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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


An Important Letter About A Drug-Free Campus at Port Chester High School

Dear High School Parents and Guardians:

First, my very best wishes to all of you and your families for a festive and restful holiday break.  Teachers, staff, administrators, and students have been working very hard since September, and a week off has been well-earned.  Second, this letter is meant to alert you about important information from the high school and make you aware of several important upcoming dates.  The last six months of this school year are on the horizon.  Now is an excellent time of year to remind students and parents of our daily commitment to providing a safe, orderly, and supportive educational environment at Port Chester High School. 

E-CIGARETTES:  Lately, high schools in our region have been dealing with a new scourge of drug use in the form of vaping devices disguised as e-cigarettes.  These devices, some similar in appearance to a pen and some with chargers resembling a digital thumb drive can deliver THC (the active chemical in marijuana that produces a temporary “high”), can be purchased through the mail, from “dealers,” or over-the-counter as a nicotine-delivery device and retrofitted for illegal use.  Furthermore, their use can be practically odorless, making them hard to detect.  The scientific world knows little about the long-term negative effects of this vaporized form of marijuana (sometimes called vapes, wax pens, or by name brands like JUUL).  Nonetheless, all drug use on school grounds is prohibited, and possession, use, selling, distributing, or exchanging drugs of any kind will result in a student being suspended and may result in a hearing with the Superintendent of Schools at which a student could be suspended for weeks or months more.  To be clear, all of these devices, whether they deliver nicotine, THC, or any other substance, are banned from being on our campus.  Your awareness about this new way for students to get high and your vigilance over the activities of your own children and their friends will assist us in addressing the prevalence of these products among our youth.

If your child is struggling with a substance abuse issue, then we urge you to reach out to your child’s school counselor to have that ‘tough talk’ or to assist you in having it and to arrange for appropriate help.  Also, if you have concerns to share about drug use by others, then please notify us immediately.

DRUG-FREE CAMPUS:  In line with the topic above, please speak to your child about the use of drugs and alcohol.  Port Chester High School is designated as a drug and alcohol free zone.  This means that anyone caught in possession, selling, using, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol on this campus is subject to suspension and legal prosecution.  We want to insure the health, safety, and well-being of every student and staff member.

Also, please be reminded that school lockers are school property and that students are provided lockers in which to keep school-related materials.  Students should have no expectation of privacy for anything contained in lockers, and lockers are secured only to maintain privacy between students and to maintain ownership of property.  The school maintains the right to access lockers at any time and the right to search students when a suspicion exists that they may have in their possession a prohibited item.  Be assured that administrators will do whatever is necessary within district policy and State law to eradicate the use of drugs and alcohol in and around our building.

INFORMATIONAL MEETINGS:  The following meetings are taking place in coming months and may be of interest to you as parents.  You are welcome to attend any of these events.

February 27, 2018:  4:00-6:30 p.m. in Room 103, a drop-in, Open House Q and A for parents visiting us on the Winter Family Conference Night happening at the same time

March 28, 2018:  4:00-5:00 p.m. in the Port Chester High School Library, a presentation on “Setting Limits for your Child”

You may also want to know that we have “Drug Awareness” assemblies scheduled for students during the morning on January 10, as well as “Internet Safety and Cyberbullying” assemblies scheduled for students on the morning of February 7.

Thank you for taking the time to read about these significant issues that are of concern and for your assistance in helping keep our school running smoothly.  We realize these issues do not pertain to every student, yet in some ways all students are affected and need to pay attention.  As I recently urged students, “We want them to be one-hundred percent present in their classes and attentive to their academic responsibilities,” which they cannot be if they are impaired by drugs or alcohol.  I further reminded them, “The decisions that they make in high school will have a lasting influence on their lives, so make the right ones.”  I also made sure that they understood that our counseling staff is outstanding and is available to assist them with any struggles they are having.

Thank you for your support in helping us create a safe and quality learning environment for all of our students. We work to keep Port Chester High School a drug-free, alcohol-free, tobacco-free, weapon-free, and bullying-free campus.  We very much appreciate your help in our efforts.  Finally, as with my holiday greetings that began this letter, please accept my happiest wishes for a healthy, peaceful, and prosperous New Year to all.


Mitchell A. Combs, Ph.D.





Estimados padres y tutores de la escuela secundaria:

En primer lugar, mis mejores deseos para todos ustedes y sus familias para unas vacaciones festivas y tranquilas.  Los maestros, el personal, los administradores y los estudiantes han estado trabajando muy duro desde septiembre, y una semana de descanso ha sido bien ganada. En segundo lugar, esta carta está destinada a alertarlo sobre información importante de la escuela secundaria y hacerle conocer varias fechas importantes futuras. Los últimos seis meses de este año escolar están en el horizonte. Ahora es un excelente momento del año para recordarles a los estudiantes y padres nuestro compromiso diario de proporcionar un entorno educativo seguro, ordenado y de apoyo en la Escuela Secundaria de Port Chester.

