2020-21 Budget Focus

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A Note from the Board of Education

Dear Neighbors,

A headshot of Jessica DeDomenico

It is difficult to reconcile just how much our world has changed in the past few months. When 2020 began, we were knee-deep in our strategic plan rollout and at the early stages of our budget development for the coming year. I could have never imagined that in a matter of a few weeks, our administrators and teachers could transform a K-12 system, which is built on face-to-face social interaction, into an on-line system that is sustainable for students, teachers and families. This school closure has reinforced the importance of teachers and of our schools.

Each budget year presents a variety of challenges, but this year proved to be the most daunting in recent memory. As a Board, our goal is to always maintain our robust academic program and opportunities for our students while being mindful of the tax burden shared by all of us as residents. Without question, the pandemic’s sudden impact made this all the more difficult as our anticipated non-property tax revenues were greatly reduced and our attention turned to operating a district without the use of our school buildings.

Despite this adversity, we are pleased to propose a budget that preserves our rich offerings through a tax cap compliant levy increase of 3.15% to cover our contractually obligated expenses and rising programmatic costs. Importantly, by efficiently reallocating existing staff, this budget provides all elementary schools a K-5 technology teacher and dedicated intervention teachers to provide Math and ELA support. These positions are especially important given the disruption caused by distance learning.

In addition to the budget, the ballot includes a proposition that would authorize the District to reallocate unspent funds within the already approved 2018 Capital Improvement Bond. This request is being made to provide financial flexibility for these important projects.
    All registered voters should soon be receiving an absentee ballot for the annual budget vote and school board election, which is being held by absentee ballot only this year. I hope that you will complete your ballot and mail it back quickly as ballots must be received by 5 pm on June 9, 2020.

On behalf of the Board, I want to thank all of our District staff and our parents and community members for their incredible support of our students throughout this pandemic. Please feel free to reach out to me, or any member of the Board of Education or District administration if you have any questions.

Jessica DeDomenico
BOE President

Celebrating Excellence

A PMHS student lights candles at the NHS ceremony

Earlier this year 106 PMHS students were inducted into the National Honor Society. 

Pelham Students excelled at the highest levels in 2019-20

  • PMHS ranked 19th in NYS and 275th nationally in Jay Matthews Most Challenging High School Index, 2020
  • PMHS rated 68th best high school in NYS by U.S. News & World Report
  • 3 National Merit Finalists and 8 National Merit Commended Students
  • 2 Sock’n’Buskin performers nominated for Roger Rees Awards for roles in “Almost, Maine”
  • Pelham Middle School STEAM Club member advancing to prestigious Broadcom Fair
  • Continued success in Forensic Speech, Athletics, Science Research and more

Election At a Glance

2020-21 Proposed Budget

Total: $76,700,000

Budget-to-Budget Increase: 2.36%

  • Maintains current programming and class size
  • Reallocates current staffing to provide:
    • Dedicated elementary intervention teachers at Siwanoy & Colonial to help with Math/ELA supports
    • A K-5 technology teacher to build skills for students/staff, implement learning technology & teach digital citizenship
  • Builds toward goals of the Strategic Plan

Tax Levy Increase: 3.15%

  • Compliant with New York State Tax Cap
  • Projected Tax Rate: $18.23 per $1,000 assessed home value (homestead assessed value using 2019 assessments)

Cost Reallocation Proposition

  • Voters are being asked to authorize the District to transfer unspent funds within the projects approved in the 2018 bond referendum

School Board Member election

Jessica DeDomenico and Sue Bratone Childs running uncontested for 3-year terms

View more budget Info

Email the Board with questions


Official Ballot Language


Shall the budget for the school year 2020-2021 amounting to $76,700,000 be adopted and shall the Board of Education be authorized to raise a tax on the taxable property of the District in such amount as may be necessary to provide for such expenditure?


