Valid from 02/10/2013
A newly formed, district-wide Green Team met for the first time on Dec. 8, 2015, to move forward with Princeton Public Schools' participation in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools certification process. The team is co-chaired by superintendent Steve Cochrane and science supervisor Edward Cohen. Cochrane characterized the team's formation as "a welcome opportunity for the district to actively partner with our community in reducing our collective carbon footprint."
The PPS Green Team members will advise and support the district's efforts to study and adopt practices that integrate sustainability education into the curriculum, professional training, and in choices about how the district's resources are used. The team will recommend revisions and enhancements to the district's educational program to ensure that sustainability education is coherent, integrated, developmentally appropriate and aligned with state standards and accepted best practices. In the wake of last week's historic climate agreement in Paris, Cohen described the excitement in classrooms this week as "palpable" and added that he "...can't wait to see students brainstorming solutions to combat global warming and curb emissions" as PPS works to educate for sustainability.
This year the PPS strategic planning process includes a broad-based emphasis on wellness. A primary focus of the PPS Green Team will be to ensure a safe and healthy environment for students and to encourage them to become leaders in making their schools, communities and planet, healthier places in which to live and work. Sustainable Princeton's liaison to the team, Mia Sacks, commented, "The Sustainable Princeton motto is Change A Habit, Change The World, and what better place to start than with the children in our schools."
The approximately 20-member team includes staff, administrators, parents, community and board members. The launch of the district's certification effort comes with a great deal of support from the town, which recently received Silver status in the Sustainable Jersey municipal certification process.
PHS biology teacher Paula Jakowlew is enthusiastic about the launch of the team and optimistic about its prospects for success. "I am looking forward to working with a committed group such as this -- many of whom have long been identified with producing positive, meaningful environmental change in the Princeton community," said Jakowlew. "Parents and students should expect to see not only positive changes that will result in a more earth-friendly PPS, but also a deeper connection to the environment that has sustained Princeton."
Sustainable Jersey for Schools is a certification program for New Jersey public schools that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support and reward schools as they pursue actions to promote sustainability. Certification actions were created through a rigorous review process that included state leaders and experts from school districts, state agencies, academia, government, the nonprofit sector and the business community.
Valid from 12/17/2015 to 01/30/2016
In addition to the production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which opens with a 4:00 p.m. matinee tomorrow, April 10, and runs through Saturday, April 13, there's a rich offering of arts events throughout the district. There's no better way to celebrate the spring than to take time out and catch some amazing performances. Here's a sampling:*
Wed., April 10: JW Concert Bands Concert, 7:30 p.m. at JW Auditorium
Thurs., April 11: JW Orchestra Concert, 7:30 p.m. at JW Auditorium
Tues, April 16: JW Jazz Bands Concert, 7:30 p.m. at JW Auditorium
Wed., April 17: JW Choir Concert, 7:30 p.m. at Princeton High School PAC
Friday, April 19: Princeton Jazz Festival. 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at PAC
Friday, April 19: PHS Senior Art Show, 6:00 p.m. at Numina Gallery
Saturday, April 20: Princeton Jazz Festival, 5:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. at PAC
Thursday, April 25: Elementary Strings Concert, 7:00 at PAC
Upcoming in May: PHS Spring Drama (5/17-18), PHS Band Concert (5/21), Orchestra Concert (5/22), and more!
*For complete listings of arts events, go to www.princetonk12.org/TheArts, or visit the individual schools' websites.
Valid from 04/09/2013 to 05/30/2013
Valid from 07/26/2016 to 06/15/2017
Valid from 07/30/2014 to 09/05/2014
Hurricane Sandy forced the schools to cancel five days, although they made up two of those days the following week.
On Tuesday, the Board of Education approved rescheduling the three remaining days, plus outlined a plan to fit in an additional three snow days if necessary.
