Archive for September, 2008

An Invitation to All Metuchenites from CQE

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Dear CQE Supporter:

All Metuchenites with an interest in education and in issues that affect our public schools  are encouraged to explore our website and to join us at our upcoming meetings.  (See ”Meeting Schedule” on the right sidebar.)

Citizens for Quality Education (CQE) is concerned with seeing that all students, at every school and at every level, excel and reach their personal academic best.   Our officers and steering committee members have children in grades K-12 and in pre-school and college as well.  Each of them has a long-term commitment to raising the bar for all children in Metuchen.  CQE meetings provide a forum for all parents (no matter what grade level your child is in) to meet with other parents with similar concerns, to learn about what’s happening in each of our schools, and to work together in support of our school system.  Every issue in every school should be important to all Metuchenites.

Everyone has a stake in the high school. Our students will all eventually get there–a lot sooner than we may imagine, and our high school’s academic reputation is a factor in the town’s desirability and in our property values. If you have a child in 6th-8th grade or in the high school, then the changes that CQE is advocating for at MHS are especially important to you!  

We at CQE believe that there should be a focus on moving all kids in every grade (K-12) to “Advanced Proficient” on standardized State tests, not just on moving those from “Partially Proficient” to “Proficient.”  At the high school, we believe that large class size should be reduced where it exists, that the honors classes can be expanded to give more opportunities to more students (at least 25-30% of a class), and that the grade point differential should be raised to encourage all students to challenge themselves academically and so that it does not act as a disincentive to those who are capable of doing honors work. This year, CQE will also advocate for the hiring of another guidance counselor to help our students negotiate the practical and academic steps to take as they prepare for college and for life.  Did you know that MHS has a counselor/student ratio of 1/260, whereas schools in our socio-economic district factor group (DFG) in New Jersey have, on average, a ratio of 1/150?   

If you have any questions or if you’d like to attend our next meeting and you need to learn its location, please write me at Again, please explore this website to learn more about CQE, our interests and our programs. We are an open group of parents and we welcome everyone!  Thank you.


Kathy Liss, President

CQE:  Supporting school budgets that support STRONG ACADEMICS for over 20 years.


Become a Coach for the Writers’ Room

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

CQE has long supported the Writers’ Room program at Edgar School. Below is a letter from Marcia Holtzman, the Director of The Writers’ Room, written with the hope that you may be interested in becoming a writing coach or know someone else who may be interested in working with the students of Edgar School. CQE applauds Marcia Holtzman and her dedicated volunteers for their valuable contribution to our schools. Thank you. –Jim Jaques, CQE President

From: Marcia Holtzman, Director of The Writers’ Room

To: Families and Friends of Metuchen Students

You are invited to become a member of the Writers’ Room staff!?Join us for one or two hours a week as a writing coach in ?Edgar School classrooms.

Learn More About Us:

In 2001, the district embarked on a promising, new writing instruction project in our middle school.  The program, known as The Writers’ Room, involves parents and other community members as the key components.  As volunteer coaches, they provide assistance to students with their classroom writing assignments on a regular basis.  Modeled on a program which was developed in Montclair, our Writers’ Room has been adapted to meet the particular needs of Edgar School.

Typically, our program includes a cadre of 15 to 20 active coaches, participating in about 15 classrooms.  We have been involved with close to half the students in Edgar School every week. Our goals for the future are for most of the students in grades 5 through 8 to participate in Writers’ Room on a weekly basis.

The Edgar School Writers’ Room has been very well received by students and parents.  In May 2002, the Metuchen Board of Education honored us with formal recognition as a new and innovative program. Instructional objectives for the program coincide with those of our model, and are aligned with the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards.   This year we will be supporting the Edgar School Literacy Initiative with special emphasis on Writing in the Content Areas.

We need additional coaches for the coming school year. You don’t have to be an experienced teacher, a professional writer, or a current Middle School parent.  An interest in children and the writing process are the only requirements.   The average commitment for each volunteer is to come in one day a week for one or more language arts classes. We will be scheduling training sessions for volunteers within the next few weeks.  If you would like to join us and can make the commitment, or would just like more information, please contact me by email or through the Edgar School office.

Thank you,

Marcia Holtzman