Dear Pelham Parents and Community Members,
The past few weeks have been an extremely trying time for our District and Westchester County as a whole. We have been in near constant discussions among our administrative team, with the Department of Health, local officials and other school districts and municipalities in the region. Due to several ongoing concerns, and in order to allow families adequate time to prepare for child care, the Pelham Public Schools will be closed for one day on Friday, March 13. We will continue to assess the situation and will communicate with you over the weekend as things evolve.
Our situation in Pelham is complicated by a number of factors, including our proximity to the New Rochelle containment area and what is now three confirmed cases of Pertussis among high school students and the possibility that this could spread beyond the MS/HS campus. Additionally, while we are still not aware of any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pelham, we recognize that is likely to change in the near future. While any of these issues on their own would not warrant a school closure, the totality of these circumstances has caused unique concern for our District.
After consultation with the District Physician, we believe a short-term closure will allow those who have symptoms of Pertussis to see their doctors and begin treatment. This will also provide us additional time to deep clean our buildings, further assess our situation and decide on next steps. We hope that by informing you of this decision today, you will have enough time to make the necessary arrangements for your families.
During this closure, it is essential that parents continue to report any cases of Pertussis, COVID-19, or requests for self or mandatory quarantine made by the health department to your respective school principal. While they will not be in the buildings on Friday or over the weekend, they are able to check voicemail and email.
Again, we continue to adapt to new and updated information with the best interests of our students and community at heart. Please continue to check our COVID-19 webpage for additional information and resources.
Cheryl H. Champ
Superintendent of Schools