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Welcome to 2017 - may it be the best year yet!

I'm not much for making resolutions, but goals are good. My first goal for the year is to make PTI Matters a weekly (rather than biweekly) update, at least during the academic term - so many things can change in 7 days! But that makes your feedback even more important. Please contribute your ideas so we can make the newsletter a collaborative effort - feel free to send noteworthy tidbits, full-scale stories, events, resources...even the occasional joke wouldn't hurt. Email your ideas to me at and I'll incorporate them into the next week's edition. For now, here are some timely updates...

The PTI semester officially begins the week of Jan. 30. Here are some pertinent things to keep in mind as you plan your syllabus (and the sooner you can send that to me, the better):
  • Make sure all the teachers in your team/pod have been cleared or have submitted the required paperwork. It can take a couple of weeks for clearances to process, so the sooner, the better.
  • Send your materials checklist to Gerardine at NJSTEP as soon as possible! Coordinate the completion of this form with your team and email it to and me at
  • Classes must fulfill Raritan Valley's minimum contact hour requirement. If you're not sure what that is for your class, please contact your team lead ASAP to find out (Ian Davis and Jill Stockwell for Humanities, Jenny Greene and Jia Liu for Math/Science). Classes MUST begin the week of Jan. 30, but the end date depends on whether or not your team/pod is teaching a one- or two-day-per-week class AND whether or not you teach the week of Spring Break.
  • Your syllabus should be modeled on Raritan Valley's equivalent course. Again, if you don't have the sample syllabus or the materials you need, contact your team lead.
  • Include a schedule in your syllabus with names of faculty scheduled to teach each week. I will use this info to update the Sharepoint ride-share calendar, which makes finding a ride much easier (especially since we're only teaching at two facilities this semester - Garden State and Wagner).
  • Factor state holidays into your schedule.
  • PTI no longer orders textbooks for students! Raritan Valley is taking over that role, but if you need one or two copies of the textbook for planning purposes, please let me know ASAP so I can order them.
  • New faculty need to attend several training sessions. The DOC orientation will most likely be on Friday, Jan. 20, at Central Office in Trenton. The NJSTEP orientation is still up in the air. PTI is also planning an info/orientation session for new folks in January - details forthcoming.

We had a mild degree of success using Sharepoint to host the ride-sharing calendar last semester, so we're going to persist in using it. In order to log into the PTI Sharepoint site, you need a Princeton netID. If you are not affiliated with the university, I'm working on getting you the netID - you should receive that info in the next week or so. We'll also be posting class materials on the site, so get used to it!

The Ft. Dix partnership is still looking for some English teachers for the Spring 2017 term! If you or someone you know can help, please contact Jill Knapp as soon as possible at

I hope PTI Matters will continue to grow and be ever more useful to our teachers and friends. Please feel free to email your news blurbs and other suggestions to so we can highlight them here!
Today is National Bean Day! Do you think jelly beans count? Because THOSE I can eat.
Copyright © 2017 Prison Teaching Initiative @ Princeton University, All rights reserved.

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