WHEREAS, on May 15, 2018, the voters of the Pelham Union Free School District, New York (the “District”) approved spending an aggregate amount of not to exceed $57,524,892, consisting of $52,900,00 for a capital construction project and $4,624,892 for the construction of recreational and athletic field improvements, and approved a tax to pay such costs and the principal of and interest on not to exceed $57,524,892 bonds to finance such cost; and WHEREAS, an amount of up to $750,000 allocated for the recreational and athletic field improvement project may not be needed for such purpose, but will be required to complete the capital construction project; Now, therefore, be it RESOLVED
(a) The Board of Education of the District is hereby authorized to reallocate not to exceed $750,000 of the funds heretofore approved for the construction of recreational and athletic field improvements and spend such amount for the District’s capital construction project; and (b) that such reallocation will not increase the amount of taxes heretofore authorized by the voters of the District on May 15, 2018, to pay the costs of such projects or the principal of and interest on the bonds authorized to be issued to finance such costs.

Instructions for Submitting an Absentee Ballot

The deadline to be received by the District Clerk by mail has been extended to June 16, 2020. Ballots may be returned via the dropbox outside of Pelham Memorial High School until 5pm on Tuesday, June 9. 

Within the envelope voters receive, you should have three separate pieces:

  • The ballot itself (one side in English, one side in Spanish), 

  • an envelope that says “Election Materials Please Expedite, Official Ballot, Absentee Voter” and on the reverse side includes the “Statement of Absentee Voter,” and 

  • A separate postage paid return envelope that is addressed to “Pelham Union Free School District, 18 Franklin Place, etc.” 

It is extremely important that voters follow these instructions: 

  1. Mark the ballot provided. Complete only one side.

  2. Insert the completed ballot in the envelope entitled, “Election Materials Please Expedite, Official Ballot, Absentee Voter,” and seal the envelope.

  3. Complete the front of the envelope with your name and address, turn it over, read the “Statement of Absentee Voter,” and sign and date the envelope in the spaces indicated.

  4. Insert the completed envelope in the envelope that is addressed to “Pelham Union Free School District, 18 Franklin Place, etc.” and seal this envelope. The envelopes are postage paid. Do not affix a stamp.


The front of the absentee envelope must be FILLED OUT LEGIBLY and the back statement MUST BE SIGNED.

Mark Your Calendar

June 11

PMHS Storyteller’s Celebration

June 15

High School Senior Awards

June 24

District Retiree Recognition

Check the District website before each event for more information

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 $24,866,982 $24,906,937 $39,955  
Equipment 15,000 - (15,000)  
Contract Services 285,027 224,102 (60,925)  
Supplies 315,735 312,188 (3,547)  
Textbook 203,769 171,354 (32,415)  
BOCES Services 2,903,476 3,265,101 361,625  
Total $28,589,989 $28,879,682 $289,693  


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



Salaries $5,833,103  $5,887,287     $54,184
Equipment 2,500  2,500 -
Contract Services 85,600  170,300     84,700
Supplies 17,800 17,800 -
Tuition 850,902  535,000     (315,902)
BOCES Services 704,524  681,848   (22,676)
Total $7,494,429  $7,294,735     $(199,694)


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



Salaries $655,669  $661,355   $5,686
Supplies 4,900  4,785   (115)
Library Books 27,690  27,325 (365)
Total $688,259  $693,465 $5,206



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




Salaries $260,805  $269,875     $9,070
Equipment 22,960  24,250     1,290
Contract Services 102,137  87,412   (14,725)
Supplies 15,600  16,750     1,150
Software 139,004  154,173     15,169
Total $540,506  $552,460     $11,954



Includes counseling services, school nurses,the school doctor, psychologists, attendance and building safety services.



