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How the Mount Vernon High School pool is making a splash in the community

How the Mount Vernon High School pool is making a splash in the community

Students jumped, splashed and kicked during their swimming lesson at the Mount Vernon High School pool on Monday, February 5, 2024. Swim lessons are provided by Swim Outreach, located in the Bronx. Swim Outreach offers swim instruction for swimmers of all swimming abilities and ages.  

“Swim Outreach is really about using underutilized pools and putting programming for the community in them,” said Enrique DaCosta, Manager at Swim Outreach. “Offering learn to swim programs for the younger children, even adults, we do adult lessons as well.”  

Lessons are available at the Mount Vernon High School on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 6 to 6:30 p.m, 6:30 to 7 p.m and 7 to 7:30 p.m. Parents can sign up for weekday classes through Lessons are also available on the weekends through Lessons start at $25 per class.  

Community members can also take advantage of the MVHS pool during open swim, which is available on Mondays and Wednesdays from 6 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays 10 to 1 p.m. During this time, three lanes are open for members to take a dip or swim laps. Community residents interested in open swim will need to bring proof of residency and pay a fee of $5 per person, per visit. 

“Swimming, in my opinion, is the best exercise in the world,” said Kenneth Titley, a resident of Mount Vernon. “I think it’s great therapy, and I firmly believe that everyone should learn how to swim. Not to be an Olympic champion, but to learn the basics.”  

MVHS not only provides swim lessons and open swim to the community, but they also offer lifeguard training for MVHS students to become certified and work for the school. Aquatic Director Patrick Flores personally trains students to safely swim and be prepared in case of an emergency. 

“The thing I like about lifeguarding the most is being there to help people because I wasn’t able to swim when I was little, so it really inspired me to be there for people to come in and swim in the pool," said Jayden Jones, a senior at MVHS. “I would say it is an enjoyable job. The training and the process of being a lifeguard is pretty simple, so I would encourage people to come out and be a lifeguard.”  

After being closed for over a decade, the MVHS pool was reopened in the summer of 2018, with renovations starting in 2014. The 54-year-old pool is now a reliable resource for not just the Mount Vernon City School District, but for all residents in the community. This pool is the only one within the community, besides the outdoor wave pool at Wilson Woods Park.  

“When we started swimming lessons when she was in Pre-K, she was afraid of putting her face in the water. She was terrified of the water,” said Kigho Knotts, parent of a first grade student attending Traphagen School. “Now in first grade, she is swimming half the length of the pool. The coaches here, they really know what they are doing, they are very skilled. Not just in swimming, but with working with children of all ages, all levels of comfort. I really credit the swim program here with all of this progress she has made in such a short time.”  

Students learning how to swim in the water.
Two children with a parent smiling at the camera.
Student learning how to swim.
mom getting child ready to go into the water.
Basketball team, cheerleaders, administrators all smiling at the camera.

Mount Vernon High School boys' basketball team beat New Rochelle in the Section 1 Class AAA basketball championship on Sunday, March 3, 2024, during an intense and dynamic game at the Westchester County Center. Mount Vernon came back to win the championship with a 41-37 win. Junior Tavien Tyler scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, leading the comeback against New Rochelle.  

Mr. Raimondi speaking at Public safety summit

Students and young people up to 25 years old partook in discussions about public safety in Mount Vernon on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at the City of Mount Vernon’s Youth Public Safety Summit. The event was hosted by the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau and Cities United, an organization committed to helping cities improve across America. 

Dr. Smith and Betty Rosa

Mount Vernon City School District representatives, including Lorna Kirwan, Board President; Dr. K. Veronica Smith, Acting Superintendent; Sandra Myke, Assistant Superintendent of Business; and Mark Raimondi, Associate Superintendent of Operations and Accountability, went to Albany to lobby legislators for additional resources on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. They had a productive meeting with New York State Commissioner of Education Betty A. Rosa to request assistance in retaining Foundation Aid.

Black History Month

The Mount Vernon City School District celebrated Black History Month with enthusiasm and reflected on its cultural significance. Throughout the month, students learned about important figures in history, the accomplishments throughout Black history and why it is so important today. Read more about what students, staff and administrators said about what Black History Month means to them here. To hear more about what Black History Month means to the Mount Vernon City School District, view the video below.

Click here to view the video!

MVHS Paris students

At the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, February 15, 2024, the Mount Vernon City School District said ‘Bon Voyage!’ to 18 Mount Vernon High School students who are going to Paris. Students departed on their plane to France on Friday, February 16.