The three Sandy makeup days are scheduled as follows:
Should the district need to schedule additional makeup days as a result of winter weather those days will be, in the following order:
Valid from 11/28/2012 to 01/15/2013
Princeton Public Schools announces the first event in the Princeton Balance Speakers Series for 2012-13, "Healthy State of Mind,” a panel discussion with behavioral health specialists from around the region. Intended primarily for parents of middle and high school-age children, the talk will provide information and support in promoting good mental health and a sense of balance in the lives of pre-teens and teens as they negotiate life transitions, relationship challenges, and academic and social issues.
Participants: Molly Palmer, PsyD., Trinity Counseling Service; Karen Gischlar, Ph.D., Rider University; Nicole Orro, LPC, Princeton House Behavioral Health; Julie Neufeld, LCSW, Princeton; George Scott, family therapist and coordinator, Traumatic Loss Coalition.
October 8, 2012, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Black Box Theater, Princeton High School
151 Moore Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
For more information, contact Princeton Public Schools at 609-806-4215
Valid from 09/24/2012 to 10/09/2012
As many of you are aware, the NJDOE issued the new State Performance Reports this week, after some delay due to necessary corrections in data and information. Because these reports include some significant changes from the old School Report Cards -- and also raise questions in addition to providing valuable new information -- the district is providing an FAQ and other information.
Attached please find the FAQ and the full press release. Additional information and links to the reports are available on the district website.
Valid from 04/13/2013 to 06/01/2013
Neither sleet nor snow has prevented the JW and PHS Learning Commons from participating in Digital Learning Day. Carolyn Bailey and Jen Bigioni, media specialists at the middle school and high school respectively, are using this week to publicize the launching of Overdrive, the new Princeton Public Schools Digital Library, which enables our students to borrow and enjoy ebooks on iPads, Nooks, and other e-readers. Our Princeton Public Schools Overdrive contains digital versions of popular materials, such as the Harry Potter books and the Divergent series, as well as materials that support the PPS curriculum.
Digital Learning Day- which, this year was more of a Digital Learning Week because of the weather - is a nationwide celebration of innovative teachers and of effective applications of digital learning in schools to support teachers, improve learning and help students achieve at their highest potential.
Our district took the pledge and is listed among the innovators participating in the program. As part of the activities for our Digital Learning Day event, students are receiving directions this week on how to logon to the Overdrive site using their ids and passwords - and begin taking advantage of the great selections!
Valid from 02/09/2014 to 03/15/2014
Princeton High to play its first ever home football game at night
Princeton, NJ (September 8, 2014) -- Princeton Public Schools announced today that JW Middle School and Princeton High School will celebrate an expanded and enhanced Super Saturday & Homecoming weekend of events September 19-20. Thanks to a re-energized collaboration between students, PTO volunteers and school leaders, this year’s events promise to be the most exciting in recent memory, including a first-ever “under the lights” football game.
Homecoming 2014 will feature:
Friday, September 19th
PHS Varsity Football will play Ewing High School at Princeton High School on its new turf field, under temporary lights, complete with Homecoming Floats.
Saturday, September 20th
11:00 AM- 4:00 PM
JW Middle School will host its annual Super Saturday event at Walnut Street between the middle and high schools. This year’s events will include: local vendors, food trucks, games, a raffle, the popular cake walk, and a bandstand for music and entertainment. PHS Girls and Boys Soccer will host games on the high school fields across Walnut. Super Saturday takes place rain or shine!
"The Homecoming Weekend will be an exciting kickoff to the school year and a wonderful opportunity for the entire community to gather in support of its students,” said Stephen Cochrane, Superintendent of Princeton Public Schools. “We are looking forward to events that connect to traditions of the past while creating traditions for our future! All are welcome!"
Valid from 09/08/2014 to 09/21/2014
PPS is accepting applications for the 2015-16 full-day Integrated Preschool program. Parents who wish to register their children on a tuition-paying basis must do so by Feb. 13, 2015.
The full-day program is offered free of cost to children who will be 4 years old by Oct. 1, 2015, are residents of Princeton, and either 1) are eligible for the federal free and reduced meals program, or 2) receive special education services and will benefit from inclusion with typically developing peers. A number of tuition spaces are also available for the next academic year.
