Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members,
Today our teachers and students logged off for the final time this school year, marking an end to what has been by far the most difficult and unpredictable year we have faced. In March, our world was turned upside down as the pandemic took hold. Seemingly overnight, students, teachers and parents alike were grappling with a new model for learning, the emotional toll of being apart, and the complexity and frustration of learning new technology while balancing the demands of being relegated to home -- not to mention the illness and loss this virus brought to so many.
To be sure, there were lessons learned and we know improvements will be necessary if we are forced to return to a distance learning model in the fall or in the future. But as I look back on this most unusual and stressful year, I am filled with thankfulness. I'm thankful for our community members, who stepped up to support those in need, from healthcare workers who needed masks to residents who needed food. I'm thankful for our parents who, despite everything, were instrumental in helping their children adjust and learn within the new environment. I'm thankful for our faculty, staff and administrators, who worked tirelessly to rewrite curriculum, adapt on the fly and keep students engaged for the past three months. But I am most thankful for our students, who have persevered through everything, shown their creativity and ingenuity, and helped all of us through their youthful energy that continued to provide the spark we as adults needed through these difficult times.
As we put the final touches on this school year, I would like to acknowledge the incredible work of PMHS Principal Jeannine Clark and Siwanoy Principal Susan Gilbert, who are both retiring at the end of this month. While these are not the conditions under which either of them thought they would be departing our District, both have handled themselves with amazing grace, shown themselves to be strong educational leaders, and fought every day to do what is right for their students. I will miss both of them dearly and wish them the best of luck in the next chapter of their lives.
Over the next several weeks, we will continue to keep you updated on plans for PMHS graduation, construction progress on the new Hutchinson School and other capital projects, as well as our plans for next school year. However this evening's letter will be the last of my daily updates. I want to thank you all for your support during this trying school year and wish you a restful and enjoyable summer recess.
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.
- When maintaining social distancing is not possible, cover 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.