Message From the Superintendent
October 24, 2020
Dear PPS Parents and Staff,
Since my last message to you, we have learned that two additional staff members at Princeton High School have tested positive for the coronavirus. We now have three confirmed cases: two staff members and one student. None of these cases originated at PHS or were transmitted at PHS. Two of the cases originated from out-of-school sports programs. Our thoughts are with those three individuals who tested positive.
Based on the number of teachers who now must participate in precautionary 14-day quarantines or require remote teaching assignments, all students at Princeton High School will learn remotely until Monday, November 9. We will begin in-person learning with Cohort A on that date. On Monday, October 26, PHS will follow the remote learning schedule and classes will start at 9:25 AM.
When we approved our phased-in return to hybrid learning, the district was aware that there could be instances when it would be necessary to pivot to all-remote learning if the number of teachers required to participate in quarantines increased dramatically, as it has in the last 24 hours.
I have heard from many parents who are happy to have had even a few days of in-person learning for their children and also from parents who are disappointed that their children have not yet been able to return to school. I understand that this is a hardship for all our students, their families, and our staff and that there are mental health and financial implications as well as many serious inconveniences. We are working hard to support staff, students and families while at the same time working to keep our school community healthy.
I urge all parents to be mindful of travel and quarantine restrictions especially during the upcoming school holidays. The district must require all students who are returning from locations (both domestic and international) that are on the travel advisory list to participate in remote learning while they are under quarantine for 14 days after returning to New Jersey. We encourage you to select your travel destinations carefully.
The pivot to all-remote schooling affects only PHS. The middle school will open for in-person learning on Monday and the four elementary schools will continue with hybrid learning. There are no indications that we need to change course in these schools.
Dr. Barry Galasso
24 de octubre de 2020
Estimados padres y personal de PPS:
Desde mi último mensaje, nos hemos enterado que dos miembros adicionales del personal de la escuela secundaria de Princeton dieron positivo por coronavirus. Ahora tenemos tres casos confirmados: dos miembros del personal y un estudiante. Ninguno de estos casos se originaron en PHS ni se transmitieron en PHS. Dos de los casos se originaron en programas deportivos extraescolares. Nuestros pensamientos están con estas tres personas que dieron positivo.
Basado en la cantidad de maestros que deberán estar en cuarentena de precaución de 14 días o que requieran dar asignaciones de aprendizaje remoto, los estudiantes de Princeton High School deberán aprender de forma remota hasta el lunes 9 de noviembre. Comenzaremos el aprendizaje en persona con el Grupo A en esa fecha. . El lunes 26 de octubre, PHS seguirá el programa de aprendizaje remoto y las clases comenzarán de forma remota a las 9:25.
Cuando aprobamos nuestro regreso gradual al aprendizaje híbrido, el distrito estaba consciente de que podrían surgir casos en los que sería necesario cambiar al aprendizaje totalmente remoto si el número de maestros requeridos para participar en cuarentenas aumentaba dramáticamente como ha sucedido en las últimas 24 horas. Actualmente, tenemos casi dos docenas de profesores de PHS que están en cuarentena preventiva o que deben enseñar de forma remota.
He escuchado de muchos padres que están felices de que sus hijos han tenido algunos días de aprendizaje en persona así mismo sé de padres que están decepcionados de que sus hijos aún no hayan podido regresar a la escuela. Entiendo que esto es una dificultad para todos nuestros estudiantes, sus familias y nuestro personal y que haya implicaciones financieras y de salud mental, así como muchos otros inconvenientes graves. Estamos trabajando arduamente para apoyar a los estudiantes, sus familias y, al mismo tiempo, trabajamos para mantener la salud de nuestra comunidad escolar.
Urjo a todos los padres a que tengan en cuenta las restricciones de viaje y cuarentena, especialmente durante las próximas vacaciones escolares. El distrito debe exigir que todos los estudiantes que regresan de lugares (tanto nacionales como internacionales) que se encuentran en la lista de avisos de viaje participen en el aprendizaje remoto mientras estén en cuarentena durante 14 días después de regresar a Nueva Jersey. Le recomendamos que seleccione cuidadosamente sus destinos de viaje.
El retorno a la educación completamente remota afecta solo a PHS. La escuela intermedia abrirá para el aprendizaje en persona el lunes y las cuatro escuelas primarias continuarán con el aprendizaje híbrido. No hay indicios de que necesitemos cambiar de rumbo en estas escuelas.
