Princeton School Board Approves Acting Superintendent Extension

In the recent Princeton School Board meeting, the most discussion was centered on the extension of Dr. Foster’s tenure as the Acting Superintendent through June 2025. The board unanimously approved the motion, emphasizing the necessity for continuity and strong leadership within the district. Dr. Foster, whose leadership has been met with positive feedback from employees and the community, was commended for her experience and understanding of education and children. The board’s support for her extension was rooted in the desire to maintain stability and effective leadership for the staff and students.

The meeting then delved into the ratification of a four-year contract with the Princeton Administrators Association, which included a 3% salary increase. Union representatives expressed gratitude for the board’s collaborative approach during contract negotiations.

A presentation on the district’s strategic plan followed, where the board reviewed progress on various initiatives such as preschool programs, literacy, social-emotional learning, and math numeracy check-ins. The board emphasized the importance of creating a safe and nurturing environment that fosters a love for learning among students, and acknowledged the role of the administrative team, educators, and staff in advancing the strategic plan goals.

The meeting also addressed concerns raised by Tiffany Brennan, the math supervisor, regarding the progression of math standards from sixth to eighth grade, and the need for common benchmark assessments in science. Additionally, the board discussed initiatives to increase enrollment in accelerated and Advanced Placement courses at the high school level, and the “portrait of a graduate” initiative aimed at preparing students for life beyond high school.

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The effectiveness of the district’s preschool program was a topic of concern, with discussions on aligning expectations and language between the preschool and kindergarten levels to ensure a smooth transition for students. The validity and reliability of assessments were also examined, with the board considering the use of different data tools for math and English Language Arts.

Further, the meeting touched on the implementation of various reading assessments, the student board member report, and public comments. The board explored reading assessments aligned with New Jersey standards, the importance of data to support student learning, and the positive reception of the new bell schedule at Princeton High School. Public comments included a range of topics from concerns about a music celebration during Black History Month to the dual language program at Community Park, the intersectionality course at Princeton Middle School, traffic issues at CP Littlebrook, and the need for increased support for early language development.

The school district’s financial challenges were also a point of discussion, with the board grappling with issues such as tax caps, inflationary pressures, and the need for long-term financial planning. The board presented a analysis of the district’s financial standing, including its AAA credit rating, net debt service, and tax levy trends. They also discussed the operating tax levy increase of 2.17% and the challenges related to personnel growth and transportation costs. The upcoming public budget hearing was announced, with the board stressing the importance of community involvement in the budget adoption process.

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Personnel matters were also discussed, with the board approving job descriptions for key positions such as the supervisor of Early Childhood and the chief technology officer.

Policy updates were considered, with new policies moving forward for the first read. The board discussed the work of the one-to-one device committee, proposed overnight trips, and the consideration of an anti-Semitism statement policy. The meeting concluded with a review of various business reports, contracts, and agreements, and public comments on educational priorities and concerns.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.

Superintendent:
Carol Kelley
School Board Officials:
Dafna Kendal, Michele Tuck-Ponder, Beth Behrend, Betsy Baglio, Brian McDonald, Mara Franceschi, Debbie Bronfeld, Jean Durbin, Susan Kanter, Robert Christopher, Andre Penn (Student Representative), Rohun Chivate (Student Representative)

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