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Remote Learning

June 18, 2020

Summer school, including the extended year program, will be taught remotely in July. 

Details about plans for the fall will be posted on the Reopening Our Schools website page as plans are finalized with the health of our students and staff being the top priority. 

If you have any questions or comments about remote learning, please email 

Message from the Superintendent
Planning for Re-Opening

Dear Students, Staff and Families, 

On Monday, Governor Murphy announced that New Jersey schools will remain closed through the end of the academic year. While we had all anticipated this possibility, the reality still hits hard.  

I want to acknowledge the disappointment we are all feeling at not being able to come together in person before the end of June. Nevertheless, I am grateful to Governor Murphy for making a decision based on what is best for the health of our students, our staff, and our state.  

And it is with that health in mind that we are moving forward as a District with three phases of planning. First, we are planning for the celebration of this current year and the accomplishments of our students.  Second, we are planning for the implementation of summer school. And finally, we are planning for the safe reopening of our buildings in September for in-person instruction.   

Based on the Governor’s announcement, we will be completing this school year remotely. The last day of school for PPS will be June 16, and Princeton High School graduation will happen on that day. PHS will have a virtual graduation.  Mindful of how important this ceremony is to our students and their families, Principal Jessica Baxter and her team are putting in place plans for a video that would show each senior physically walking on stage to receive their diploma while wearing their cap and gown. Senior Awards and the Gold Key ceremony will also both be virtual. We are hopeful that other senior celebrations could possibly be held outside later in the summer, but only if it is safe and restrictions have been lifted. 

The John Witherspoon Moving On Ceremony for our eighth graders, which has traditionally been held in Richardson Auditorium, is also scheduled to be a virtual event in June. We are looking forward to this event as our JW community has already shown itself to be creative and flexible by, believe it or not, hosting grade-level dances on Zoom! 

The elementary school principals and PTO’s are also thinking about virtual approaches to the fifth grade Moving On Ceremonies. Their goal is to celebrate with our students the relationships, accomplishments and memories through those magical first few years.  

Summer School will also be virtual. We look forward to supporting remotely our many students who attend our Extended School Year program as well as our STARRS, LEAP, ESL and JUMPSTART programs and the various summer courses offered at the high school.  If there is an opportunity to bring some of those students into our buildings safely at the end of the summer to get them acclimated for the start of the year, we will certainly try to facilitate that. 

And what will happen when school starts again in September? PPS has established a Re-Entry Leadership Team of nearly 30 administrators, teachers, support staff and Board members who are considering this question. We are viewing all answers through the lens of Health, which we are categorizing in three ways.

First, we are prioritizing the physical health of our students and staff. Will we need to be taking their temperature as they enter the building? Will they need to wear masks? What will our cleaning protocols need to be? How will we maintain social distancing protocols on the bus, in the classroom, during recess? We have a subcommittee working on answering these questions and many more. 

Second, we are prioritizing the emotional health of our students. This crisis has been a trauma for all of us. We have all experienced, and will continue to experience, varying degrees of fear, anxiety, and loss.  As students reenter our schools, we want to assess their emotional wellness; we want to support them individually and collectively; and we want to inspire them. Schools need to be places of hope and excitement. We have another subcommittee charged with making this happen. 

And, of course, we are prioritizing the educational health of our students. While many have fared well during this period of remote learning, we know that others have struggled.  We need to assess the gaps or losses in learning, and we need to have a plan to address them.  We have yet another subcommittee focused on this goal.    

The reopening of our schools in a climate of social distancing will pose significant and complex challenges.  We are not likely to flip a switch in September and suddenly have 4000 students and 800 staff back in our buildings with learning happening as it always has.  We may have a phased re-entry such as in Denmark where younger children came back first. We may follow the example of Quebec, where to maintain the smaller class sizes required for social distancing, half the students in a class will come on one day and the other half the next.  

Regardless of the plan, it is likely that at least initially, we will have some hybrid of remote learning and in-person instruction.  It is also clear that the new normal will be very different than the previous normal.  Nevertheless, as we all adjust, I hope we can hold onto the “silver linings” of our response to this crisis.  Silver linings of flexibility, creativity, patience, and partnership.  Sliver linings of care, compassion, grit and gratitude. 

I will remain focused on working with my colleagues to create a reopening plan prior to my retirement, and I am grateful to be part of a community that will continue to value joy, purpose and innovative solutions to complex problems. 

