From Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ
Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members,
I hope this letter finds you well rested and enjoying the last weeks of summer. Whether you traveled somewhere local or exotic, relaxed by the pool or beach, visited your kids at camp, or spent the summer here in Pelham, I hope that the past two months have been restful and enjoyable.
As I look forward to year two as Superintendent of Schools, I continue to be impressed by the high expectations that our teachers, staff, and parents share for our students, the unwavering attention to academics, extracurricular activities, social-emotional development, and enrichment by our faculty, and renewing our commitment to the District’s mission, “Inspiring a Standard of Excellence for All Students.”
Building on our Success
Last school year was yet another banner year for the Pelham Public Schools. We successfully rolled out the Foreign Language Elementary School (FLES) program, redoubled our commitment to humanities, STEAM, wellness, and implementation of instructional technologies as a tool for building 21st Century skills, and saw the fruits of these efforts through student achievement in all disciplines. As we transition into the final year of our current Strategic Plan, we strive to build on these initiatives and others. Examples include expanding the FLES program into 4th grade at all of our elementary schools, the implementation of the Science 21 curriculum in grades 1 & 2, and the continued development of the IB MYP in grades 6-10. We will also embark on a multi-year commitment to building Cultural Proficiency within the Pelham Public Schools. Thanks to the work of the Diversity Oversight Committee, we are partnering with Campbell Jones Associates to begin a multi-year cohort training process that assists us in building our own cultural competency and in turn creating a more welcoming and inclusive District. As our country and world continue to become more diverse and as a community and District that embrace and celebrate that diversity, it is the perfect time to renew our commitment to this work.
We are pleased to welcome many new faculty this year, as well as congratulate those familiar faces moving into new leadership positions. I’d like to specifically welcome Susan Lockhart as our new Interim Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services. Ms. Lockhart will be with us through the fall semester while we reopen the search to fill the position long term. Her experience and expertise have already proven invaluable through the summer months and we look forward to her continued leadership. Also new in our PPS department is Greg Lau, our new Supervisor for Special Education 6-12. Mr. Lau brings a wealth of experience in transition services for Special Education students, which will help us to continue to strengthen our networks of support for our middle and high school students.
John Sebalos joins the team as our new Director of Technology. Coming to us from Mahopac, Mr. Sebalos has hit the ground running with plans to see us through a significant infrastructure transition and continuation of our Chromebook initiative over the summer. Many thanks to him and the entire technology team for their diligent work and troubleshooting over the summer months. I’d also like to congratulate Lynn Sabia and Sean Llewellyn on their new roles as Principal and Interim Assistant Principal of PMS, respectively. I am confident their leadership will enable us to continue the outstanding work at the middle school without missing a beat. And finally, Millie Bonilla joins us as Secretary to the Superintendent and District Clerk for the Board of Education. She has big shoes to fill and the energy to make sure that it is possible. Please join us in welcoming and celebrating each of these staff members at a reception on August 28 at 7:30 pm in the PMHS Library.
The refinished PMS Gym floor. We are extremely thankful to our buildings and grounds staff under the leadership of John Condon, who have worked extremely hard to prepare our campuses for the new school year. In addition to their regular work, there was increased attention to painting, the installation of a new fire escape at Prospect Hill, and masonry repairs at PMHS. Additionally, our playing fields have returned to terrific shape for the start of school and most noticeable is the refinishing of the PMS gym floor and the renovation of the upper portion of the PMS/PMHS cafeteria. We hope you and our students will enjoy these new updated spaces.
In late spring/early summer, the Board of Education appointed KG&D and Triton Construction as the District’s post-referendum architect and construction management firm, respectively. Both firms bring valuable experience in school construction and we look forward to working with them. The team has already begun drafting preliminary designs for the projects approved in the bond referendum last May, including the renovation of administrative offices into HS/MS classrooms and an orchestra rehearsal space, replacement of the PMHS annex roof and parapets, installation of an elevator and double-door security vestibule at Prospect Hill, and construction of a new Hutchinson School. We look forward to sharing more information about each of these projects as they progress throughout the school year.
As the final days and weeks of the summer fade, I wish you all the best and look forward to another exciting and productive school year together.
