Less than a week after the new school year started, a student at Princeton High School tested positive for COVID-19. A second student tested positive for the virus over this weekend.
On Wednesday, Sept. 15, Princeton High Principal Frank Chmiel sent an email to parents informing them that a fully vaccinated student tested positive for the coronavirus after being exposed outside of the district. The student was last in school on Tuesday, Sept 14. Chmiel said close contacts of the student were notified, and close contacts who have not been vaccinated would be required to quarantine for 10 days.
On Sunday, Sept. 19, Chmiel sent another email to parents informing them that an unvaccinated student who was last in school on Friday, Sept. 10 tested positive for COVID-19. Chmiel said only one close contact was identified, and the person was vaccinated.
High school students have only been in school six days this academic year. On Thursday, Sept. 16 there was no school because of the Yom Kippur holiday.
The school year began on Thursday, Sept. 9. A large after-school event was held for high school students on Friday, Sept. 10. The high school hosted a “Welcome Back, PHS Tigers!” event from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. that was held mostly indoors at the high school due to the weather. A quarter of students or fewer sent in an RSVP for the event.
“Some members of our learning community have expressed concern about moving it indoors. Unfortunately, our field does not have lights to illuminate the event at night, and none of the lighting companies were able to provide lights since we changed the date due to the storm,” Chmiel wrote in an email to parents the weekend before the event. “We want to assure you that we are establishing protocols to keep all staff and students, who are present that evening, safe. This includes completing a COVID pre-screening form prior to arrival, wearing masks throughout the night, physical distancing, and numerous hand sanitizing stations. Also, we are using multiple, large locations in the building.”
Princeton Public Schools health protocol information is posted on the district’s website.