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 September 28. 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.
Highlights from September 28, 2021
The Princeton Board of Education met on Tuesday, September 28, to discuss updates to the COVID-19 mitigation strategies to help prevent spread of the more contagious Delta variant, PPS District-Level Action Planning and District-Level Goals for school year 2021-2022, and for an update on referendum-funded construction projects. In addition, Dr. Robert Ginsberg, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, announced plans to retire in January.
Covid Mitigation Strategies - Updated
PPS has transitioned to CrisisGo, which is an online tool (with an app for your phone) that allows school administrators, teachers, and school staff to verify completion of our daily symptom screening. Reflecting feedback from PPS students and families, the new deadline to complete CrisisGo is now 7:50 AM. The earlier students complete CrisisGo the better. This deadline allows schools to print out the names of students who have not done the screening and then place reminder calls so that those students can enter school and begin their day. Dr. Kelley discussed COVID-19 decision protocols for isolation (after a positive test) and quarantine (after exposure to someone who is positive). Vaccination status is one component. Social/physical distancing will be increased to six feet (from three feet) when our local community is at risk of high transmissibility (based on recommendations by the Princeton Health Department). Students who must quarantine or isolate are able to participate in remote learning within two days of being identified as a close contact. Students who are vaccinated and identified as close contacts do not need to quarantine unless their COVID test is positive.
- Outdoor Lunch: PPS has been encouraging all classes to eat outdoors, especially at the elementary level, while the weather is still nice. There have been recent changes that make this process easier. Nutri-Serve (our food service provider) has switched, at our request, to a more limited “grab and go” option (bagel bag or bagged “hot” lunch). Selections will be further limited to items that are easy to eat if a student is seated outside on a beach towel. All school principals have received volunteer application packets which they may share with potential volunteers. Any adult who comes into contact with students must comply with certain screening and security rules. Adults interested in volunteering to help with lunch or other tasks where extra hands are needed should check in with principals for this information. PPS appreciates efforts by parents to provide beach towels and blankets that enable students to eat outside on the grass.
- Screening & Testing for COVID: As a preventative measure, PPS is partnering with Medicat to provide twice a week PCR screening testing to any staff member who is unvaccinated. This procedure starts on October 5. Currently, all staff have been uploading documentation of their vaccination status via a secure portal. This enables us to establish testing schedules for eligible staff. PPS is also partnering with the NJ Department of Health and will implement a school screening testing program for students who are unvaccinated. Additional details are forthcoming.
Mask Reminders: All parents must wear masks while on school property. If you arrive at school on foot, please remember to keep your mask on during drop off and pick up. For parents arriving in vehicles, please make sure you have your mask on if you get out of your car. Please remember to send extra masks to school with your child. After children eat or play, their masks sometimes get soiled.
PPS District-Level Action Planning Goals
The Superintendent presented planning goals for the district. To see information about the planning process, click here. To see the goals, please click here.
Referendum-Funded Construction Projects
Mr. Bouldin, PPS Business Administrator, reported that PPS used funds from the referendum to upgrade the guidance suite at Princeton High School. The upgrade was recently completed and the counselors are in their new offices. Improvements to the guidance department included renovations to 17 offices and six additional meeting rooms, as well as a nearby bathroom upgrade.
The expanded stormwater retention basin at Princeton High School is also substantially complete and working, with no flooding experienced during Hurricane Ida. The grab and go food area at PHS is near completion and is designed to relieve congestion in the cafeteria. The renovation of the library at Littlebrook School is complete, and the new facilities look terrific. The new restroom facilities on the PHS field is a work in progress, as is the main PHS renovation that includes a new floor of collaborative space that is being constructed above the current fitness center. When completed, the new construction will include four new classrooms as well as an educational commons area
For more details about referendum construction projects, please click here.
Appreciation for Dr. Ginsberg
The Board expressed gratitude for the contributions to the district by Dr. Robert Ginsberg, the district's Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, who announced plans to retire in January. For more details about Dr. Ginsberg, please click here.
The next Board of Education meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 12 at 7:30 PM.
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