Salaries $3,316,399  $3,419,312     $102,913
Equipment 3,600  4,000     400
Contract Services 371,083  370,345     (738)
Supplies 22,929  23,200     271
Total $3,714,011  $3,816,857     $102,846



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



Salaries $940,272  $947,542     $7,270
Equipment 5,000  6,000     1,000
Contract Services 137,115  140,600     3,485
Supplies 50,000  55,000     5,000
Total $1,132,387  $1,149,142     $16,755



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



Salaries $37,678  $37,678    $-
Charter & Athletic trips 206,300  210,000     3,700
Contract Transportation 994,374  1,025,281     30,907
Public Transportation 54,940  57,520     2,580
Supplies 350  200     (150)
Total $1,293,642  $1,330,679     $37,037

* This transportation expense item includes approximately $950,656 for private school, special education and out-of-district school transportation based upon the School District’s current usage of such transportation and upon the School District, as part of the BEPT Consortium, entering into a three (3) year contract (September 1, 2020 to June 30, 2023, excluding summers) with the lowest responsible bidder for such transportation services. The approval of this budget will constitute approval for the Board of Education to enter into a three (3) year contract, as part of the BEPT Consortium, with the lowest responsible bidder for these transportation services.


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



Salaries $60,499  $33,717       $(26,782)
Contract Services 46,300  41,300       (5,000)
Supplies 47,000  30,000   (17,000)
Total $153,799  $105,017       $(48,782)



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



Total $13,830,193  $14,736,619     $906,426



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



Total $30,000 $35,000 $5,000



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



Total $49,500 $49,500 -


Total Program



Total $57,516,715 $58,643,156    $1,126,441




Includes cost for operation and maintenance of all school buildings and grounds, including custodial staff. 



Salaries $2,435,067  $2,516,689      $81,622
Equipment 87,500  97,500      10,000
Contract Services 1,377,657  1,441,820      64,163
Property Lease 265,000*  -     (265,000)
Utilities 1,228,000  1,220,000      (8,000)
Supplies 369,090  365,000      (4,090)
Total $5,762,314  $5,641,009     $(121,305)



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



Total $1,481,956  $1,483,973     $2,017



Includes debt service on capital bonds. Increase reflects initial impact of voter-approved 2018 capital projects.



Total $3,547,403  $3,990,207     $442,804



Includes anticipated transfers for district-wide repair and remediation projects accounted for in the Capital Fund. No such projects are planned for 2020-2021.



Total - - -


Total Capital



Total $10,791,673 $11,115,189       $323,516




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



Salaries $2,000  $2,500      $500
Contract Services 46,090  39,700      (6,390)
Supplies & Materials 2,500  1,000      (1,500)
BOCES Services 11,032  11,584      552
District Meeting 12,500  20,500      8,000
Total $74,122  $75,284      $1,162



Includes stipend for District Clerk.



Salaries $12,000 $12,000 $-



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



Salaries $444,754  $459,145      $14,391
Contractual 16,200  19,100      2,900
Supplies 3,000  4,500      1,500
Total 463,954  $482,745      $18,791



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 $663,970  $699,573      $35,603
Contractual & Auditing 101,125  111,305      10,180
Supplies 11,000 11,000 -
Total 776,095  $821,878      $45,783



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



Total $115,000 $115,500 -



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



Salaries $204,375  $206,151      $1,776
Equipment 500 500 -
Contractual 6,000 6,000 -
Supplies 2,500 2,500 -
Total 213,375 $215,151 $1,776



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



Insurance $319,325  $335,000      $15,675
Association Dues 20,000  20,000      -
Sewer Tax 61,000  62,000      1,000
BOCES Admin. Charge 339,409  362,373      22,964
Total 739,734  $779,373      $39,639


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 $2,410,964  $2,455,563     $44,599
Contractual 160,623  183,160     22,537
Supplies 47,650  48,350     700
Total $2,619,237  $2,687,073     $67,836



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



Total $1,607,595  $1,752,651     $145,056


Total Administration



Total $6,621,612  $6,941,655     $320,043


Total Budget



Total $74,930,000  $76,700,000     $1,770,000


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 2019-20

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

10 Lowest Spending

Port Chester - 20,867
Mamaroneck - 24,911
East Ramapo - 25,312
Pelham - 25,643
Rye Neck - 26,260
Eastchester - 26,815
Ossining - 27,076
Pearl River - 27,509
Rye City - 27,776
Peekskill - 27,889

10 Highest Spending

Pocantico Hills - 41,637
Byram Hills - 41,390
North Salem - 41,390
Greenburg - 40,959
Valhalla - 9,730
Katonah - 37,485
Irvington - 35,547
Bedford - 34,961
Hendrick Hudson - 34,922
Garrison - 34,504



* Based on 2019-20 projections of reporting districts.