E-CIGARRILLOS: Últimamente, las escuelas secundarias de nuestra región han estado lidiando con un nuevo flagelo de consumo de drogas en forma de dispositivos de vapeo disfrazados de cigarrillos electrónicos. Estos dispositivos, algunos de aspecto similar a un bolígrafo y otros con cargadores que se asemejan a un disco digital miniatura, pueden entregar THC (el químico activo en la marihuana que produce un temporal “high”), se puede comprar a través del correo, de "concesionarios" o de venta libre como un dispositivo de entrega de nicotina y se puede adaptar para usos ilegales.  Además, su uso puede ser prácticamente sin olor, lo que los hace difíciles de detectar. El mundo científico sabe poco acerca de los efectos negativos a largo plazo de esta forma vaporizada de marihuana (a veces llamados vapes, plumas de cera, o por marcas de nombre como JUUL). No obstante, se prohíbe todo el uso de drogas en la propiedad escolar, y la posesión, uso, venta, distribución o intercambio de drogas de cualquier tipo resultará en la suspensión de un estudiante y puede resultar en una audiencia con el Superintendente de Escuelas en la cual un estudiante podría estar suspendido por semanas o meses más. Para ser claros, todos estos dispositivos, ya sea que entreguen nicotina, THC o cualquier otra sustancia, tienen prohibido estar en nuestro campus. Su conocimiento sobre esta nueva forma para que los estudiantes se eleven y su vigilancia sobre las actividades de sus propios hijos y sus amigos nos ayudará a abordar la prevalencia de estos productos entre nuestros jóvenes. Si su hijo tiene problemas con el abuso de sustancias, le instamos a comunicarse con el consejero escolar de su hijo para tener esa "conversación difícil" o para ayudarlo a tenerla y para organizar la ayuda adecuada. Además, si tiene inquietudes sobre el uso de drogas por parte de otras personas, infórmenos de inmediato.

CAMPUS SIN DROGAS:  De acuerdo con el tema anterior, hable con su hijo sobre el uso de drogas y alcohol.

La Escuela Secundaria de Port Chester está designada como zona libre de drogas y alcohol. Esto significa que cualquier persona atrapada en posesión, vendiendo, usando o estando bajo la influencia de drogas o alcohol en este campus está sujeta a suspensión y enjuiciamiento legal. Queremos asegurar la salud, la seguridad y el bienestar de cada estudiante y miembro del personal. Además, recuerde que los casilleros de la escuela son propiedad de la escuela y que a los estudiantes se les proporcionan casilleros para guardar los materiales relacionados con la escuela. Los estudiantes no deben tener ninguna

expectativa de privacidad para nada contenido en los casilleros, y los casilleros están protegidos solo para mantener la privacidad entre los estudiantes y para mantener la propiedad de los mismos. La escuela mantiene el derecho de acceder a los casilleros en cualquier momento y el derecho de registrar a los estudiantes cuando existe la sospecha de que pueden tener en su poder un artículo prohibido. Tenga la seguridad de que los administradores harán lo que sea necesario dentro de la política del distrito y la ley estatal para erradicar el uso de drogas y alcohol dentro y alrededor de nuestro edificio.

REUNIONES INFORMATIVAS:  Las siguientes reuniones se llevarán a cabo en los próximos meses y pueden ser de su interés como padres.  Le invitamos a asistir a cualquiera de estos eventos.

27 de Febrero, 2018:  4:00-6:30 p.m. en la habitación 103, un drop-in, Casa abierta “preguntas y respuestas” para los padres que nos visitan en la Conferencia familiar de invierno. Noche que ocurre al mismo tiempo.

28 de Marzo, 2018:  4:00-5:00 p.m. en la Biblioteca de la Escuela Secundaria de Port Chester, una presentación en “

Establecer límites para su Hijo.” También es posible que desee saber que tenemos “Conciencia de Drogas” asambleas programadas para estudiantes durante la mañana del 10 de Enero, y también, “Seguridad en Internet y Cyberbullying” Asambleas programadas para estudiantes en la mañana del 7 de febrero.

Gracias por tomarse el tiempo para leer sobre estos asuntos importantes que son motivo de preocupación y por su ayuda para ayudar a que nuestra escuela funcione sin problemas.  Nos damos cuenta de que estos problemas no pertenecen a todos los estudiantes, sin embargo, de alguna manera todos los estudiantes se ven afectados y deben prestar atención. Como recientemente insté a los estudiantes, “Queremos que estén cien por ciento presentes en sus clases y atentos a sus responsabilidades académicas,” que no pueden ser si se ven afectados por las drogas o el alcohol. Les recordé más, “Las decisiones que toman en la escuela secundaria tendrán una influencia duradera en sus vidas, por lo tanto, haga las correctas.” También me aseguré de que entendieran que nuestro personal de consejería es sobresaliente y está disponible para ayudarlos con cualquier problema que estén teniendo.

Gracias por su apoyo para ayudarnos a crear un ambiente de aprendizaje seguro y de calidad para todos nuestros estudiantes. Trabajamos para mantener a la Escuela Secundaria de Port Chester es un campus libre de drogas, alcohol, tabaco, libre de armas y libre de bullying.  Apreciamos mucho su ayuda en nuestros esfuerzos. 

Finalmente, al igual que con mis saludos de vacaciones que comenzaron esta carta, acepten mis más felices deseos de un Año Nuevo saludable, pacífico y próspero para todos.


Mitchell A. Combs, Ph.D.

Director de la Escuela Secundaria