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Princeton Superintendent Ben Barton has provided the following District 477 COVID-19 update. This information is also being sent to district families.

Greetings families!

We have missed you over these last few weeks! We have a lot of important information to share today so please read this letter carefully. Things are coming together very quickly, and we are excited to begin distance learning next Monday! But first, here are a few things you should know.

Distance Learning: Starting next Monday, March 30 Princeton Public Schools will begin distance learning. Distance learning will continue until at least April 30th. We know there will be some challenges as we all learn together in ways that are different from what we are used to, but we are excited to try our new plan out and make improvements along the way.

Students will be accessing teachers and learning through one of two plans.

Tiger Plan - for connecting with teachers electronically

Orange Plan - for connecting with teachers non-electronically

Teachers will reach out to students on Friday, March 27 to let students know details on how students and teachers will connect for distance learning. Monday, March 30 will be our first day of distance learning.

Unless we have spoken to you directly, students are currently enrolled in the Tiger Plan. For details on each plan and instructions for how to move from the Tiger Plan to the Orange Plan please see the COVID-19 portion of our website and click Distance Learning plan.

Here are a few tips to prepare your student for distance learning:

Help your child set a daily schedule at home so they understand what is expected of them.

Make sure you have a device (grades 3-12) and a plan to access the internet.

Designate a place in your home as a "learning space" to minimize distractions.

Kindergarten Safari: We are postponing our Wild About Kindergarten event that is scheduled for April 6, 2020. This is an exciting event and we were all looking forward to meeting our future tiger cubs, but keeping our students and families safe during these unprecedented times is our top priority. More information to follow in the weeks ahead. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility with postponing this event.

WIFI Availability: We understand that there are many families in our community that do not have access to the internet or reliable internet. Our buildings are not open to the public, but our wifi does extend into our parking lot areas to a certain range. Please follow this link to view maps to every school building in Princeton with orange highlights showing parking areas that have access to the Princeton Public internet wifi. Please feel free to park and use these areas at any time.

Now Registering for Tier 2 Childcare: We will begin to accept childcare registrations for families of Tier 2 workers on Wednesday, March 25. If you believe you are eligible to receive childcare as a Tier 2 worker, please click to read the full details here.

Nutrition Services Update: You can now view our grab-and-go menu on the COVID-19 information nutrition services website. We have also added important food safety information for your review.

A note to students and families: The next week or two starts a new chapter in public education. There is a huge learning curve that students and teachers will be navigating together!

As we embark on this thing called “Distance Learning,” we ask that our friends who use social media platforms to refrain from publicly scrutinizing their children’s teachers/schools/district for the way they are teaching or the lessons they are assigning.

Please offer grace to your child’s teacher and other school personnel. I promise that educating your children is still their #1 priority.

They are about to navigate uncharted waters with little, to no prep time. This is a crisis, not a time to be playing armchair quarterback. They love our kids and will be doing their absolute best!

And fellow educators, YOU’VE GOT THIS! We believe in you! -author unknown

Thank you to our Families! We received this kind message from one of our teachers and we couldn’t have said it better: “I just wanted to share that my families have been very kind, supportive and understanding so far in the journey we have just been on and continue to be on! I have one family, in particular, who is very tech savvy, and they have been so helpful and receptive to answering questions I have about how things look on "their end" of whatever piece of technology I am trying, or want students to try. They are my practice ground, and my sounding board, and I am so thankful for them! When I asked if they would mind if I went to them with some questions along the way, they did not hesitate to respond, "Absolutely! We are glad to help in any way that we can!" It warms my heart to see us all pull together in what can be a scary, overwhelming, and ever changing situation.”

We are here to support you and we truly appreciate the encouragement we have received from you. Together, we are Tiger Strong.

Sincerely,

Ben Barton Superintendent

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