2019-20 Budget Focus

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A Note from the Board of Education

The seven members of the Board of Education are shown.

Dear Neighbors,

On behalf of the Pelham Board of Education, I hope that you will join us on Tuesday, May 21 to vote on the proposed 2019-20 school budget and select candidates for the three open seats on the Board of Education. The community vote will be held in the Pelham Memorial High School Main Gym and polls will be open from 7 am to 9 pm.

As we near completion of our five-year Strategic Plan and set our course for the next several years, we are excited about the accomplishments of our District and the tremendous opportunities we are able to provide the students of Pelham. The proposed budget continues to build upon that foundation in several key ways. For example, it includes the expansion of Spanish language instruction into 5th grade across the District, completing the phase-in of the Foreign Language Elementary School (FLES) program in grades 2-5, supports the ongoing 1:1 Chromebook initiative which equips all students in grades 7-12 with a device for use in the home and classroom, and maintains professional development for our staff, including in the International Baccalaureate program. We are also pleased to include the addition of a fourth elementary psychologist so that each school can have a dedicated clinician, and a new interventionist position that will bolster our academic supports for elementary students.

Each budget year presents a variety of challenges as we seek to maintain and improve the educational program offered to our students while remaining mindful of the tax burden shared by all of us as residents and maintaining the fiscal health of our District. With that in mind, we are proud to propose a budget that expands our educational program as mentioned above, reduces our reliance on appropriated fund balance, and includes a tax levy increase of 3.17%, which is compliant with the New York State tax cap.

In addition to the budget, voters will have the opportunity to elect candidates to three open three-year terms on the Board of Education. We wish all candidates the best of luck in the election and encourage voters to learn more about each of them in the coming weeks.

We hope that you will read more about the budget proposal in the pages of this FOCUS. Please feel free to reach out to me, or any member of the Board or administration if you have any questions. Most importantly, please make sure to VOTE on Tuesday, May 21, 2019.

Sue Bratone Childs
Board of Education President

Election At a Glance

Budget & School Board Election: Tuesday, May 21

Polls Open 7 am - 9 pm, PMHS Main Gym

On the Ballot

2019-20 Proposed Budget

Total: $74,930,000 | 1.74% Budget-to-Budget Increase

  • Expands Spanish language instruction to fifth grade, completing phase-in of Foreign Language Elementary School (FLES) Program
  • Provides new elective, AP & college-level courses for PMHS students
  • Creates elementary psychologist and interventionist positions to further support students’ academic and social-emotional needs
  • Continues 1:1 Chromebook initiative for students Gr. 7-12
  • Supports continued professional learning for teachers and staff

Tax Levy: 3.17%

  • Compliant with New York State Tax Cap
  • Projected Tax Rate: $18.37 per $1,000 assessed home value (homestead assessed value using 2018 assessments)
Contested School Board Election

Four candidates are running for three open seats on the Board of Education. They are Leah Tahbaz, John Brice, Steven Shekane, and Vincent Mazzaro.

Each open position is for a full three-year term. View PTA-sponsored Candidates’ Forum on Cablevision Ch. 77/FiOs Ch. 42 or at pelhamschools.org (see "News & Information").

View more budget Info

Email the Board with questions


Mark Your Calendar

Tenure Recognition

May 28, Reception: 7:30pm, HS Library; Meeting: 8:15 pm, MS Library.

Receiving tenure are: Teachers: Alicia Gallagher, Kevin Miller, Rebecca Reina; Teaching Assistants: Roseanne LaForte-Kitay, Trisha Lahn, Marc Ritacco.

Retiree Recognition

June 11, Reception: 7:30 pm, HS Library; Meeting: 8:15 pm, MS Library.

Retiring are: Ms. Pamela Anderson, Ms. Cassandra Fiore,
Ms. Jo Ann Hintzen, Ms. Margaret Keegan,
Ms. Susan Snyder

2019-20 Budget Appropriations

School District Budget Notice



Includes regular education costs including teacher and support staff salaries, curriculum development and teacher training. Maintains & enhances academic program.



Salaries $24,577,273 $24,866,982 $289,709
Equipment 25,808 15,000 (10,808)
Contract Services 266,016 285,027 19,011
Supplies 284,508 315,735 31,227
Textbook 210,456 203,769 (6,687)
BOCES Services 2,733,744 2,903,476 169,732
Total $28,097,805 $28,589,989 $492,184


Includes services related to Special Education, including Special Education teachers and tuition for special education students attending programs out of district.



Salaries $5,841,466 $5,833,103 $(8,363)
Equipment -- 2,500 2,500
Contract Services 60,025 85,600 25,575
Supplies 2,800 17,800 15,000
Tuition 530,094 850,902 320,808
BOCES Services 490,357 704,524 214,167
Total $6,924,742 $7,494,429 $569,687


Includes costs for the operation of school libraries, HS Info Center and audio visual needs.



