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Banner Year for Summer Programs Thanks to Funding by Community Partners and Grants

Thanks to an increase in funding from community partners and supportive grants, students have benefited from the largest menu of summer programs ever being offered at Princeton Public Schools. 

"We live in a community that truly believes every child matters," says Superintendent Steve Cochrane. "I am delighted the school district was able to join with community partners to offer an inspiring array of summer experiences to which many of our students would not otherwise have access." 

More than 500 students are enrolled in PPS summer programs sponsored in conjunction with community partners or supported by federal grants. The programs are for students of all ages and abilities and include science enrichment camps, book clubs, and even an entrepreneurial course.

District Grant Specialist, Valerie Ulrich, explains what's different this year: "We have continued with our long-standing programs that are federally funded," she says, "but this year we have sought new funding sources and have expanded our offerings to address a greater range of needs for students." 

"I would like to thank all of our community partners, including the Princeton Education Fund (PEF), the Princeton Children's Fund (PCF) and the Witherspoon-Jackson Development Corporation," says Superintendent Cochrane. "And I would like to commend our faculty for their vision and commitment to our summer programs which have been hugely successful." 

Several programs target historically underserved student populations including a program "to inspire and ignite a passion for science, business, and the arts," says Ms. Ulrich. Other programs provide an opportunity for students to immerse themselves in their favorite topics.  "There is truly something for everyone," she says.

Lisa McGhee, who coordinates the STARRS program at John Witherspoon Middle School, has received thank-you notes from parents, citing how helpful the program has been for their children.

"I would like to thank all the STARRS teachers here this summer for their commitment to the program," says JW Principal Jason Burr. "It is a terrific benefit to students and we can see that it has made a difference. I am very proud to work with these teachers."

Across the district, PPS has provided:

Summer programs for elementary school students include: Jumpstart and DLI Jumpstart (supports achievement for students of promise); LEAP (supports language acquisition for English-Language Learners); and Special Education Extended School Year.

Summer programs for middle school students include: STARRS (supports achievement for students of promise); STARRS for English-Language Learners; Summer Science Mission to Mars (supports and cultivates an interest in science and STEM by historically underrepresented students); Special Education extended school years.

Summer programs for high school students include: The Book U Get Club (supports summer reading for students of promise); Summer English-Language Learners (four-week language acquisition program that includes field trips); Accelerate Chemistry (prepares students for AP Chemistry or other upper level science and math courses); Special Education Extended School Year; PHS On-line Summer School; Educere Summer Program (supports students in a structured environment to complete course work for credit); College Essay Writing; SAT English prep; SAT Math prep; Witherspoon-Jackson Entrepreneur Camp (provides students with a two-week hands on experience in entrepreneurialism); Weight Room Summer Hours for high school student athletes.

PHS summer school students
Students working in a PHS classroom
JP Summer School staff
Elementary school students at summer school event
PHS staff help with summer school pizza party
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