Cheryl H. Champ, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools
Good to Know
The Board of Education is seeking interested candidates to fill vacancies on several of the Board's committees for the 2018-19 school year.Vacancies exist on the Board's Advocacy & Community Engagement, Audit, Bond Steering, Safety & Security, Strategic Planning, International Baccalaureate Oversight, Literacy, Math, K-12 Innovation, Wellness and Diversity committees, as well as the Athletic Facilities sub-committee.District- Good to Know
Update on new Hutchinson School Design and Invitation to Community Meeting
Architect Russell Davidson of KG&D provided the Pelham Board of Education with an update on the schematic design of the planned new Hutchinson School that was approved in the 2018 capital improvement bond.
The community is also invited to a meeting on Thursday, Sept. 13 at 7:30 pm in the Hutchinson School gym at which Mr. Davidson will share information on the design and status of the new school, as well as the other projects included in the bond.District- Good to Know
Important Information Regarding Food Service
Food Service information for the 2018-19 school year was sent via email on August 8, 2018. This information, including applications for free and reduced lunch, Nutrikids accounts, meal pricing, and the USDA non-disclosure agreement is available on the District’s Food Services page.
If you would like this information sent to you in hard copy, please contact the Business Office by calling 914-738-9140 or your child’s school.District- Good to Know
Trouble contacting teachers/ staff? Please readDear Parents,A recent technology systems upgrade resulted in the resetting of all Pelham Public Schools faculty's email passwords. Because of this, some teachers and staff who are not working over the summer may not yet have access to their school email accounts. If you are having difficulty reaching a teacher or staff member, please call your school or the District office. Please know that our technology department is actively working to resolve this issue.District- Good to Know
Sign Up for Email Blasts
Please sign up for email blasts from the Pelham Public Schools to learn more about District events, the upcoming bond referendum and important announcements.District- Good to Know
Need to Know
Notice of Retirement Waiver and Temporary Employment of Susan E. Lockhart
Please be advised that the Pelham Union Free School District has been granted a waiver for temporary employment Susan E. Lockhart as Interim Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services under Section 211 of Retirement and Social Security Law and section 80-5.5 of Commissioner's Regulations from June 28, 2018 to December 31, 2018. Mrs. Lockhart will be paid on a per diem basis during her employment with the District and will continue to receive her New York State pension during this time.District- Need to Know
Brice, Mazzaro to be Appointed to Board of Education
The Pelham Board of Education announced on August 23 that John Brice and Vincent Mazzaro will be appointed as Trustees to fill two vacant seats on the Board. Please read more about their appointments.District- Need to Know
Board Appoints Susan Lockhart and Sean Llewellyn as Interim Asst. Superintendent, MS Asst. Principal
We are pleased to announce the appointments of Susan Lockhart as Interim Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services and Sean Llewellyn as Interim Assistant Principal of Pelham Middle School.
Please read Dr. Champ's letter announcing their appointments and join us in welcoming them into their respective new roles!District- Need to Know
Lynn Sabia to be Appointed Middle School Principal
Lynn Sabia, currently the assistant principal of Pelham Middle School, is expected to be appointed principal at the Board of Education's meeting at 8:15 pm on Wednesday, June 20. Please read Dr. Champ's announcement for more information.District- Need to Know
School Budget, Bond and BOE Election ResultsBudget/Bond/BOE Election Results:Budget Proposition Passes: Yes-1723; No-550Bond Proposition 1 Passes: Yes-1584; No-698Bond Proposition 2 Passes: Yes-1412; No-848Jessica Young (1682 votes) and Eileen Miller (1522 votes) were elected to three-year terms on the Board of EducationThank you voters!District- Need to Know
Bond Referendum Set for Tuesday, May 15
Eligible Pelham voters may vote on a two-proposition bond proposal to fund facilities/infrastructure projects and athletic facilities/fields upgrades on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. Visit the District's updated bond page to learn more about the proposal.District- Need to Know
A note from Dr. Champ about the Tragedy in Florida
Dear Pelham Parents, Staff and Community Members,
I am writing you with a heavy heart over the tragedy that took place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida yesterday. For all of us – parents, students, teachers, and staff – violence in a school, especially the loss of innocent lives, hits far too close to home.
