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Princeton Unified News

Dear Princeton Middle School Families:

We are proud to welcome you to the 21-22 school year.  True to our goals and objectives, we are preparing to welcome over 800 learners for a full day of school each day beginning September 9.

We are dedicated to providing the best middle school education while also being certain to care for each individual who walks through our doors each day. As we continue to navigate challenging health news and rapidly changing recommendations to health protocols, we would like to thank the Princeton Middle School staff for their dedication to our students.

 The current guidelines are for all persons to be masked when entering the school building.  Students are expected to be masked and maintain social distancing in order to keep everyone safe.  We will have two virtual parent information sessions to review all necessary protocols. 

Additionally, we encourage you to read the letter issued from Superintendent Dr. Carol Kelley for more information about health and safety as we return to school. The collaborative relationship that develops between school and home is a key component of our students’ success, and we appreciate our families dedication to supporting the school’s mission to educate and keep students safe.  

As per the district communication on August 18, 2021, here's a brief overview:

1. Regardless of vaccination status, Princeton Public Schools will require students and staff to wear masks while at school and while riding a school bus.

2. We will continue to require Daily Health Screening for students and staff.

3. We encourage everyone eligible to get the vaccination to prevent COVID-19. If you would like additional information on how to receive a vaccination, please click here.

4. The health and safety of our students and staff is our #1 priority.

Here are other precautions that will be in place when school starts on September 9:

Physical (Social) Distancing: We will make every effort to maintain as much distance as possible between students (at least 3 feet), understanding that classroom configuration, capacity, and class size may vary.

Cohorting: We will cohort students in our elementary schools as much as possible. However, starting this year, elementary students will be permitted to travel to special classrooms. Students will be allowed to participate in small group instruction and/or instruction in resource classrooms.

Ventilation and Air Quality Standards: We will remain diligent with regular maintenance of our controls to ensure that all systems are performing at optimum levels. Schools will be encouraged to open windows so that outdoor air will be circulated as much as possible. We will maintain tents at schools so that certain activities, including recess and snack breaks, may take place outdoors, when possible.

Handwashing and Respiratory Etiquette: We will post reminders in schools for students and staff to practice handwashing and respiratory etiquette (covering coughs and sneezes) to keep from getting and spreading infectious illnesses, including COVID-19. Schools will monitor and reinforce these behaviors and provide adequate hand washing supplies, including hand soap and hand sanitizer. 

Cleaning and Disinfection: Princeton Public Schools custodians are trained and ready to do their part to keep all of our buildings safe and clean. In addition to performing their regular cleaning protocols, staff will disinfect high-touch surfaces. The full classroom disinfection process will be performed weekly, in accordance with CDC recommendations.

Contact Tracing, Isolation and Quarantine: Contact tracing, in combination with isolation and quarantine, is used by public health departments to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. In general, contact tracing involves identifying people who have a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19 (cases) and people who they came in contact with (close contacts) and working with them to interrupt disease spread. This includes asking people with COVID-19 to isolate and their contacts to quarantine at home voluntarily. Our school nurses may help to initiate contact tracing, however, the local health department is the final authority on identifying close contacts and determining who is to be quarantined and for how long.

Travel Restrictions: Princeton Public Schools will follow the direction of the state regarding travel restrictions and quarantine requirements.

Please reference our FAQ for details on how long you must quarantine if you plan to travel prior to September 9.

Seating Charts: All schools will use seating charts for students to support contact tracing.  

Bus Safety (COVID-19) Precautions: Bus drivers will be encouraged to open windows so that outdoor air will be circulated on the bus, as much as possible. In addition to the seating charts, students in the same family will be cohorted together while riding the bus.

Further details will be shared as we get closer to September 9, and your school-specific safety protocols and procedures will be communicated by building principals. This will include (but is not limited to): plans for arrival and dismissal, transitions, lunch and recess,  and bathroom breaks.

Below are a few general guidelines for all Princeton Public Schools:

Field Trips: Field trips (instructional) will remain virtual for now (at least through the fall; we will revisit during the first marking period).

Lockers: To start the 2021-22 school year, students will not have access to hallway lockers or P.E. locker rooms. The district will revisit this strategy later in the school year, in consultation with school principals and the latest public health guidance. Athletes will have an area in the school to place their equipment.