Spaces for tuition-paying students are limited. Should interest exceed the number of spaces available a lottery will be held on Feb. 17. To be considered for the Preschool Tuition Lottery, all required registration information must be submitted to your child's school office by 4:00 p.m., Friday, February 13, 2015.
New! This year:
For more information about the program, visit: www.princetonk12.org/Preschool or contact:
Eric Csolak, Supervisor of Special Education, age 3 - Grade 5, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim McReynolds, Grants Program Specialist, at email@example.com
Valid from 02/05/2015 to 02/14/2015
Valid from 08/09/2015 to 06/25/2016
December 10, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
John Witherspoon Middle School Winter Choral Concert
Princeton High School Auditorium, 151 Moore St.
December 11, 7:30-8:30 p.m.
John Witherspoon Middle School Winter Instrumental Music Concert
John Witherspoon MS Auditorium, 217 Walnut Lane
December 13, 4:00-6:00 p.m.
Princeton High School Choir with the Princeton Symphony Orchestra
Richardson Auditorium, Princeton University (tickets available through the Princeton Symphony Orchestra)
The PHS Choir is featured in the annual PSO's holiday celebration concert.
December 18, 7:30-10:00 p.m.
Princeton High School Choir and Orchestra Concert
Princeton University Chapel
Since 1946, the annual PHS Winter Concert at the University Chapel has been a Princeton community tradition. Featuring all of the PHS choirs and orchestras, the program includes a variety of repertoire, a candlelight processional, and an energetic finale in which alumni are invited to join.
Valid from 12/02/2014 to 12/19/2014
Valid from 09/23/2015 to 11/01/2015
The PHS Chess team (below) brought home the first-place trophy from the Shore High School Chess League tournament for the fourth year in a row. The event was not without some heart-stopping moments against some very tough competition, including opponents from Manalapan and High Tech High. Good spirits matched the high level of determination for the team, for whom this is the last tournament of the year: "The spirits were high, and the chatter and laughter stayed with the team at every break they had," said advisor and PHS math teacher Graciela Elia. Congratulations to the whole team and to Ms. Elia!
Photo: (l. to r.): PHS junior Shiv Sethi, sophomore Joseph Prentice, senior Alice Dong, sophomore Ashwin Dandamudi,
and freshmen Daniel Yedidia and Akshay Bhamidipati.
The PHS World Languages Department is proud to announce that senior Marie-Louise James is this year's recipient of the Foreign Language Educators of New Jersey (FLENJ) scholarship in Italian. Marie-Louise was chosen on the basis of her superior oral and written skills in the language. Brava, Marie-Louise and congratulations to Italian teacher Joe Mazzarella!
Hats off to the PHS Speech and Debate team for amazing results at last weekend's Montville Invitational. PHS students secured first place in four divisions at the tournament! Congrats to the whole team.
This one's for you, T. Geisel
Readers young and old grabbed a favorite book and spent time reading together as part of Read Across America, a nationwide celebration that takes place annually on March 2, Dr. Seuss's birthday. In the hallways, the libraries and classrooms, there were plenty of opportunities to read. JW even had three straight activity periods devoted to reading. As Mr. Burr tweeted: "Students carrying books they love - a sight to see!"
Meet Puck & Co.
Fifth graders at three of our four elementary schools discovered the magic of the Bard, staging a production of an adapted text of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" for their classmates, teachers and parents. The performance is a culmination of a McCarter residency that allows students to delve into a classic work, collaborate, memorize lines and create characters, and then share! Community Park (first photo below) just completed the residency, with Riverside and Littlebrook (second photo below) staging the production earlier in the year. Johnson Park opted for a film-making residency, with fifth graders producing a movie, "Despicable Day," which had its debut, red carpet and all, on Feb. 23.
Valid from 03/07/2016 to 03/28/2016
Princeton, NJ – On Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, the Princeton Public Schools Board of Education unanimously passed a measure affirming the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) program at Community Park Elementary School as a successful and ongoing initiative in the Princeton school district.
