February 22, 2023

PPS to Host “State of the District” Event

By Donald Gilpin

PPS Superintendent Carol Kelley

Seeking to bring the community together, to highlight an array of programs, and to present the Princeton Public Schools’ (PPS) new Strategic Plan, the schools are inviting the Princeton community to a State of the District celebration on Monday, February 27 at Princeton High School (PHS) from 6 to 8 p.m.

PPS Superintendent Carol Kelley urged everyone in the Princeton community to attend the event and promised many opportunities to learn more about what’s going on at the schools. Participants will have the chance “to learn how we’re championing our students and how parents and the community can contribute,” she said in a PPS press release. “I hope our parents and community will join us on Monday to help celebrate what we have accomplished and to take a look at where we want to go.”

In a David Letterman-style countdown, Kelley listed the top three reasons why people should come out for the event. “Reason No. 3 is the chance to chat with principals, administrators, supervisors, and students who will staff more than 20 expo tables highlighting PPS programs,” said Kelley.

She continued, “Reason No. 2 is that students are giving tours of the high school, including the new wing. If you are a community member or have students in our middle or elementary schools and have never been inside the high school, here is your chance.”

And Reason No. 1 is to bring the community together. “We will have cheerleaders, student presenters, refreshments, and a raffle for a basket of PPS spirit wear,“ said Kelley. “But, most importantly, it will give everyone a chance to come together in fellowship.”

The press release emphasized that “fellowship is central to Dr. Kelley’s leadership and ethos.”

The wide variety of expo tables throughout the high school will give visitors the opportunity to explore: what school counselors do, nursing services at PPS, English as a second language, world languages pre-K to grade 8, dual language immersion, special services and Inclusion, and

facilities planning. There will be a chance to meet the PTO Council, the Special Education Parent Advisory Group, Princeton Parents of Black Children, and members of the Board of Education.

Elementary school-focused expo tables will include Learning through Play at PPS Preschool, the K-5 Responsive Classroom, English language arts, the Continental Math League, and Math Workshop. Princeton Middle School (PMS) will offer expo tables on activities and clubs at PMS and (along with PHS), teaching humanities in times like these, and building equitable learning environments. In addition to tours of the building, the PHS expo tables will feature celebrating the arts, research program student projects, athletics, cheerleaders, student projects on Hidden Histories and Racial Literacy and Justice, and more.

Among other items on the February 27 schedule are a presentation of the new Strategic Plan, 2023-2028, which was also on the agenda for the Tuesday, February 21 BOE meeting, and a keynote address by Tara Doaty, a child and family well-being expert and founder and CEO of Sage Wellness Group.

Kelley emphasized the advantages of a dynamic strategic plan for the next five years. “There is much work to be done, but now, with a solid framework, it is easier for our educators, parents, and community members to see where we are going and how we can improve,” she said.

Highlights of recommendations in the Strategic Plan, which the district has been working on over the past year, include goals for student success, strategic priorities, key actions, and much more.