PCS approves 2017-18 school calendar, financing for middle school

PELHAM – The Pelham Board of Education approved the school calendar for the 2017-18 school year at a meeting on Monday, Feb. 27.

Like the 2016-17 school year, the first day of school falls on the second Thursday in August and the last day falls on the fourth Thursday in May. The first day is Aug. 10 and the last day is May 24, 2018.

A notable change to the 2017-18 calendar is the five-day Thanksgiving break for students. Students are receiving an extra two days for Thanksgiving break, which will be from Nov. 20-24, with Nov. 20-21 being teacher workdays.

Another difference is that the flex professional development days for teachers have been spread out over the months of November, February and April. In the 2016-17 calendar, these days were assigned to the second week of October. The weeklong professional development for teachers was designated as fall break for students.

At the meeting, the board also approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of $9.97 million with an interest rate of 2.59 percent from PNC Bank for the final round of financing for the construction of Pelham Park Middle School.

Pelham City Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield said the middle school construction cost is $23.2 million, with total cost at $26.8 million.

PCS Chief Financial Officer Lauren Butts said the school board is in very sound financial condition but is fairly new to debt markets.

“We engaged the services of a municipal financial advisory firm, which helped us administer a highly competitive process among many lenders so that we could identify the lowest possible interest cost,” Butts said. “Through this process, we were able to attract quite a number of offers and selected the lender that offered the lowest all-in borrowing cost and most favorable structure.”

The new middle school is set to open to students this fall for the 2017-18 school year.

In other business, the board:

-Approved six personnel items.

-Approved an Administrative Cell Phone policy.

-Approved the state-mandated Adult Sex Offender Policy.

-Approved a contract with Behavioral ONE to provide professional special education services.

-Approved a contract with Oscar Dominguez to provide document translation and interpretation services.