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Ben Barton

The school year is well underway in Princeton Public Schools and I think I can speak for all staff, all parents, and (almost) all of the students that we are EXCITED to be back! Seeing our children learn and grow is incredibly important to us and it feels wonderful to have kids back in the classroom. We’re ready to lead the district through another excellent school year. Our mission is to develop in every learner the ability to succeed in an ever-changing world.

That mission has been put to the test over the past 20 months and we’ve come through with our tiger stripes intact. The global pandemic has challenged us in unexpected ways but even when things were difficult our team was innovating and working hard on continuous improvement. Our Game Plan sets the standard for a culture of learning and support at Princeton Public Schools. We know that “it’s not just about me, it’s about WE.” We use that motto as our basis for every decision we make to foster a school climate of collaboration, communication, and positivity.

As superintendent, my philosophy is to learn, listen, and consider all points of view. I am confident that having students back in the classroom is best for students and the local community, while still being mindful of the global health crisis. We have a playbook of mitigation strategies and we continue to monitor the situation daily with our public health partners. We are ready to make the right decisions to keep our students, staff, and families safe. Our primary goal is to keep kids in school, in person.

Our Tigers have gotten off to a great start and we have really exciting new opportunities this year for our high school students to explore. Career Academies at Princeton High School are inviting students to pursue interests in Agriculture and Natural Resources; Business; Communications; Engineering, Manufacturing, and Technology; Health Sciences; Human Services; and Information Systems. Students will be both career and college-ready with your help and community partnerships. If you can be a guest instructor, mentor or business partner, please contact Principal Muckenhirn at barbara.muckenhirn@isd477.org.

Princeton Public Schools has a long legacy of innovative instruction, and we continue to look for ways to assist our students. In partnership with our community we have defined the critical skills students need to succeed in life. We call them the Habits of a Tiger. in becoming critical thinkers, positive leaders, and effective communicators who are self-aware and empathic citizens.

We have BIG goals, and we need your support to achieve them. This November we hope to partner with our local community on a two-question referendum that will allow us to improve classrooms for hands-on, collaborative learning; to improve the overall safety, air quality, and transportation congestion of the school; and to expand the activity and athletic areas for both students and community residents. Together we can strengthen our community by ensuring that our next generation of business leaders and citizens are in spaces designed for 21st-century learning. You can learn more about our plans at tigerstrong.org.

Together we are #TigerStrong!

Ben Barton is the superintendent of the Princeton School District.

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