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    Port Chester Residents to Vote on 2018 PCMS Bond Project

    The Port Chester School District asks community residents to vote on a vital, comprehensive $12.5 million BOND PROJECT for much-needed renovations to Port Chester Middle School’s building exterior on Tuesday, FEBRUARY 6, 2018. This project primarily addresses the recent emergency safety work and necessary reconstruction at Port Chester Middle School for a long-term, safe and cost-effective solution.

    The PCMS Safety Project will resolve emergency safety concerns by removing the exterior concrete cantilevers, repairing pedestrian bridges and replacing stairwell fire safety doors. The district/school will see an annual 8% energy   savings, thanks to the replacement of the 50-year-old single-pane windows with state-of-the-art energy-efficient insulated windows. A smaller portion of the project also addresses two delayed projects on other campuses: installing ADA-compliant hand rails at Edison School and upgrading the high school auditorium’s audio system.

    Port Chester Middle School is a National Blue Ribbon award-winning school (2005), that currently serves approximately 1,000 students in grades 6-8. The Board of Education approved the Bond Project at its December meeting and now shares it with district residents for their consideration this winter season.

     Please view the attached PDF for more information.

  • Pledge to Vote: PCMS Bond 2018

    Our district would love to see a record turnout in February for the Port Chester Middle School’s Bond Project.

    If you plan to vote on Feb. 6, please submit your pledge to and let us know! Kindly include your name in the email.

    Voting takes place in the Port Chester Middle School gymnasium (located at 113 Bowman Avenue) from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

    For more information about the PCMS Bond Project, click here.

    To RSVP to the event on Facebook, click here.

    For additional questions, kindly contact the Port Chester District Office.  

  • Pup Pipi Crowned in PCMS’ Cutest Pet Contest as Students Show Generous Spirit

    From a flock of adorable dogs and cats, students at Port Chester Middle School crowned Pipi – a rat terrier, Pomeranian, miniature pincher and pitbull mix – as the cutest pet.

    During December, cheerful students voted in the “Cutest Pet Contest,” which consisted of 34 dogs and cats owned by PCMS staff members. Each child donated $1 to cast a vote – and raised over $600, which was given to Pet Rescue, a pet adoption service in Harrison. The winner, Pipi, is owned by physical education teacher Melissa Piccola.

    As a surprise, on Dec. 22, the PCMS auditorium was visited by a handful of adorable furry friends - puppies to adult dogs. The students were bright with excitement, kneeling down to cuddle with them. Others giggled, overjoyed to pet and feed them treats. While some of the dogs belonged to Port Chester staff members, most were available to adopt from Pet Rescue.

    The initiative was spearheaded by the PCMS physical education staff from the desire to give back to the local community. Mr. Michael Bonanno had never owned a dog until two years ago when he adopted his Norwich terrier.

    “The children saw how important the lives of pets are,” he said. “My dog changed my life. In class, we talk about stress management and how dogs can help with relaxation. This event is also about giving back to others.”

    The money raised was donated to Pet Rescue to help increase awareness for animal adoptions. In addition, students and staff also donated pet food, blankets, beds and toys to help the animals currently at the organization.

    PCMS Principal Patrick Swift was proud of his students for their willingness to donate, praising their kind-heartedness and saying that the children always share with the community at any opportunity. Pet Rescue's Judith Roth attended the event and was also grateful for PCMS' caring nature.

    “We are so overwhelmed by the students’ generosity,” she said. “Through the school’s support, we are able to save dogs and give them a home.”

  • Port Chester Programs Receive Funding for Student Success

    Two of Port Chester Public Schools’ partner programs were awarded Westchester County Youth Bureau “Invest in Kids” grants.

    In late-December, the organization granted “One World” and “Steer for Student-Athletes” with funding for a three-year period, beginning in 2018. Each program will receive approximately $45,000 each year.

    The One World program, “Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders,” helps Port Chester Schools to further its character education program, which was initiated last year (with assistance from the Harvard Think Tank on Global Competence). The funding will also support the implementation of the nation’s leading character education program,

    Funding for the Steer for Student-Athletes program will support the expansion of existing programs in Port Chester Public Schools. The program provides support services – including giving social, academic and athletic assistance to student-athletes in order to graduate – and prepares them for further education into college and careers.

    “Our district is pleased and proud to continue our partnerships to bring high-quality and effective support programming to our students,” said Joe Durney, Port Chester’s Deputy Superintendent. “These organizations support district initiatives that have proven effective. We are delighted that this funding will further our mission to ensure our students’ success.”

  • Information about E-Cigarettes, Drug-Free Campuses

    Please read this important letter from Port Chester High School’s principal, Dr. Mitchell Combs, about e-cigarettes and maintaining a drug-free campus.

     Parents are invited to two upcoming information sessions:

    • February 27: Open House Parent Q&A (from 4-6:30 p.m. in Room 103)
    • March 28: “Setting Limits for Your Child” presentation (from 4-5 p.m. in PCHS library)
  • Our New Superintendent’s Corner Shares District’s Message

    Visit our new Superintendent’s Corner to learn more about Dr. Edward Kliszus and the issues that are important to the district.

    You can find his overarching message and Twitter feed, along with updates about advocacy and upcoming bonds.

  • Help Us Obtain Our Rightful School Foundation Aid

    Foundation Aid was established a decade ago to ensure that all students receive their constitutionally guaranteed right to a sound and basic education, regardless of their zip code. The failure to adhere to the original 2007-08 Foundation Aid formula has cut our state aid by more than $168 million over 10 years. This comes at a time when costs have risen and our enrollment has grown by more than 800 students.