Thank you all for your ongoing support.  Stay well. 


Steve Cochrane


P.S. If you are looking for a feel-good story, please check out this video of ducklings being rescued at Littlebrook.

Questions, comments, suggestions? Please email

Remote Learning Update from Ms. Kosek

April 19, 2020

Dear Parents,

We’ve completed the fourth week of remote learning!  Hopefully, spring break the previous week provided a little breathing room for both you and your children.

As we begin week five, I wanted to let you know that we are thinking about and planning ahead for a variety of possibilities.  I speak daily with principals and supervisors who are listening to teachers, students, and parents, and we are working to address concerns and consider suggestions to better the remote learning experience of our students.  Your understanding and patience as we make adjustments to refine our teaching practices and the enormous effort required of you to help and support your children in accessing lessons and assignments is recognized and deeply appreciated. 

As we look forward to the possibility of a return to school in early May, early June, or perhaps even later, we are further considering what key concepts and skills are most important to teach and what assessment, grading, and report cards will look like.

Teaching and Learning

Teachers and content supervisors are making decisions daily about “must do’s” and “nice to do’s” in planning lessons, assigning follow-up work, and setting expectations for students.  We know that we cannot replicate nor cover all of what traditionally is done in a classroom through distance learning.  We also know that middle and high school students are more computer savvy and independent than our elementary kids, and there will need to be differences in the depth of content and skill coverage across levels.  We are noting these differences, course to course and grade to grade, and will address them as we create school reentry plans for the range of possibilities.

Currently, we are recognizing that less may be more.  Broadening the definition of learning to honor a range of student growth and development, teachers are focusing on the most important learning goals and competencies for the subjects and grade-levels they teach.  We do hope that a reduced more-focused academic load has lowered stress and anxiety and will lead to higher student engagement.  

Assessment, Grading, and Report Cards 

Much thought is being given to how we will assess student learning remotely, the grading systems we will use, and how and when students will receive report cards.  While we are still refining procedures specific to PPS, we join other districts near and far in creating grading/crediting policies that reflect shared principles that support students’ social-emotional health during this extraordinary time.

Here are general guidelines we will be following at each school level: 

Princeton High School

  • Students will receive letter grades for Quarter 3.  Most of Q3 was spent in classrooms.  Grades earned during in-school time and a few additional grades earned during the first weeks of remote learning will be counted.  Letter grades will be given and report cards will be available in PowerSchool after April 22nd.
  • Letter grades will be given for Quarter 4 based on essential assignments that reflect priority goals and objectives and account for participation, effort, and growth.
  • Final grades will be letter grades based on all four quarters.
  • Teachers will be flexible with due dates and demonstrate balance and understanding in assessment and grading.

John Witherspoon Middle School

  • JW will retain its traditional grading structure for Quarter 3, as outlined in the student handbook and on the JW website page.  However, teachers are assessing student work submitted during the remote learning weeks with understanding, leniency, and with sensitivity to the uniqueness of each student’s current situation.
  • During Quarter 4, lessons and assignments will be designed to reinforce previous learning and advance key concepts in the course curriculum.
  • A modified rating scale will be used for grading.  Participation, effort, and growth will be assessed and counted as well.
  • Given the myriad of factors impacting a student’s ability to complete work during this health pandemic, teachers will give a “no mark” in lieu of a zero.
  • JW is maintaining a grade structure so as to provide a familiar report card for parents and students, but more importantly, teachers will be regularly assessing student work and providing feedback throughout the remainder of the year. 
  • Teachers will apply flexibility, balance, and understanding in assessment and grading, and students should attend their remote learning classes each day, completing work to the best of their ability. It is essential that students maintain learning routines, follow the teacher guidelines, and participate daily.

Our Elementary Schools

As you know, we were piloting a new standards-based progress report this year.  Our intent was to ask for parent feedback after the second trimester report was received, however, that evaluation and revision will have to wait. 

While second trimester progress reports were to be distributed on April 24th, the circumstances related to the health pandemic and remote learning are requiring a different approach:

Second Trimester Reporting

  • In the next few weeks, teachers will provide parents with a verbal (phone) or written (email) progress update.  This update will focus on any work and assessments completed since mid-March, both in the classroom and in the weeks of remote learning.

