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January 28, 2021

Dear PPS Parents and Staff,

With the support of the Princeton Board of Education, I sent a letter today to Governor Murphy encouraging him to expedite Covid vaccinations for New Jersey educators. In this district we feel strongly that a delay in protecting teachers results in a further reliance on remote instruction, something we all hope to minimize. We are reaching out to other elected officials and continuing to work hard on behalf of PPS students and staff.

I have included a copy of our message to the Governor (below).

Barry Galasso
Interim Superintendent

 

January 28, 2021 

The Honorable Phil Murphy
Governor of the State of New Jersey
225 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08625  

Dear Governor Murphy:  

I write to you with the support of the Princeton Board of Education to urge that educators receive the highest priority in the distribution of Covid vaccines. Until our teachers can return to classrooms safely and with confidence, New Jersey will feel the negative consequences of the pandemic both educationally and economically.  

At the same time, the ongoing student mental health crisis will continue unabated. Studies show that a significant proportion of students nationally are experiencing intense sadness, isolation, and anxiety attributable to the pandemic, and that these stresses hinder learning.    

Student traffic through our own guidance offices attest to the veracity of the data, as does the testimony of our students themselves. In Princeton, there are indications that the mental health of all our youngsters will continue to deteriorate as long as uncertainty, remote instruction, and frequent quarantines prevail.  

Our ability to maintain classroom learning is directly affected by having healthy teachers and staff, whose safety and confidence hinges on access to the vaccines. As the spring term progresses, we must provide a consistent environment for student success, one as free as possible from the disruptions of sudden quarantines and reversions to remote instruction.  

I have served as a superintendent in New Jersey for more than twenty-five years. This is the most serious threat to education and the well-being of our children I have seen in my career. Your leadership can make a difference. It is urgent that we vaccinate educators quickly and stabilize the classroom environment. Our teachers and staff are frontline workers and their efforts contribute not only to the health of New Jersey's economy but to the future of every child in this state.   

Please ensure that our educators receive the priority they deserve in the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines.   

Sincerely,  

Dr. Barry Galasso
Interim Superintendent
Princeton Public Schools 

CC:      Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman
            State Senator Kip Bateman
            Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker
            Assemblyman Roy Freiman