Budgeted Revenue

Property Taxes - $65,648,182

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 & Federal Aid - $7,075,680

This amount is based on the State’s adopted budget as of April 1, 2020 (subject to change) and reflects a drop in Building and BOCES Aids.

Miscellaneous Receipts - $2,376,433

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 - $655,000

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

Appropriated Fund Balance: ERS Pension Reserve Fund - $600,000

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).

Appropriated Fund Balance - Debt Service Fund - $344,705

This money is an appropriation from the Debt Service Fund, which includes excess proceeds from past bonded capital projects and premiums on recent borrowings.


Tax Rate Info

Projected Tax Rate Per Thousand

Budget $74,930,000  $76,700,000 2.36%
Tax Levy $63,646,306 $65,648,182 3.15%
Tax Rate, Res. Homeowners*
Homestead Tax Rate
$18.36 $18.23 -$0.13
Tax Rate, Commercial Property Owners*
Non-Homestead Tax Rate
$24.85 $24.59 -$0.26


*Tax rates are per $1,000 of assessed value. The 2020-21 school taxes are based on the 2019 assessments. Rates are subject to change. 

How to Calculate Projected School Taxes for 2020-21

Residential Homeowners 
Using your property’s 2019 assessed value:

  1. Divide your total assessed value* for 2019 by $1,000 to get your value on a per $1,000 basis.
  2. Multiply by $18.23, the projected tax rate.
  3. Deduct Basic STAR savings of $1,560 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 May 2020, the homestead assessed valuation increased by $115,467,275 from the prior year and the non-homestead increased by $16,071,370. These assessment figures are subject to change before tax bills are issued.

Projected Residential Valuation $2,975,364,075
Projected Commercial Valuation $464,124,700
Projected Total $3,439,488,775

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

Phone: 738-3434, ext. 6

Address: 18 Franklin Place

Official Ballot Language


Shall the budget for the school year 2020-2021 amounting to $76,700,000 be adopted and shall the Board of Education be authorized to raise a tax on the taxable property of the District in such amount as may be necessary to provide for such expenditure?


WHEREAS, on May 15, 2018, the voters of the Pelham Union Free School District, New York (the “District”) approved spending an aggregate amount of not to exceed $57,524,892, consisting of $52,900,00 for a capital construction project and $4,624,892 for the construction of recreational and athletic field improvements, and approved a tax to pay such costs and the principal of and interest on not to exceed $57,524,892 bonds to finance such cost; and WHEREAS, an amount of up to $750,000 allocated for the recreational and athletic field improvement project may not be needed for such purpose, but will be required to complete the capital construction project; Now, therefore, be it RESOLVED
(a) The Board of Education of the District is hereby authorized to reallocate not to exceed $750,000 of the funds heretofore approved for the construction of recreational and athletic field improvements and spend such amount for the District’s capital construction project; and (b) that such reallocation will not increase the amount of taxes heretofore authorized by the voters of the District on May 15, 2018, to pay the costs of such projects or the principal of and interest on the bonds authorized to be issued to finance such costs.


School is Still in Session... From a Distance

When our buildings closed in mid-March, few could have predicted our doors would remain closed for the duration of the school year. To ensure that learning could continue from afar, the District took several measures both before and after the closure to prepare students and teachers for Distance Learning. These include:

  • Providing all Gr. 6 students a school-issued Google Chromebook, ensuring that all students grades 6-12 had a device
  • Securing and distributing WiFi hotspots for those who did not have Internet access
  • Training teachers in digital learning technology
  • Distributing additional devices to elementary families with multiple children
  • Arranging meal service for any student in need and offering childcare to our essential health care workers and first responders

Throughout the building closure, our faculty and staff have engaged students in a variety of virtual learning experiences. Below are some examples:

A student is shown in a mask delivering care packages to a homeless shelter

Pelham 8th graders are continuing their Community Projects even while the pandemic has made some rethink their approach. In this example, students provided care packages and letters of inspiration for the homeless, which has become especially important in light of COVID-19.

