2019-20 Budget Focus
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A Note from the Board of Education
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
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").
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.
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
Includes regular education costs including teacher and support staff salaries, curriculum development and teacher training. Maintains & enhances academic program.
Includes services related to Special Education, including Special Education teachers and tuition for special education students attending programs out of district.
SCHOOL LIBRARY & AUDIO VISUAL
Includes costs for the operation of school libraries, HS Info Center and audio visual needs.
Includes technology support services, network applications, hardware & software support.
Includes guidance services, school nurses,the school doctor, psychologists, attendance and building safety services. Salary increase includes addition of an elementary school psychologist.
CO-CURRICULAR & INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETICS
Includes co-curricular activity stipends, athletic director, coaches, team equipment, supplies, supervision at athletic events and athletic training services.
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.
|Charter & Athletic trips||160,185||206,300||46,115|
Includes allocated costs for use of District fields and facilities by the community.
Represents contractually required pension, health, employment taxes & other employment-related costs.
Includes District share of summer school costs for special needs students.
Includes legal costs associated with student issues (health, welfare, safety, rights, discipline, disabilities, etc.)
CAPITAL (BUILDINGS & GROUNDS)
OPERATION & MAINTENANCE
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).
Represents contractually-required pension, health, employment taxes and other employment-related costs.
TRANSFER TO DEBT SERVICE
Includes debt service on capital bonds.
TRANSFER TO CAPITAL FUND
Includes anticipated transfers for district-wide repair & remediation projects accounted for in the Capital Fund. No such projects are planned for 2019-20
BOARD OF EDUCATION/DISTRICT MEETING
Includes cost of budget vote, meetings, publications, memberships, consultants, workshops and BoardDocs.
|Supplies & Materials||3,500||2,500||(1,000)|
Includes stipend for district clerk.
Includes funds for the operation of the Superintendent’s Office.
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.
|Contractual & Auditing||108,315||101,125||(7,190)|
Includes legal costs related to contractual negotiations, labor relations, regulatory compliance, tax certiorari proceedings, etc.
PERSONNEL & PUBLIC INFORMATION
Includes funds for advertising/recruiting of certified staff, employee record keeping and the Public Information Officer.
Includes costs for liability and student accident insurance. Also includes school association dues, sewer tax and BOCES administrative fee.
|BOCES Admin. Charge||287,051||339,409||52,358|
INSTRUCTION, ADMINISTRATION & IMPROVEMENT
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.
Represents contractually-required pension, health, employment taxes and other employment-related costs.
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.
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).
Projected Tax Rate Per Thousand
|Tax Rate, Res. Homeowners*
Homestead Tax Rate
|Tax Rate, Commercial Property Owners*
Non-Homestead Tax Rate
*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
Using your property’s 2018 assessed value:
- Divide your total assessed value* for 2018 by $1,000 to get your value on a per $1,000 basis.
- Multiply by $18.37, the projected tax rate.
- 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 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|
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.
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.*
- 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
- file an application
- fill in the ballot after receipt
- 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.
Pelham Students excelled at the highest levels in 2019-20
- 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
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.”
Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services
|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
Students enrolled in College Level Courses 2017-18
|Type of College Level Course||# of Students
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. Government & Politics||71||3.34||2.70|
|Computer Science A||27||2.19||3.18|
|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|
Mean ACT Scores
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
|Common Core English||230||94%|
|U.S. History & Government||222||99%|
|Common Core Algebra I||133||90%|
|Common Core Geometry||219||90%|
2017-18 Pelham Middle School Regents Exams
% Attaining Proficiency or
|Common Core Algebra I||132||100%|
Grades 3-8 English Language Arts & Math Tests
% Attaining Proficiency
% 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|
Academy of Art
Arizona State University
Art Institute of Philadelphia
Bridgewater State University
Cal. Polytechnic State University
Carnegie Mellon University
Case Western Reserve University
Catholic University of America
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
Coastal Carolina 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
Culinary Institute of America
Delaware State University
Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts
Five Towns College
Florida Atlantic University
Florida State University
Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
George Washington University
Georgia Institute of Technology
Hobart & William Smith Colleges
James Madison University
Johns Hopkins University
Johnson & Wales University
Keene State College
Kent State University
La Salle University
Laboratory Institute of Merchandising
Long Island University, C.W. Post
Loyola University Maryland
Loyola University New Orleans
Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Miami University, Oxford
Michigan State University
Monterey Peninsula College
New England Conservatory of Music
New York Institute of Technology
New York University
Nova Southeastern University
Pennsylvania College of Technology
Pennsylvania State University
Polytechnic Institute of NYU
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
Southern New Hampshire University
St. John’s University
St. Thomas Aquinas College
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
Texas A&M University
Texas Tech University
Trinity College, Connecticut
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
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University
Wake Forest University
Washington & Lee University
Washington University in St. Louis
West Virginia University
Western Conn. State University
Western New England University
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
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.
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.
- Why is the District seeking to purchase this property?
- Why purchase the property now?
- How much will this cost and how will we pay for it?
- Why is a special referendum being held instead of holding the vote in May alongside the Budget and School Board election?
The property could provide expanded playground and green space for Colonial School, which is currently constrained due to its location in a residential neighborhood. The existing house could be used as office space for District administration which is planned to vacate its current offices in PMHS to make way for additional classrooms, reducing the amount of rent allocated for offices. Purchasing the property could also provide future boards flexibility to consider expansion of Colonial School if and when the situation warrants it.
There are very few properties that are contiguous to Colonial School and though expanding the school property has been on the Board’s radar for some time, opportunities to do so are extremely rare. Given the space limitations on the current property and the District’s plans to move Central Offices out of PMHS, the Board felt it prudent to pursue the acquisition at this time.
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