• May 20, 2020

    Good evening Princeton Families,

    As the Superintendent of Princeton City Schools, I want to update you on some important topics.

    Parents, Guardians & Family Members
    First, I would like to thank all the teachers for all the work they have done.  I want to be clear that my gratitude is not only for the staff at Princeton, but sincerely includes the staff at home.  Moms, dads, guardians, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins--you have all done an amazing job to keep students on task and prevent the COVID-slide. You are your child’s first teacher.  Every day, you teach by leading example. You are helping your son or daughter stay current, get enrichment, and learn valuable life skills. Now, you may be involved in teaching algebra, physics, and reading aloud more than before, and for your efforts, I thank you.

    Graduation Update
    Next, on behalf of the Board of Education, staff, teachers, support staff, and administrators, I would like to express the feelings of heartbreak and sadness on how the school year ended, without being able to come back together in person.  We all had looked forward to the graduation ceremony at Fifth Third Arena and we know nothing can replace the in-person experience. 

    However, we know that we must live by our mission statement: “Empowering each student for college, career, and life success.”  To do that, we must do what is best and safest for EACH of our students. We follow the State of Ohio mandates and laws to ensure public health safety is practiced. This is why we are having a virtual graduation.  This ceremony, on Facebook Live, ICRC-TV, and YouTube Live premieres on Saturday, May 30, 2020. It will be a special tribute that you and family members can revisit and cherish.  We hope you will gather your households together, watch and share with family members across the world as we honor the Princeton High School Class of 2020.

    However, due to some changes in restrictions and guidelines, in accordance with the Hamilton County Health Commissioner and Springdale Health Commissioner, we will be able to offer students the opportunity to walk across the stage in Matthews Auditorium in Cap and Gown, pick up your diploma, and have a picture taken. We will continue to practice social distancing guidelines with specific details that will be forthcoming. 

    Graduates and families will be able to choose one time to sign up for a specific date to participate. However, we must first make sure our diplomas and covers are shipped and delivered.  We are scheduled to receive both items on May 28, and assuming students will be able to choose from one of the following dates;  

    Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9 - From 10 am - 3 pm

    Wednesday, June 10 and Thursday, June 11 - From 3 pm - 8 pm 

    Saturday, June 13 - 11 am - 5 pm

    We need to plan this in accordance with the safety guidelines, so seniors should continue to check their vikingmail accounts to get specific details should this occur. Again, much information will be forthcoming.

    End of School Year
    The close of each school year is a major transition for our students.  Fifth-grade and eighth-grade students are also making significant life changes.  These are all important and special transitions.

    We wish that we could hold great promotional ceremonies across the district and really celebrate like we have done before, in past years.  The new, creative, flexible plans that are coming to fruition are amazing.  These virtual experiences have been tremendous. 

    Please make sure to follow our social media and website to see the Princeton Top 20 and Senior Awards.  Watch for the Music Signings, tonight, (May 20), at 7:00 PM,  Athletic Signings (May 26), and Military Signings (May 28) next week. You will also discover unique celebrations for our English Language Learners, Princeton Community Middle School, and each of the elementary schools. There are wonderful tributes to the students.

    Summer Learning Opportunities
    There was an interruption of traditional learning this school year. Over the summer, we want to provide opportunities across the entire district.  Students will be able to join these learning activities at no cost.  We are asking parents to give input on what your child needs to be successful in surveys or by reaching out to teachers and principals.  Princeton will have a robust virtual summer learning program.

    One2One Technology Plan
    As previously announced, Princeton City School District is rolling out the One2One Technology Plan for the 2020-2021 school year. All students in grades 9-12, as well as 8th graders in high school courses, will be issued a Chromebook device from the start of the school year.  This will allow our high school students to access assignments daily, so they can always complete lessons and have the curriculum and learning opportunities available. This One2One initiative will be empowering.

    2020-2021 School Year Plans
    Many of you are wondering what the plans look like for returning to school in August.  We recently received some guidelines from the State of Ohio, and we are working in conjunction with the Hamilton County and Springdale Health Commissioners on ways that we can safely reopen schools.

    There are several plans we are looking at and preparing for, as we know things rapidly change as scientists and doctors learn more information about COVID-19.  Several of the plans include a full return to the classroom, continued online and at-home learning, and/or Blended Learning, where students would come in a few days a week and continue studies from home on other days. 

    We understand that still leaves many questions about childcare, transportation, how it will affect working parents and so many more. Princeton City School District is taking input and ideas, along with looking at best practices across the world, to ensure the plan we ultimately use will be the best for our community. I’m sure that you can understand that there are complex layers of issues to consider and we are being forward-thinking in our plans. We will be communicating broadly once decisions have been made.

    We appreciate your continued support and patience.

    As always, Go Vikes!


    Tom Burton