School Board Briefs: March 18, 2014 meeting

The Princeton School Board conducted the following business at its March 18 meeting. Written by Joel Stottrup

PHS principal presentation

Princeton High School Principal Barb Muckenhirn gave a presentation on the high school’s strategic growth and change plan. Muckenhirn also handed out plastic tokens to board members. She explained that PHS staff members are asked to give tokens to as many as five students per day when the students are exhibiting certain conduct, and a reward is given to a particular group receiving the most tokens. It is part of a Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports program. Muckenhirn, after going over details of the strategic plan, said that the one initiative that will always stay in the plan is to strive for improvement.

School Board Member Craig Johnson asked how close PHS is to having Advanced Placement and College in the Schools courses. Muckenhirn answered that the school has AP courses and that discussions have begun about providing a budget for developing something for students on career pathways to college.


Referendum update

Superintendent Julia Espe gave an update on the district’s scheduling of the school district’s voter referendum for May 20. She noted that the Princeton School District website has information on the referendum that will seek approval for the district to borrow an amount not to exceed $29.95 million for school facilities construction and remodelling. The money would be used to build an elementary school to replace South Elementary, add two gym stations, and improve the industrial technology and cafeteria and kitchen areas, as well as upgrade building entrances for improved security.

The referendum website includes a section on frequently asked questions and the listing of the voter locations (town halls in Baldwin, Blue Hill, Greenbush, Wyanett and Spencer Brook townships and the Princeton Depot Museum’s Great Northern Room). It also has a calculator feature where you can plug in the assessor office’s valuation of your property. The calculator will then show what your annual property taxes would be for the improvements during the planned 20 years of bonding should the referendum pass.

Board Member Johnson used an iPad to calculate what his property tax increase would be and exclaimed that it would come out to about $11 per month if the referendum passes. “No more coffee lattes,” he said.


Action postponed

The board had planned to possibly approve its proposed data-use policy at the March 18 meeting, but decided to postpone action. Superintendent Espe said that more changes have to be made in the draft before the board can consider approving it, which could be at its next meeting.


Music before meeting

Princeton Middle School band instructor Carol Fillafer brought four band students to give an instrumental solos to the board. Collin Vogel on trumpet played “The Carnival of Venice,” Alex Kruschek on tuba played “In the Hall of the Mountain King,” McKenzie Eckert on clarinet played “Irish Gems,” and Sarah Tarvestad on alto saxophone played “Gigue.”

The solos highlighted March as Music In Our Schools month. Fillafer noted that during the second trimester, 281 students at the middle school performed a solo with the National Standards for Music Education.