Jenna Peluso, QUEST Coordinator & Instructor for the district, joined PPS at the end of March. Within a few weeks of starting her new job, she has had the opportunity to Zoom with elementary school parents as well as more than 100 elementary school teachers. She works in all four elementary schools and will soon be starting preliminary assessments for the new QUEST program for Kindergarten through Grade 5. We caught up with Mrs. Peluso last week to discuss her new role at Princeton Public Schools. Ms. Peluso will be conducting CogAT testing at elementary schools starting in late April and early May.
Can you tell us about your background and what you did prior to coming to PPS?
I have been an educator for 16 years and have had a very colorful career! Some of my former roles include middle school Italian teacher, elementary classroom teacher, reading interventionist, computer teacher, and most recently, media specialist and enrichment teacher. In that role I designed and taught both the elementary Gifted &Talented program and the Grades 6-8 enrichment program. My first day at PPS was March 27.
You work closely with Sarah Moore, Supervisor of Elementary Education. Can you describe how you collaborate with her?
Mrs. Moore and I have collaborated closely to develop the QUEST program. She has been a tremendous resource when it comes to helping me get to know the needs of the PPS community.
PPS teachers and parents appreciated your recent presentation on QUEST. Could you provide a brief description of QUEST?
QUEST is a program that is designed to identify what students need to fill in any gaps in their learning experience. It starts with our identification process which uses diverse measures to assess students’ knowledge, creativity, ability to reason, and learning potential. Once assessed, students that exhibit needs for additional learning support will be identified and offered services.
What would a typical day be like for you? Are you rotating between the different elementary schools?
My goal for next school year is to create a schedule that allows me to spend one day a week in each building. During that day, I will be pushing into K-2 classrooms, pulling Tier 3 students for QUEST services, and collaborating with teachers to support them with resources for differentiated instruction in the classroom. On the fifth day of the week, I will work on further developing the program by curating and creating more resources for teachers, collaborating with administration to monitor program progress, and further collaborate with teachers that are seeking additional support for QUEST.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I am not working, I love spending time with my husband and four children. We love hiking and going to the beach, eating at our favorite bakery, watching movies, and walking through downtown Princeton and the university.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
I am so grateful for the warm welcome I have gotten since coming to PPS! I love what I do and this work is important to me. The support I have already been shown by administration, staff, and the parent community has only added to the positive energy surrounding this program. I am so happy to be here and look forward to collaborating with staff to continue to develop QUEST!
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