Third Trimester Reporting (Last Day of School)

  • In our new Progress Report (report card), we will highlight for you the key grade-level standards addressed during the remote learning weeks.  A written narrative from your child’s teacher will accompany the highlighted standards.  These reports will be accessible through the PowerSchool Parent Portal on the last day of school.

While we await further guidance from Governor Murphy, the Department of Education, and our local health officials on the closing of our school buildings beyond May 15th, we will continually assess and revise our remote learning approaches and practices so as to provide the best possible education for our students.  We value parent feedback and appreciate the many emails, photos, questions, and suggestions we’ve received.  We will be sending a brief parent survey soon and hope you will take a minute to let us know how you and your child(ren) are faring.


Anna Gonzalez Kosek
Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction 

En Español

April 17, 2020

Governor Murphy has announced that New Jersey schools will continue remote learning through May 15. We will have more details soon about plans for the next month. Thank you to all our teachers, staff, parents and students for being so resilient and making the best of a difficult situation.

April 16, 2020

Dear Staff and Families, 

As I write this, two beautiful red cardinals are busily (and noisily) engaged in building a nest in the tree outside our kitchen window. Nature, undeterred by the coronavirus, continues to provide for its children. So do we. 

As we enter week five since our schools were closed, I want to thank our staff and our families for all the amazing efforts they are making to provide for our kids--educationally, nutritionally, socially and emotionally. I also want to answer, to the best of my ability, some of the questions you might have as we look to the future.

  1. When will schools reopen? Governor Murphy will be making an announcement addressing this question on Friday. At this point, schools are closed indefinitely. I do believe there is a distinct possibility our governor will elect to close schools across our state through the remainder of this current school year.  If there is a way we can come back safely to our buildings before then, I will rejoice. In the meantime, we will continue to teach and coach and counsel. And we will continue to plan for multiple possibilities. 
  2. What is the current status of sports and clubs? During these unprecedented times, when schools are physically closed and remote learning has been implemented to reduce the spread of a global pandemic, we believe it is especially important for our students to still be engaged in the sports and activities they love and to feel connected to their teammates, their classmates, their coaches and advisers. We are grateful to our coaches and advisers for finding creative ways to instruct, inspire and support our students. We have outlined here some expectations to guide their work in this new remote learning environment. These expectations focus on providing sports- or activity-specific instruction, fostering the culture and camaraderie among the students on their team or in their club, and on continuing to enhance their own professional capacity as coaches and advisers. We recognize that our students' experience of a sport or club will look very different under the current circumstances. Nevertheless, we look forward to the new ways we are able to remotely further their fitness, their fun, and their connection to one another.  
  3. Are there plans for end-of-year activities? We continue to hope we can return safely to school before the end of this year. We also continue to plan for the possibility that we might not. There are so many activities and events that mark for our students, and all those who care about them, the culmination of a school year or school career. We are particularly focused on our seniors and on milestone events such as prom and graduation. Administrators at PHS are already meeting with student and parent representatives to consider how to make those events most meaningful should they be postponed or held virtually. The same is true for our moving-on ceremonies at our elementary and middle schools, and even for events such as field days or end-of-year concerts. We will share more once we have more direction from the State and as our plans evolve. 
  4. How can I apply to receive meals for my children? The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on families across our country and throughout our community. One in ten people have lost their jobs. Others have had their incomes significantly reduced. Family budgets have tightened. As a school district, we are here to help. If your economic circumstances have changed, and you believe your children may qualify for the federal breakfast and lunch program, please find an application and income guidelines here. A week's worth of breakfasts and lunches are distributed every Tuesday to more than 500 of our students through school buses parked in neighborhoods throughout town. In addition, beginning next Tuesday, we will be distributing a week's worth of dinners for families whose children meet the federal guidelines. We are grateful to Send Hunger Packing Princeton (SHUPP) for making the distribution of dinner possible. 
  5. What can I do to help others? The value of care and compassion is spreading far faster than this virus. I continue to be heartened by the many acts of kindness and support readily provided by groups and individuals within our community. If you want to help in some way, please visit and click on Ways to Help.

The two cardinals in the tree outside my window are currently practicing "social distancing." Nevertheless, as a species, when faced with a threat, such as cold or lack of food, cardinals flock together for mutual protection. We continue to learn from the natural world around us. Thank you for flocking virtually to support our students, our schools and one another. 



