Johnson Park Back to School Information 2020-2021
Letter From the Principal
September 13, 2020
Dear Johnson Park Families:
The first day of the new school year is finally upon us! I hope that you share my excitement although I recognize that there is some worry. This year, we open our school year in a very different way. Our staff members and teachers have worked tirelessly to prepare for our opening, and I can assure you that their warmth, enthusiasm and creativity will shine—even through a screen.
By now, I hope that your child’s classroom teacher has reached out to you with a brief introduction and information for the first week of school. All students will be meeting with their homeroom teacher at 8:30 am on a Zoom—hopefully through Canvas. Teachers were also providing a back-up Zoom link in case there is difficulty with Canvas. We are hopeful, but we also want to be realistic. Technology issues and glitches happen, and we want to be prepared.
On that note, if you have any issue with technology tomorrow, please follow these steps:
1. E-mail your classroom teacher. They will provide you with their Zoom link so that your child can join their class.
2. E-mail our Tech Assistant, Mark Javick at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Call the Main Office at JP (609-806-4240) to report the issue.
My hope is that steps 1, 2 or 3 will resolve your issue.
I ask for your patience and understanding. There are many individuals working behind the scenes to make sure our links are operating and connecting appropriately. Unfortunately, the small team of individuals provide support for the entire district. And, we all begin the first day all together tomorrow! So, thank you in advance—we will work as diligently and as quickly as possible to resolve any technology issue.
If you were unable to pick-up a device and/or your child(ren)’s materials last week, please call JP’s Main Office. We can work with you on making sure you get these materials ASAP.
A calendar reminder for the week—this Thursday, September 17 is our Back to School Night. It will be a virtual event. You will have access to the links to either a video introduction or a Zoom link for our staff and teachers on the JP website by Thursday morning. We are planning to post the program for the evening so it is as easy as possible to follow. We hope you will be able to join us.
Our goal this week is simple! We want to:
1. Meet and see our students! We will focus on building community in our classroom and prioritizing social-emotional learning and connections. We want to connect with our students and we want them to connect with one another.
2. Make sure that all of our students have full access to technology and can log-in! This could be a bit bumpy, but within a few days, we hope to have all of our issues with technology resolved.
3. Establish norms and routines with our students for a successful learning experience.
I wish all of our JP students the best school year, yet! I hope that it is engaging, meaningful and inspiring—together, we will learn from one another and we will certainly be stronger as we navigate through some of the uncertainties. Please do not hesitate to reach out—and, feel free to share some good moments, too!
Get a good night’s sleep!
Angela Siso Stentz
August 21, 2020
Dear Johnson Park Families,
On Tuesday, August 18, 2020, Superintendent Galasso recommended to the school board that Princeton Pub-lic Schools will begin with an "all remote" model for learning when school starts on Monday, September 14th. The revised Restart and Re-Opening Plan calls for a phased re-entry to a hybrid model on October 12th, if pos-sible. I am writing to provide some preliminary information that is important to all JP families. Needless to say, there will be many more updates over the coming days and weeks.
JP staff members worked diligently throughout the Spring to develop well-balanced class rosters that meet in-dividual student needs and that provide for a healthy, engaging, and positive learning environment for all stu-dents. Typically, teacher/class information is shared with families in early September, but given the current scenario, this information will be provided at the end of next week. This revised plan will afford you some extra time to coordinate childcare if necessary.
EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS AND DEVICES
In early September, families will be able to come to Johnson Park in a staggered schedule to drop off materials from last school year (computers, books, etc.) and to pick up books/materials needed for this school year. This will also be an opportunity to pick-up student devices (iPads for Pre-K through 1st grade and Chromebooks for grades 2-5). The schedule and specific procedures will be shared with you as soon as possible. In the mean-time, please be sure to check around your house for any materials that may need to be returned to Johnson Park.
PPS has adopted Canvas (a web-based program) as the new learning management system ("LMS" in educa-tional lingo) to replace PowerSchool Learning. JP teachers may still have students engage with other websites and electronic platforms, but Canvas will be the launching point and hub for any educational links and infor-mation that will be used or needed on a daily basis. In future communications, technology support guides and training videos that are available to both students and parents along with ways to get technological support during the school year will be provided.
One big change from the spring will be the use of a daily school schedule, which will take place from 8:30 am - 3:00 pm daily, except for Wednesdays when "school" will end at 1:00 pm to afford teachers the necessary time to collaborate and plan for virtual instruction. This does not mean that children will be on Zoom or a screen for
all of that time. This schedule will help organize the day for students to engage in the different content areas, specials, or supports and related services (AIS, ESL, special education, speech, OT, and PT). JP teachers will share more detailed information with their students and families when they return from Summer break.
During the week of September 7th, JP will host orientation programs for Pre-K and Kindergarten students and parents. There will also be a New Student/Parent program for all of our new families. Invitations will be sent home with complete details.
The start of a new school year is a magical time for every child, every parent, and every educator! I assure you that we will continue to use our expertise, creativity, care and love for our students and families as we launch the 2020-2021 school year!
Angela Siso Stentz,
Acting Principal, Johnson Park Elementary School