Dr. Champ's October 2017 Newsletter

Dear Pelham Family,

This fall has brought much excitement to our District as we have begun implementing a variety of initiatives and learning activities in each of the Pelham schools. FLES is in full swing at the elementary schools providing second and third grade students with immersive experiences in Spanish language, music lessons have begun, and hands-on STEAM activities in both classrooms and MakerSpaces are engaging our students K through 5. At the Middle School, students reflected upon the IB Learner Profile and set growth goals for themselves, student clubs and activities have begun, and students are growing their knowledge and skills through interdisciplinary and globally-focused instruction. High school students are deeply engaged in challenging course work, clubs, service, athletics, and the arts. We are proud to once again see an increase in the number of AP classes being offered, and are continuing to support students in working toward their self-selected academic goals. The Student Association and all of our staff and teams have been gearing up for what should be an exciting and spirit filled Homecoming week!

At this time of year, all of our schools also begin to practice the various safety drills required annually. The recent tragedy in Las Vegas reminds us of the crucial importance of preparedness for emergency situations. Throughout the school year, the District is required to conduct four lock-down drills, eight fire drills, a rapid dismissal drill, a shelter-in-place drill, and a lock-out drill. We work very closely with our local police departments to plan, practice, and improve upon these drills each year so that as a community we can provide the safest environment for our students and staff. We encourage you to speak to your children about the importance of these drills and how practice helps us to be as prepared and safe as possible.

The Board of Education is continuing its work planning for a bond referendum to replace the façade at Hutchinson School. The Board has considered a variety of renovation and expansion options, as well as a proposal for a new school. Once the Board determines the best approach to meeting the needs at Hutchinson School, the focus will turn to prioritizing the short and long-term needs of the other schools as we work toward defining a final scope proposal. The Board will continue this work throughout the fall at their meetings, which will be starting at 7:15 pm in the PMS library. The earlier start time will hopefully allow greater community engagement throughout the process. Additional community engagement opportunities will also be planned throughout the fall and spring related to this work. Please visit the Hutchinson Façade page for ongoing updates and resources related to the bond planning and eventual proposal.

As the seasons change and we settle into the new school year, I encourage everyone to reflect upon the following quote, which has been attributed to a variety of different sources,

“Your beliefs become your thoughts, your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your values, your values become your destiny.” Let’s use the coming school year to practice putting words, actions, and habits in place that are anchored in our common beliefs and support the values that continue to make us a district and community that inspires a standard of excellence for all students.