SAU News

Superintendent Message

You may have already heard Governor Sununu just recently announced that New Hampshire schools will remain in remote learning status until the end of this school year. I know this is a challenge for staff, students, parents, and the community. All of us have made many sacrifices trying to make remote learning a success. Thank you to all who continue to put in the effort to make remote learning as successful as possible despite the challenges it presents. I want to reassure you that the Pelham Schools are ready for this and will continue to meet this challenge and be responsive to our staff, students, and parents.

It is disappointing that sports seasons and other special events will be lost, but we will still celebrate the achievements of our seniors and senior athletes. We are making plans for high school graduation and will be looking for student input in this process. I don’t know what it might look like or when it will be held, but we are committed to creating a special event to commemorate their time at Pelham.

We have been anticipating this extension of remote learning and have already been planning for this possibility. During next week's School Board meeting (Wednesday, April 22, 2020), some proposed changes will be discussed with the Board. We feel these changes will help our students and staff better navigate this challenging time. We will continue the practices of making tech support and materials available to staff and students. We have been exploring adding a delivery meal option to families that could benefit from this service. The administrative team and teacher leaders have not stopped working on finding ways to make this challenging situation the best possible outcome for our students.

I am so proud of the Pelham community and all the caring people who support the students of Pelham each and every day. We truly have come together and we all have stepped up to make the best of this crisis. We will continue to work together to find the best solutions for our students and do our part to keep everyone safe and healthy. #PelhamProud #WeAreInThisTogether.

Sincerely,
Bill Furbush
Superintendent of Schools

Expectations for Students FLEX

Another week has gone by and we are starting to get into the groove! Thank you all for the feedback in the recent survey. By sharing what is going well and the challenges you are having, we have been able to remain flexible and adjust how we approach remote learning. We all adjusted at a moment's notice and did it very successfully. Now we monitor our progress and make adjustments as needed. 

Starting next Wednesday April 15, 2020, we will be adjusting student and staff expectations on Wednesdays. Please find the attached link with the details. We will continue with these new expectations until Wednesday April 22, 2020 and then reassess. By that time, I am hopeful, we will know if we are to remain in remote learning status and we will have feedback on how Wednesday’s have been going. 

It is our hope that students will benefit from these changes. Students will be expected to continue school work on these days. This flex day will give them an opportunity to assess and prioritize the work they are responsible for with no additional expectations placed on them for that day. It was clear that many were feeling the stress of the workload and the demands of remote learning. We hope that these changes will help alleviate some of that stress!Thank you all for such amazing work. The new demands placed on students and parents can be overwhelming. We are in this together and we will continue to address the needs of our students and staff. As always don’t hesitate to reach out to me or your administrators if you have questions or need help with a student. We are all in this together. #Pelham Proud! Enjoy the weekend! 

Sincerely,
Bill Furbush

Expectations for Students FLEX

 

Flex Day Schedule:

Monday  Tuesday   Wednesday Thursday  Friday
PES/PMS: Regular School Day PES/PMS: Regular School Day “Flex Day” This is still a school day. Students are doing work, but there is no new instruction.  PES/PMS: Regular School Day PES/PMS: Regular School Day
PHS: Blue Day  PHS: 
White Day
Teachers will have AM office hours only. Service Providers may continue to provide their services on this day (or a rescheduled day). PHS: Blue Day  PHS: 
White Day

Superintendent Message

 

The Pelham School Board enthusiastically announces the selection of Dr. Eric “Chip” McGee as the next Superintendent of the Pelham School District. Dr. McGee will assume his leadership duties on July 1, 2020.

Dr. McGee brings with him a wealth of experience and extensive leadership qualities from his 20+ years in education. He currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent in the Methuen School District. Prior to joining Methuen in July 2019, he spent 15 years with the Bedford School District as Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment (11 years) and Superintendent of Schools (4 years). Before he became an administrator, Dr. McGee taught algebra, global studies, and physical science in New York City. He possesses a tremendous depth and breadth of experience, including building and renovation projects, strategic planning, technology initiatives, and collaboration to implement effective solutions in a wide variety of areas. 

Dr. McGee holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Brown University; received a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia University; and earned his Doctorate in Education from Columbia University. Dr. McGee is recognized as a dynamic, innovative, and well-respected administrator, and was honored by the NH School Administrators Association with the Outstanding Service Award in 2009.  