The DLI initiative began as a pilot program at the start of the 2015-2016 school year, with class sections in both kindergarten and first grade. This year, the program expanded to second grade, with 43 students participating in Kindergarten, 41 students in 1st grade, and 38 students in 2nd grade.
“Dual Language Immersion has made us a better school” noted Community Park Principal Dineen Gruchacz. “Our teachers are finding new ways to collaborate and Spanish has become part of our school’s fabric, woven into our school meetings, morning announcements, and student-led conferences”
Board member Betsy Baglio, who has a child in the DLI program, shared at the Nov. 15, meeting that the program gives students a firsthand awareness of the world beyond Community Park and Princeton. She added that it is an excellent example of innovation in the Princeton school district.
Students in the DLI program at Community Park spend half of their day learning core content in Spanish, and the other half learning in English. This 50/50 model has the students learning Spanish Language Arts, math and science in Spanish and learning social studies and language arts in English. By alternating between the two languages, students develop flexibility and resiliency in thinking and problem solving, in addition gaining fluency in both languages.
“Research supports that the DLI program raises the level of performance for all students across all subjects,” stated Superintendent Steve Cochrane. “It is a remarkable program with significant potential to help us close the achievement gap.”
Princeton’s DLI initiative has been selected as a Model Program by the NJDOE.
Valid from 11/28/2016 to 01/01/2017
Valid from 03/15/2010
PHS's two teams made a strong showing at the Shore Bowl, a regional competition that focuses on ocean-related topics, with one team winning first place in Division B and the other team winning second place in Division A. The Shore Bowl, which was held on Feb. 6 at Rutgers University, brings together high school students from NJ, NY and PA. Topics included the biology, chemistry, physics, geology of the ocean, as well as navigation, geography, related history and literature.
Students in Jackie Katz's Research class at PHS are very excited about the newly installed aquaponics system for food production. Housed at JW, the equipment allows the nutrient-rich water of the fish tank to sustain the plant cultivation. The high school students are engaged in research on sustainable agricultural solutions for communities in developing countries. In addition, they will have the opportunity to pass their knowledge on to their younger fellow scientists at JW. The equipment is made possible through a PEF mini-grant. Look for more news on this topic soon!
Littlebrook second graders in Katie Federico, Joanne Ryan and Dara Cohen's classes put a whole new spin on natural phenomena in their "Weather Informance" production, featuring dance and musical responses to what they learned about weather. In conjunction with science lessons, the students choreographed and performed dramatic interpretations conveying their knowledge of such events as lightning storms and tornadoes. The performance was the culmination of a residency directed by artist Christine Colosimo.
While the PHS musicians were making a sweep of the awards at the 2016 Berklee Jazz festival, including the seventh consecutive win in the large ensemble competition, the PHS orchestra was launching its European tour. In Geneva, the orchestra paid a visit to the Palais des Nations, where it was honored as a UNICEF USA being both musically sensitive and socially pro-active. Read more on the UN Library's facebook page.
Closer to home, the PHS Choir is celebrating uniquely American musical genres, as they rehearse with Dr. Donald Dumpson in preparation for the Spirituals and Gospel Festival. Do not miss this inspirational evening of music that brings together the entire community - Friday, Feb. 19, 7:30 p.m. at the PAC. Tickets may be purchased from students in the PHS Choir or by calling Mia Gargan at the high school (806-4270). This event tends to sell out, so get your tickets now
Marie Louise James, a PHS senior, is one of three winners of this year's Westminster Conservatory Concerto Competition. Marie Louise will be performing the first movement of Mozart's Concerto in C Major for Oboe and Orchestra on Sunday, February 28 at 3:00 p.m. in Richardson Auditorium on the Princeton University campus.
Congratulations to Jeanette Paredes's class at JW for winning the "Read to Succeed" prize by successfully engaging in a variety of reading activities!
By now, everyone in the district and pretty much the entire nation knows the story of Green Fruit Loop, lizard extraordinaire who found his way to Mark Eastburn's science class at Riverside by hitching a ride in a bag of organic tatsoi, but did you know it was featured on NPR's "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me!" in the "Which story is actually true?" segment. And yes, it was actually true.