Salaries $633,260 $655,669 $22,409
Supplies 5,185 4,900 (285)
Library Books 27,620 27,690 70
Total $666,065 $688,259 $22,194



Includes technology support services, network applications, hardware & software support.



Salaries $275,049 $260,805 $(14,244)
Equipment 21,960 22,960 1,000
Contract Services 96,545 102,137 5,592
Supplies 14,963 15,600 637
Software 96,311 139,004 42,693
Total $504,828 $540,506 $35,678



Includes guidance services, school nurses,the school doctor, psychologists, attendance and building safety services. Salary increase includes addition of an elementary school psychologist.



Salaries $3,123,883 $3,316,399 $192,516
Equipment 3,000 3,600 600
Contract Services 378,737 371,083 (7,654)
Supplies 21,390 22,929 1,539
Total $3,527,010 $3,714,011 $187,001


Includes co-curricular activity stipends, athletic director, coaches, team equipment, supplies, supervision at athletic events and athletic training services.



Salaries $895,728 $940,272 $44,544
Equipment -- 5,000 5,000
Contract Services 126,049 137,115 11,066
Supplies 53,500 50,000 (3,500)
Total $1,075,277 $1,132,387 $57,110



Includes mandated transportation for pupils attending private & parochial schools, special needs students and those attending occupational education programs. Also includes transportation for athletic events and certain trips.



Salaries $36,939 $37,678 $739
Charter & Athletic trips 160,185 206,300 46,115
Contract Transportation 897,117 994,374 97,257
Public Transportation 47,586 54,940 7,354
Supplies 350 350 --
Total $1,142,177 $1,293,642 $151,465



Includes allocated costs for use of District fields and facilities by the community.



Salaries $65,528 $60,499 $(5,029)
Contract Services 66,300 46,300 (20,000)
Supplies 47,005 47,000 (5)
Total $178,833 $153,799 $(25,034)



Represents contractually required pension, health, employment taxes & other employment-related costs.



Total $13,078,130 $13,830,193 $122,063



Includes District share of summer school costs for special needs students.



Total $30,000 $30,000 -



Includes legal costs associated with student issues (health, welfare, safety, rights, discipline, disabilities, etc.)



Total $45,000 $49,500



Total Program



Total $55,899,867 $57,516,715 $1,616,848




Includes cost for operation and maintenance of all school buildings & grounds, including custodial staff. *Note regarding Property Lease: To provide administrative offices for the School District, the Board of Education plans to enter into a five year lease of approximately 10,065 square feet of space located in the Village of Pelham, NY. The annual combined rent (inclusive of electric) for years one through five totals $1,258,125. Through the approval of the budget, including the line item for rental payments, the Board of Education is seeking voter approval to extend the proposed lease term to and including December 31, 2025, for a total lease term of 6 years and 7 months, with an annual  combined rent of $266,722.50 for the sixth year (inclusive of electric) and a monthly combined rent of $22,646.25 for each of the seven additional months (inclusive of electric).



Salaries $2,397,970 $2,435,067 $37,097
Equipment 100,000 87,500 (12,500)
Contract Services 1,697,998 1,377,657 (320,341)
Property Lease -- 265,000* 265,000
Utilities 1,181,000 1,228,000 47,000
Supplies 371,095 369,090 (2,005)
Total $5,748,063 $5,762,314 $14,251



Represents contractually-required pension, health, employment taxes and other employment-related costs.



Total $1,516,476 $1,481,956 $(34,520)



Includes debt service on capital bonds.



Total $3,559,119 $3,547,403 $(11,716)



Includes anticipated transfers for district-wide repair & remediation projects accounted for in the Capital Fund. No such projects are planned for 2019-20



Total $250,000 -- $(250,000)


Total Capital



Total $11,073,658 $10,791,673 $(281,985)




Includes cost of budget vote, meetings, publications, memberships, consultants, workshops and BoardDocs.



Salaries $1,500 $2,000 $500
Contract Services 51,500 46,090 (5,410)
Supplies & Materials 3,500 2,500 (1,000)
BOCES Services 10,981 11,032 51
District Meeting 12,500 12,500 --
Total $79,981 $74,122 $(5,859)



Includes stipend for district clerk.



Salaries $12,559 $12,000 $(559)



Includes funds for the operation of the Superintendent’s Office.



Salaries $435,101 $444,754 $9,653
Contractual 14,500 16,200 1,700
Supplies 5,000 3,000 (2,000)
Total 454,601 463,954 9,353



Includes funds for the operations of the District Business Office including: accounting, payroll, accounts payable & receivable, bidding, audit and personnel functions for non-certified staff.



