Dear Pelham Community,
The Board of Education set three overarching goals for the 2023-24 school year at its meeting on Wednesday, September 13, 2023, which also included the superintendent’s report on the opening of school and district facilities and a presentation on a yearlong STEM Education collaboration.
Adoption of Goals
Throughout the year, the Board will work with Dr. Champ and District leadership to accomplish the following goals and related outcomes:
Finance and Facilities
Conduct a District wide facilities update to determine areas of improvement and financing options to create a world class learning environment.
- Conduct a review of the District’s reserve funds
- Complete a Building Conditions Survey to assess facilities needs
- Review enrollment, space and class sizes
- Create a 5-year facilities plan
- Develop an understanding of financing options to address needs
Determine how student growth and achievement data will be identified, collected, utilized, and analyzed to enhance students’ K-12 educational experience
- Creation of a system for review of student growth and achievement data
- Monitoring of social/emotional/mental health issues and needs of students that impact learning
- Strengthen the sense of belonging and trust through the use of the climate and communications survey data and the strategic implementation of recommendations.
- Review and implementation of the recommendations of the Communications Audit and Staff Climate Survey
- Use of protocol for managing difficult conversations within the Board and between the Board and the community
- Fostering an environment where everyone feels like they belong
In addition to approving its goals, the Board also adopted its communications protocols for the school year and assigned members to Board and District committees. Information about applications for community members to serve on committees will be forthcoming.
Pelham Chases Space
Dr. Tom Callahan, Director of Math and Science and Dr. Kim Riegel, a community member and founder of the nonprofit MINDSET, provided an overview of a new community-wide STEM collaboration centered around the book “Chasing Space.” Similar to “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” initiative two years ago, this effort will focus on K-12 activities that integrate STEM and the humanities and include a number of community activities.
“Chasing Space” is an autobiography of Leland Melvin, an Astronaut, former NFL player, material scientist, photographer and White House STEM education advisor. The book, which will be read by students in school this year, tells Mr. Melvin’s story of perseverance from the football field to space.
“Pelham Chases Space” will kick off on October 3 with a visit by Mr. Melvin, supported by the Pelham Education Foundation. Mr. Melvin will be visiting with middle and high school students throughout the day and will then hold an author talk that is open to the community at 6pm in the PMHS Auditorium.
Other events that are planned for the year include book discussions, movie nights at The Picture House, an integration with Pelham’s music departments during winter concerts, an art exhibit, a creative writing challenge, an Astronaut food chopped challenge, a stomp rocket build and much more.
More information and a full calendar of events is available on the MINDSET website. The Pelham Public Schools looks forward to partnering with many community organizations throughout the year.
As part of her report on the opening of school, Dr. Champ provided an overview of the facilities work that was completed over the summer.
Some highlights include:
- The installation of a plaque honoring Anthony Senerchia Jr. at Glover Field
- Completed renovations of a new Bridge Academy Room, new art room, a new life skills room and two general purpose rooms at PMHS associated with the 2018 Capital Improvement Bond. These renovations also resulted in three new single-user bathrooms
- Repair of the PMHS clock tower
- Replacement of the retaining wall and sidewalk on Fifth Street from the school to Third Avenue and Reopening of the Lincoln Avenue staircase at Hutchinson School
- Installation of new playgrounds at Siwanoy and Hutchinson School
- Abatement and replacement of the tile floor on the 2nd floor at Prospect Hill
- Painting, drop ceiling and installation of LED lights in select classrooms and areas across the District
- Deep cleaning of floors, furniture and classrooms across the District.
Dr. Champ and the Board expressed their appreciation for the District’s facilities staff as well as the student summer workers who help make this work possible.
The next Board of Education meeting will be held at 7:30pm on Wednesday, September 27.