Parents of PMHS seniors demand return to full-time attendance during district forum


Pelham Memorial High School

The high school administration held a forum Wednesday for seniors and their parents to discuss the new reopening plan, after many parents expressed their discontent following the announcement that high school students would not be able to return to school full time.

On April 26, high schoolers will begin attending school three to four days a week, up from two to three days under the current hybrid system. Attendance is based on students’ assignment to two cohorts and two sub-cohorts. Elementary school students returned to full-time, in-person classes Monday, while the middle school will follow next Monday.

“Today, we came together as a community for our seniors, and we are determined to change the plan regarding in-person instruction,” said Claudia Maher, a parent who attended the forum.

According to attendees, around 100 parents were at the online forum. The atmosphere was characterized as civil but forceful as parents expressed their displeasure with the new reopening plan.

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to discuss our in-person learning plans for our high school seniors,” said Superintendent Dr. Cheryl Champ in an email sent to parents of seniors on Wednesday.

“The shortsightedness of the district is extremely disappointing,” said RoseAnn Colkin, another parent. “Ten years from now, one extra day a week in this complicated cohort system is not going to make a difference to the 9th, 10th or 11th graders. But being able to be FTIP for eight weeks for the seniors will mean the world to them. Ten years from now, being able to share the last eight weeks of their senior year with their entire class will be all that the seniors remember.”

School Board President Jessica DeDomenico and Vice President Sue Bratone Childs were at the online meeting to listen, as was Trustee Vinny Mazzaro, but as the parent of senior, according to a school district spokesman. School officials refused to allow a Pelham Examiner reporter to be on the video call.