Salaries $641,437 $663,970 $22,533
Contractual & Auditing 108,315 101,125 (7,190)
Supplies 13,000 11,000 (2,000)
Total 762,752 776,095 13,343



Includes legal costs related to contractual negotiations, labor relations, regulatory compliance, tax certiorari proceedings, etc.



Total $105,000 $115,500 $10,500



Includes funds for advertising/recruiting of certified staff, employee record keeping and the Public Information Officer.



Salaries $186,453 $204,375 $17,921
Equipment 500 500 --
Contractual 6,000 6,000 --
Supplies 2,500 2,500 --
Total 195,453 213,375 17,921



Includes costs for liability and student accident insurance. Also includes school association dues, sewer tax and BOCES administrative fee.



Insurance $301,350 $319,325 $17,975
Association Dues 20,000 20,000 --
Sewer Tax 61,000 61,000 --
BOCES Admin. Charge 287,051 339,409 52,358
Total 669,401 739,734 70,333


Includes costs for administration, evaluation and revision of the instructional program, including funds for student supervision and operation of the principals’ offices.  Also includes staff development costs.



Salaries $2,494,222 $2,410,964 $(83,257)
Equipment 5,860 -- (5,860)
Contractual 179,903 160,623 (19,280)
Supplies 61,600 47,650 (13,950)
Total $2,741,585 $2,619,237 (122,347)



Represents contractually-required pension, health, employment taxes and other employment-related costs.



Total $1,655,143 $1,607,595 $(47,548)


Total Administration



Total $6,676,475 $6,621,612 $(54,863)


Total Budget



Total $73,650,000 $74,930,000 $1,280,000


The three-part budget format (program, capital, administration) presented above is in accordance with NYSED Budgeting Handbook 3 guidelines.

How the Budget is Spent

Our budget continues to focus its spending on students.

How Pelham's Projected Per Pupil Cost Compares with Other Districts for 2018-19*

Our spending is consistently in the bottom quartile compared with other districts reporting data in Westchester, Rockland and Putnam.

10 Lowest Spending

Port Chester - $20,228
Mamaroneck - $24,672
Pelham - $25,231
Peekskill - $25,238
New Rochelle - $25,261
Rye Neck - $25,495
Rye City - $25,513
East Ramapo - $25,638
Ossining - $25,858
Clarkstown - $26,340

10 Highest Spending

Pocantico Hills - $68,703
Byram Hills - $39,925
North Salem - $39,272
Katonah - $36,425
Valhalla - $34,903
Irvington - $34,349
Bedford - $34,300
Hendrick Hudson - $33,417
Scarsdale - $33,160
Elmsford - $32,906



* Based on 2018-19 projections of reporting districts.

Budgeted Revenue

Property Taxes - $63,646,306

The majority of the District’s revenue comes from property taxes. The increase is compliant with the cap allowed by NYS law for the Pelham Schools.

State Aid - $7,585,216

This amount is based on the State’s adopted budget and reflects a drop in Building Aid, partially offset by increases in BOCES and Foundation aids.

Miscellaneous Receipts - $2,373,478

This includes money from categories such as tuition and health services from other districts, shared town maintenance, interest on deposits, county sales tax revenue, rental of real property, and other miscellaneous revenue items.

Appropriated Fund Balance - $700,000

This includes an appropriation of fund balance generated from favorable past operating results.

Appropriated Fund Balance: ERS Pension Reserve Fund - $625,000

This money is an appropriation from the Reserve Fund established by the Board in 2008 to fund State-required pension contributions to the NYS Employee Retirement System (ERS).


Tax Rate Info

Projected Tax Rate Per Thousand

Budget $73,650,000 $74,930,000 1.74%
Tax Levy $61,292,210 $63,646,306 3.17%
Tax Rate, Res. Homeowners*
Homestead Tax Rate
$18.39 $18.37 -$0.03
Tax Rate, Commercial Property Owners*
Non-Homestead Tax Rate
$25.97 $24.85 -$1.12


*Tax rates are per $1,000 of assessed value. The 2019-20 school taxes are based on the 2018 assessments. Rates are subject to change. 

How to Calculate Projected School Taxes for 2019-20

Residential Homeowners 
Using your property’s 2018 assessed value:

  1. Divide your total assessed value* for 2018 by $1,000 to get your value on a per $1,000 basis.
  2. Multiply by $18.37, the projected tax rate.
  3. Deduct Basic STAR savings of $1,630 or Enhanced STAR savings of $3,553, if applicable.

*Veteran and Partial Exemptions should be deducted from your total assessed value, as applicable.

Assessed Valuation

Assessed valuation has an impact on the amount of taxes a homeowner pays. As of March 2019, the homestead assessed valuation increased by $106,159,350 from the prior year and the non-homestead increased by $22,264,483. These assessment figures are subject to change before tax bills are issued.

