U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Cindy Marten visited the Princeton Public Schools on Tuesday as part of her “ARPStars” tour to highlight ways schools are using American Rescue Plan investments to support K-12 students in their recovery from the pandemic.
Marten visited Princeton High School to see how the school is using American Rescue Plan funds to strengthen arts and mental health resources for students, as well as its professional development and coaching for educators. She also toured a preschool classroom at Johnson Park Elementary School, participates in a roundtable discussion with district principals, and discussed tutoring and special programs that provide students with learning opportunities beyond the regular school day.
The American Rescue Plan, a key piece of legislation passed last year by Congress, provided districts across the nation with needed funding as part of the recovery effort from the pandemic.
Marten observed a science class at Princeton High School taught by James Smirk with an emphasis on problem-based learning. She visited the Princeton High School studio band and discussed the challenges and successes of arts continuation during a pandemic. She also visited the Princeton High School counseling suite to learn about the partnership with Corner House to address student mental health concerns.
At Johnson Park, Marten visited two early childhood classrooms where funds from the American Rescue Plan support high-quality transitions for young students as well as a co-teaching classroom where funds support professional development. Co-teaching involves pairing general education and special education teachers to create an inclusive environment for all students.
“It was a pleasure to welcome both Cindy Marten and Jordan Schiff to our district,” said Superintendent Carol Kelley. “We are very proud of what our staff has accomplished. In addition, I would like to thank Valerie Ulrich, PPS Supervisor of Preschool and Special Projects, for her leadership in leveraging this funding to support our equity and inclusion efforts.”