NRHS Welcomes Students; Hybrid Model in Full Swing
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (Nov. 13, 2020) - For the first time since March, students returned to the halls and classrooms of New Rochelle High School this week.
With the return of high school students, split into three cohorts, the City School District of New Rochelle has completed its phased-in transition to a hybrid educational model in which each class includes both students attending in person and others joining virtually.
“It’s better learning face to face,” said sophomore Brendon Huerta.
The first group arrived Monday. Under COVID-19 restrictions, masks stayed in place, covering mouths and noses. Classes contained several students each. In physical education class, students exercised 12 feet apart rather than the more common six-foot spacing. Cafeterias admitted no more than 50 people at a time.
Ninth graders took tours of the building which was now marked with purple stickers converting some hallways into one-way passages.
“Things have been going smoothly,” Interim Principal Steve Goldberg said on Tuesday. “Both teachers and students are saying, ‘We’re back in school. This is what it’s supposed to be like.’ We’re trying as much as we can to create as much normalcy as possible for our students.”
Even as students got used to the COVID-era classes, the District continued to monitor the rise in positive cases throughout the region and nation. Interim Superintendent Dr. Alex Marrero advised people to keep aware of the pandemic situation as it changes.
“Our educational goal is to offer safe and secure in-person education to the extent possible,” he said. “We are well prepared to take whatever steps necessary, including reverting to an all-virtual platform if it comes to that. But for the moment, it is heartwarming to see and hear students in the schools.”
In Performing and Visual Arts Education (PAVE) classes, students sang, played cellos and clarinets and more, also observing the rules.
“It’s nice to hear students singing and playing instruments – safely,” said Deepak Marwah, Director of Performing and Visual Arts. “It’s great to hear the energy from the acting students. It’s exciting to have them back in the building.”