Projected Residential Valuation $2,859,273,300
Projected Commercial Valuation $448,053,330
Projected Total



Tax Rebate for STAR Recipients

The 2019-20 Pelham Schools’ budget complies with the tax cap. As a result, qualified STAR recipients are eligible to receive a tax rebate from New York State next fall.

Read more information on STAR

Contact District Clerk, Millie Bonilla, for all questions regarding voting.

Phone: 738-3434, ext. 6

Address: 18 Franklin Place

Voter Registration Information

The budget and school board member election will take place on Tuesday, May 21, 2019 in the PMHS gym. Polls will be open from 7:00 am - 9:00 pm. Eligible voters must be registered to vote.*

Voter qualifications

  • be 18 years of age or older on the day of the vote
  • be a United States citizen
  • be a resident of the Pelham School District for at least 30 days prior to the day of the vote
  • not be in jail or on parole for a felony conviction
  • not claim the right to vote elsewhere
  • be registered to vote with either the County Board of Elections or with the School District Board of Registration.

*You are registered if you are on the Westchester County voters’ list and voted at least once during the last 4 years or you have personally registered with the District.

If you are not registered

You can register with the County by filling in a voter registration form available from the Town Clerk (738-0777), the Superintendent’s Office (738-3434, x-1155) or download a form from the Westchester County Board of Elections website. Once the form is printed, sign it in blue or black ink. Only an original copy can be submitted. Digital or portable-document-file-generated (ie. Adobe Acrobat) signatures are not acceptable. The form must then be mailed or delivered to the Westchester County Board of Elections per the instructions and address provided on the form.

Qualifications For absentee ballots

If a voter won’t be able to get to the polls on May 21 from 7:00 am - 9:00 pm, for one or more of the following reasons, absentee ballots are available:

  • Unavoidably absent from Westchester County on May 21
  • Unable to appear at the polls due to illness or disability
  • A patient in a Veterans’ Administration  Hospital
  • Detained in jail awaiting grand jury action or confined in prison after conviction for an offense other than a felony

To Vote by Absentee ballot

  1. file an application
  2. fill in the ballot after receipt
  3. return the ballot.

Download an Absentee Ballot Application from the District website or call the District Clerk at 738-3434 ext. 6.

If ballots are to be mailed to the voter, completed applications must be returned to the District Clerk at 18 Franklin Place, Pelham, NY 10803 no later than 4:00 p.m. E.S.T. on May 14.

If applications are delivered personally, they must be turned in to the District Clerk at 18 Franklin Place by 4:00 p.m. on May 20. 

All absentee ballots must be returned by 5:00 p.m. on May 21.

Millie Bonilla, the District Clerk, is located at 18 Franklin Place. Please call her for all questions on the vote and election at 738-3434 ext. 6.

Celebrating Excellence

Pelham Students excelled at the highest levels in 2019-20

  • Francesca Di Cristofano speaks at a podium with a WESEF banner behind her

    Senior Francesca Di Cristofano was named “Best in Fair” at the New York State Science and Engineering Fair and now moves on to compete at the prestigious Intel ISEF Competition

    PMHS ranked 21st in NYS and 369th Nationally in Jay Matthews Most Challenging High School Index, 2018
  • PMHS rated 65th best high school in NYS by U.S. News & World Report
  • Continued excellence at the highest levels of Science Research including a Regeneron Scholar and a Best in Fair award at the NYSSEF
  • 5 National Merit Finalists
  • 5 National History Day State Competition Qualifiers
  • A Con Edison Scholar Athlete Award Winner

Creating Opportunities for All Students to Succeed

Inspiring Excellence: A look at some highlights for 2018-19

“Over the past five years, our Strategic Plan has led to tremendous growth for our District. As we transition to a new plan, we look forward to building upon this good work and providing more opportunities for our students to reach their full potential.”
– Dr. Cheryl Champ,
Superintendent of Schools

Inspiring Excellence

A student stands at the front of a class pointing at Spanish phrases on a screen while his classmates look on

Over the past two years, elementary students in grades 2-4 have been learning Spanish as part of the Foreign Language Elementary School program. We’re excited by the great strides the students have been making and look forward to expanding the program to 5th grade next school year.

“Excited, engaged and vibrant are the words that come to mind when entering a class during FLES instruction. Students work with such enthusiasm that it is contagious! Through this program our students have been propelled in the conversational realm of language, making it that much more useful and meaningful.
- Tonya Wilson, Principal, Colonial School


Three students sit with notebooks discussing what they are writing.

This school year, elementary students have found a new excitement for writing through the Teacher’s College Writing Program. Emphasizing choice, creativity and tools to help students grow as writers, this program has been engaging across all grade levels and we look forward to seeing continued growth next year and beyond.

