A Message to Seniors and Parents from Principal Dr. Mitchell Combs
GREETINGS TO SENIORS AND PARENTS OF THE CLASS OF 2019
Graduation 2019 is approaching, and we will soon be sending home information about the details of our graduation ceremony. As we published in the school calendar last summer, this year’s commencement will be taking place at SUNY-Purchase (in the Concert Hall), just over three miles from the high school campus. We need to hold the graduation ceremony there instead of our traditional location on the football/soccer field because of construction that will be starting very soon on our campus as part of our voter-approved bond referendum. For the next two years, the main staging areas for high school construction will be the football/soccer field while construction on the high school campus takes place. That work is about to start, and delaying construction would cost us a significant amount of valuable time and money.
Many individuals are currently hard at work sweating the details of our new location and the necessary logistic arrangements so that our graduation will be memorable and special. Graduation is an event celebrating the culmination of students’ formative years of education, and it is a memory that we want everyone to cherish. We wrote to senior parents last August about what to expect in senior year, and we began collecting cap and gown money the first half of this school year. In fact, if any seniors still owe cap and gown money or have not informed us the name they want printed on their diploma or are not sure whether they have done so, then they should please see Mr. DiRenno in the Assistant Principals’ Office.
Selecting a venue for graduation was not a task we took lightly. Alternative graduation sites were discussed by the district and all given serious consideration, but the logical choice for a school of our size with an expected attendance of about 2,000 guests was the facilities at SUNY-Purchase. We chose the SUNY-Purchase venue for many reasons: its proximity to Port Chester, the availability of the venue, its world-class facilities, its free parking, its air-conditioned indoor environment (meaning no rain date will be necessary for this year!), and the recommendation of a number of prominent high schools in our area who have had very positive experiences with the facility.
This spring, the traditional next steps in our process are direct communication to senior parents and graduates regarding graduation details including when students report for rehearsal, proper attire, how to pick up honor stoles, how to pay for owed materials, distribution of caps and gowns, etc. This information will be sent earlier than usual this year in order for parents and seniors to be as prepared as possible. Also this spring, we’ll be sharing details of how we will be distributing tickets for the venues, and we have already consulted with some parents and other schools for their ideas and practices. Final decisions about ticket distribution and other logistics need to be made both with SUNY-Purchase and with building and district administration before all of our communication can be finalized, translated, and distributed. Additionally, we are working on being able to live-stream the ceremony over the Internet, on top of providing seating that will be available in the PepsiCo Theater on the SUNY-Purchase campus where a live feed of the graduation ceremony in the Concert Hall next door will be broadcast, widening the audience with access to witness the ceremony.
Please be aware of all that we’ve done this year, as is done each and every year, in terms of the preparation for graduation by hard-working faculty, administrators, clerical workers, and staff; please understand the tough decision-making and planning that has taken place behind the scenes by professionals in positions of leadership in an imperfect situation where no decision, no matter how carefully made, could have possibly pleased everyone.
We believe studying the best practices of others, working within the complex dynamics and limitations of construction, and utilizing informed decision-making ensures provision of the highest quality ceremony for seniors and their families.
We appreciate that you understand the difficult position of balancing the complex limitations and requirements of our pending building project, which we cannot afford to delay, with giving seniors a high quality commencement ceremony, aiming that it will meet or exceed the one you would have experienced on our own home field. There is no place that can truly substitute for our stadium and field and majestic view of Port Chester High School. I’d like to personally thank all of you have expressed your deeply personal concerns about making sure that this commencement ceremony is a meaningful one. We share those sentiments. If we can’t be at home, then I can’t think of a better way to send our seniors off to college and university, where over 90 percent of our graduates are going, than to end their high school experience on the setting of a college campus.
We look forward to finalizing the details of Graduation 2019 and sharing those with you later this spring. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Mitchell A. Combs, Ph.D.
Port Chester High School
PORT CHESTER HIGH SCHOOL
Attention Seniors and Families: 2019 Prom Night Car or Limousine Fact Sheet
Attached please find the 2019 prom night car or limousine fact sheet provided by the office of County Executive George Latimer.
Every year for the past decade, members of the Harmed Suburban Five - Port Chester, Glen Cove, Westbury, Ossining and Riverhead - have urged Albany for increased funding.
We are overwhelmingly different from other districts in New York State in that we are experiencing: • Significant enrollment growth • Nearly a 50% increase in student receiving Free & Reduced Lunch • Substantial decrease in our communities’ combined income & property wealth ratio • Significant increase in students requiring English Language Learning resources
The Harmed Suburban 5 receives less than 50% of our Foundation Aid level, while the state average is 80%. This directly impacts our students.
ALL children from across the state should be treated fairly!
If you are a Westchester resident,18 years or older, please take a few minutes to fill out this County Community Health Survey. Your responses are anonymous. The Health Department & hospitals in Westchester will use the results to improve health programs.