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Opening week activities and classes at high schools

While the pre-Kindergarten to eighth-grade Mount Vernon City School District students started school on September 7, high schoolers are on a little different schedule with orientations Wednesday, September 7, and Thursday, September 8. 

The new principal of Mount Vernon High School, Dr. Pauline Pearce greeted 10th-grade students at orientation, giving words of encouragement and excitement and expressing her priorities for the upcoming year. She wants to build a sense of community, cultivate character, and inspire excellence. 11th and 12th graders had orientation on September 7, and ninth graders will have orientation September 9. 

"The new Mount Vernon High School means that we have expectations for you," said Dr. Pearce. "We need you to be role models to the children coming after you. Mount Vernon High School is the flagship school of the district, meaning we need to be pillars of the community. The high school will be a place where everyone feels welcome, where everyone is safe, and a school that is conducive to learning."   

Mount Vernon STEAM Academy held an orientation for 10th-grade students on September 8, and ninth grade students had their orientation on September 8. Acting Principal Lillian Serret-Morales laid out her expectations for the year and expressed supreme confidence in the scholars. Ms. Serret-Morales reminded the students that high school can be difficult, but they need to continue pushing themselves. She introduced all the teachers, and they each spoke for a few moments to welcome back the students.  

Ms. Serret-Morales put an emphasis on safety and said, “My message to the parents is to support us with our uniforms, and it will make it easier to keep their children safe. As always, we need to keep our focus on academics, behavior, and safety for all staff and students.” 

The orientation covered everything from curriculum to graduation requirements, as the principal urged students to make sure that they stay caught up with their classes.  
 
STEAM Academy administration highlighted the extracurriculars and the honor roll. They also highlighted the college preparation and academic support programs. These include academic power hour and Spring Saturday school. Additionally, the safety supervisor gave a short speech about entering the building and safety concerns with what students bring in their backpacks. Students were dismissed to their classes. Classroom instruction began and teachers happily welcomed back their scholars.

Denzel Washington School of the Arts held an orientation on Wednesday, September 7, and Thursday, September 8 was the first day of full classes.  
 
Principal Dr. Evelyn Collins met with the seniors to discuss her expectations for the year.  
 
“I want Denzel Washington School of the Arts to be one of the premiere arts schools in the country,” said Dr. Collins. “I push them to make the ordinary extraordinary. If they have that as their foundation, all they can do is go up.” 

Seniors were excited to begin their final year of school, but that also means that they will have plenty of work. Dr. Collins spoke with seniors from the dancing, theater, visual arts, band, and orchestra programs, and she gave them a summary of what to expect in their senior year.  

Visual Arts teacher Janet Rush introduced the AP Art and Design curriculum and course requirements to her students. She also recapped the Michael Escoffery art exhibition at White Plains Library from Aug. 1 to Aug. 7. Students from Denzel Washington School of the Arts brought their art to the exhibition, and some sold their art.  
 
Denzel Washington School of the Arts values its scholars' work, and Ms. Rush said that they are always looking to showcase their students at events like this. She is excited to see all her students work hard and see what opportunities are available to them. She also began class by asking about the students’ college plans so that she could help them achieve their goals. In the next room, theater students were working on monologues with scene partners that they will perform soon.  

Security guard helping students cross

Mount Vernon City School District takes the safety and security of all its scholars very seriously, and as a result, the district has provided temporary security coverage at Mount Vernon STEAM Academy to keep students safe as they arrive and depart from school grounds. The district is currently investigating the situation and looking for a permanent solution. 

George Latimer cutting the Memorial Field Ribbon with others.

Westchester County, City of Mount Vernon and Mount Vernon City School District officials were accompanied by local elected officials and other dignitaries in a ceremony on Wednesday, September 21, 2022, to officially open the new Memorial Field.  On Saturday, September 24, the Mount Vernon Knights football team will play their first game at Memorial Field since 2007. The team will face the Yonkers Force.   

Superintendent Dr. Bennett-Conroy and Parent Resource Center Coordinator cut ribbon to officially open Parent Resource Center

The Parent Resource Center officially opened on Monday, September 12, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a presentation where district administrators explained why the center is important to Mount Vernon’s parents. Located at Mount Vernon STEAM Academy, the Parent Resource Center is now open to parents and families seeking assistance. Parents, administrators, parent liaisons, and more gathered in the STEAM Academy auditorium, excited for the opening of this monumental new asset for the community of Mount Vernon.

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Mount Vernon City School District has introduced Online Registration to families for the 2022 - 2023 school year, for efficiency, effectiveness and 24-hour access for all new registration.

Student looking at his curriculum in the auditorium. Surrounded by other students.

While the pre-Kindergarten to eighth-grade Mount Vernon City School District students started school on September 7, high schoolers are on a little different schedule with orientations Wednesday, September 7, and Thursday, September 8.