Vol. LXIV, No. 25
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
June is a very busy time of the year, observed President Rebecca Cox as she opened last weeks Board of Education meeting. She cited the administration and grading of exams, graduation, and the bittersweet departure of so many colleagues. Personnel Committee Chair Walter Bliss named and paid tribute to retiring faculty, who were also scheduled to be fêted at a June 22 event in Princeton High Schools (PHS) performance space.
Were sending 320 PHS graduates off into the world very, very well-prepared, said Superintendent Judy Wilson, speaking of Wednesdays graduation. Ms. Wilson noted that some of these students had entered the systems pre-school program as early as age three.
Ms. Wilson thanked supporters of the 101: foundation, a non-profit volunteer organization dedicated to seeing PHS graduates attend the college of their choice. Since 1970 the 101: fund has provided more than $1 million in aid to PHS seniors, based solely on need. They make hopes and dreams come true, said Ms. Wilson.
Another non-profit supporter, the Princeton Education Foundation (PEF), was also thanked by Ms. Wilson for belief and support that go beyond what were able to do with our regular budget. Two projects that will benefit from a recent $30,000 PEF gift include a $10,000 TV broadcast studio at John Witherspoon Middle School (JW), and $20,000 to support an after-school music program that would have otherwise ended as a result of recent budget cuts.
Approved agenda items at the meeting included the transfer of current year surplus money to reserves, and transportation bids, based on a zero rate increase, to the Dapper and Rick Bus companies.
A $9,500 fee for KSS Architects, for space efficiency and rehabilitation work at the Valley Road Site, was also approved. Facilities Chair Dorothy Bedford described the projects as heating, ventilating, and remodeling to create a professional learning space that can be shared with other school districts.
Ms. Wilson noted that money supporting capital projects is distinct from capital reserve, or classroom dollars, and that even in times of fiscal crunch we need to make sure that buildings continue to be kept up. Its always less than is needed, but its nevertheless important.
The Board also authorized the establishment of a new preschool disabilities program at Littlebrook Elementary School; a new autism program at PHS; and a new behavioral disabilities program at PHS, all effective September, 2010. In each instance ARRA-IDEIA funds (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) will be used to finance program start-up costs.
When will this period of uncertainty and keeping students in the dark end? asked JW teacher Justin Matthews, referring to the selection of a new principal for the school. Mr. Matthewss expression of support for the candidacy of JWs current Assistant Principal, Lynn Harkness, drew applause from other teachers in the audience.
Ms. Cox noted that although the board was not permitted by law to comment on personnel actions, these and similar comments were being taken to heart. Were not being mean.
It may seem like molasses in January, added Ms. Wilson, but were actually moving quickly.
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