Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members,
Last night, the Board of Education formally appointed Farid Johnson as the next Principal of Siwanoy School. I am excited to be welcoming Mr. Johnson to Pelham and look forward to adding his energy and experience to the Siwanoy community. Over the coming weeks, we will work to introduce Mr. Johnson to the community virtually for now and in person when it is safe.
As we continue to focus on distance learning for the foreseeable future, our administrative team is also pushing ahead with implementing our Strategic Plan to ensure that our educational program is rich and meaningful for our students once we return to the regular classroom environment. Prior to our building closure, we were fortunate to work with Dr. Michael Rettig, a nationally renowned school scheduling expert to examine our elementary master schedule. Through these discussions we identified several tweaks to the K-5 specials schedule to use our resources more efficiently while advancing our educational program without adding to current staffing levels. A summary of the changes is as follows:
Staffing will be reallocated to include a K-5 instructional technology teacher to work across all four elementary schools focusing on developing technology skills, and building student knowledge with digital literacy and citizenship.
Library instruction will now be offered K-5
FLES (offered in grades 2-5) will meet twice every six days for 45 minute sessions as part of the regular specials cycle. This will provide the same amount of FLES instruction as we currently have while minimizing disruption to core subjects
In accordance with our efforts to improve our Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports, further reallocation of staffing will allow both Siwanoy and Colonial schools to have dedicated intervention teachers similar to what Hutchinson and Prospect Hill currently have in place
Chorus will become an optional program that meets prior to the school as band and orchestra already do. The schedule for chorus, orchestra and band will be staggered so that students may participate in as many of these programs as they choose
We believe these small changes will have an extremely positive impact on our ability to deliver instruction for our students.
The full Board of Education meeting, which also included updates on the status of the 2020-21 budget proposal and capital improvement projects is available for viewing on the District website.
In closing, today is National Nurses Day and I ask that you please join me in thanking these heroes for their unbelievable efforts. Under normal circumstances, nurses across the country deserve our gratitude and that is even more so the case during this pandemic. Please be sure to step outside at 7pm and be extra loud in honor of them this evening.
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.
- 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.