April 15, 2020

Remote Learning Continues for the Week of April 13-17

For the most up-to-date information about what is happening in Princeton, please check

Below, Assistant Superintendent Kosek shares some thoughts on PPS remote learning going forward.

Spring Break Message

April 3, 2020

Dear Families, Staff and Students,

The truism about predictions regarding the future is that they are (statistically speaking) usually wrong. And the further in the future, the more likely they are to be incorrect. The short-term prediction for New Jersey, however, seems unavoidable: The number of people affected by COVID-19 is going to get worse before it gets better.

As we anticipate our spring break next week—which for some families isn’t a break at all, but another week of juggling work, child care, handwashing, grocery shopping, CNN watching, and computer refereeing—it is likely with a mixture of trepidation and hope. I would like to focus on the hope. Hope and heroism.

In this last week, we have seen some astonishing acts of generosity. They include the distribution of books and toys organized by Johnson Park and Jazams, the donation of medical-grade N95 masks by the Littlebrook community, the resurgence of (virtual) parent-teacher talking circles at Riverside, CP teachers planning a car parade to wave hello to their students, the development of a binder of Spring Break activities by a JW counselor, and a Princeton High School science teacher who was actually holding office hours with his students on the way to the hospital for a non-COVID-19 medical emergency. (We wish him a speedy recovery!) 

We keep hearing that the best way to feel better in a crisis is to help somebody else, and we have a number of children and families who are doing exactly that. They are donating to food banks, writing notes of gratitude to sanitation workers and mail carriers, even sending videos of themselves singing songs to cheer up those who are quarantined in nursing homes.

And yet as we honor these acts of generosity and kindness, we also know our Princeton Public Schools community is experiencing heightened levels of anxiety and grief. An increasing number of our families have an ailing elderly relative, an immune-compromised child, or a friend or family member in a precarious health situation. So many families are struggling with a parent who is not working, or one who is working in health care, in a grocery store, or in any of the essential jobs that we all rely on, but which come with a greater risk of exposure to this virus. And sadly, some of our families have already faced a serious loss, and have even had to say goodbye to a relative remotely. Our hearts go out to you.  Know that we are inspired by your courage and resilience.  Courage, kindness, hope and heroism. These are the attributes that will carry us through this crisis, and for me these qualities have been remarkably embodied by the teachers and staff of the Princeton Public Schools. 

Schools are not buildings. They are people. They are the trusting, caring relationships forged among staff, students and families. In the past three weeks since our schools have closed, I have actually watched those relationships deepen. I have watched as staff – most of whom are new to remote learning – reached out to one another to share technology support, creative ideas, and expressions of humor. I have watched as they connected with students through morning meetings, virtual lessons, emails and phone calls. And I have watched as they continually and creatively found ways to connect with families and with the larger community in the spirit of “joy and purpose,” which define the mission of our District.

Today, the staff at JP shared with our entire community a visual message of joy based on the words and wisdom of Winnie the Pooh. I have pasted that message below and will add to it my own hope that this break is a time for all of us to relax, recharge and rejoice in the relationships that bring meaning to our lives.

Johnson Park images: Have a Good Break

Have a wonderful Spring Break, and please click on the link below for a comprehensive list of real and virtual “staycation” activities for kids of all ages!

Steve Cochrane

Check our website for a comprehensive list of spring break options and activities, and this website too!

Friday, March 27, 2020
Remote Learning Update from Assistant Superintendent Kosek

Dear Parents,

We are ending Week 2 of PPS Remote Learning. Thank you for the photos, the appreciation, and the helpful feedback.  Your positive responses are affirming the truly amazing work our PK-12 faculty is doing to translate their teaching expertise into effective distance learning.  We appreciate you as well for doing your best to carve out space and time in your work and home life to support your children’s learning.

We are working to get it right –- the workload, an appropriate amount of synchronous versus asynchronous time with students, the expectations for learning, and a balance of work time, down time, play time, and family time. To that end, and for consistency across schools and grade levels, we are asking teachers to consider a few key principles as they plan their remote lessons, keeping in mind that their professional judgment and their knowledge of their students should drive their decisions.

