NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- School Board Jeffrey Hastie announced tonight that the New Rochelle Board of Education accepted the final report from T&M Protection Resources on our use of online credit courses at New Rochelle High School.
“This is the first step in rebuilding trust in an educational system that prides itself on the quality of the education we deliver,” said Hastie.
“The report uncovered some improper and unacceptable practices that took place with regard to grading students’ work. The systemic failure identified in the report is not tolerated. We commissioned the investigation immediately and insisted that the report be complete, thorough and honest.”
Hastie reported, and as Talk of the Sound predicted, that Interim Superintendent Dr. Magda Parvey had “initiated the statutorily mandated process to terminate the probationary period of the administrator identified as having made the grade changes.”
In other words, Parvey fired Shadia Alvarez.
Hastie described the formal legal process to terminate Alvarez which will end at the board meeting on January 8, 2019.
The District and New Rochelle High School administration are putting in place a series of changes to ensure that our students are graded with absolute integrity and professionalism.
Producing a handbook that clearly defines the use of on-line credit and independent study courses, including when they can be taken and when they must end.
Clearly defining the role and responsibilities of the Online Coordinator.
Ensuring that multiple staff members are responsible for approving the process for each student who takes an online course. The Director of Extended Day and Continuing Education will meet with the New Rochelle High School Administrative Cabinet every month to discuss students and independent study course work.
Making sure that all users of the new platform receive extensive training in it.
Writing Board policy for online credit courses and independent study.
The board has decided to send the final report to New York State Education Department for further review and to assess the proposed changes for online services.
“Our educators, administrators and support staff work their hardest to provide the highest quality education to our students in an environment that encourages a love of learning and inquiry,” said Hastie. “Graduates are – and should be – proud of their New Rochelle High School diplomas.”
“Confidence in grading is the glue that holds it all together,” said Hastie
Hastie read the letter in full about a report which raised serious doubts about the reliability of grades and graduation date at New Rochelle High School just moments after school board members excoriated Interim NRHS Principal Joseph Starvaggi for deceitful presenting data on NRHS Graduation rates.
More than a dozen speakers, most of them who identified themselves as members of New Rochelle Residents Against Racism (NewRoAR), rose to speak in defense of Shadia Alvarez and attack this reporter accusing him of racism for writing “fake news” articles about Shadia Alvarez based on the T&M report adopted tonight by the school board and based on two sustained fraud investigations by the New York City Special Commissioner of Investigation. Some speakers expressed dismay that the T&M report had first appeared in public on Talk of the Sound and demanded an investigation into who leaked the report. Hastie said the person who leaked it did not have the best interest of the District at heart.
Just when the evening could not get more bizarre, Hastie called up Shadia Alvarez as the next speaker. She spoke for about one minute and finished to sustained applause from a contingent of about 20 NewROAR members.
“I want to make sure the people in the community hear that I fundamentally disagree with the findings of the report and that I am profoundly just heartbroken about the way in which this has occurred. I believe in this community. I believe in the District of New Rochelle. I believe that somehow, someway there will be a way to figure this out that doesn’t require this and so I ask that this board look at the report. I will be looking at the report, looking at it and trying to figure out how this happened. I ask this community support my work. My work was not just about an online program. It was about supporting students and I have a four year track record that’s about supporting students not just an online program. Thank you.”
UPDATE: After the meeting, the District sent out a media availability announcement for a press conference the following day. The statement incorrectly stated the NRHS Apex Coordinator resigned. The Superintendent initiated a process to terminate Alvarez on January 8th.