Lunch: PPS will maintain at least 6 feet between students during lunch. The locations will vary by school and will be determined by principals based on space, seating, etc. Schools must use a seating chart to support contact tracing when needed. Students will remove their masks to consume lunch. School lunch will be available each day and is available to all students at no charge. 

Visitors and School Gatherings: PPS will continue to limit visitors and large gatherings inside our school buildings, at least for the beginning of the 2021-22 school year. The district maintains the ability to re-evaluate this mitigation as conditions warrant.

Remote instruction will only be available to students who are required to quarantine after exposure. We will ask parents to refer to the table below.

We plan to provide information about our procedures and planning on the website, along with Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). Please click here for Frequently Asked Questions about our protocols. This information will be regularly updated.  

Princeton Middle School has created a new master schedule dedicated to providing access and opportunity to every student in our care.  We view this as a key innovation and we are excited to “live in” to this master schedule design that places inclusivity at the heart of our work.  Each year, it is our goal to ensure that each child is known and valued.  We are committed to delivering on this goal as it is central to our thoughts and values on Equity and Anti-Racism, but also in the way we view middle school learners. 

As we return to routines that feel familiar and provide our students with the necessary structure and tools to succeed, we will also continue to be dedicated to our most sacred traditions.  Each year, we strive to maintain long held academic values, while also having the courage to innovate and develop new programs and design new ways to engage learners.

Princeton Middle School will be focused on helping students feel welcome, celebrating student work, and creating new programs to keep kids connected to school and to one other.

Longer lunch, a daily PAWS period, and a dedicated time for social emotional learning and recess will help provide students time to complete tasks and to process learning, while also placing key emphasis on wellness.

It is important to note that our students play a critical role in helping classmates feel supported.  We are counting heavily upon our 8th grade students to be positive leaders for the younger students and for one another.  Further, we are convening student leadership groups at every grade level to help us gain insight into how we can help our students feel supported.  

We would like to thank our main office staff for their tireless preparation and support as we continue to embrace new protocols.  Mr. Hector Lamos and our custodial staff have been hard at work preparing our building to return to its normal heavy usage, while also emphasizing cleaning standards and health practices designed to help keep us safe.

We are excited to welcome new staff to Princeton Middle School; some of our new educators are beginning their first experience in teaching.  We applaud and are thankful for being able to support and welcome the next crop of great teaching professionals.  

Please join me in welcoming the following new staff to Princeton Middle School:

Joshua Fausti -- Social Studies (7th Grade Leave Replacement)

Paulo Velasco -- School Counselor (7th Grade)

Rebecca Kim-- Math (7th Grade Leave Replacement)

Jason Goldenbroit -- Special Education

Chandler Hubert -- Physical Education

Anjali Patel -- Occupational Therapist

Cory Ward -- Speech (Part-Time)

Brandon Williams -- Adaptive Physical Education

Patrick Remboski -- Physical Education

Diana Luque -- Instructional Assistant

Angela Carbone -- Art

As a reminder here are several key dates as we make preparations for the beginning of this school year. 

8/26 - NEW STUDENT ORIENTATION 8:20-9:20 AM

8/26 and 9/3 -- Computer Distribution.  More details including a link to “Sign up Genius” were provided in a previous communication on 8/23.

8/30 -- PMS INFORMATIONAL SESSION (virtual) For Families 7:30PM

8/31 -- PMS INFORMATIONAL SESSION (virtual) For Families 8:00AM

*These are our Ice Cream and Coffee Sessions!  We welcome you to log onto zoom with your favorite evening snack, or your morning coffee!

9/3 --  7th and 8th Grade Orientation 8:30am to 9:30am

9/3 --  6th Grade Orientation 9:30AM - 11AM

9/8    New Parent Orientation (Virtual)  8AM-9AM

Finally, Jason Burr would like to personally acknowledge the hard work of my two Assistant Principals Tim Charleston and Stephanie DiCarlo who have worked tirelessly this summer preparing for the upcoming school year.  We would also like to thank our counselors, Mr. Foley, Mr. Velasco, and Ms. Bernal for their advocacy and care for students as we have planned for this year’s opening.  

Wishing you continued good health and wellness as we get set to begin this next educational journey with you!

Jason Burr, Stephanie DiCarlo, Tim Charleston

  • Princeton Middle School