“The Teacher’s College writing units provide us with a cohesive writing curriculum K-5, with opportunities for students to learn strategies for informative, opinion and narrative writing. The emphasis on student choice has helped lift the level of engagement and enthusiasm and children are highly motivated to share their stories. The classrooms have become true writing communities and there is energy and excitement in the classroom during Writer’s Workshop!”
- Jeannine Carr, Principal, Prospect Hill School

A student presents at the front of a class while classmates look on.

As part of the District’s commitment to providing rich and challenging electives, PMHS has expanded dual-enrollment course offerings in recent years. These courses, offered through SUNY, SUPA (Syracuse University), and Adelphi University, allow students to earn college credits in a variety of subjects that supplement traditional AP/Honor courses.

“I enjoy writing a lot and know how important it is for college. My counselor and I decided to give the new SUPA academic writing course a try because it would be more rigorous than some of the other writing electives but more relaxed than an AP class. I have learned so much already. I have been able to write about topics I enjoy and am generally interested in rather than the basic essay about general topics.
- Hailey Nelson, Gr. 12

Cheryl Wills holds a microphone and speaks to students who stand at the front of the library

An important component of Pelham Middle School’s identity as an International Baccalaureate World School has been its commitment to Social-Emotional Learning, a philosophy that also transcends the entire school district. MS students participate in school-wide character activities; service learning, including 8th graders’ year-long Community Projects; assemblies, including visits from Holocaust survivors and television news anchor and author Cheryl Wills; and student leadership initiatives, including workshops with Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees.


“I believe that social and emotional learning is the cornerstone on which we build the rest of our middle school students’ education.”
- Lynn Sabia, Principal, Pelham Middle School

2017-18 District Report Card - Inspiring a Standard of Excellence for All Students

Success by the Numbers

Our Graduates: Class of 2018

“We constantly work to make sure our students are challenged in their coursework while also providing the necessary supports to make them successful. Our goal is to help our students find their passions and prepare them for college and their future careers.”

Julia Chung,
Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services

Attending College 94.3%
4-Year Schools 90.1%
2-Year Schools 4.2%
Advanced Regents Earned 31%
Total Regents Diplomas Earned 97%
Local Diplomas Earned 3%
Graduation Rate, Bridge Academy* 100%

*An alternative program for students at PMHS better suited in a non-traditional high school classroom.

Improving College Readiness

Our Students: Taking More Challenging Courses & Succeeding

“It is necessary for educators to evaluate school district performance through an examination of multiple measures. The analysis of data through four frames, including perceptions, student learning, school processes, and demographics, will provide us with a more complete perspective that may help us better understand our impact on achievement.”

Dr. Steven M. Garcia,
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction & Personnel

4-Year Perspective - Students enrolled in Advanced Placement Courses

Year # of Students
2015 340
2018 433
A graph showing that 340 students were enrolled in Advanced Placement courses in 2015 and 433 in 2018

Students enrolled in College Level Courses 2017-18

Type of College Level Course # of Students


A graph showing that 75 students took SUPA courses in 2017-18 and 71 took SUNY Courses


Advanced Placement Tests Score Comparison

Advanced Placement Tests # Tested Pelham Average Score Global Average Score
English Literature & Composition 134 2.35 2.56
English Language & Composition 140 3.31 2.83
U.S. History 112 3.37 2.66
European History 15 3.87 2.89
Psychology 35 3.37 3.14
U.S. Government & Politics 71 3.34 2.70
World History 117 3.33 2.78
Computer Science A 27 2.19 3.18
Calculus BC 22 3.82 3.74
Statistics 48 3.88 2.87
Biology 33 3.52 2.87
Chemistry 14 3.50 2.79
Physics I 90 2.70 2.37
Physics II 57 2.96 2.97
Environmental Science 18 3.22 2.62
Spanish Language 14 3.57 3.66
Studio Art - 2D, Design Portfolio 8 3.63 3.47
Studio Art, Drawing Portfolio 5 3.60



Mean SAT Scores - 2018

Test PMHS Mean Score NYS Mean Score
Critical Reading 602 530
Math 594 528


Mean ACT Scores

Test PMHS State
English 25.0 24.2
Math 25.0 24.2
Reading 26.9 24.9
Science 25.7 24.2
Composite 26.3 24.5


NYS Testing Grades 3-12

“Our next Strategic Plan will expand on our efforts to integrate 21st century learning with a focus on authentic, student-centered experiences to foster greater engagement and empowerment for all learners. We hope the Pelham Inquiry Cycle of questioning, designing, applying, reflecting, and communicating will help guide our work together.”

