Dear Pelham Families,
Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the Pelham High School Honors Societies’ Induction Ceremony. Pelham High School honored 63 students for their academic achievement in Art, English, French, Math, Music, Science, and Spanish.
I shared with them my pride in their work and shared this short story. I am reading a novel about a young ballet dancer. She is very talented - so talented that her instructor notices something. The dancer not only enjoys the satisfaction of being skilled, she also enjoys the hard work of it. She enjoys rehearsing, practicing, sweating the details, struggling through a new step. These young students of ours were being honored for a similar reason. Their instructors saw that same change in them. We all know they are talented in these subject areas; that has been obvious for a while. More important than that, their teachers noticed that the students are starting to enjoy the work of it all. The pleasure is in the pursuit of knowledge and skill. That is where the real satisfaction rests in the world of the intellect. It was a joy to see that on display last night.
Below are this week’s updates.
I am grateful to everyone for managing the continued challenge of supporting your children while they are at home learning remotely until January 19. Here are the key details:
Preschool, Kindergarten and current students receiving in-school special education instructional will remain in-school.
On January 19, Grade 1 - 12 return to in school instruction for those families that have chosen to be in school.
Administration has revised the Reopening Guideline for Families, which are available on the homepage of each school under Latest News. The key changes are highlighted in this message below.
When The Mask Comes Off - Lunch and Mask Breaks
(Updated on January 11, 2021)
While mask wearing is required at school, students and staff need to be able to remove their masks at times to eat lunch and to take mask breaks. In general, staff and students are to be at least six feet apart when removing their masks. In those cases when that is not possible, students and staff are to use clear plastic barriers. These are provided by the district. These barriers are student-specific equipment (like a student mask) and not shared equipment (like a doorknob). The barriers are the responsibility of the student to set up, take down, clean and maintain when at school.
(Updated on January 11, 2021)
During the pandemic, we ask families and staff to strongly consider forgoing travel. Families and staff need to self-quarantine for 14 days following the last date of any high risk travel (or 10 days if the traveler can strictly adhere to COVID-19 mitigation measures of physical distancing, avoiding social gatherings, wearing a face mask, practicing frequent hand hygiene, etc.). High risk travel includes travel internationally (including to/from Canada); on a cruise ship; or domestically outside of the New England states of Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, or Rhode Island for nonessential purposes. The full NH DHHS Guidelines for Travel can be found here.
Siblings, Family Members and Housemates
(Updated on January 11, 2021)
It is complicated for siblings, family members and housemates of a person who receives a positive COVID-test. It helps to think of this at three levels.
Primary A person in the schools who receives a positive COVID test (“Primary”) must self-isolate for 10 days after a positive test or symptoms onset, whichever comes first.
Secondary Those who are in close contact with the positive COVID case, not symptomatic, and awaiting test results are “Second Level.” This could include classmates as well as siblings, roommates, and family members. They must self-quarantine for at least the same 14 days regardless of test results.
Tertiary Those in close contact with the Secondary (but not in close contact with the Primary Level) need only to self monitor for symptoms. No other action is required.
If you are living with a person with COVID-19, you will need to quarantine for 14 days from the last contact with the person. If you are in constant contact with the positive person, which means there is no separate bedroom with a bathroom and food is not brought to them on paper plates, then you will have to quarantine for the person’s 10 days plus your own additional 14 days. Not all situations follow this criteria so it is important to reach out to your school nurse for guidance.
School Meal Delivery - Week of January 11- 15 Delivery Schedule
Mon, January 11th- Delivery for Monday and Tuesday
Wed, January 13th – Delivery for Wednesday and Thursday
Fri., January 15th- Delivery for Friday
A Chance to Give
As I mentioned last week, we lost one of our parents - Danielle Wilson - in a car accident on January 3. I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of families reaching out and asking me how to help. If you are interested in helping, friends and family have set up a GoFundMe page. The page reads, in part, “The boys attend the Pelham school system, and are well known and loved in the community. They are currently residing with their grandparents. The goal is to ensure that the boys remain in Pelham. Please help this family keep them together in the community that they love.” Please consider giving. I am extraordinarily grateful to serve such a caring and supportive community.
New Interim Assistant Director of Student Services
Thomas Beer is joining the Pelham School District as Interim Assistant Director of Student Services. He has two decades' experience in education. Tom started teaching middle and high school special education in New Orleans. He also worked as a Regional Director with Leadership for Educational Equity and as the Director of Student Support Services for the Baton Rouge Achievement Zone. We are delighted to have Tom joining our team.
Eric "Chip" McGee, Superintendent of Schools , Pelham School District, SAU 28, 59A Marsh Road, Pelham, NH 03076, P:(603) 635-1145 F: (603) 635-1283
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