Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members,
Last night the Board of Education met for the first time since our buildings were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This meeting, which was held remotely, served as a stark reminder of our changed reality, but also as proof that we can and will adapt under adverse circumstances.
At the meeting, Dr. Garcia and members of our administrative team provided an update on our distance learning program, as well as information about plans for middle school and high school third quarter grades, adjustments in AP and SAT exam administration, and impacts of COVID-19 on the college planning process. This information was communicated to parents this afternoon from the respective principals.
The Board also heard updates and/or discussed other important business, including the status of the capital improvement bond projects. As you may know, the governor issued an executive order last week pausing non-essential construction projects across the state. At this time, we have been advised by legal counsel that we can continue installation of the footings for the new Hutchinson School and laying of the turf field at the Glover Complex as halting either at this stage would compromise the integrity of the projects and create an unsafe environment. Our construction manager has put safety plans in place to ensure that all contractors are wearing appropriate personal protective equipment and maintaining social distancing while on the job.
With regard to the remaining projects, the District has reviewed bid results for the Prospect Hill addition and bathroom renovations, and the roof and masonry work at PMHS and PMS. Taking into account the current uncertainty and the recent executive order, the Bond Steering Committee recommended that the District move forward with only the most critical masonry repairs and replacement of the PMHS annex roof to prevent water intrusion. At this time, the District is deferring a portion of less critical masonry repairs, predominantly at the middle school. Discussions regarding the Prospect Hill projects remain ongoing and the District is also reviewing options for the interior renovations at PMHS in light of our changed circumstances.
As part of the budget discussions, Jim Hricay, Assistant Superintendent for Business, shared that earlier this week, Governor Cuomo announced that the annual school board election and budget vote were postponed until June 1 at the earliest. Our business office is reviewing guidance from New York State and Westchester County with regard to likely reductions in school aid and sales tax revenues. Accordingly, we are developing plans to adjust our budget so that we can continue to meet the needs of our students and be respectful to taxpayers at the same time.
Please know that we are continuing to monitor all guidance related to the operations of our schools and will continue to provide additional information as it becomes available. Thank you again for your continued support during this trying time.
Cheryl H. Champ
Superintendent of Schools
Social Distancing Guidelines
- Stay home as much as possible, even if you feel healthy
- Refrain from congregating in groups and maintain a distance of at least 6 feet between yourself and others
- Refrain from social gatherings, playdates and sleepovers with friends
- Do not visit public playgrounds
- Use caution when visiting grocery stores/pharmacies and consider delivery services for food and groceries.
Contact Information for Social Workers and Student Assistance Counselor
Our social workers and student assistance counselor continue to be available to support those who are experiencing hardships and need assistance. Please feel free to contact:
- Kristin Quintano, Social Worker, 914-738-3434 x1295
- Sharon Charles, Social Worker, 914-738-8190 x1218
- Kelley-Anne Lonergan, Student Assistance Counselor, 914-738-8182
Information on Community Organizations Offering Assistance
Additionally, organizations such as Pelham Together, the Junior League of Pelham and our faith community have offered their assistance with those families with a variety of needs, including food, child care, and other demands of day-to-day life. The Pelham Civic Association is also available for families that have fallen on hard times due to this pandemic. Please feel free to reach out in confidentiality for potential assistance to Richard Davidian, Vice President, Community programs at Richard.Davidian1@gmail.com (914-552-0872) or Dr. Stan Trocchia, Chairman, Good Neighbors program Goodneighbors@pelhamcivics.org.