Dr. Steven M. Garcia,
Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction & Personnel

2017-18 HS Regents Exams

Exam # Tested % Attaining Proficiency or
High Proficiency
Common Core English 230 94%
Global History 241 97%
U.S. History & Government 222 99%
Common Core Algebra I 133 90%
Common Core Geometry 219 90%
Living Environment 216 95%
Chemistry 215 90%


2017-18 Pelham Middle School Regents Exams

Exam # Tested

% Attaining Proficiency or
High Proficiency

Common Core Algebra I 132 100%
Earth Science 249 89%


Grades 3-8 English Language Arts & Math Tests

Exam PELHAM 2016-17
% Attaining Proficiency
PELHAM 2017-18
% Attaining Proficiency
Common Core English Language Arts 67% 70%
Common Core Math 68% 72%


Colleges Our 2014-2017 Graduates Are Attending

67% of the class of 2018 are attending the top three tiers of schools.

PMHS Students in Best Schools

Class Most Competitive Highly Competitive Very Competitive Total
2018 32% 14% 21% 67%
2017 30% 10% 22% 62%
2016 27% 20% 29% 76%
2015 24% 22% 28% 71%


Academy of Art
Adelphi University
Allegheny College
Alverina University
American University
Amherst College
Anderson University
Arizona State University
Art Institute of Philadelphia
Auburn University
Bard College
Barnard College
Barry University
Bates College
Boston College
Boston University
Bowdoin College
Brandeis University
Bridgewater State University
Brown University
Bucknell University
Cabrini College
Cal. Polytechnic State University
Carleton College
Carnegie Mellon University
Case Western Reserve University
Catholic University of America
Champlain College
Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina
City University of New York (CUNY): Baruch, Borough of Manhattan Community College, College of Staten Island, Hunter, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, LaGuardia Community College, Macaulay Honors, New York City College of Technology, Queens, Queensborough Community College, Stella & Charles Guttman Community College
Claremont McKenna College
Clemson University
Coastal Carolina University
Colby College
Colgate University
College of Charleston
College of Mount Saint Vincent
College of New Rochelle
College of the Holy Cross
College of Westchester
College of William & Mary
Colorado College
Columbia University
Cooper Union
Concordia College
Connecticut College
Cornell University
Cuesta College
Culinary Institute of America
Dartmouth College
Davidson College
Dean College
Delaware State University
Dickinson College
Dominican College
Drexel University
Duke University
Elon University
Emory University
Endicott College
Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts
Fairfield University
Five Towns College
Florida Atlantic University
Florida State University
Fordham University
Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Furman University
George Washington University
Georgetown University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Gettysburg College
Grinnell College
Hamilton College
Harvard University
Haverford College
Hobart & William Smith Colleges
Hofstra University
Howard University
Iona College
Ithaca College
James Madison University
Johns Hopkins University
Johnson & Wales University
Keene State College
Kent State University
Kenyon College
King’s College
La Salle University
Laboratory Institute of Merchandising
Lafayette College
Landmark College
Lehigh University
LIM College
Long Island University, C.W. Post
Loyola University Maryland
Loyola University New Orleans
Lynn University
Macalester College
Manhattan College
Manhattanville College
Marist College
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
McGill University
Mercy College
Miami University, Oxford
Michigan State University
Middlebury College
Mitchell College
Monmouth University
Monroe College
Monterey Peninsula College
Muhlenberg College
New England Conservatory of Music
New York Institute of Technology
New York University
Northeastern University
Northwestern University
Nova Southeastern University
Nyack College
Oberlin College
Occidental College
Ohio University
Pace University
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Pennsylvania State University
Polytechnic Institute of NYU
Pomona College
Princeton University
Providence College
Purdue University
Queen’s University
Quinnipiac University
Rhode Island School of Design
Richard Bland College
Roger Williams University
Rutgers University, New Brunswick
Sacred Heart University
Saint Joseph’s University
Saint Leo University
Saint Michael’s College
San Francisco Art Institute
Santa Clara University
Sarah Lawrence College
Savannah College of Art & Design
Skidmore College
Smith College
Southeastern University
Southern New Hampshire University
Springfield College
St. John’s University
St. Thomas Aquinas College
Stanford University
State University of New York (SUNY):
Binghamton University, Brockport, Buffalo State, Canton, Cobleskill, Cortland, Delhi, Dutchess Community College, Environmental Science & Forestry, Farmingdale State, Fashion Institute of Technology, Fredonia, Geneseo, Hudson Valley Community College, Maritime, New Paltz, Oneonta, Oswego, Plattsburgh, Potsdam, Purchase, Stony Brook University, Community College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, University at Albany, University at Buffalo, Westchester Community College
Stevens Institute of Technology
Syracuse University
Texas A&M University
Texas Tech University
Towson University
Trinity College, Connecticut
Tufts University
Tulane University
Union College
United States Air Force
United States Naval Academy
University of Alabama
University of Arkansas
University of British Columbia
University of California, Berkeley
University of Chicago
University of Colorado at Boulder
University of Connecticut
University of Delaware
University of Denver
University of Hartford
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of London Royal Holloway
University of Maryland, College Park
University of Mass., Amherst
University of Miami
University of Michigan
University of Minnesota
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri
University of New Hampshire
University of New Haven
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
University of Notre Dame
University of Oregon
University of Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh
University of Rhode Island
University of Richmond
University of Scranton
University of South Carolina
University of St. Andrews
University of Tampa
University of Texas
University of Utah
University of Vermont
University of Virginia
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Vanderbilt University
Vassar College
Villanova University
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Wake Forest University
Washington & Lee University
Washington University in St. Louis
Wesleyan University
West Virginia University
Western Conn. State University
Western New England University
Williams College
Yale University