Teachers will:

  • Focus on core skills, not simply content coverage.   This means that w​hile we are attempting to move students along with curriculum goals, we know that nothing fully replaces what is done in the classroom.  Lessons will be pared down, along with time and product expectations for students. 
  • Present lessons in a way that allows students access throughout the day.  For families, this means students can watch videoed lessons or complete assignments when it is most convenient for them and their parents.  Remote learning may be more effective when students participate live with their teacher, but we know it may not be possible for every student to tune in on any given day or time.   Do what works best for your family.
  • Provide clear directions.   This is something we’re learning day by day as we receive feedback from students and parents.  If you have questions, use the teacher’s school email address or the PSL platform to ask.  Don’t panic if you don’t receive an immediate answer; due dates are flexible.
  • Assign “classwork” only, with no additional traditional “homework”.   We know students take varying amounts of time to complete assignments, be it in class or at home.  Teachers will adjust the quantity and type of work they are assigning as they assess student work and progress.  Flexibility along with compassion for everyone’s life situation is key for us.  While we do need your help to provide encouragement and an environment conducive to learning in your home, we do not expect you to teach the course or curriculum.
  • Use live chats or recorded lessons when appropriate.  If students are unable to attend the live session, they can watch the video when it is more convenient for the family.  At times, a teacher may want to also meet with small groups of students.  In that case, if possible, it would be helpful if you can arrange for your child to have a computer device available to them at the scheduled time. 

Note:  We are as close to certain as we can be that all of our students who are income eligible have a district-issued device.  We know there may be further need for students who don’t quite meet that criteria.  If you know of a student who needs a device, please email the school principal. 

  • Use PowerSchool Learning (PSL) as the starting point for all lessons.   Links to other platforms like Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams will be found there.  

Note:  PowerSchool Learning was slow for a few days last week.  They believe they’ve resolved the freezing issue; we will be monitoring it carefully day to day.

  • Teach and communicate with compassion and flexibility.  This is perhaps most important as we know significant physical, emotional, and financial strain are new realities for our families. 

Over the last two weeks, parents and students have expressed appreciation for the creative ways teachers are engaging students through activities like virtual Morning Meetings, small and large group chats, live and videoed lessons, story “hours”, posting funny motivational videos, spirit days like Crazy Hat day, and teaching in a Google Hangout.  Principals and supervisors are also staying connected to students using district online platforms and social media to send messages, songs, magic tricks, and daily food for thought, along with weekly updates to parents.

We do know that learning is most effective when it is a social experience, and our teachers and administrators are striving to maintain social interaction despite mandated social distancing.  

We are so very grateful to our teachers for creating positive remote learning environments with instruction and guidance that is appropriate to the age and grade of their students.  With that, we are especially grateful to parents.  We know that balancing work, family, and school isn’t easy for anyone. 

A Note about Special Education and Related Services:  Teachers, Child Study Teams and related Service Providers have been reaching out to families to determine how to best support students and their families.  They are reviewing initial plans, listening to parent feedback, and determining how to best provide services remotely without overwhelming families.  Team members are working to engage families in either virtual meetings or phone conferences, with translators available as needed.  If your child has an IEP, we encourage you to participate in these meetings.  We recognize how challenging each day can be and setting clear expectations can help alleviate worry and stress.  Always feel free to call or email your child’s case manager or teacher as well should you have questions.

A Note about State Testing:  All Spring 2020 State assessments have been canceled, which include the New Jersey Student Learning Assessments (NJSLA) for grades 3 - 11, the Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State (ACCESS) tests for English Language Learners, and the Dynamic Learning Map Assessments (DLM).  The NJ Department of Education will provide school districts with further guidelines as they consider impact and unintended consequences of this action. Cancellation of these statewide assessments will not prevent students from meeting their graduation assessment requirements.

With sincere appreciation for this wonderful village we are all a part of,


Anna Gonzalez Kosek
Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction

En Español

All Schools Now Closed to the Public

Thank you to staff and parents who have been doing an amazing job during this difficult time.

Princeton Public Schools are currently operating remotely. For everyone's protection, our buildings are closed to the public. Please email us at with questions or requests or email your building principal directly. We wish you health as we respond together to the current crisis.

For more information about what's happening in our community, please check the joint municipal, library, police, health department and schools website which is now a centralized source of accurate information:

Comments or thoughts or questions about remote learning? Please email us at

Message from the Superintendent: Moving Forward

March 24, 2020

Dear Students, Staff, and Families, 

The applause began last week in Spain. 