A student wearing a Siwanoy tee shirt works at his computer

Students continue to engage with teachers and participate in learning activities using Google Classroom and other educational technology.

A screen shot of high school students sharing their science research projects virtually

Despite schools being closed, the PMHS Science Research students have continued to present their findings through virtual events. Students in the Middle School STEAM Club have also participated in a virtual competition with fantastic results!

A screenshot of Colonial students appearing in a video conference

 All elementary school student governments continue to meet virtually. In April, Town Councilmember Kirsten Burke spoke to Colonial’s students about the role of local government.

2018-19 District Report Card - Inspiring a Standard of Excellence for All Students

Success by the Numbers

Our Graduates: Class of 2019

“Throughout our K-12 system we are working to make sure that students have the academic and social-emotional supports they need to succeed. By analyzing data and strong communication among teachers, students and families, we can better allocate resources to meet the needs of our learners.”

Julia Chung,
Assistant Superintendent for Pupil Personnel Services

Attending College 97.1%
4-Year Schools 92.4%
2-Year Schools 4.7%
Regents Diplomas with Honors Earned 46%
Total Regents Diplomas Earned 97%
Local Diplomas Earned 2%
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 school perception data and student learning data provides us with a more complete perspective that may help us better understand our impact.”

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

4-Year Perspective - Students enrolled in Advanced Placement Courses

Year # of Students
2015-16 387
2018-19 428


Students enrolled in College Level Courses 2018-19

Type of College Level Course # of Students
SUPA 325


Advanced Placement Tests Score Comparison

Advanced Placement Tests # Tested Pelham Average Score NYS Average Score
English Literature & Composition 71 2.79 2.52
English Language & Composition 149 3.17 2.78
U.S. History 128 3.07 2.81
European History 16 4.50 2.98
Psychology 30 3.70 3.10
U.S. Government & Politics 64 3.47 2.82
World History 113 3.22 2.99
Computer Science A 10 2.10 3.24
Calculus AB 18 3.56 2.95
Calculus BC 19 3.74 3.91
Statistics 36 3.94 2.85
Biology 40 3.28 3.00
Chemistry 19 3.95 2.99
Physics I 91 3.01 2.89
Physics II 51 3.20 3.00
Environmental Science 25 3.16 2.58
Spanish Language 20 3.95 3.75
Studio Art - 2D, Design Portfolio 15 4.27 3.60
Studio Art, Drawing Portfolio 4 4.00


Art History 7 3.14 2.81


Mean SAT Scores - 2019

Test PMHS Mean Score NYS Mean Score
Critical Reading 607 531
Math 590 533


Mean ACT Scores

Test PMHS State
English 27.4 24.1
Math 24.6 24.1
Reading 27.7 25.0
Science 26.2 24.4
Composite 26.2 24.5


NYS Testing Grades 3-12

“The Strategic Plan outlines two opportunities which may impact how and when we teach by exploring our use of time and space. Even before the pandemic, we understood how these two areas were critical for future learning. This new learning appears more relevant than ever.”

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

2018-19 Regents Exams

Exam # Tested % Attaining Proficiency or
High Proficiency
Common Core English 236 95%
Global History 211 99%
U.S. History & Government 229 98%
Common Core Algebra I 119 91%
Common Core Geometry 213 95%
Living Environment 252 96%
Chemistry 185 88%


2018-19 Pelham Middle School Regents Exams

Exam # Tested

% Attaining Proficiency or
High Proficiency

Common Core Algebra I 121 100%
Earth Science 211 97%


Grades 3-8 English Language Arts & Math Tests

Exam PELHAM 2017-18
% Attaining Proficiency
PELHAM 2018-19
% Attaining Proficiency
Common Core English Language Arts 70% 72%
Common Core Math 72% 71%


Colleges Our 2015-2019 Graduates Are Attending

67% of the class of 2019 are attending the top three tiers of schools.

