The new school year begins Tuesday, Sept. 4 and Princeton students will, for the first time, see iPads in significant numbers being used in classrooms.
The Princeton district is not going to have enough iPads to go around for every student, as the district is phasing in the use of iPads for teaching. But Superintendent Rick Lahn, along with the four building principals and other staff members talked to in the past week, are enthusiastic about using these electronic devices for teaching.
According to district Director of Business Services Michelle Czech, the district purchased 672 of the iPads for the schools at a cost of $256,064.
Mindy Jezelrski, Director of Teaching and Learning, who has taken on the district’s tech director duties, was not ready to give a complete breakdown on the number of iPads going to each school and their application. A back-to-school story in the August 27 Town & Country, however, does quote various school staff members on their planned use of the iPads. Jezelrski said she will be able explain in an upcoming story about the complete distribution of iPads in the Princeton schools and the various sources of funding used to purchase them.
Also new this school year is the transportation provider – Palmer Bus Service, out of North Mankato – replacing Minnesota Central Bus Service that the district had the past few years. The district also has a new bus terminal manager, Tim Wilhelm, who had been the manager for a period prior to Minnesota Central.
Other noticeable changes for Princeton in the new school year will be an expanded and reconstructed tennis court complex. The result is the original eight being reconstructed and two more added. Having 10 courts means the district can, for the first time, host section tennis tournaments.
Other changes in the district include a new elevator at the high school, a small amount of remodelling at South Elementary kindergarten rooms, and new paint here and there in the Princeton Public Schools.
Superintendent Lahn says he expects the enrollment not to vary too greatly from the 3,340 students counted at the end of last school year.
Drivers are reminded to be extra watchful in areas where students will be walking, running or bicycling. The rules remain that when the school bus stop arm is extended and the red lights are flashing on the buses, drivers approaching the buses from either front or back must stop until the arm is retracted and the red flashers go off. Yellow flashing lights will activate prior to the red flashers, giving a warning to prepare to stop.
Driver should be “more vigilant and aware,” said Police Chief Brian Payne. “Kids minds are more occupied…and bus drivers have a difficult enough time and need all the help they can to make sure the children stay safe.”