June 20, 2012

Donations to Support Tech Improvements In Public Schools

A check from Princeton Education Foundation (PEF), representing $113,500 in donated funds to the Princeton Public Schools for improvements in technology, music, and vocal equipment in the elementary schools, was presented to the Board of Education at its most recent meeting.

PEF is a nonprofit that raises money each year to support local public school initiatives. This year’s gift is comprised of contributions from several different sources, including the PowerUp PRS! Technology campaign, which the Princeton Education Foundation is overseeing in concert with the school district; two gifts from district PTOs; and from PEF itself.

Other new technology will be made available next year through an approved New Jersey State contract, providing $453,385 for the purchase of iPad, MacBook, iMac computers and related supplies. The new equipment will enable instruction in specific language arts, math, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills in elementary grade pre-kindergarten through grade 1 classrooms; grade 6 through 8 math and science classrooms; and grade 9-12 English, math, science, and world languages classes. Individual teacher-issued technology will also be upgraded where needed.

In response to proposals received by district health benefits broker Connor Strong Buckelew, the Board approved the appointment of Express Scripts/Medco as the prescription benefits carrier, effective July 1, 2012, replacing BeneCard, whose contract will terminate effective June 30, 2012. The change was made in response to a perceived “need to control rising health care costs, and in an effort to save money for the district and the staff paying contributions towards coverage.”

Incoming staff include Princeton High School (PHS) Spanish teacher Maria Benedetto; John Witherspoon Middle School Science teacher Janet Gaudino; Caitlin O’Connor, a new fourth grade teacher at Littlebrook Elementary School; and PHS Social Studies teacher Patricia Manhart. All of their appointments are effective September 1.

Last week’s meeting also included recognition of retiring staff members for their many “years of service to Princeton children.”

The Board of Education will meet again Wednesday, June 20, at 5:30 p.m. at the Valley Road Administrative Building. They will discuss personnel issues and contract ratification, and participate in a workshop about their work in the coming school year. The meeting is open to the public.

The Princeton Public Schools’ website is www.prs.k12.nj.us.

For more information about the Princeton Education Foundation, visit www.pefnj.org.