Princeton Unified Middle School: Back to School Information 2020-2021
Welcome Back: Letter From Mr. Burr
September 11, 2020
Dear PUMS Families!
We have enjoyed meeting with families and holding student orientations last week.
We are absolutely ecstatic to have connected with over 700 students during the week's orientations.
Ms. DiCarlo has been reminding everyone that it is important to give yourself some grace as we adapt to the opening of the school year. Some things will be new and confusing at first but we are here to help.
Please click on the link below. There are several tutorials on how to get logged into email, and onto CANVAS.
If you are unable to get linked in, please email the student help desk: SHD@princetonk12.org.
We are very excited to begin the school year on Monday. We are going to work together, and it is going to be a great year.
August 24, 2020
Dear Families of #Princeton Unified Middle School:
We wanted to take this opportunity to reach out to you today with some preliminary information about what you can expect for the upcoming 20-21 school year. IMPORTANT: The decision was made to "open" this school year "remotely" at the 8/18 BOE meeting. There is a new target date of Monday, October 19th to welcome students back to school in accordance with the "hybrid" model that the district has worked diligently to implement.
At this moment, we are focused on providing you with information about our REMOTE LEARNING plan, and our commitment to creating an outstanding beginning to the 20-21 school year.
We have created a new schedule that contains four educational blocks each school day. For this year, we have placed "Health and PE" as one of our core classes (Core classes are Math, English, Science Social Studies, World Language, PE and Health). Each day, students will have 3 of those core classes and an encore class. (Encore classes include Robotics, Coding and Digital Arts, AIS classes, Music and Fine Arts, etc.) Please see the visual for some additional clarification. By following this four-block schedule, which alternates according to an A/B day cycle, we will be able to move seamlessly from our "All Remote" schedule and back into our in-person schedule.
Please take a look at this sample schedule that outlines the basic parameters of our "Remote School Day".
This year's Remote Learning schedule will be more synchronous. Homeroom begins at the same time each day, and teachers will be taking attendance. Students are expected to be full participants in school when homeroom begins at 8:25 and will follow the scheduled times listed above (Please Note: This is an overview of the time and expectations for our students to be in class. Specific schedules individual to each student are still being developed. As stated previously, students will have four classes each day. Students are expected to attend class at the ascribed times).
On Fridays, students will attend their A day or B day classes on alternating weeks, embedding more time for instruction.
All of our students will use "Canvas" to complete the learning modules that are created by their teachers. Some of those assignments posted via Canvas will involve "live teaching," "live demonstrations," or "live conversations" with their peers. However, there is a significant shift in pedagogy and in our thinking about what constitutes "live teaching” that accompanies this shift to "Remote Learning”. Once more, we are currently opening this school year "All Remote," which means that all members of the class will be participating together in the learning from their homes.
There are many changes afoot. We are no longer called John Witherspoon Middle School. We will be a 1:1 school district, and we are making plans to distribute brand new computers to every student. We will not be running our traditional 8 period schedule. PE and Health will be a combined course this year and will take place every other day in order to emphasize the need for wellness and the need for movement. The finishing touches on a brand new maker space are being completed as I write this letter, which will create even more possibilities for innovation and cutting edge programming at Princeton Unified Middle School. There are many other facets to our work and to our service of students and families that will look different as we continue to combat the effects of the pandemic and its effects on teaching and learning. I want to thank our teachers for their support of students through the end of last school year. We will continue to serve students and families to the best of our ability and look forward to the new learning platform to be able to deliver great instruction and to build greater connections.
Please join me in welcoming Assistant Principals Tim Charleston and Stephanie DiCarlo to Princeton Unified Middle School. I am so tremendously grateful for their hard work this summer. The three of us are here at the school building getting ready to open another exciting school year. Following a very busy week of "town hall" meetings given by Dr. Galasso and Dr. Ginsberg, we are reminding everyone that we are here to take all of your questions about the upcoming school year. We ask politely that you request an appointment if you wish to meet in person, and we will need to wait until construction and cleaning are complete before we follow through with any in-person appointments.
Since July, we have continuously adapted our thinking, and have tried to answer as many questions as we can regarding the upcoming school year. I am providing a list of FAQs that may help answer some of the questions that our families may have. Please note that this is an always evolving list; questions are constantly being added, subtracted, and clarified. This is the most up to date set of answers to FAQs.
The principals at Princeton Unified will be leading grade level parent information sessions about remote learning prior in the coming week. Times and dates are still being coordinated.
Best wishes to you always.