Come March 2016, 400 PHS students will be relocated to the newly established Cranbury High School. With 1,578 students currently enrolled at PHS, the change is clearly necessary. Over-enrollment has led to poor school climate control, human traffic jams in the main intersection between second and third period, and the placement of half-doors in select stairwells.
Cranbury High School, originally Principal Snyder’s idea, will serve for students at PHS who live in Cranbury as well as some who live in Princeton. “It’s all part of my strategic plan for student wellness,” Snyder said. “It’s unhealthy for so many students to attend class in such cramped learning environments. In health classes with 40 kids, you just can’t get one-on-one instruction.”
The new school will be located on Cranbury’s School House Lane, and will take over Cranbury’s Town Hall building, which is also connected to the elementary school, middle school, and public library. “This makes a lot of sense,” Snyder said. “Cranbury is so small, I don’t really see any need for municipal buildings.”
Most Cranbury students only live about a 5-minute tractor ride from the proposed location. “I’m so relieved I can finally attend school closer to the family farm,” explained Ian Stewrat ’16. “Now I can milk the cows and walk to school, all without having to wake up before the third rooster crows.”
Other students expressed remorse that they will no longer have the ability to compete in their daily 7:15 a.m. drag racing competitions along Route 1. “I really love trying to smash into my gym teacher’s yellow Driver’s Ed car without him noticing,” said Jolene Leutchen ’16, who recently moved to Cranbury. “He lives in Cranbury so he’ll probably be assigned to teach the Tractor Driver’s Ed class at the new high school.”
On the other hand, Cranbury students also look forward to dealing Princeton students a taste of revenge in the cruelty of daily bussing. “I’m so sick of those Princeton kids telling me about how we should just move to Princeton because we have to get buses,” said Nathan Drezner ’16, who currently resides in Cranbury’s Town Hall basement. “Now they’ll have to do all of those stupid bus drills where we practice jumping out the back.”
Certain groups of students will be relocated based on their club a liations, ac- cording to the administration. “By random selection, all members of the following clubs will be relocated to Cranbury High School: Republican Club, PHS Socialists, Latinos Para Donald, and PHS Libertarian Club,” Snyder said in a tweet on Tuesday night. “Members of Bike Club, Ski Club, and Knitting Club will also be enrolled at CHS,” a later tweet read.
Many students speculate that with the coming election, Snyder wishes to prevent passionate political debates from escalating to a dangerous point.
“Right before the 2012 election, there was a really heated dance battle between the Democrat and Republican Clubs,” recalled Blaq ’16. “I accidently hit Gabrielle [Deitch ’16] in the face when she tried to break it up. She got on the wrong end of my lawn- mower move.”
Even Taran Krishnan ’16, who recently purchased a PHS Republicans T-shirt but registered as Independent and has no other a liation with the club, will face relocation come March. “I really feel personally targeted by this action,” said Krishnan, who is also a Princeton resident. “And as Senior Class Vice President, I really don’t see how I can govern my peers from the remote location of Cranbury.”
Krishnan is among the 15 Student Council members who will all be relocated.
“StuCo will definitely not be the same after we lose so many of our members,” said Student Council advisor Christine Carbone. “Then again, we have so many diligent sophomore representatives. Yeah, the loss won’t really have that big of an effect.”
Additionally, to better equip transferring students with knowledge of Cranbury’s culture, tech guru Aaron Olkin ’16 has transformed the Facebook game Farmville into an app speci cally for PHS students.
“The conditions in which you grow your crops closely match those of Cranbury,” Olkin said enthusiastically. “The Biology teacher [Jaime] Lynch was gracious enough to allow Accelerated Biology I students to analyze Cranbury soil and weather in their final project so that we would have extensive and high-quality data to pull from.”
Cranbury High School’s mascot will be a cranberry, but a blue and white one. “We appreciate this move on the part of the Board of Education because this means that the PREA will not have to buy new shirts,” said history teacher John Baxter, head of the PREA negotiations team. “We plan on beginning contract negotiations with the Board in early January so that we can have a reasonable contract in place by the time the current freshman class graduates.”
Despite any lingering sentiments, many Cranbury natives will be glad to leave PHS.
“There are a lot of things I’ll be happy to leave behind—for one thing, the Dungeon, it’s not funny,” said Stewrat. “Also, I can’t wait to attend a down-to-earth school where lunchtime isn’t called ‘break’ and the place where everyone goes to print out their homework during class isn’t called the ‘Learning Commons.’”