Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members,
When we initially closed school all the way back on March 13, it was near impossible to imagine that we would still be at home at this time and lacking clarity as to when our buildings will reopen. This uncertainty is difficult to manage, yet we continue to evolve, tinker and experiment as we look for opportunities within adversity, and are committed more than ever to ensuring that our students have an effective and meaningful education.
From the outset, one of our biggest questions was how we could continue to attend to our students' social and emotional needs when they could no longer be in classes, visit with friends, or engage in the many activities that filled their lives prior to the health crisis. But as distance learning and social distancing have become our new normal, our teachers, faculty, staff and students have creatively developed new ways to connect with one another in this new virtual environment. Over the past few weeks, all of our schools have had or are planning spirit weeks with daily themes and activities, and some elementary classes have even held virtual birthday parties! I had the opportunity to join in on a number of these planning sessions this week and am so impressed by the engagement and commitment of our students to keeping connections alive across the entire school community. Principals and teachers alike have prepared videos of themselves reading poetry and stories, thanking first responders and healthcare workers and sharing inspirational messages with their students and families. Student governments, newspapers and extracurricular activities also continue to meet virtually and some, such as the Model U.N. and DOOR Literary Magazine at the high school, are planning videoconference events in lieu of their regular programs.
We all yearn for the time when all of this can occur as it once did, within a classroom or school setting. But in the interim, I continue to be inspired by our ability to adapt and make the best of the hand we have been dealt. These interactions, virtual or not, are essential to our students' growth as individuals, and I am confident that this experience as a whole will make us all stronger in the end.
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.
- Consider covering your nose and mouth with a cloth or mask when you leave home.
- Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose, or eyes.
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.