PMHS Students in Best Schools

Class Most Competitive Highly Competitive Very Competitive Total
2019 36% 17% 14% 67%
2018 32% 14% 21% 67%
2017 30% 10% 22% 62%
2016 27% 20% 29% 76%


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
Bates College
Boston College
Boston University
Bowdoin College
Brandeis University
Bridgewater State University
Brown University
Bucknell University
Cabrini College
California Polytechnic State University
Carleton College
Carnegie Mellon University
Case Western Reserve University
Catholic University of America
Champlain College
Chapman University
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 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
High Point University
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 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
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
Santa Fe College
Sarah Lawrence College
Savannah College of Art & Design
Skidmore College
Smith College
Southeastern University
Southern New Hampshire University
Springfield College
St. John’s University
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A Note from Dr. Champ

A photo of Dr. Cheryl Champ

Dear Community,

The 2019-20 school year began with the usual excitement to which we are accustomed. Our halls and classrooms had a familiar energy, our students were learning and celebrating their accomplishments and we were in the midst of implementing a new Strategic Plan. Then came a new challenge – a global pandemic that upended our societal norms and ultimately forced our buildings to close for the remainder of the school year.

In the face of sickness, the painful loss of loved ones, and the fear of an uncertain future, our educational system adapted to the new constraints and our Pelham community came together like we always do. As our teachers and students literally built a new educational system together, learning and implementing new technology tools for distance learning, our parents too shifted their worlds to help their children thrive while dealing with the myriad of issues being relegated to home presented. Simultaneously, Pelham’s residents rose to the occasion in so many ways, by sewing masks, delivering food, and providing crucial emotional support to those who needed it the most. For all of this, I am proud and extremely grateful.

In developing this year’s school budget, we faced significant hurdles caused by the pandemic, including a $670,000 revenue shortfall related to the downturn in the economy, which necessitated budget cuts in an equal amount. Fortunately, we were able to accomplish this without harming our academic program, but we are mindful and planning for further state aid reductions which are possible over the coming months. This year’s proposal carries a tax levy increase of 3.15%, nearly 1% of which relates to our capital budget (debt service, borrowing costs, building aid, etc.). The remainder of the increase relates primarily to our contractual obligations. Recognizing the economic difficulties that so many now face, we have not proposed any new programs in this year’s budget, instead focusing on maintaining the rich curriculum for which our District has become known. We also thought creatively about how to best support our students, especially our youngest learners, when we eventually return to school.

With that in mind we have reallocated current staffing to include dedicated intervention teachers for Siwanoy and Colonial, matching what is already in place at Hutchinson and Prospect Hill. Additionally, a K-5 technology teacher will be designated to work across all four schools. We believe that both of these positions will provide meaningful help to our students following the disruption that this year has presented without adding to our overall budget.

The ballot also includes a proposition asking voters to authorize reallocating funds within the previously approved 2018 Capital Improvement Bond. This request, if approved, would allow the District to use unspent funds from the bond’s fields/athletics projects on the buildings and infrastructure projects. The specific ballot language is available on page 12.

Thank you for your consideration of these proposals and please feel free to reach out with any additional questions you may have. Most importantly, please be sure to VOTE.

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

Bond Update

Over the past year we have seen a number of projects from the 2018 Capital Improvement Bond make significant progress and the remainder are nearly ready to begin. Please see below for the status of these projects.

A photo showing concrete footings at the site of the new Hutchinson School

Following the summer of rock removal and site preparations, construction of the new Hutchinson School began in March. Significant progress has been made with concrete footings completed and the arrival of structural steel expected shortly. Work will continue throughout the summer and is on schedule. The target for opening the new school remains the fall of 2021 with demolition of the current building and final site restoration to follow.

A photo of the new turf field at the Glover Complex showing the %22P%22 emblem in the middle

The new turf field at the Glover Complex should be completed by June 1, and we are excited for our baseball, lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, rugby, football and recreation teams/programs to put it to good use once they resume. The resurfacing of the tennis courts should also be completed in the very near future. Both projects began in the summer of 2019 and are expected to be completed under budget.