A Note from Dr. Champ

A photo of Dr. Cheryl Champ

Dear Residents,

Over the past several years, our schools have blossomed into rich and innovative centers of learning where our students are challenged to think creatively, solve real-world problems and develop mastery of a variety of subjects.

Our Strategic Plan provided a vision for teaching and learning that has helped further grow our educational system, which we are proud to say ranks among the most robust in the region, state and nation. In a few short years, we’ve brought Spanish language instruction into elementary classrooms, with the help of the Pelham Education Foundation, we’ve created state-of-the-art MakerSpaces in each of the schools, and had the honor of having Pelham Middle School named as an International Baccalaureate World School. We have opened access to advanced level courses to all high school students and provided a number of elective and dual-enrollment classes and we have made great headway in providing social-emotional support for all of our students district-wide through programs like the School Yoga Project and Trusted Adult initiative. None of this would have been possible without the hard and thoughtful work of our teachers, the guidance provided by our administrators, and, importantly, the support of the Pelham community.

In the pages of this FOCUS, you can learn about how the proposed budget is designed to grow that work, fulfill our goals and inspire the children of Pelham to reach their full potential as students and as citizens.

As a District, we know that there is still work to do and as our current Strategic Plan comes to a close, we have had an opportunity to reflect on where we are, and how to position ourselves for even more success in the coming years. Our Strategic Planning Committee, Board of Education and District administration have been hard at work creating a framework to guide us over the next few years. This process has included surveying parents, students and staff to assess the priorities of our school community, and holding focus groups with representatives groups of stakeholders to assess our priorities as a District. We then assessed that data, and with the help of our strategic planning consultant, charted a direction for our future work.

This process led to the identification of three main focus areas: Cultural Competence, Authentic Learning and Supporting the Whole Child. While we have already made great strides in each of these areas, we believe that focusing on these themes will allow us to deepen our work and help us provide an even richer educational program for our students.

As always, I thank the Pelham community for its ongoing engagement and support of the Pelham Public Schools and encourage everyone to vote on May 21, 2019.

Cheryl H. Champ, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools

Authentic Assessments

Over the past several years, the Pelham Public Schools has implemented a variety of authentic learning assessments and capstone projects that provide an alternative method for students to demonstrate what they have learned throughout the year. These assessments, which are in lieu of the traditional final written exam, offer students an opportunity to showcase and share the skills they’ve developed across multiple disciplines. Currently, the District has authentic assessments in place in grades 5, 8 and 12. Please read more about each below.

Authentic Assessments

Students stand around their project with supplies on a table.

As a capstone to their final year in elementary school, fifth graders are charged with creating an idea that would have a positive impact on their school. The students, working individually or in small groups, research their idea and develop a presentation to share with their teachers, peers, and parents. This project encourages the students to use their problem-solving, research, collaboration and presentation skills. The final product can take on a variety of forms, including persuasive letters, Google Slides presentations, poster boards or building models to support their work. Past projects have included creating an outdoor classroom, a plan for replacing rugs in classrooms, and making a buddy bench to make sure everyone has someone to play with during recess. In photo: Hutchinson students showcase their Make-a-Change project at the end of last school year.

“The fifth grade Make-A-Change project focuses on students identifying an issue in school, brainstorming, and then problem solving to find solutions to bring about a change. Students realize some problems are not that easy to solve and they need to get creative in their approach. The children take an innate interest in seeing their idea come to life and feel a sense of pride in bringing about change!”
- Jacqueline Soccodato, Gr. 5 Teacher, Hutchinson School

“The Make-a-Change project gives the fifth graders an opportunity to present an issue or concern that they have about school life, with their proposed research-based solution, to an authentic audience. It has been successful, in my opinion, because the students take ownership of the entire process and see clear results of their efforts.”
- Adele Reynolds, Gr. 5 Teacher, Siwanoy  


Three students stand holding bags, one says %22Bee Happy%22 another says %22Save the Bees%22 another is a picture of a bee.

