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Summer News

posted Sep 8, 2016, 12:34 PM by Kari Osborne

August 7, 2016

Dear Princeton Community,

I thought I would give you some news regarding questions I have been receiving this summer:

Video Scoreboard

The School Board acted to approve a video scoreboard for the new High School gymnasium.  I have been getting questions about the funding of this scoreboard.  We had a budget for a scoreboard from the referendum, but it was not enough to pay for a video scoreboard.  

The intent of the funding mechanism is to have business and individual partners pay for the scoreboard by either advertising on the board itself or for individual donors to have their names on a sign in the hallway of the new gym.  There are different levels of contributions to help fund this project.  Some of the levels of funding include access to show video advertising during our students’ games, and other levels of funding will be designated by posting names.

Our School Board decided to fund the video scoreboard through a five year low interest lease. Other districts going this same route actually were able to pay off the entire lease in less than the five years.  After the scoreboard is paid in full, the funding becomes revenue for the district.

A question that has come up a few times, “what if our economy goes into an economic downturn, and the district can’t pay for the lease?”  There is an ‘escape clause’ in the lease for situations such as this, and we would simply give back the scoreboard and discontinue payments.

Most of the questions I am receiving are asking how people can get involved.  Many people have seen the Cambridge-Isanti and North Branch video scoreboards which are like the one  we are buying.  If you want to get involved, please contact Varsity Volleyball Coach Mary Patnode at mary.patnode@isd477.org or Varsity Boys Basketball Coach Brett Cloutier at brett.cloutier@isd477.org.  Exciting times for our district!

Area Learning Center

The Area Learning Center is coming back in September.  Our students will not have to travel for programming.  Our programs will be in Princeton.  The temporary location will be in a portable on the high school campus.

The School Board is considering several locations for a permanent home for this program.

The curriculum for the Area Learning Center will include these options:  direct instruction, independent study, or work experience through paid positions secured by the students (OJT).  The goal is to have service learning opportunities coordinated by the second trimester.

If you have any ideas for service learning opportunities for our students, please contact our Director of Student Services, Erin Dohrmann at erin.dohrmann@isd477.org.  We are very pleased to keep our students in our city.

Palmer Bus Company News

We have many changes in our routing this year.  How does this translate?   Shorter bus rides for our younger K-5 students.  This is something our families have requested often over the past few years.  To achieve this, we are adding buses and changing routing.

Instead of having the bus transfer site at the Middle School, it will be at the Primary and Intermediate Schools, between the new soccer fields and the schools, on the new bus loop.  

Please consider having your children ride the bus.  Bus passes will be mailed home this year. They need to be affixed to your child’s backpack.

If you choose to drive your children to the Primary or Intermediate Schools, please be aware  there will be one entrance and one exit into the complex.  There will also be a new turning lane to help with congestion.  We know that even with all of these efforts, there will be crowded conditions at the front of both the Primary and Intermediate Schools. We encourage you to carpool or walk to school with your children, if possible.

Construction Projects

All of our construction projects are slated to be finished by September 12,  with the exception of our new technology FabLab at the High School.  That particular structure is projected to be finished within the first couple weeks of school.

We have possession of the new high school gymnasium area.  Bleachers will be delivered soon.  Work is being done in the security vestibule, new music offices and music storage, the school store, and the cafeteria/kitchen areas.  The grounds around the high school are being prepared to seed soccer fields this fall.  There will be a grand opening on Friday, October 7th from 4:00pm-6:00pm (Homecoming).

The Youth Baseball Fields are nearly ready for seeding.  All fields will have enclosed dugouts with roofs, backstops and homerun fences.  One new field will have a pitcher’s mound.

The Family Center (former District Office, Community Education, Early Childhood and ECFE programs)  will have a totally new look by the time  school starts.  We are fortunate to have received a state matching grant to make our former hospital/DO look like a real school.  There will be a grand opening on Monday, October 17, from 4:30-6:30.

The District Center (former old police station and the back of City Hall) is nearing completion, as the final spaces are nearly finished.  District offices, as well as Onward, the transition program for students with special needs. The Onward Program is designed to further develop students’ independent living skills.  They will also continue to access opportunities in the community.  There will be rooms for the Princeton Online Academy and GED/Adult Basic Education in this location.  Office space will be available to access direct instruction from the teaching staff or support from a guidance counselor.  

We are hoping to get occupancy for the new Princeton Primary School this next week.  It has been very exciting, watching this school emerge!  If you are looking for the principal and secretaries, they are currently located at the Intermediate School.  The grand opening of the new Primary school will be Monday, September 26,  from 4:30-7:30.

We are planning these Grand Opening programs for the public to view all of these new facilities.  We want you to be able to tour our schools and feel the Tiger Pride!

We have so much going on in our district this summer!  If you have any questions or concerns for me, please contact me at julia.espe@isd477.org.


Julia Espe