We hope that you have had a productive and enjoyable start to the school year. The Pelham Public Schools continue to prioritize in-person instruction and I wanted to share some important information pertaining to our efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and keeping our schools safe and open for our students.
I am excited to introduce Bridget Gates as the District’s new COVID-19 coordinator. Bridget joins us with important experience as a Contact Tracer for the New York City Department of Health as well as prior management experience in the financial sector. She is also a Pelham resident and mother of two recent PMHS graduates. Bridget will be our point person for managing contact tracing efforts, communicating with the Department of Health, coordinating our COVID testing program and maintaining vaccination records and information for contact tracing purposes. You may contact her by emailing email@example.com. Please join me in thanking Julia Chung for her incredible efforts for the past year and in welcoming Bridget to the Pelham Public Schools!
Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination
As a reminder, students who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are not required to quarantine if they are exposed to a positive individual while at school as long as they remain asymptomatic. To facilitate efficient contact tracing efforts, we are requesting that families provide the District proof of their child’s COVID-19 vaccination, if applicable. These records will be kept confidential and will only be used to efficiently conduct contact tracing in the event of an exposure at school. As a reminder, being fully vaccinated is defined as being two weeks post having received a second dose of the Pfizer, which is currently the only vaccine authorized for ages 12-16.
Acceptable proof of vaccination includes a photo of the front of your child’s vaccination card or a screenshot of the New York State Excelsior Pass from your smart device. Please send proof of vaccination via email to COVID-19 Coordinator Bridget Gates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
While students are not required to be vaccinated, we strongly encourage anyone who is eligible (ages 12 and up) to receive the vaccine. Proof of vaccination will be accepted at all times during the school year.
Reporting Positive COVID-19 Cases
If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please report the case to the District by completing this Google Form. You will then be contacted by our COVID coordinator or another school district official for contact tracing purposes. Please note that if students test positive, they must stay home regardless of vaccination status.
COVID-19 Testing Program
Beginning next week, the District will be partnering with Mt. Sinai Health Systems on a voluntary COVID-19 testing program recognizing that screening testing is an important way to detect pre-symptomatic/asymptomatic COVID-19 cases and keep our schools safe. The tests will be a saliva-based PCR test that will be administered to as much of our school population as possible for an initial round, followed by testing of 20% of our school population per week during the remainder of the school year. As a reminder, unvaccinated student-athletes participating in “high-risk” fall sports, including football, cheerleading and volleyball are required to participate in this program weekly. Additional details about the testing program will be forthcoming within the next day or so.
Thank you all for your continued diligence in helping to keep our schools safe for your colleagues and our students. Please enjoy the remainder of the week!
Cheryl H. Champ, Ed. D.
Superintendent of Schools