An important component of Pelham Middle School’s identity as an International Baccalaureate World School has been its commitment to Social-Emotional Learning, a philosophy that also transcends the entire school district. MS students participate in school-wide character activities; service learning, including 8th graders’ year-long Community Projects; assemblies, including visits from Holocaust survivors and television news anchor and author Cheryl Wills; and student leadership initiatives, including workshops with Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabees. In photo Middle School students showcasing their Community Project.

“I believe that social and emotional learning is the cornerstone on which we build the rest of our middle school students’ education.”
- Lynn Sabia, Principal, Pelham Middle School

A car made from wood, with CDs as tires is shown with a student looking over a notebook in the background

PMHS offers a variety of authentic assessment opportunities across several subjects, including a forensic dig and investigation, Project CREATE in English 12 and hands-on activities in Physics. As an example, in lieu of taking the traditional Physics Regents, students work on the Scrambler project, in which they design a car with a braking system. After weeks of design, and trial and error, an egg is placed on the front of the car and the system is tested by asking the students to make the vehicle stop before it strikes a barrier. Students are not only graded on the final result, but on their design and problem-solving skills as well. In photo: An example of a car created during last year’s Physics Scrambler project.

“With a paper and pen test, it’s a one day thing, and you can get an idea of what they’ve retained knowledge-wise, but you don’t see them perform the physics and bring it to life. That’s what we love about this project, it puts on display over several weeks exactly what they are capable of doing.”
- Dave Schembari, PMHS Physics Teacher

Bond Update


Throughout the year, District staff, in coordination with our architect and construction manager, have worked diligently to plan and design each of the projects approved by voters in last May’s bond referendum. The first stages of construction are expected to begin this summer. Below is an update on each of the projects.

Site Work Set to Begin for New Hutchinson School

Preparation of the Hutchinson property is set to begin in late June and continue through the summer and early fall. This work will involve tree clearing, creation of a construction road off Lincoln Avenue, and removal of a significant amount of rock from the property. Following important discussions with representative groups of teachers, parents, district administration and the project architect and construction manager, construction documents for the new Hutchinson School are nearly ready to be sent for approval by the State Education Department. The District is hopeful that construction will begin on the new building this coming winter.

A rendering of the outside of the new Hutchinson School


Construction-related issues?

call: 914-222-0083
email: pelhamprojectinfo@tritonconstruction.net

Prospect Hill Planning Continues

Plans for a building addition that will create an ADA accessible entrance with an elevator have moved into the final stages of design. Bathroom upgrades and a renovation of the playing field are also included in the plans. As the budget allows, the Board is considering options for the addition that will create extra classroom space to address anticipated capacity issues.

A Busy Summer at PMHS

Plans to renovate the current District offices on the ground floor of PMHS have been finalized and approved by the State Education Department. Once bidding is complete, this work is expected to begin this summer so that the renovated art and science classrooms will be ready for use at the start of the 2019-20 school year. Replacement of the annex roof and select masonry repairs on the middle school are also on target to begin this summer. This work is not expected to have an impact on summer programs and will likely carry over into the fall.

Turf Field is on the Horizon

Plans to install a synthetic turf field to replace the Varsity, A, and B baseball fields as well as replace the tennis courts at the Glover Complex have been approved by the State Education Department. The construction, which will require closing of those fields, is expected to begin in August. The District’s Athletic Director has drafted a schedule that provides for all modified, JV and varsity practices and games to be accommodated on District fields throughout the fall. Alternate tennis courts have been secured to accomodate our girls’ tennis teams this fall. Additionally, the District is working closely with the Pelham Recreation Department to coordinate field usage for its programs.

Coming Soon: Special Referendum for Purchase of 314 Pelhamdale Avenue

Tuesday, June 18 | Polls Open 7am-9pm | PMHS Main Gym

Earlier this month, the Board of Education voted to enter into a contract to purchase the property which is adjacent to Colonial School. The purchase is contingent upon approval by a majority vote of the community at a special referendum scheduled for Tuesday, June 18. Below are some important facts about the proposal.

PELHAM Public Schools
18 Franklin Place
Pelham, New York 10803

Board of Education

Sue Bratone Childs, Pres. - 654-8585
Jessica DeDomenico, Vice Pres. - (917) 376-9009
John Brice - 522-8473
Peter S. Liaskos - (917) 885-9628
Eileen Miller - (917) 207-6742
Vincent Mazzaro - 261-1765
Jessica R. Young - (617) 803-0495

Superintendent of Schools

Cheryl H. Champ, Ed. D. - 738-3434, ext. 1155


Alex Wolff


Beth Pollock