We are fortunate to have found Dr. McGee, as he brings his passion and a shared vision to the District, and has a demonstrated history of commitment to high quality education in the communities he has served. Please join us in welcoming Dr. McGee to our Pelham School District family!

Dr. McGee shared his own excitement about joining the Pelham School District. “I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve the community of Pelham. Over the years, I have seen Pelham lead the way in New Hampshire in many ways including its ‘Future Ready’ approach to technology integration. I was drawn to Pelham because of its strong and supportive community, and I look forward to helping the young people of Pelham continue to thrive. In the coming weeks, I will find ways to introduce myself to parents, students, teachers, staff and the whole community; we will figure it out despite the challenges of school closure. Thank you for this opportunity.”

By way of background, the Pelham School Board had formed a Superintendent Search Committee in February, which included our three principals, teachers, union representation, SAU administrators, and community members. Just as the interview process was ready to begin, we found ourselves in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Committee navigated the world of video conferencing and conducted two rounds of remote interviews. When the stay-at-home order was extended until May 4th, we decided the selection of a new Superintendent could not be delayed; therefore, the Committee adjusted the search process accordingly.

After the second round of interviews, the Committee was unanimous in its support of moving Dr. McGee forward as the finalist for our next Superintendent. Due to the challenges of organizing and facilitating additional video conferences for staff and the community, the difficult decision had to be made to forgo public receptions, and to move Dr. McGee to the Board for final interviews. This was not the ideal process, but we truly believe that this was in the best interests of our entire Pelham School District community, especially considering the circumstances of our current environment.

We will plan to hold a public reception for Dr. McGee as soon as the stay-at-home order is lifted to give the staff and community the opportunity to meet and welcome Dr. McGee as our next Superintendent.

Sincerely,
Bill Furbush
Superintendent of Schools

Superintendent Message

We are completing our third week of remote learning. We implemented remote learning with just one day of preparation. This is an amazing accomplishment and I believe we have exceeded all expectations given this short time frame. There have been many challenges and successes along the way. We continue to learn, grow, and improve on our ability to meet the daily challenges of remote learning. No matter what the challenges are, our students, staff, and parents continue to meet those challenges and crush it!

Thank you all for the over 800 responses to our survey. The feedback was extremely positive and it has given us a great deal of information to continue to improve remote instruction and learning. We continue to explore modifying the current instructional schedule in order to better meet our students and staff needs. As we get used to the current schedule, it becomes easier to identify what our needs are going forward. More on this possibility will be forthcoming.

Below are some updates that I wish to share with you.

April Vacation Week – 4/27 thru 5/1 – No School

We have decided to maintain our traditional April vacation week. In discussions with staff, administration, parents, and students, it was clear that we need some time off to recharge and reflect on the work we have been doing.

Use of School Facilities

Next week we will be moving to one day of tech support for our teachers and students. On Wednesday, April 8, 2020, our tech support personnel will be available (by appointment only) to assist with tech tickets that could not be solved remotely. Buildings will be open on a more limited basis for staff. Please look for communication from your principal on the hours and instructions to access the buildings.

School playgrounds, fields, and tennis courts are not to be used at this time. We wish to help do our part and promote social distancing. Police will be patrolling school grounds and ask anyone in these areas to leave. We do however wish people to remain healthy and active. For this reason, Harris Track will be the one exception and be available for public use. Please remember to remain six feet away from others and remember the track is for walking, or jogging. No bicycles, roller blades, or cleats, are permitted. We wish to have this track for a long time and encourage all to do their part to protect it.

Recording Online Teaching Sessions

On a separate matter, it’s come to our attention that some students may be recording online teaching sessions or taking pictures without disclosing this to others in the remote classroom. This isn’t appropriate but more importantly, in New Hampshire it’s illegal to record a conversation or discussion without others agreeing to be recorded. New Hampshire is a two party consent state and we do not wish for our students to get in trouble if they are unaware of this law. We also do not want students posting pictures of minors (fellow students) without parental consent. Very few concerns have been raised, but it is important to encourage our children to be respectful of everyone involved and aware of the expectations.

I continue to be proud of all the work our staff, students, parents, administrators, and School Board are doing to support remote learning and the success of our students during this crisis. We continue to meet all challenges before us and are reminded daily we are all in this together. Thank you and enjoy the weekend.

Sincerely,
Bill Furbush
Superintendent of Schools

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 8:30AM

 

There will be a 2 hour delay on Wednesday, January 30.
No AM kindergarten or preschool.