Valid from 02/12/2016 to 03/12/2016
The Princeton Education Foundation, a non-profit organization established to encourage private philanthropy to the public school system, presented the Princeton Public Schools with a check for $113,500 at the district’s Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, June 12 at the John Witherspoon Middle School.
The gift comprises contributions from several different sources: $27,700 represents the annual end of year gift from the Princeton Education Foundation and will go toward upgrading the vocal and instrumental music classrooms in all four elementary schools; $27,550 reflects donations to the PowerUp PRS! technology campaign, an effort that the Princeton Education Foundation is overseeing in concert with the school district; and two gifts given to the Princeton Education Foundation from district PTOs - $28,250 from the Community Park Elementary School PTO, and $30,000 from the Johnson Park Elementary School PTO. These two gifts are directed through the PowerUp PRS! campaign specifically for children at Community Park and Johnson Park schools.
“The Princeton Education Foundation is extremely grateful to the many sponsors and donors who have made it possible for us to offer this support to our schools,” said Barbara Prince, president of the Princeton Education Foundation Board of Trustees.
The Princeton Education Foundation is a bridge between the Princeton community and its public schools, encouraging private philanthropy to enhance public education for students at all levels. Since its inception in 1995, the Foundation has contributed more than $1.2 million to the Princeton Public Schools for capital improvements, educational programs and teacher support.
For more information contact:
Jill Morrison, firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-994-4441
Valid from 06/16/2012 to 08/01/2012
Princeton Public School's bond sale, in anticipation of $10.98 million of work slated under the referendum proposal, closed with a historically low lending rate of 1.43 percent for the district.
"The lower-than-anticipated rate will translate into a substantial savings for taxpayers", according to Stephanie Kennedy, Business Administrator for Princeton Public Schools. Princeton voters approved the facilities spending in a special referendum last September, at which time the interest rate projected by bond counsel and district was 2.5 percent.
The 1.43 percent interest rate means that the debt service will be more than half a million dollars less than was originally projected, said Mary Lyons, a financial advisor with Pheonix Advisors, who helped with the sale of the bond.
A number of factors led to the lower interest rate, not least of which was the district's Aaa rating by Moody's, which was re-affirmed this month after interviewing Kennedy and reviewing the district's financials, including the most recent audit. The Aaa rating is held by only a handful of school districts in New Jersey.
"This is great news for the taxpayers", said Kennedy. "This means that we can get all of the projects done for fewer tax dollars over 10 years than we had originally projected."
Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley, an investment firm out of Chicago that sells municipal bonds, won the bid against such competitors as PNC Capital, UBS Financial, Raymond James, Janney Montgomery Scott, and Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, all of whom submitted bids during the public auction.
With the successful sale of the bond, the district can move forward with the planned construction projects, many of which will go out for bid in February and will be completed by fall 2013.
"This is a great way to start off the referendum project",said Kennedy. "It is also good timing for budgeting the 2013-14 debt service."
For ongoing updates on the referendum work, go to www.princetonk12.org
Princeton Public Schools
25 Valley Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
Valid from 01/21/2013 to 02/28/2013
Princeton Public Schools' financial statements and the district's fiscal position are very strong, according to a recent audit conducted by Wiss and Company, LLP.
“The district has a very sound internal control structure,” said Scott Clelland, a partner at the firm who is in charge of public sector services and who headed the audit.
Public schools are required by law to be reviewed on a yearly basis by an independent auditor to establish the financial status of every district.
For 15 years in a row, the district has received the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting by the International Association of Business Officials. “[Princeton] was one of 20 schools that received the certificate out of the 600-plus districts in the state,” noted Clelland.
Not coincidentally, 15 years is also the amount of time that Stephanie Kennedy has served as the business administrator for Princeton Public Schools. As the person directly overseeing the district's $82 million budget, Kennedy ensures that there is good fiscal management, a fact confirmed by the auditors, who closed the books for fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, with no comments or recommendations for improvement of management.