During this time when media attention is heightened around this most recent school shooting, it is especially important that we help our children make sense of this disturbing act of violence. Please know that our school counselors, psychologists, administrators and principals are all available to support our students and staff. We encourage you to reach out and ask for support.
The safety of our students and staff is something that I take extremely seriously and something that our staff thinks about on a daily basis. Each instance of school violence gives us pause as we think about how we improve the safety of our buildings and facilities.
Over the course of today and tomorrow, our middle school and high school administrators and support staff will be meeting with students to review our safety protocols and remind students of the resources available to help support them emotionally.
In the coming days and weeks, our elementary principals will review our building protocols with our staff and parents and remind them of the importance of following our safety procedures. As always, our staff is available to address any students’ concerns in a developmentally appropriate way.
Our District safety and security committee will also meet shortly to review our procedures and discuss ways to make improvements, as necessary.
Each year we practice a variety of drills, such as lock downs and lock outs, to help us prepare for a day that we pray will never come. Over the past several years, each of our campuses have been equipped with enhanced security features to control who is entering and leaving our buildings at all times and notify those outside of the buildings when an emergency situation is occurring. Our security and facilities team and our administration maintains a close working relationship with our police and fire chiefs in each village and they too practice and prepare for emergency responses routinely and seriously. Together, we strive to make sure our efforts are efficient and coordinated in the event of any emergency.
Preparation is key to ensuring that our schools are safe and welcoming places for our students and staff. The social-emotional wellness of our students is a core tenet of educational system and that will always be the best preventative measure we can take. We also must be persistent in ensuring that potentially dangerous and violent situations are known before they become tragedies. It sounds simple, but please, if you see something, say something. We will investigate, and we will work to make sure our students are safe – it is our most important function as a school system.
Finally, the Employee Assistance Program has produced a helpful guide with tips on dealing with the trauma from the tragedy. Click here to review this document.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. Please keep the families of Parkland, Florida in your hearts and minds and thank you for your continued support.
Dr. Cheryl Champ, Ed. D.
Superintendent of SchoolsDistrict- Need to Know
John Condon Appointed Director of Facilities
The Pelham Public Schools is pleased to announce the appointment of John P. Condon as Director of Facilities effective February 26, 2018. Mr. Condon will take over the position from current Director Anthony Mandile, who is retiring on February 28. Please read more about this announcement.District- Need to Know
Transportation to Out-of-District Schools due by April 2
Please note that parents requesting transportation to out-of-district schools for the 2018-19 school year MUST complete and send in the Request Form before April 2, 2018 (this is a one-day extension due to the Easter holiday.District- Need to Know
Information on Kindergarten Registration
Registration of Kindergarten students will take place January 23 for new Colonial and Hutchinson students and January 24 for new Prospect Hill and Siwanoy students.
Please review the Kindergarten registration letter for precise times and information.District- Need to Know
C: Chess Family Night6 pm, GymColonial Elementary School
H: Open House
6:30 pm, GymHutchinson Elementary School
S: K, Gr. 1, 5 Open House
6:30 pmSiwanoy Elementary School
Day 2Pelham Public Schools
PH: Gr. 3-5 Open House
6:30 pm, Aud.Prospect Hill Elementary School
H: Picture Day(Rain Date 9/26 or 9/27)Hutchinson Elementary School
Day 3Pelham Public Schools
Day 4Pelham Public Schools
S: Picture DaySiwanoy Elementary School
C: Picture Day(Rain Date 9/25)Colonial Elementary School
C: Gr. K-2 Open House
6:30 pmColonial Elementary School
Board of Education Mtg
8:15 pm, MS LibraryPelham Public Schools
C: Gr. 3-5 Open House
6:30 pmColonial Elementary School
S: Gr. 2, 3, 4 Open House
6:30 pmSiwanoy Elementary School
Day 5Pelham Public Schools
Day 6Pelham Public Schools
MS: Open House
7 pmPelham Middle School
HS: Open House
6:30 pmPelham Memorial High School
PH: PTA Mtg.8:30 am, LibraryProspect Hill Elementary School
Day 1Pelham Public Schools