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District News

In an effort to keep the Princeton Public Schools community informed about the work of the Board of Education, a summary of the recent Board meeting is being shared. The public is invited to attend Board meetings, held at the Valley Road Administration Building, and we hope this update is helpful if you are unable to attend.  You can watch full Board meetings on the district’s YouTube channel. The Princeton Public Schools Board of Education met on Monday, May 20, 2019.

Board President's Report: 

Board president Beth Behrend shared a presentation, “PPS Fiscal Challenges: A Way Forward Leading with a Mission” to recap the budget and discuss future initiatives. Recent budget information, including a slide presentation on understanding school finances and a budget Q&A is available on the district website for more information.

Superintendent’s Report: Superintendent Steve Cochrane opened with the success of PHS students who won the final round of this year's Euro Challenge competition, which was held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. He also discussed the common goal of the school community to support one another and the students that we share, as well as creative approaches to find solutions. For example, a new PPS Saves button is posted on the homepage of the district website for community input. The button will lead to a form that will capture district cost savings ideas that will be reviewed by the administration for consideration. He also shared that on May 24, students and staff at PHS will join in a day of dialogue to raise awareness around issues of social justice. 

Board Committee Reports: Student board member Sam Harshbarger reported on a survey about the Tiger Time 44-minute block in the student schedule (123 students surveyed). About ½ of students spend the time at home and ½ in school (to meet with teachers, participate in extracurricular activities or complete homework). Next month, the students will examine experimental schedule changes.

Equity Committee: No report at this meeting (committee chair absent).  

Facilities Committee: The committee followed up on bids that are being received, including installation of the AC at PHS, and additional bids are expected. Public engagement includes meetings with neighbors around PHS and a public forum on June 4, 2019 to discuss summer referendum projects. On June 11, a school security forum will be held. The next meeting is on June 3 at 8:30 am.

Finance Committee: The committee discussed items including new technology equipment, the send/receive agreement with Cranbury, a comparison of costs to that of other districts, ridership on school buses and health insurance cost savings. The next meeting will be on June 10.

Personnel Committee. The committee recently reviewed information related to candidates eligible for tenure and staff under consideration for reappointment, a sick leave bank request, and the full-time JW liaison position. Meetings are also taking place for district-wide searches, including the VP position at PHS, business administrator, and supervisor of mathematics and business education. NJDOE’s accountability system (QSAC) and the comprehensive equity plan were also reviewed.

Policy Committee:  The committee will provide further discussion at the next meeting with additional policies for review. The next meeting is May 31 at 8:00 am.

Student Achievement Committee. The committee discussed topics including insurance for overnight trips, a PHS student health survey, NJ school performance rankings for PHS, student absenteeism, technology steering committee report, initiatives moving forward following the recent PHS musical, and the math sequence at JW. The next meeting is on June 7 at 11:30 am.  

Actions:

The Board approved the following:

 -Personnel actions

- Summer school education option for high school students to obtain credits for graduation requirements through Educere

- Send/receive annual tuition agreement - Princeton/Cranbury

- Purchase of equipment: Apple products for instruction

All consent items passed.

Please note that all public meetings are held at the Valley Road Administration Building unless otherwise noted. Please refer to the district website for the latest meeting schedules.

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