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Message From the Superintendent

January 12, 2021

Dear PPS Parents and Staff,

As many of you know, last week a meeting of our 6th graders with administrators of the Princeton Unified Middle School was disrupted by “Zoom bombers” who used a racial slur and posted lewd drawings. This was an unacceptable intrusion into the students’ learning and exposed them wrongly to hateful language and images. Ironically, the lesson that was disrupted concerned the need for empathy and kindness in the context of community citizenship. We have since learned that the link to the PUMS Zoom meeting was published externally via Twitter. 

The administration is working with our technology office, the Princeton Police Department, and Mercer County law enforcement to identify any unauthorized participants in the meeting. We are providing directions to PPS staff on how to avoid outside interruptions.

We apologize to our students and their families for last week’s breach of our community standards. Be assured that persons responsible and identified will be held accountable. 

Sincerely,

Barry Galasso
Interim Superintendent

January 7, 2021

Dear PPS Staff and Parents,

It has been a turbulent week both in terms of national news and on the Covid-19 front. Many of your children have seen the images and news stories about the protestors entering the Capital building in Washington, D.C. This can be confusing and cause distress to students who may not know how to process this event. Our principals have reached out to teachers and provided resources for the emotional well being of our students and a framework for age-appropriate discussions.

What we witnessed last night was not a peaceful assembly. We all must condemn these actions. Our country has always valued the First Amendment rights of our citizens to express satisfaction or dissatisfaction over issues but we have never accepted disregard of our laws or behavior that includes violence, destruction, or rioting. This behavior should be acknowledged for what it is: unlawfulness. We as a nation must set aside our differences and come together to address the issues that divide us and, at the same time, celebrate what makes us Americans.

Regarding Covid-19 and its impact on our school schedule, PPS will delay the start of hybrid instruction until Tuesday, January 19, the day after the Martin Luther King holiday.  We need an extra week to allow students and staff to quarantine given the numbers of people who potentially have been exposed to the virus. Like other districts in Mercer County, we want to choose the prudent course by continuing with remote learning until January 19.

When students return on January 19, we will follow a model that increases in-person instruction for Kindergarten and First Grade students signed up for hybrid learning from two days per week of in-person instruction to four days per week. Parents will receive details soon from your school principal.

Meanwhile, the municipality of Princeton has opened up its registration for the Covid-19 vaccination. PPS staff will be eligible to receive the vaccine after the first round of vaccines have been completed. We encourage all PPS staff to sign up on the Princeton website and with the State of New Jersey here.

I would like to thank our staff and our parents for their commitment to the principles that we strive to inculcate in our students: honesty, dignity, and a respect for the laws that make our democracy work. Thank you for all that you are doing to support our schools.

Sincerely,

Dr. Barry Galasso
Interim Superintendent

En Español

7 de enero de 2021

Estimados padres y personal de PPS:

Ha sido una semana turbulenta en cuanto a las noticias nacionales como en el frente de Covid-19. Muchos de sus hijos han visto las imágenes y las noticias sobre los manifestantes que ingresaron al Capitolio en Washington, D.C.  Esto puede generar confusión y causar angustia a los estudiantes que quizás no sepan cómo procesar este evento. Nuestros directores se han acercado a los maestros y les han proporcionado recursos para el bienestar emocional de nuestros estudiantes así como el apoyo necesario para tener discusiones apropiadas de acuerdo a la edad de los estudiantes.

Lo que presenciamos anoche no fue una asamblea pacífica. Todos debemos condenar estas acciones. Nuestro país siempre ha valorado los derechos de la Primera Enmienda que permite que nuestros ciudadanos puedan expresar satisfacción o insatisfacción sobre los problemas, pero nunca hemos aceptado la ignorancia de nuestras leyes o comportamientos que incluyen violencia, destrucción o disturbios. Este comportamiento debe reconocerse por lo que es: ilegalidad. Nosotros, como nación, debemos dejar de lado nuestras diferencias y unirnos para abordar los problemas que nos dividen y, al mismo tiempo, celebrar lo que nos hace estadounidenses.

Con respecto a Covid-19 y su impacto en nuestro horario escolar, PPS retrasará el inicio de la instrucción híbrida hasta el martes 19 de enero, el día después del feriado de Martin Luther King. Necesitamos una semana adicional para permitir que los estudiantes y el personal estén en cuarentena dada la cantidad de personas que potencialmente han estado expuestas al virus. Como otros distritos en el condado de Mercer, queremos elegir el camino prudente al continuar con el aprendizaje remoto hasta el 19 de enero.

Cuando los estudiantes regresen el 19 de enero, seguiremos un modelo que aumenta la instrucción en persona para los estudiantes de kindergarten y primer grado inscritos en el aprendizaje híbrido de dos días por semana de instrucción en persona a cuatro días por semana. Los padres pronto recibirán detalles del director de su escuela.

Mientras tanto, el municipio de Princeton ha abierto su registro para la vacunación por Covid-19. El personal de PPS será elegible para recibir la vacuna después de que se haya completado la primera ronda de vacunas. Alentamos a todo el personal de PPS a inscribirse en el sitio web de Princeton  y con el estado de Nueva Jersey aquí.

Me gustaría agradecer a nuestro personal y a nuestros padres por su compromiso con los principios que nos esforzamos por inculcar en nuestros estudiantes: honestidad, dignidad y respeto por las leyes que hacen que nuestra democracia funcione. 

Gracias por todo lo que está haciendo para apoyar a nuestras escuelas.

