We are asking that all families complete this Google Form to provide consent for testing should Pelham be designated a yellow or orange zone.
Reopening Plan 2020-21
The Pelham Public Schools has developed multiple plans for the 2020-21 school year to address a variety of scenarios that may occur due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts began in March and are being overseen by a committee of District administrators and teachers with different subcommittees developing plans for Elementary and Secondary (MS/HS). These subcommittees also included teachers, who provided valuable insight, as well as guidance from the District’s physician. Additional subcommittees focused specifically on health & safety, facilities/logistics, and communications.
At the heart of these planning efforts is an understanding that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed how we operate as a world and as a school district. Throughout the planning process, the District has put the health, safety and wellness of our students and staff at the forefront, knowing that those elements are essential to providing the robust and challenging education our students deserve. Doing so in a way that is safe and healthy for both students and teachers/staff is essential.
Dating back to last spring, the District sought feedback from key stakeholders, including students, parents, and teachers/staff. This feedback was solicited through surveys on distance learning, concerns about reopening schools, and different possibilities for a hybrid approach. The feedback was shared with committee members who reviewed and considered results in their discussions.
On July 16, the New York State Education Department released official guidance to districts throughout the state, which details requirements and makes recommendations for schools' reopening plans. Submissions to the state must include plans for the following scenarios:
Full in-person instruction
Distance learning, and
A hybrid of the two to reduce density in the buildings
Considerations and Criteria
For each scenario that was considered, the committee focused on the following factors:
Meets NYSED and DOH Requirements
Minimizes risks to the health and safety of students and staff
Provides for the social and emotional needs of students
Addresses the developmental needs of students
Provides continuity of instruction across models
Feasible to schedule and manage financially
Feasible for families of students and staff
Aligned with the region to the degree possible
After these plans were developed, the District sought additional feedback from parents who served on last year’s Authentic Learning and Community Engagement and Advocacy Committee, as well as members of the PTA Council. This feedback was used to further refine these plans.
Overviews of these plans are available by using the tabs at the left of this page.
Recognizing that technology will continue to play an important role in education no matter what plan is implemented this school year, the District has made several enhancements to better prepare both students and teachers. These include:
Increasing instructional software for student and teacher use, such as: TI Calculator, Kami, HMH Math, NewsELA, Screencastify, FlipGrid, EdPuzzle, Dreambox*, etc.
Expanding the 1:1 Chromebook Initiative to students in Gr. 3-12
Providing 4k document cameras for all instructional spaces in Pelham that may also be used to stream teachers’ lessons
Upgrading the entire district wireless network
Expanding the Infinite Campus parent portal to K-5 to enable greater communication regarding student academic progress
Simplifying log-in access for K-3 students to Classlink with QR codes
Planning for additional professional development to support teachers
Timeline and Next Steps
Though plans were submitted to the state on July 31, 2020 consistent with the state requirement, it is important to understand that these plans are likely to change based on guidance from New York State and local conditions. Additionally, as we begin to implement these plans, the District will continue to seek feedback and adapt as necessary.
The Governor stated that a final decision as to whether schools in a particular region may open for in-person instruction will be made during the first week of August based on COVID-19 data. Once the Governor makes his determination, the school administration will meet and finalize our plans.
Throughout the school year, the District may switch between these plans based on a variety of factors, including:
Guidance from the Governor, the New York State Department of Health, or the New York State Education Department
Local rate of virus transmission
Or at the discretion of the school district
These decisions may be made on a district-wide, school-by-school basis, or class-by-class basis.
Due to the nature and unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the necessary health and safety precautions we must all take to reduce the spread of this virus, we know that our schools will look quite different however we decide to resume in the fall. As a District, we will continue to adapt and do our best to provide the best possible education for our students as we navigate our new reality.
Information for families ahead of Thanksgiving
Rapid tests will no longer be accepted.
Dr. Champ's statement on political speech among staff members
Guidelines for Quarantine include:
- Having a separate room and bathroom facilities,
- Sanitizing shared spaces often,
- Delivering food to the individual’s quarters,
- Wearing a mask in the home, and
- Monitoring the individual closely for symptoms.