    Help us obtain our rightful school aid by contacting state-elected officials and others who influence state funding for education. Parents can help by signing a petition.

  • Port Chester Schools Collaborates on Interfaith MLK Commemorative Event

    Local leaders in the Port Chester community, including Port Chester Schools Superintendent Edward Kliszus, recently gathered to organize the Interfaith Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative event.

    This is the fourth year of the event, which celebrates Dr. King’s legacy. This year’s commemorative ceremony will be held on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 6 p.m. Community members are invited to St. Frances AME Zion Church, located at 18 Smith St.

    In addition to readings of Dr. King’s work, the celebration will include a keynote speech by the Rev. James Furman of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church and a special performance by Port Chester Middle School’s 8th-grade chorus. The Rev. Helen Taylor and Nina Jones will receive the 2018 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Committee Humanitarian awards.

    The organizing interfaith committee is composed of All Souls Presbyterian Church, Bethel Sounds of Praise, Bethesda Baptist, Christ Episcopal Church, Congregation Kneses Tifereth Israel, Girtman Memorial, Holy Rosary Roman Catholic, Mount Zion Baptist, Rye Presbyterian, St. Frances AME Zion, St. Paul’s Lutheran, St. Peter’s Episcopal, and Port Chester Public Schools. Additional parking is provided by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (just north of St. Frances) and refreshments are provided by nearby Neri’s Bakery.

  • PCMS Wins Khan Academy Prize

    Port Chester Middle School has been awarded a $500 prize from Khan Academy for excelling in a six-week challenge called LearnStorm.  Thousands of schools participated in this year’s challenge and only 33 were recognized for going “above and beyond.”  The PCMS Math Department uses Khan Academy in classrooms for skills practice and to allow students to go beyond what they are learning in the classroom. 

  • Add Our Calendars to Your Device

    Here's everything you need to know about adding our school or district calendars to your personal devices


2017 Capital Project VOte FAQ's

How were the capital project items identified?

A Bond Advisory Committee of 30 community members worked from August through November 2016 to assess the needs of the district and compile its suggestions for meeting those needs. The consensus of the Committee was that expansion and renovations are necessary and the need is immediate. Besides obvious physical necessities across the district, state education regulatory guidelines were considered throughout the process. Based on the Council’s guidance, the Board of Education drafted many iterations of the capital project, and in January approved the version being put up for vote on March 28th.

What is this capital project going to cost me?

$75 per $100,000 of assessed property value is the 24-year annual average cost to Port Chester taxpayers.

Why not just commit to larger class sizes?

Because smaller class sizes contribute to better academic achievement, test scores and increased graduation rates. Smaller class sizes improve teacher-to-student ratios, which allow teachers to spend more time with each student and tailor instruction for individual needs. Students are more engaged and attentive in smaller classes and have less disciplinary issues. Smaller class sizes can accommodate the needs of special education classes, as well as enrichment programs.

Wouldn’t split sessions solve the problem of classroom space?

Based on New York State Education Department requirements for grades 9 through 12, a sample high school split session schedule would look like this:

Session I: 7:00 am-12:30 pm or 7:00 - 1:00 pm with a 30 minute lunch
Session II: 1:00 pm – 6:30 pm or 1:30 - 7:30 pm with a 30 minute lunch

Split sessions would cause significant duplication in class offerings. We would also need to provide equal access to athletics, student clubs and organizations, marching band, theater, cheerleading, and all other extra-curricular activities to students in both sessions. The resulting major changes in working conditions would require negotiations with administration, teachers and support staff. A split session schedule would increase personnel costs, and its impact on working parents would be significant.

If classroom overcrowding is the issue, why build new athletics and arts facilities?

Athletics and the arts provide additional avenues for students to gain college acceptances and scholarships. Our high school gymnasium also includes teaching stations that are at maximum student capacity and overbooked for the number of instructional periods needed. It does not meet National Federation of State High School Association standards or provide adequate seating. We currently rent from Purchase College for games. The proposed new gym would eliminate the substantial cost of rent, provide the needed educational space and make us eligible to host tournament and championship games.

Our grass football field is overused and degrades seasonally, which limits its availability for much of the school year. This has kept us from offering a comprehensive athletic program. A synthetic turf field would not only allow us to expand our athletic offerings, but would cost far less to maintain annually.

Our musical ensembles currently rehearse on the auditorium stage, which interferes with other academic scheduling. Our band director utilizes a closet as an office to help maximize available space for students. The new band room will provide dedicated storage and seating for more than 120 musicians; the choral room will provide a long needed dedicated space for our vocalists. These moves will free up the auditorium for additional educational programming, including dance and theatre classes.  

Why not include funds in the annual budget year to year to complete this work?

Interest rates are currently at historic lows, which means that now is a fiscally responsible time to borrow. Additionally, the magnitude of the capital project could not be funded in one annual budget cycle – even for the improvements to just one school – so dividing the project up over multiple cycles would take a considerable amount of time and additional expense. 

How much state aid is available for the capital project?

66% New York State reimbursement on allowable expenses is available for this project.

Will the whole community share the benefits as well as the cost?

Yes. The new and improved educational, recreational and athletic spaces will be available to community members, including civic organizations, arts groups, athletic teams and others.

What is Port Chester’s Plan B if the voters do not approve the capital project?

The school board will still have the responsibility to immediately address the need for increased instructional spaces at Port Chester High School. It is likely that the use of temporary classrooms would need to be pursued.