October 26, 2021
These highlights are an unofficial summary of actions taken and topics discussed during the public session of the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education meeting on October 26. They are intended to provide timely information to our community, but they do not represent an official accounting of the meeting. Official minutes will be approved by the Board at its next meeting.
Student Representatives to the Board
PHS students Chris Shen and Edward Erickson encouraged the Board to look at equity and diversity in PPS Schools.
Report from Board President
Board President Beth Behrend thanked Superintendent Kelley for all of her work. She also thanked students, parents, and staff for their ongoing efforts during difficult times. She encouraged the public to attend upcoming Bagels with the Board events at Princeton High School on Nov. 10 at 3 PM and at Riverside on Nov. 12 from 8 to 9:30 AM. These informal events provide an opportunity to chat with Board of Education members. All parents are welcome!
Dr. Kelley thanked parents and students for following COVID-19 prevention protocols. She thanked Micki Crisafulli and the PPS nurses for their work helping to coordinate vaccination clinics scheduled for the end of November.
PPS students between the ages of 5 and 11 will soon be able to receive the vaccination. Local pediatricians will offer vaccination clinics (open to all) in their offices as part of the vaccine rollout for younger students. PPS administrators and nurses are looking at ways to support this effort and dates and times will be available soon.
There are several school holidays coming up, including the NJEA Convention and Thanksgiving. Unvaccinated students who travel outside of NJ, NY, PA or Delaware need to follow the recommended CDC procedures for quarantine.
PPS will work with Mirimus Inc. to provide free COVID-19 tests for students. There will be weekly on-site testing at all schools with the exception of PHS. PHS students willbe tested at the Middle School. Families who are interested should sign the consent form and HIPAA waiver. For the link, click here. There is no deadline to register for the free testing.
Dr. Kelley presented district goals and metrics, including departmental goals as well as goals from each of the six schools. She discussed how the goals align to the Four Commitments. To close the gap between the vision of what is possible and the current situation, the district is using the BELE (Building Equitable Learning Environments) framework in combination with the guidelines from the National Equity Project.
Goal setting helps to establish systems and conditions for aligning PPS's resources (time and people) to what matters most.Vital signs of success include students' experience, learning, and well-being. Two key data points are the percentage of 8th grade students with a 3.0 GPA or higher and the percentage of students who are chronically absent. To supplement these data points, PPS will look at students' experiences via focus groups, in-person or Zoom discussions, and surveys.
Remote Learning Plan
The State Department of Education requires all NJ districts to file an Emergency Remote Learning Plan. To see the PPS Emergency Remote Learning Plan, click here.
PPS Achievement Report 2020-2021
Mridula Bajaj,Supervisor of Science & Professional Development & Assessment, presented the most recent Achievement Report for the District. To view the report, click here.
Business Administrator Matt Bouldin presented an update on the proposed January 2022 referendum. To see his presentation, click here. In November, the Board of Education has the option to approve the dollar amount for the proposed referendum, which would be voted on in a special election. The Board approved Spiezle Architectural Group to provide architectural services for approximately 104,000 square feet of roofing projects, which are tentatively planned to begin in the summer of 2022, contingent on voter approval at the proposed Jan. 25 referendum.
Food Service Update
This year, all students have the option of a free school lunch. National and local supply chain issues have created challenges for PPS and other districts. These challenges are compounded by a national labor shortage. Nutri-Serve provides food at all six schools. A new chef at Princeton High School has been creating new menus and meals that many students enjoy. To view the Food Service Update, click here.
Michele Tuck-Ponder reported that the Personnel Committee met on Oct 7 and discussed the need for additional nurses, lunch aides, and instructional aides. She thanked Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Volpe who is leaving the district in mid-December to become the Superintendent of Schools in Moorestown Township, NJ.
Staff members retiring on Jan. 1 include: PMS French Teacher Alisa Dupuy after 25 years with the district; Leslie Germain, JP Speech-Language Specialist, after 16 years with the district; and Scott Grimaldi, PHS Instrumental Music teacher, after 13 years with the district. PPS would like to thank these staff members for their service.
The next Board of Education meeting will be on Tuesday, November 9 at 7:30 PM via Zoom.
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