Following an order by the prime minister to stay in their homes, thousands of citizens throughout the country began taking to their balconies every night at 8:00 p.m. to give a standing ovation to the health care workers who are on the front lines caring for those suffering from the coronavirus.

And the applause is spreading.  From Spain to Italy to France and beyond, hundreds of thousands are now joining the nightly tradition.  Gratitude spreads faster and is more powerful than COVID-19. 

And so I begin this message with my own applause.  For our health workers, absolutely, but also for our educators, our parents, our students.  All of you have had your lives upended by the coronavirus; all of you are feeling anxious about your own health and those of others; and yet all of you are finding new ways to continue learning and working and showing your care for one another.  It is not always easy, I know, but you have the appreciation of many. 

So what is next? Our governor's executive order 104 has closed schools indefinitely throughout New Jersey.  I don't know when schools will be officially allowed to reopen, but I do know that staff and families are looking for guidance beyond this Friday, which will mark the end of our initial period of remote learning. Consequently, after consulting with our local Health Officer, I am extending the remote learning period for the Princeton Public Schools at least through Friday, April 17, 2020. We will re-evaluate as we near the end of that time period. 

Some important points to keep in mind as we move forward:

Our schools and offices are now all operating remotely.  District buildings are open on a very limited basis only to essential employees.  If you have questions or requests, please email us.  We are trying to protect our staff, our students and our community.

Reach out if you need food or know someone who does. Here is a link to our application (in both English and Spanish) to receive free or reduced priced meals during this time period when schools are physically closed. We recognize that this crisis has placed an economic hardship on many of our families - a hardship that is likely to increase.  If your economic circumstances have changed or if they do in the future, please go to the link above to review the income guidelines for receiving federally funded meals.  You can also get help in completing the application through the Princeton Children's Fund or make a donation to a family in need.

Spring Break will be a true break.  We all need to take a breath right now. During the week of April 6-10, please do just that.  Relax.  Laugh.  Spend time with neighbors and family - just do it from a distance and remember to wash your hands!

Once again, I am grateful for all that you are doing during this unprecedented time.  Give yourselves a standing ovation! 


Steve Cochrane


March 23, 2020

Dear Parents,

Week two of remote learning continues. Thank you to all of the PPS families who participated in the Zoom meeting on Monday night with PHS Principal Jessica Baxter and the Challenge Success Team.

We hope you and your families are coping as directives from government and health officials change daily. The district continues to make plans for what could be an extended period of remote learning. We will have more details in this space soon.

If you have any comments or questions about remote learning please share them with


March 15, 2020 

Dear Parents, 

This is an unusual and disconcerting time for everyone.  PPS administrators, teachers, and support staff throughout every department are working hard to support student learning remotely while encouraging a positive and healthy attitude.   

On Friday, you received a letter from your child’s school principal with information and guidelines for distance learning at that school level.   For your convenience, these letters will be posted on the Remote Learning page of the District website on Monday.   

We know that we will learn much from the students and their families over the next several days and our distance-learning plans will evolve and improve.  We also know that this type of learning will be easier for some children than for others.  Please remember that our school and central office personnel are still working, in district or remotely, and will address any needs or concerns you have.  Please do not hesitate to call or email.  Should you need assistance with materials, technology support, or other resources, there are many staff members ready to help. 

Below you will find high school, middle, and elementary school-specific guidelines to get your children started on this new journey.  The very best place to go for information is your child’s teacher’s PowerSchool Learning (PSL) website.  Additionally, teachers, supervisors, and principals will be answering emails each day.  You may also call my office at (609) 806 – 4203 or email me at  

Princeton High School Guidelines for Students and Families:  

  • Students should take all school-assigned and personal items home.   Lockers should be cleaned out.  

  • A google form will be posted in the Grade Level class in PowerSchool Learning each day.   Students MUST fill out this form by 1pm each day in order to be counted present.  If a student has trouble accessing this form the student or parent must call the attendance line (609-806-4280 x3806) to report the student as present.  

  • If a child is ill, a parent can call in their absence to the attendance line to have the absence verified. 

  • Students will login to PowerSchool Learning each day and follow alternating E/F cycle day class schedules for accessing class content, activities and assignments.  Students should login to their E day classes the first day of the closure, then their F day classes on the second day of the closure, etc.  