Sinceramente,

Dr. Barry Galasso
Superintendente interino

December 22, 2020

Dear PPS Staff and Parents,

PPS received notification today that a Littlebrook student has tested positive for the coronavirus. The student was last in the building on December 15. Based on current information, no close contacts have been identified in the school community. Masks and physical distancing protocols were in effect.

The CDC defines close contacts as someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before the onset of illness. For more information, please contact the Princeton Health Department at 609.497.7608.

Thank you to all parents and staff for filling out the Daily Health Screening form. There is no need to do it during winter break but it is important to resume on January 4. We need this information to open the schools for hybrid learning in January. During the winter break, please follow health protocols and abide by the New Jersey travel and quarantine rules.  New Jersey strongly discourages all non-essential interstate travel at this time. Here is some information from the NJ Department of Health that you may find helpful: 

Travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging following recommendations from the CDC:

  • If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip.
  • If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time.
  • If travelers test negative, they should quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for 10 days after travel.

The advisory is no longer specific to certain states. Because of the rising number of cases across all states, there is an increased risk of spread of COVID-19 upon return from any travel.

We would like to wish all staff and families a happy and safe winter break.

Sincerely,

Dr. Barry Galasso
Interim Superintendent

December 16, 2020

Dear PPS Staff and Parents,

We want to share some information that we hope will allow you to make plans for the next few days.

As I write this on Wednesday, PPS has officially announced that there will be remote learning for our six schools on Thursday, December 17. Given the anticipated snow accumulation and potential for strong winds and hazardous road conditions, tomorrow will be an excellent day to stay home. Also, there is a possibility that we will need to cancel remote learning and opt for a traditional snow day if there’s a likelihood that the weather will cause power outages that will affect our teachers’ or students’ connectivity. I will let staff and parents know whether we will have a remote learning day or a snow day by late afternoon or early evening on Wednesday.

On Friday, December 18, we anticipate that our four elementary schools will offer a day of hybrid learning for Cohort B. We are hoping for clear roads on Friday morning based on the current forecast. A decision about the Friday schedule for the elementary schools will be shared with parents and staff by late afternoon Thursday. If travel is hazardous, we will opt for remote learning.

Both Princeton High School and Princeton Unified Middle School will be all remote on Friday. PHS will follow the regular Friday all remote/reading day schedule and PUMS will follow its hybrid schedule for the next five days. 

Previously scheduled events at PUMS and PHS (including professional development training and a virtual exchange program) are part of the reason we will not be pivoting to an in-person day. This decision makes sense for our students and staff in terms of both educational and practical considerations. Consequently, Wednesday is the last in-person day for students at PHS and PUMS until after the winter break. All schools will be remote next week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, December 21-23.

I know everyone is looking forward to the winter break and a well-deserved rest. Please be well, stay safe, and enjoy the snow.

Sincerely,

Dr. Barry Galasso
Interim Superintendent

16 de diciembre de 2020

Estimados padres y personal de PPS: 

Queremos brindarles la información necesaria que esperamos les permita hacer planes para los próximos días. 

El miércoles 16 de diciembre, PPS anunció que oficialmente el jueves 17 de diciembre no habrá instrucción en persona en nuestras seis escuelas. Dada la acumulación de nieve que se espera, el potencial de fuertes vientos así como las condiciones peligrosas en las pistas, mañana será un excelente día para quedarse en casa. Además, existe la posibilidad de que tengamos que cancelar el aprendizaje remoto y optar por un día tradicional de nieve en caso exista la posibilidad que el clima pueda causar cortes de energía que afecten la conectividad de nuestros maestros o estudiantes. Les dejaremos saber tanto a los padres como a los maestros si al final de la tarde o al inicio de la noche del miércoles tendremos un día de aprendizaje remoto o un día de nieve. 

El viernes 18 de diciembre, anticipamos que nuestras cuatro escuelas primarias ofrecerán un día de aprendizaje híbrido. Esperamos que las carreteras estén despejadas el viernes por la mañana según el pronóstico actual. La decisión sobre el horario del viernes para las escuelas primarias se compartirá con los padres el jueves por la tarde. Si viajar es peligroso, optaremos por un día de aprendizaje a distancia. 

El viernes tanto Princeton High School como Princeton Unified Middle School estarán trabajando de forma remota. Los eventos previamente programados en PUMS y PHS (incluida la capacitación de desarrollo profesional y el programa de intercambio virtual) son parte de la razón por la que no cambiaremos a un horario híbrido. Esta decisión tiene sentido para nuestros estudiantes y personal en términos de consideraciones tanto educativas como prácticas. En consecuencia, el miércoles es el último día en persona para los estudiantes de PHS y PUMS hasta después de las vacaciones de invierno. Todas las escuelas estarán en un horario totalmente remoto la próxima semana los lunes, martes y miércoles del 21 al 23 de diciembre. 

Sé que todos esperan con ansias las vacaciones de invierno y un merecido descanso. Por favor, manténgase bien, manténgase a salvo y disfrute de la nieve.

Sinceramente, 

 

Dr. Barry Galasso
Superintendente interino

 

School Will Be Different in September

https://youtu.be/uzvTiEE2qjs

July 1, 2020

Click here to see a brief video message from Dr. Galasso to staff and click here to see a message to parents.

 

Barry Glasso

Barry Galasso

 

Contact

Dr. Barry Galasso
Superintendent
609.806.4200
BarryGalasso@princetonk12.org
 
Susan McGreevy 
Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent
609.806.4200
SusanMcGreevy@princetonk12.org