Dr. Barry Galasso
October 23, 2020
Dear Staff and Parents,
A Princeton High School student had a positive test for the coronavirus on Friday and while the district waits for more information, and confirms whether others were affected, we would like our teachers and students to learn from home for the first two days of next week. There will be no in-person learning at Princeton High School on Monday or Tuesday.
All staff and students are asked to participate in remote learning. On Tuesday, the district will reassess the situation and announce the plan for Wednesday. PHS will have the remote start time of 9:25 on both Monday and Tuesday.
These decisions are never easy and we have consulted with local health officials as well as our district doctor to ensure that we are making the best decision possible. The health and safety of staff and students is our top priority and we appreciate all the efforts they have made this week to follow the protocols.
The decision to pause hybrid learning at PHS for two days will not affect the elementary schools or Princeton Unified Middle School. PUMS will open on Monday as planned. We will continue to monitor those schools carefully.
Thank you for your understanding during these difficult times. I hope that we will have some good news to share with you next week, but for now I would like to encourage our students, parents and staff to continue the mask wearing, physical distancing, hand washing and other protocols that are, at least for now, the best way we can keep our community healthy.
Dr. Barry Galasso
October 12, 2020
Dear PPS Parents and Staff,
We have made the decision today to suspend soccer practice for a week as a precaution because one of our PHS soccer players has been exposed to an individual with confirmed COVID-19. The student lives in a household where an individual tested positive for COVID. The decision to suspend soccer practices and games for a week affects 36 players on the boys' soccer team as well as their coaches and athletic trainers. The coaches and athletic trainer will work from home for the next week as a precautionary measure.
We have not seen any signs of illness among our soccer players, and the team has abided by all recommended health protocols. We want our soccer players, our coaches, and our athletic trainers to remain healthy. We anticipate that the boys on the team will be able to return to school with their cohorts beginning the week of October 19.
In a related case, the district took similar precautions at Johnson Park when a student who lives in the same household as the soccer player was exposed to coronavirus. Both the Johnson Park student and the PHS soccer player will quarantine at their home, and no other measures are mandated. PPS enacted extra precautions in both cases because our schools are in the beginning of a phased-in hybrid reopening and the district does not want to jeopardize reopening the middle school or high school next week. We look forward to having students in Pre-K through 12th grade back in school soon.
I am pleased to say that, despite the rain today, we had a very positive experience as we brought back cohorts in grades two through five for the first time since March. I would like to thank the staff for their dedication and continued professionalism, and I would like to commend parents and students for their attentiveness to health protocols. Mask-wearing is crucial. So far we have had a successful reopening and while our medical experts tell us nothing is certain our prospects for continued hybrid learning appear to be good.
If you have any specific COVID-19 questions, please contact the Princeton Health Department at 609.497.7608.
Thank you for your continued support.
Dr. Barry Galasso
October 5, 2020
From the Superintendent's Office: First Day Back for PPS's Youngest Students
On Monday, Princeton Public Schools welcomed back students in the first phase of its hybrid opening schedule. It was the first day since March 13 that students have been in the buildings for any reason other than orientation sessions.
Special needs students along with Cohort A students in pre-k, kindergarten and first grade arrived at Community Park, Johnson Park, Littlebrook and Riverside for school on Monday morning and will be back on Tuesday. Students in Cohort B will return to schools for classes on Thursday and Friday.
"It was a fantastic first day," said Barry Galasso, Interim Superintendent. "We had our entire administrative team working, with multiple administrators at each school, and it was a very smooth process. I am proud of our teachers, our principals and all of our staff."
Of the 432 students who enrolled in pre-k, kindergarten and first grade classes there are 328 students who signed up for hybrid learning. There are 104 students participating in remote-only classes.
The district notified parents on Saturday that a staff member at Community Park had tested positive for COVID-19. That staff member is currently quarantining at home.
Hybrid students in second through fifth grade are scheduled to return to the schools next Monday, October 12 and students in the middle school and Princeton High School are scheduled to return on October 19.
Princeton Public Schools has been operating a varsity-only sports program which involves physical distancing, temperature checks and other health protocols. There have been no cases of COVID-19 related to athletics.
School Will Be Different in September
July 1, 2020