April 26, 2017

Princeton High School (PHS) students are experiencing high levels of stress, low levels of joyful engagement with learning, and serious sleep deprivation, according to a recent survey conducted by Stanford University researchers. Parents, teachers, and administrators gathered last Wednesday to review the results of the survey and to discuss the way forward in pursuit of the District’s quest for “wellness and balance.”  more

Eight Princeton University faculty members who have demonstrated “exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts” will be pursuing a range of projects under the auspices of the Guggenheim Foundation during the coming year.

Among the 173 artists, scientists, and scholars chosen from a group of almost 3000 applicants, five members of the Princeton contingent are Lewis Center for the Arts Faculty members, and the others teach in the politics, history, and physics departments.  more

Toni Morrison at Princeton University. (Photo by Sameer A. Khan/Fotobuddy)

West College, a prominent central campus building at Princeton University, will be named for emeritus faculty member and Nobel Prize-wining novelist Toni Morrison, and the major auditorium in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs will be named for Arthur Lewis, Nobel laureate in economics and a member of the school’s faculty from 1963 to 1983.  more

April 19, 2017

Angela Siso Stentz, Princeton Public Schools (PPS) supervisor of guidance for K-12, has been appointed assistant principal at Princeton High School (PHS). She will replace Lori Rotz, who will be retiring from that position on July 1.

In the district since 2000, first as a special education teacher in math and Spanish and for the past ten years in guidance, Ms. Siso Stentz looks forward to using her experience and knowledge and the relationships she’s developed across the district to help in her work with students in the high school.

“I’ve had an opportunity to see the district perspective,” she said, “and that knowledge and awareness, knowing where the students are coming from, will help me fill in gaps and work with students, parents, colleagues, and others.”

Ms. Siso Stentz, who was supervisor of student activities at PHS, is particularly eager to focus more directly on working with students in her new role, both inside and outside the classroom. “I’m looking forward to enjoying myself in working more closely with students and their families,” she said. “As guidance director I worked district-wide, focusing on programs and staff, sometimes not engaging with students that much. I’m looking forward to helping students with the challenges in their lives and celebrating their accomplishments. I’m especially interested in getting involved in extra-curricular activities and athletics.” more

The public has used the Internet to empower bargain shopping in many different areas, but one realm particularly resistant to transparency and equity is the funeral industry, according to Josh Slocum, nationally-known consumer advocate and expert on funeral issues.

In a talk on “Bringing the Funeral Industry into the 21st Century” at Princeton Abbey on Sunday, April 23 at 2 p.m., Mr. Slocum will advise audience members on how to protect themselves from paying too much for a funeral. He will also describe his plans to bring transparency and fairness to the funeral business. more

April 12, 2017

Amidst legal challenges and widespread conflict over expansion plans, the Princeton Charter School (PCS) is moving forward with a record number of applicants for admission and a weighted lottery that is expanding its population of economically-disadvantaged students.

According to Head of School Larry Patton, 320 students entered the lottery for 96 available places, a 25 percent rise in the number of Princeton students registering for the lottery. Nine of the available seats were awarded to economically-disadvantaged students.   more

Accepted? Rejected? Wait listed?  With college letters now in hand, many high school seniors will be making decisions by May 1.

“Ivy Day” was March 30 for many college letters to be sent, and acceptance rates were down from last year at six of eight Ivy League colleges. Princeton University accepted just 6.1 percent of its record 31,056 applicants for next fall’s freshman class, down from 6.46 percent last year. Princeton has offered admission to 1,890 students, 770 in December through early action, with 1,308 expected to matriculate in the class of 2021. Among the Ivies, only Harvard at 5.2 percent and Columbia at 5.8 percent had lower acceptance rates. more

April 5, 2017

GROUNDWORK: Volunteers work together to prepare the Battlefield Park for the upcoming season.  A rich diversity of historical, cultural, entertainment, and dining options makes Princeton a prime tourist destination. (Photo by Charles R. Plohn)

If Princeton Battlefield Society (PBS) and Princeton Tour Group (PTG) have anything to say about it, the town of Princeton and the nearby Battlefield Park are poised to become major East Coast tourist destinations.