In addition to serving as a public document, the audit is used by bonding agencies. Princeton Public Schools has a AAA rating for bonding.
What is Kennedy's key to success? “I'm all about accountability and following the laws and regulations -- and making sure everyone else is as well,” said Kennedy, noting with a laugh that this doesn't always make her the most popular person in the room. Her down-to-earth style, however, has earned her great respect.
Kennedy credits her success to a great team at the Business Office. She has worked with the district's comptroller, Jennifer Micale, for almost as long as she's been at Princeton.
Kennedy might run a tight ship but, according to her, “Jen and the rest of the team keep the ship on course. The entire Business Office, in handling payroll, accounts payable and receivable, and purchasing through bids, contributed to this successful audit."
"This is an remarkable achievement by our Business Office," said Board of Education President Timothy Quinn. "It's even more significant this year because of the 15-year milestone and the fact that the auditors made no comments or recommendations in this year's audit, which is almost unprecedented in any audit, public or private. The exemplary service of Mrs. Kennedy and her team enables this board to remain good stewards of public funds."
Valid from 12/07/2012 to 01/15/2013
Princeton Public Schools Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Bonnie Lehet and Princeton Friends School Head of School Jane Fremon travelled to Wellesley, Massachusetts in early March to participate in an Administrators Institute sponsored by the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum. Founded by Dr. Peggy McIntosh of the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women in 1987, the SEED Project engages public and private school teachers, college faculty, parents, and community leaders from all subject areas, grade levels, and geographic locations to create gender fair, multi-culturally equitable, socioeconomically aware, and globally informed curricula. Since then, more than 1,900 K-16 teachers from 41 U.S. states and 14 other countries have become SEED seminar facilitators. In total, SEED seminars have engaged over 30,000 teachers to date, who in turn have influenced more than 30 million students and helped them experience greater diversity in the curriculum - in public schools, private schools, and English-speaking international schools.
Jane Fremon became involved with the SEED Project even before its inception. In 1985, Fremon and Princeton Friends School Associate Head Nancy Wilson (both teachers at Princeton Day School at the time) were selected for participation in a year-long, monthly professional development seminar for K-12 teachers sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and led by McIntosh and Emily Style, a high school teacher from Madison, NJ. Informed by McIntosh's seminal work on white privilege, male privilege, and curriculum re-vision, as well as Style's metaphor of "curriculum as window and mirror," this seminar encouraged teachers to share their own experiences about gender, race, and other systems of privilege and oppression, both in their lives and in their own education, and to explore ways to incorporate a greater appreciation of the diversity of human experience in their own classrooms. In 1987, growing out of this Dodge Seminar, SEED was launched as an annual, week-long summer workshop led by teachers, for teachers.
Princeton Public Schools launched the SEED program in 1994, with three leaders and more than 30 district educators participating. In the years since that first seminar, the district has supported the training of additional SEED facilitators, expanding the program to six ongoing seminar groups that serve both veteran and new teachers. Assistant Superintendent Bonnie Lehet was invited to participate in the SEED Administrators Institute because of her support of the program at PPS. Through this experience, she has developed a sharper lens to view the possibilities of an inclusive curriculum and a renewed appreciation of the importance of the SEED seminars and workshops that take place within the district. Lehet has had the privilege of working with the district's three SEED leaders, Nancy Livingston, Sarah Schwimmer, and Stacey Tuliszewski. Livingston, who worked with SEED National Project since 1995, assists Peggy McIntosh and her colleauges from the National SEED program in training new leaders across the country.
The March 2014 SEED Institute, funded by the C.W. Kellogg Foundation, brought together three dozen principals, school heads, and superintendents from around the country who have been involved with the SEED Project over the past three decades. The aim was to collect testimony, share best practices, and explore the ways in which the SEED program has influenced the leadership styles of school administrators, the nature of professional development of teachers, the inclusion of justice and equity strands into the K-12 curriculum, and the culture of schools.
Valid from 04/03/2014 to 06/01/2014