Dear Friend of JP:
So far, from what we’re hearing, our successes have been growing and our glitches have been declining. That’s great news!
It’s great to know that so many of our kids are engaged. For that, we have our teachers and instructional assistants to thank, and we have JP’s parents who served as guides to thank as well. Thank you, everyone, for helping to make our remote learning work.
The biggest glitches we’ve experienced, other than working out initial login issues, have been the lagging speed of our PowerSchool Learning platform and its eventual crash. Maybe having so many kids—not just in Princeton—using the site just overwhelmed it. It’s supposedly O.K. now.
We owe another huge “thank you” to our district’s technology department, including Mark Javick, JP’s techie. We expect that, by the end of today, we’ll have lent computers to nearly all JP’s pupils (except our pre-schoolers) eligible for subsidized meals.
We’ve taken machines from our grade-level carts and our classroom inventories to get laptops to our second graders and iPads to our kindergartners and first graders. Previously, we’d lent laptops to all our learners in grs. 3-5.
Our teachers for grs. 3-5 will continue to depend predominantly on devices to support our children’s learning. Up to now, because many of our K-2 boys and girls didn’t have access to computers, our teachers of those grades developed paper-based learning packets.
Over the coming week (or weeks, if we extend our school closure, which is likely), our K-2 teachers will transition to a mix of paper-based and device-based experiences. For our very young learners, we’re sensitive to limiting the amount of screen time to which we expose them, so please don’t expect those classes to depend exclusively on computers.
If you need help with computer issues, please first reach out to your child’s teacher. If unable to help you fully, he or she will engage Mr. Javick, our tech assistant, to provide support.
Recognizing the intensifying need to enact social distancing, we’ll close all Princeton Public Schools beginning tomorrow, Fri., Mar. 20th. Recognizing, too, the need for teachers to have access to their resources as they plan for future lessons and for parents to drop off and pick up materials for their youngsters, we’ll open our schools every Tue. and Thu. from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 n. until further notice.
Thank you to our aides who’ll be present at JP on a rotating basis on the mornings that we’ll be open to accept materials from parents, give resources to them, and support our families in other ways. Today, several aides came to JP to assist our secretaries in packing weekend meals for those in our community whom Send Hunger Packing Princeton (SHuPP) serves.
Of course, throughout the time when JP is closed, I’ll be available via e-mail, <firstname.lastname@example.org>, as will the rest of our staff members. All of us want to continue to nurture our relationships with our pupils and with you; none of us wants to lose that personal touch.
Finally, none of us can turn on a t.v. or read a newspaper without receiving a barrage of information regarding COVID-19. Yet, Shilpa Pai, our favorite pediatrician, has shared with us some helpful information that we’ve attached hereto to help us navigate our health and that of those whom we love. Thank you, Dr. Pai!
With profound appreciation for all that our colleagues and parents are doing,
Robert A. Ginsberg