July 31, 2019

School Matters

Local Students Earn Medals at Biology Olympiad

A Princeton High School (PHS) student and two West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South (WWPHSS) students were among the medal winners at the 17th Annual USA Biology Olympiad National Finals held at UC San Diego June 22 to July 3.

PHS’ John Yang and WWPHSS’ Richard Chai earned bronze medals, while WWPHSS’ Atharv Oak won a silver medal. Nearly 10,000 students from 498 schools and 45 states participated in the nationwide high school competition sponsored by the Center for Excellence in Education.

PHS and Montgomery Students Participate in ACLU Institute

Riley McMahon from Princeton High School and Sara Ahmed and Sinjit Bhattacharya from Montgomery High School joined almost 1,000 students from every state in the country July 20-26 at the American Civil Liberties Union’s annual Summer Advocacy Institute in Washington, D.C.

Designed to give students the tools they need to engage their communities on issues around civil liberties and civil rights, the Institute culminated in a July 25 Lobby Day, where students participated in meetings with elected officials and congressional staff on Capitol Hill to bring attention to the conditions immigrant families are held in at the border, as well as the threat posed by law enforcement officers overreaching in the use of facial recognition technology.

During the week-long Institute, the students received firsthand experience from lawyers, lobbyists, community activists, and other experts dedicated to defending constitutional rights.

Facilities Upgrades and Student Summer Programs at PPS

Summer is hardly a quiet time at the Princeton Public Schools, with summer programs in session for elementary, middle school, and high school students; air conditioning installations at Princeton High School and Riverside Elementary; and electrical upgrades on tap for all the schools.

Almost 400 PPS students will participate in district programs this summer. Community Park (CP) hosts the YWCA Princeton Mini Achievers Program and a Spanish language enrichment summer program sponsored by the CP PTO. CP also serves as the rainy-day home for various Princeton Recreation Department programs, and the Princeton Tennis Camp comes indoors at CP on rainy days.

John Witherspoon Middle School (JWMS) hosts a number of summer programs, including STARRS (Students Thinking for Academic Rigor, Readiness, and Success), a federally-funded program that also includes students in AIS (Accelerated Intervention Services) and ELL (English Language Learners).

In terms of facilities upgrades, PHS is installing air conditioning in its gym, which, in addition to sports events and physical education classes, is also used for testing, graduation, and other large school and community events.

Riverside School this summer is the first elementary school to receive new air-conditioning and heating units — 28 high-efficiency HVAC units — with Littlebrook, Community Park, and Johnson Park looking forward to the installation of new air conditioning in the summer of 2020.