“It really is criminal what we have to leave out!” said PTG founder Mimi Omiecinski, describing her Shameless Name-Dropping Tour, which “touches on almost everything” in Princeton. more

Jane Fremon, founder of the Princeton Friends School (PFS) and its head for the past 30 years, described the school’s central study theme for 2016-17: “All of us are tremendously excited about the ways in which the Roots and Routes theme will bring to everyone — students as well as adults — a heightened appreciation of the fact that people everywhere, throughout history, are deeply connected to the places they inhabit, are part of a long story that stretches back many centuries, and are active agents in the story of the future that is currently being written.” more

Following the appearance of a Snapchat photo accompanied by a racist slur posted by a high school student, Princeton Public Schools continues to investigate the incident and the larger questions of racism in the community.

PPS Superintendent Steve Cochrane stated in a letter to parents, students, and staff last Wednesday: “We want to make clear that the student’s statement was unacceptable. We are investigating the incident, and we understand the anger, sadness, frustration, and even fear the use of the word has created in our community.”  more

March 29, 2017

The story of the Affordable Care Act is far from over, according to Indivisible Princeton’s health care panel.

Last Friday Republicans in Washington withdrew legislation for their proposed new health care bill, and Democrats celebrated victory in staving off seven years of Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). President Trump, however, announced, “The best thing politically is to let Obamacare explode.” more

CONQUERING RIVERBLINDNESS: United Front Against Riverblindness Board Chair Michele Tuck-Ponder, left and Executive Director Daniel Shungu look forward to their April 8 annual event featuring Nobel Prize winner William Campbell.

William Campbell, 2015 Nobel Prize winner in physiology or medicine for his work in developing Avermectin, the parent of Ivermectin, a medicine that has made possible the near eradication of river blindness, will be the featured speaker at the Princeton United Methodist Church on April 8, at an annual event to benefit the United Front Against Riverblindness (UFAR).  more

FOCUSING ON THE STUDENTS: Annie Kosek, Littlebrook principal soon to be district assistant superintendent, looks forward to using her experience as teacher, supervisor and principal to help her “make decisions that strengthen teaching and learning in Princeton Public Schools.”

Annie Kosek is in transition mode, enjoying her last months as principal at Littlebrook Elementary School before moving into central administration this summer as Princeton Public Schools (PPS) assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction.  more

March 22, 2017

After lengthy preparations and deliberations, the Princeton Public Schools (PPS) Board of Education (BOE) last Thursday approved a tentative budget of $95,702 million for the 2017-18 school year, an increase of 4.88 percent over last year, with an anticipated 4.7 percent rise in the tax levy.

School taxes on the average Princeton home, assessed at $821,771, would increase by $223.95, a 2.5 percent hike.  more

As repairs to New Jersey’s oldest bridge and the construction of a new bridge next to it move forward, a portion of Route 206 will be closed completely from July through October, the New Jersey Department of Transportation (DOT) announced at a public information meeting yesterday. more

Keeping their momentum high in the volatile contemporary political environment, the Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) gathered Sunday at the Suzanne Patterson Center behind Monument Hall to plan for the coming months and to endorse candidates for Assembly, State Senate, Mercer County Sheriff, Freeholder, and Princeton Council. more

March 15, 2017

The way forward for Princeton Charter School and the Princeton Public Schools remains cloudy two weeks after Acting State Commissioner of Education Kimberley Harrington approved the PCS request to expand by 76 students over the next two years.

PPS has filed an appeal of the decision and will request a stay, while PPS and PCS have also sued each other for violation of the Sunshine Law [Open Meeting Act]. more

As President Trump and Republicans in Congress re-affirm their determination to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), growing voices of dissent and mounting complications threaten to prolong the debate.

