BOE Meeting Wrap-up from the Pelham Schools

The Pelham Board of Education took a deep dive into technology in the Pelham Public Schools as part of a work session on Digital Fluency at the Tuesday, October 18 meeting. Visit to watch.


The work session featured a presentation by Director of Technology John Sebalos and Instructional Technology specialist Alicia DelMastro followed by a guided discussion with a panel of teachers and administrators. Topics covered in the presentation included: 

• An overview of technology in the Pelham Public Schools

• How technology intersects with the District’s Strategic Plan and the Pelham Inquiry Cycle

• The New York State Computer Science and Digital Fluency Standards

• What ongoing work is occuring in instructional technology

• Digital Citizenship lessons


Mr. Sebalos noted that all students have access to a Google Chromebook with students in grades K-5 having access to them in their classroom and students in grades 6-12 bringing them to and from school each day. Additionally, all classrooms are equipped with a document camera which is used to project instructional materials onto interactive displays and the District also maintains a robust catalog of instructional software. He also noted that the District recently completed installation of a redundant fiber optic line, which helps ensure that the District can maintain internet access if there is an outage affecting the main connection. The presentation can be viewed at


The Pelham Technology Department’s goals, rooted in the recently approved New York State Computer Science and Digital Fluency Learning Standards, includes the following vision statement:


“Every student will know how to live productively and safely in a technology dominated world. This includes understanding the essential features of digital technologies, why and how they work, and how to communicate and create using those technologies.”


Mrs. DelMastro provided an overview of the various internet safety and digital citizenship lessons that she has been leading in elementary classes this month as well as information about similar efforts that are ongoing at the Middle School and student-led initiatives at Pelham Memorial High School. These activities are designed to help students learn about important topics in an age-appropriate manner, such as: 

• Appropriate on-line relationships 

• Responsible use of technology and the internet

• Finding balance in the digital world

• Phishing scams

• Personal online presence

• Being an upstander and ally

• Appropriate use of chatting features

• Digital drama

• Appropriate sharing of information

• Appropriate use of social media  


Following the presentation, Mr. Sebalos facilitated a discussion with the Board and a panel of teachers and administrators which provided additional insight into:

• How the District’s instructional technology efforts have grown

• Different ways teachers use technology to create engaging lessons for students across all levels

• Ways teachers are using technology to bolster skills in other subject areas

• How teachers are helping students become responsible users of technology 

• Strategies to help students become savvy consumers of information on the internet and recognize bias in all sources of information 

• How we can help students balance the use of technology with other social interactions. 


The District would like to thank the following staff members who participated in the work session: Dr. Trisha Fitzgerald, Hutchinson School Principal, Karen Cirillo, 4th Grade Prospect Hill, Dr. Thomas Callahan, Director of Math and Science, Dr. Maria Thompson, Director of Humanities, Sarah Williamson, Pelham Middle School Technology, Brian Battersby, Pelham Middle School Technology, Lauren Rosenberg, Pelham Middle School Library Media Specialist, Mark Berkowitz, Pelham Memorial High School Principal.