The Board of Education is an elected, unpaid group of 10 citizens who act as a single body to set policy and make decisions on educational, financial, and personnel matters for Princeton Public Schools on behalf of all residents. While the Board is legally responsible for school programs and operations, it delegates authority for the district's daily operations to the Superintendent of Schools. Individual Board members may bring any question, concern or suggestion to a Board Committee or full Board Meeting for discussion, but no action can be taken without full Board approval. Individual Board members do not exercise authority over or direct staff.
In general, the following are the most important functions of the Board:
- Setting and maintaining policies that define the district's values and expectations
- Approving the Annual School Budget
- Representing the community's educational philosophy
- Hiring and annual evaluation of the Superintendent
- Supporting and implementing the district's Strategic Plan
For more information about Board operations please see the Bylaws Section of the Board Policies.
Board Member Responsibilities
Responsibilities of Board Members Serving on a School Board, as outlined by the New Jersey School Board Association, includes the fulfillment of certain responsibilities as noted below:
1. Establishing goals for the public schools based on student educational needs, parent and community aspirations, state and federal standards and district financial resources.
2. Developing a philosophy of education that will become the basis for sound decisions that affect the governance of your community's schools.
3. Developing policies to guide the administration in managing the schools; and developing bylaws to direct the board in carrying out its governance responsibilities.
4. Developing a community understanding of educational issues and school policies through the maintenance of effective communications systems.
5. Providing adequate funding through the school budget for the district's present and future needs.
6. Ensuring quality education by providing adequate facilities and equipment.
7. Establishing conditions that enable the administration to recruit and effectively evaluate professional staff.
8. Engaging in board self-evaluation and in-service training programs for the purpose of providing well-informed leadership and sound decision-making.
9. Establishing a process for the board to negotiate in good faith with its employees, while representing community educational goals and financial interests.
10. Abiding by the oath of office for school board members.
Board Reorganization: Looking Forward to 2021 and Beyond
The Princeton Board of Education held its reorganization meeting on January 5, 2021, and we are pleased to welcome continuing members, Beth Behrend and Michele-Tuck Ponder, and Jean Durbin who joins us for her first term. Beth Behrend will return as Board President, joined by Dafna Kendal as Vice President. Betsy Baglio, Debbie Bronfeld, Daniel Dart, Susan Kanter, Peter Katz and Brian McDonald continue their service.
As we begin 2021, we remain grateful to Dr. Galasso, the administrators, teachers, and support staff for their commitment to our students and professionalism in these difficult times. Despite the hard work of more than 700 teachers and staff, we recognize that the abrupt pivot to remote/hybrid learning has been challenging for many students. We know that some are struggling, academically as well as emotionally.
The Board of Education is committed to measuring and remediating the pandemic’s impact on students. This will include summer tutorial programs and may also include new summer programs for students who have experienced learning loss. These programs, as well as activities to help students reconnect with one another, will be essential as school slowly begins to return to normal this fall.
We will also continue our work to select and welcome a new permanent superintendent to lead our district forward. The Board has spent many hours reviewing resumes and interviewing candidates and will continue with candidate interviews later this month. We look forward to updating the community as the process continues.
As we begin 2021, we are optimistic that the pandemic will abate, vaccines will become readily available, and we look forward to the time when we can welcome all students back to our buildings. The Board is committed to working together in the best interest of our students, staff, and community. We welcome your feedback and encourage you to join our meetings on Zoom and share your questions or concerns with us at our meetings or in writing.
Thank you for entrusting us with the stewardship of the Princeton Public Schools.
Betsy Kalber Baglio
Bagels with the Board
As soon as Bagels with the Board can resume, we will post dates.