A phot oof the outside of PMHS showing equipment preparing to work on the masonry

Staging has begun on the most critical masonry repairs at Pelham Memorial High School. These include replacing the roof on the annex building between the high school and middle school as well as repointing work to address water intrusion. Some of the less critical masonry repairs, including those at the middle school, have been deferred for the time being to provide the District financial flexibility.

Pelham Memorial High School

Plans to convert current District offices into new classrooms have been paused until next summer as social distancing requirements were likely to cause significant delays and cost increases. We look forward to beginning this project as soon as we are able.

A rendering of the new Prospect Hill School addition

The Board of Education rejected bids for the Prospect Hill addition while we wait for the pandemic to abate. This project, which will provide an elevator, new main entrance with enhanced security and bathroom renovations is expected to be rebid soon with the goal of beginning work as soon as is feasible.

Celebrating the Class of 2020:

It may be a different year, but it’s still YOUR year!

Some words from PMHS juniors to the class of 2020:

When we all are able to come together again, it will feel even more special than you could have ever imagined. We all will look to you as the class that faced remarkable challenges right as you entered the adult world. You will be a class of thinkers that approaches challenges differently than those before you. - Gabby Chávez

The Class of 2020 is ridiculously resilient and your demonstrated patience, creativity, and selflessness will follow you all throughout your lives. As you all move towards a whole new world after high school, Pelham will always be behind you. - Eliza Bratone

Every underclassman has really appreciated everything you guys have done for this school, and I wish you guys luck in the amazing lives you are going to have in college when this is over. - Julia Davis

You have found light in dark times and have stayed high in your flight to success, overcoming the turbulence and winds life threw at you. Now you have an opportunity to see the world with new eyes, to test your limits, both physically and mentally. - Ahmad Deribe

Some Memories from PMHS Teachers:

The thing I will remember most about the Class of 2020 is the kindness, compassion, genuine care they show to each and every classmate, faculty/staff member, and the Pelham community. This is a class that truly appreciates, values, and fights for the traditions that make PMHS a special and unique community. I will ALWAYS treasure and remember the laughs, late night talent show practices, silly walks, decorating, and the special bonds and relationships that I have formed with this class. I am so very lucky to have been one of their class advisors. They are all like a second family to me and I will miss them terribly. The Class of 2020 is a strong, resilient, mature class that will accomplish amazing things when they graduate and I can’t wait to hear all about them! ~ Jessica Waters, Co-Advisor to the Class of 2020

The things I will remember most about the Class of 2020 are their humor, camaraderie, and kindness. They’re the class that always said, “Thank you” when they left the classroom, and it was impossible not to do the same right back. Thank you, seniors, for your resilience. As my old pal Bruce Springsteen wrote, you’re “tougher than the rest.”
~ Tara Carmody, English Teacher

The thing I will remember most about the class of 2020 is their humor, generosity and camaraderie. Being their class advisor has been the highlight of my 10 years in education and I will sincerely miss seeing them in the PMHS hallways! ~ Marc Sirico, Co-Advisor to the Class of 2020

The thing I appreciate most about the class of 2020 is how they had an amazing mix of personality and work ethic. Even when faced with adversity, they were always quick to lighten the mood while supporting one another. Some of my best memories at PMHS were with the class of 2020. 
~ Jason Lindley, Science Teacher




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

Cost Reallocation Proposition:

Authorization to reallocate funds within the already approved 2018 Capital Improvement Bond

PELHAM Public Schools
18 Franklin Place
Pelham, New York 10803

Board of Education

Jessica DeDomenico, Pres. - (917) 376-9009
Sue Bratone Childs, Vice Pres. - 654-8585
John Brice - 522-8473
Eileen Miller - (917) 207-6742
Vincent Mazzaro - 261-1765
Leah G. Tahbaz - 654-4877
Jessica R. Young - (617) 803-0495

Superintendent of Schools

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


Alex Wolff


Beth Pollock