Dear PV High School community,

I hope all of you are enjoying spring break and the holidays.  This is an exciting time of year, not only because the weather is getting nicer and we can shed our winter clothing, but because spring signifies the beginning of the end of the school year.  Our seniors anticipate senior week, prom, and graduation, and their elation is contagious.  Our spring sports are off to a great start.  Opening night for the high school musical, Something Rotten, is Friday, April 28.  I am always amazed at the multitude of talents our students have and encourage all of you to attend our sporting and theatrical events.  We have many students in all grades preparing for the AP and IB assessments, which begin May 3.  We are impressed with how our student body challenges itself academically.

Last Thursday, PVHS was the victim of a “swatting” event.  This means an unknown source called the Sheriff’s Dept. and falsely claimed there was a shooting in a bathroom at the high school.  Our Student Resource Officer, Deputy Meury, immediately cleared the bathrooms as we went into lockdown.  Law enforcement quickly ascertained (within minutes) that this was a hoax.  Several state troopers and Sheriff’s deputies were on campus within 4 minutes of the call, with many others arriving within 5-10 minutes.  We can’t thank Deputy Meury and the other law enforcement personnel enough for their quick and coordinated response.  We maintained our protocols at the high school and had law enforcement clear the entire building.  Several other Westchester schools received similar calls.

We do not take the “swatting” incident lightly. We have met as a Building Emergency Response Team and are talking to staff and students to understand our procedures and ensure we are as safe as possible.  We weren’t perfect, but our staff did an excellent job keeping students safe and calm during the lockdown and was supportive and caring afterward.  Dr. Payne and I visited every classroom to explain what had happened and check on everyone.  Our clinical staff was available for any anxious student.  We will continue to review and improve our systems and procedures and dedicate time to staff development to better prepare us for any emergency situation.

We will have a Principal’s Listening Hour on Tuesday, April 18, at 6:00 PM in the high school library.  We welcome all of you and can discuss a wide array of topics.

The end of quarter three is fast approaching.  Please check your child’s PowerSchool account to see how they are progressing academically and to stay updated about their attendance.  Remember that students can lose credit for a course if their absences exceed 9 for a half-year course and 18 for a full-year course, according to the NY State Education Department requirements.

Have a happy and joyous Spring Break!

Sincerely,

Matt Mello

There is no school for students on Monday, April 22, 2024

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