  • Students should follow expectations and deadlines set by teachers for completing activities and turning in assignments.  

  • Teachers will post that day’s lesson, materials, activities, assignments, etc. by 8:20 am.    

  • Students should keep in contact with teachers via messaging features and/or email if they have any questions or concerns about content. 

  • A minimum of one grade per week will be inputted in PowerTeacher Pro.  Students and families should continue to reach out to teachers with questions or concerns via PowerSchool Learning or email.   

  • Currently, the school building will be open for minimal use between the hours of 8:00 – 3:00.  This, of course, will continually be reevaluated based on changing conditions and the advice of our local health officials.   Students and families may stop by to pick up materials or troubleshoot technology issues, but we ask that you call in advance.  For your convenience, hours and availability of staff will be posted on the school website. Clubs will not meet, and students/families should only come to the building if they have an appointment or question.  The cafeteria, Learning Commons, IDEAS Center, Fitness Center, etc. will not be available.  

John Witherspoon Middle School Guidelines for Students and Families

  • A google form will be posted in an Attendance Class that ALL students have in their PowerSchool Learning each day.  Students MUST fill out this form by 1pm each day in order to be counted present.  If you cannot fill out the form or are having difficulty, please have your parent /guardian call your child “in” to the attendance line.  (609)-806-4266 

  • Students will login to PowerSchool Learning each day and follow the cycle day class schedules for accessing class content, activities and assignments.  

  • Students should follow the provided daily schedule. 

  • Teachers will post that day’s lesson, materials, activities, assignments, etc. by 8:25 am.    

  • Students should follow expectations and deadlines set by teachers for completing activities and turning in assignments. 

  • Students will receive a minimum of one grade per week which will be inputted in PowerTeacher Pro.  

  • Students and families should continue to reach out to teachers with questions or concerns via PowerSchool Learning or email.   

  • Currently, the school building will be open for minimal use between the hours of 8:00 – 3:00.  This, of course, will continually be reevaluated based on changing conditions and the advice of our local health officials.   Students and families may stop by to pick up materials or troubleshoot technology issues, but we ask that you call in advance.  No afterschool activities, extracurricular activities or clubs will meet.  

Elementary School Guidelines for Students and Families 

  • Depending on the grade, attendance will be taken in one of these ways:  an attendance poll will be posted on their teacher’s website, parents will be instructed to sign a log sheet each day during the week, or parents will email the classroom teacher each day.  Students should complete either the poll or the paper log sheet to indicate they have signed-in and are beginning the day’s work. If you or your child is having difficulty with any of those methods, a parent /guardian should call the child “in” to the school attendance line.  

  • Be prepared for a call or email 2-4 times/week from one of your child’s teachers or support staff to check in on their progress and verify that they are in attendance. 

  • Students in grades 3-5 will login to PowerSchool Learning each day for their lessons.  Students in grades K-2 should continue each day with their learning packets.  Teachers of grades K-2 will move toward more eLearning within a week or two once all eligible students have a school computer device. 

  • Grades 3-5 teachers will post that day’s lesson, materials, activities, assignments, etc. by 8:25 am.    

  • Students should follow expectations and deadlines set by teachers for completing activities and turning in assignments. 

  • Students will receive feedback and grades as appropriate during the distance learning period.  

  • Students and families should continue to reach out to teachers with questions or concerns via PowerSchool Learning or email.   

  • Currently, the school building will be open for minimal use between the hours of 8:00 – 3:00.  This, of course, will continually be reevaluated based on changing conditions and the advice of our local health officials.   Students and families may stop by to pick up materials or troubleshoot technology issues, but we ask that you call in advance.   

Should you still need to create a PowerSchool Learning account, step-by-step instructions and information on whom to call or email if you need further assistance, can be found on the District website’s Remote Learning page.   

Also, below is a link to a short Brain Pop video on COVID-19, which you may find appropriate for younger students who are trying to understand the disease and the national concern around it: 

This NY Times article on supporting kids during what could be a lengthy period of remote learning offers parents creative ways to help their children navigate this new reality: 

Never was it truer than now that it takes a village . . . we are in this together for the well-being of the children.  I wish you good health and happiness in the weeks ahead. 


Annie Gonzalez Kosek
Assistant Superintendent, Curriculum & Instruction