In an effort to keep the PPS community informed about the work of the Board of Education, a summary of every Board meeting is sent out following each meeting. The public is invited to attend the Board meetings, held at the Valley Road Administration Building, and we hope these updates are helpful if you are unable to attend. You can watch the full board meeting on the district’s YouTube channel.
The Princeton Public Schools Board of Education met on Tuesday, July 16, 2019.
Board President's Report: Board president Beth Behrend welcomed the new student reps, Charlie Biggs and Matteo Constantine. She welcomed Matt Bouldin, newly appointed Business Administrator, and also Dave Harding, newly appointed Director of Grounds and Facilities.
She recognized the important work that took place at the July 9thBoard Retreat, including team building, goal setting, a Restorative Practice circle, and developing of draft district and board goals. The board president also acknowledged community members for their work on Future Enrollment, and Growth and Capacity Committees, and for working closely with the district to ensure a successful combination of growth and good schools.
Ms. Behrend honored Dorothy Mullen for her important contribution to the school district’s mission over the past two decades, and for her dedication to our students and our community. A Proclamation was read with regards to the work of Dorothy Mullen. Scroll to 26:25
Superintendent Steve Cochrane also recognized Dorothy Mullen’s work. He thanked members of the district and a group of citizens that worked together to create a new vision for food service in the district. The vision was to have a food service that would contribute to the health and wellness of our students, sustainability of our planet, and partnership with our community. He was excited to announce that NutriServe has committed to supplement its leadership team for PPS with a full-time chef, Coby Farrow, who will work to ensure we have a diverse and delicious menu of offerings for students. Scroll to 52:52
Superintendent Cochrane also talked about the summer programs that are being offered to students, and how all of them are made possible by federal grants and partnerships. For a complete list of programs, please see the district website.
The superintendent presented the annual Student Safety Data Report. Scroll to1:08:55
Jessica Baxter and Michele Samborski did a presentation on vaping and nicotine, which included statistics and background on vaping and addiction, the rationale for the proposed policy and procedure, and the supports that will be offered. For full presentation, scroll to 1:13:56.
Student Representatives’ Report: The new student reps introduced themselves and expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to work together with the board.
Facilities Committee: The committee reported that implementation of the referendum is going smoothly, and noted the three projects taking place this summer: 28 HVAC units have been delivered and are in the process of being installed at Riverside; electrical service is being upgraded at all four elementary schools; and air conditioning is being installed in the PHS gym.
They also talked about their current work on several upcoming projects, including planning for the renovation and updating of the old library at JW; construction of a new nurse’s suite; design and location of a modest restroom facility near the turf field; expansion of the old gym at PHS; working on the security vestibules at all of the schools; and installation of the 96 HVAC units at JP, CP and LB.
Finance Committee: The committee reported that they are starting on preparations for contract negotiations. There have also been ongoing discussions about cost saving possibilities.
Personnel Committee: The committee reported that they have discussed the creation of a leave request process for staff, personnel matters that will affect the 2019-20 budget, and current enrollment numbers and classroom sizes in the elementary schools.
They also noted that the Personnel Committee and SAC Committee will be collaborating on a new district wide field trip process. They noted that the board will be approving a new Supervisor of Mathematics, a new Supervisor of Special Ed 6-8, and a sick leave bank request.
Policy Committee: The board had a first reading of the following policies:
3515 Smoking and Vaping Prohibition
4121 Substitute Teachers
4122 Student Teachers and Interns
4123 Classroom Aides (Paraprofessionals)
4131/4131.1 Staff Development: In-service Education/Visitations/Conferences
4142/4242 Payroll Authorization, Deductions and Direct Deposit
4147/4127 Employee Safety
5131.6Drug, Alcohol, Steroids and Tobacco
Student Achievement Committee: The committee reported that Nipurna Shah and Kristina Donovan attended the last SAC meeting to discuss a Student Aware Program at PHS and shared how impactful this group has been. They’d like to distribute a survey that is being developed. The committee will revisit this topic when the survey is finalized and all parent consent has been received. The committee also discussed with Ms. Donovan the process in place for reviewing new courses, and the alignment of these courses to state requirements.
The committee also noted that Valerie Ulrich attended a meeting to speak about the preschool expansion aid for which the district has applied. If this aid is received from the State, it will provide 20 more spots for 3-4 year olds. These spots would be free of charge for students. The grant was written in partnership with the YWCA, and would bring additional funds to support the District. Brian Dzbenski attended a meeting to discuss Option 2 for student athletes, and explained changes that have taken place. Tim Charleston attended a meeting to talk about field trips, and common field trips at the 5-6 grade level to provide a more consistent experience for elementary students.
· The Board approved the First Readings of Policies listed above in the Policy Committee Report
· All other agenda itemspassed.
Personnel Appointments and Retirements
· The Board approved the appointments of Elizabeth Murrin, Supervisor of Special Education 6-8, and Stephenie Tidwell, Supervisor of Mathematics and Business. The Superintendent introduced and welcomed them both to the district.
· The Board approved the separation agreement with employee 7181 as presented in Closed Session
· The Board approved the hiring of additional staff to meet the needs of the World Language Program, which will necessitate the creation of a part-time Latin teacher at Princeton High School
· All other personnel items passed.
Upcoming Dates(all public meetings held at Valley Road Administration Building unless otherwise noted)
July 22: Facilities Committee at 8:30 AM
July 22: Special Board Meeting (Closed) at 1:00 PM
July 22: Equity Committee (Closed) at 7:00 PM
August 12: Facilities Committee at 8:30 AM
August 13: Finance Committee (Closed) at 2:00 PM
August 16: Policy Committee at 8:00AM
- District News