“It’s a tumultuous time in health care as we approach the seventh anniversary of the ACA,” said Heather Howard, director of the state health reform assistance network, Woodrow Wilson School lecturer, and Princeton Council member. more

March 8, 2017

The N.J. Acting Commissioner of Education on March 1 approved Princeton Charter School’s (PCS) proposal to expand its enrollment by 76 additional students, but the conflict that has raged in Princeton over the past three months since PCS submitted its application is not over.

Princeton Public Schools (PPS) announced yesterday that it will be filing an appeal of the decision with the Appellate Division of the Superior Court, and the Board will also file a request with the Acting Commissioner Kimberley Harrington to stay her decision. more

Hundreds of students, faculty members, and others crowded into more than 60 different teach-in sessions at Princeton University’s Frist Campus Center Monday, as part of a Day of Action in responding to new Trump administration policies and the current political climate.

The event was organized by Princeton Citizen Scientists (PCS), created by graduate students after last November’s election, and Princeton Advocates for Justice (PAJ), a coalition representing more than 25 different campus organizations advocating for human rights. more

In reflecting on how he arrived at his current position as co-owner, with his brothers Carlo and Anthony of the Terra Momo Group of local restaurants, Raoul Momo thought about a subject much in the news recently: immigration.

“My parents were immigrants,” he said. “They came to America in 1960. I was born in 1961. It’s a melting pot culture. We have the rich food cultures here thanks to immigrants. The fact that my parents were immigrants is part of the history of this country. Immigrants have brought with them the great food cultures, and the melting pot has so much potential for the future.”

Including Teresa’s Caffe and Mediterra on Palmer Square, Eno Terra wine bar and restaurant in Kingston, and The Terra Momo Bread Company on Witherspoon Street, the Momo’s restaurant group “all started with Teresa Azario Momo, our mother, who was born in Bergamo, Italy, and our father, Raul Momo Marmonti, who was born in Chile.”  more

March 1, 2017

A coalition of student groups will be hosting a “Day of Action” at Princeton University next Monday, March 6, in response to the Trump Administration and the current political climate. Staff and students will attend a series of teach-ins, workshops, and panel discussions at the Frist Campus Center, exploring issues of human rights, the environment, international peace, and security С all channeled toward the goal of organizing and taking action.  more

“DYNAMO OF ENERGY AND CARING SENSITIVITY:” Reverend Alexis Fuller-Wright, most recently from Farmington, Maine, has taken over the pulpit at Christ Congregation and looks forward to leading the church in new directions, with emphasis on the church as a relevant presence in the community and the world.

Reverend Alexis Fuller-Wright, Pastor Alexis as her congregation knows her, explained that “God is still speaking, continuing to point us in new and interesting directions, and our job is to listen.” more

In the wake of last week’s White House rejection of the Obama administration’s position that nondiscrimination laws require schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice, the Princeton Public Schools have stated that the District’s transgender policy will remain in place.

The state of North Carolina became the focal point of the “bathroom debate” a year ago when it barred transgender people from using bathrooms that do not match the sex on their birth certificates, and last week’s directive from the Trump Justice and Education Departments came only after a clash between Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, with Mr. Sessions finally prevailing. more

February 22, 2017

Acting State Education Commissioner Kimberley Harrington is scheduled to render a decision by early March on the Princeton Charter School (PCS) request to add 76 students.

Both PCS and Princeton Public Schools (PPS) face related law suits in the state courts over violations of the open public meeting act (OPMA, the sunshine law); both PCS and PPS have filed opposition statements, responses, and additional statements with the commissioner in making their cases, some before and some after the January 31 deadline for public comment; the conflict has raged in the media, with many letters to the editor and paid ads on both sides of the argument; and the commissioner has received petitions and thousands of letters from both sides, as well as a resolution from Princeton Town Council opposing expansion.  more