacrosse head coach Sharon Robinson said, “Our team worked with Gene and his Winning Mindset program last year, and we thought it was very beneficial. The Winning Mindset principles apply not only to sports teams but also to life skills as he encourages hard work, accountability, and the ability to reset and move forward after making mistakes.”

Zanetti asked students what was the biggest room in the world. Answer: “The room for improvement.” Are you content with where you are or do you want to improve? Gene reviewed the four principles of a Winning Mindset: first, I am thankful for the opportunity to compete; second, I’m aggressive and relentless; third, I have no fear of losing or making mistakes; and last, I never, ever give up. 

In relation to social media and the world around us, Gene noted that no one posts a bad day and we’re spending valuable time thinking about other people. Whatever you feed your mind with will come out in your behavior and words. He emphasized to students to know who they are, what their values are, and what they believe in and to know their worth. Knowing this will enable them to bounce back up when needed.

Co-presidents of the Bronxville Athletic Council Hanna Bishop, Grace McSherry, and Tim Murray collectively said of the presentation, “Today was a great experience. We think that playing a positive mental game is a really important part of being a good student, athlete, and person, so we’re excited to take the first step into gaining a winning mindset.” 

Pictured here: Gene Zanetti and co-presidents of the Bronxville Athletic Council Tim Murray, Hanna Bishop, and Grace McSherry.

Photo courtesy The Bronxville School Foundation

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.


 

 
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.





 

 
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