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CQE Update for March

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Happy Read Across America Day, the National Education Association’s celebration of Dr. Seuss’s birthday!

And today Citizens for Quality Education (CQE) held its 3rd and final Story Time event at Campbell School for this academic year. This morning, 26 readers (volunteer parents and invited community leaders) visited the 1st and 2nd grade classrooms to share a picture book or two with the students. CQE appreciates the opportunity to bring school and community together and the warm welcome from Campbell School principal, Mrs. Carter, her teachers and staff.  Many thanks to all who read, and especially to Shannon Osborne-Jones, whose leadership and enthusiasm, brought about another successful season of this longstanding program for CQE.

In other news, CQE will soon launch its annual Voter Registration Drive and Absentee Ballot Campaign. For 25 years, Citizens for Quality Education has worked to pass school budgets in Metuchen.  During the month of March, the organization runs both a Voter Registration Drive and an Absentee Ballot Campaign. CQE encourages all Metuchen citizens to vote in the School Board Elections, which will be held this year on Tuesday April 16.

Please see our Webpage “Important Dates,” under “BOE Elections” on the right sidebar  for important dates, information and forms to fill out to register to vote and to apply for an absentee ballot application.

Best regards,

The Officers of Citizens for Quality Education

CQE: Supporting school budgets that support strong academics for 25 years!

In 500 Words or Less: An Award-winning Documentary at MHS on Sunday February 10 at 1 PM (FREE!)

Friday, February 8th, 2013

On Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 1 PM, the public is invited to a free screening of the award-winning film In 500 Words or Less in the auditorium of the Metuchen High School, 400 Grove Avenue. Parents, students and others who are interested in learning about the intricacies of preparing for and applying to college nowadays should attend.

In 500 Words or Less derives its title from the sometimes dreaded 500 word essay that all high school students are asked to write as part of the “common app” to colleges, in their attempt to define themselves as standout candidates. The 95 minute documentary follows just four of the 1.5 million students who navigate the application process each year. Family dynamics and parental support are seen as helpful tools among the students in the film, who come from varied backgrounds and across economic levels. Viewers will find themselves rooting for the featured families as they work their way through the common stresses, rejections, acceptances and joys of the final years of high school and this universal rite of passage.

The free screening is co-sponsored by the Metuchen Citizens for Quality Education and the Metuchen High School Guidance and Counseling Department. Doors open at 12:45 PM.

Click here to see the trailer of the film.

CQE urges the Metuchen community to write Board of Education members asking them to keep the School Board elections out of the November political arena

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Citizens for Quality Education strongly supports keeping the school board election in April, rather than moving it to November. The organization believes that Metuchen residents should not have to give up their right to vote for the school budget. In addition, if the date of the election is moved to November, our local education issues would vie with political issues for the public’s attention and would appear to be less important.

Last year, the State gave school districts the option to move the traditional April election date to the November political election date, and thereby eliminate the public’s vote for the budget. However, (more…)

Metuchen BOE meeting on Weds., January 23: Moving the April school elections to November has far-reaching implications

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

There’s an important item on the agenda of the Metuchen Board of Education meeting for Wednesday, January 23: a discussion of the pros and cons of moving the April school elections to the November political elections. Among other  changes, this will eliminate the public’s vote on the budget.  Please plan to attend the meeting in the Metuchen High School cafeteria at 8 PM, in order to understand the many far-reaching implications of this decision on our schools.

Possibility of moving the BOE elections in April to the political elections in November

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

On Tuesday January 8, 2013, the Metuchen Board of Education met to preliminarily discuss the pros and cons of moving the Board of Education Elections, which are traditionally held in April, to the November political elections.

Please follow this important issue by going to: and selecting the “Board of Education Meeting 010813.” You can set the video at 10:55  (minutes) when Board President Jonathan Lifton opens the discussion.

It is worth viewing the public discussion with members of the Board from about 54:00 (minutes) to about 69:00(minutes).

You can read a description of the law that allows a district to move its elections to November and frequently asked questions at:

Happy New Year! News and Upcoming CQE Events

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! As 2013 begins, the Metuchen School District is well on its way towards academic excellence for all students.  Under the leadership of Superintendent Vincent Caputo and our Board of Education, a culture of academics is being fostered in our schools, where administrators, faculty members and students are being recognized for their scholarly achievements at Board of Education meetings and in the media.

In November, for the very first time Metuchen became one of 539 school districts across the United States and Canada to be named to the College Board’s AP District Honor Roll for increasing participation in the Advanced Placement program, while increasing the percentage of students earning passing scores on exams.  Our district’s increased participation in the program can be explained by the unprecedented number of students who were encouraged to take AP exams last May.   Of course, the credit for the passing scores must go directly to our teachers and students!

And the future looks even brighter with Mr. Caputo’s vision of increasing access to the Advanced Placement program for more students, which includes offering classes in subjects like Psychology and Government, which have no prerequisites.  In another step to encourage more students to challenge themselves, at their December 11 meeting, the Board of Education voted on the recommendation of the Superintendent to increase the grade point differential for AP classes.  Citizens for Quality Education is pleased with these initiatives and feels confident that we will see more students better prepared for the challenges of college and the world of work.

As Citizens for Quality Education begins the New Year, we invite you to join us in our upcoming activities:

  • CQE Story Time at Campbell School:  Are you interested in reading to a 1st or 2nd grade class?  Or would you like to get involved in planning for our program that brings members of the community into our schools? You can read more about this longstanding CQE event at  Our first Story Time of the year will be held on the morning of Friday January 11.  Write Shannon Osborn-Jones at for more information.
  • In 500 Words or Less:  On Sunday February 10 at 1 PM in the Metuchen High School auditorium, CQE and the Metuchen Guidance Department will co-sponsor a free screening of In 500 Words or Less, an important documentary film about the college admissions process. The film is open to the entire community—parents, students, grandparents, etc. To learn more about the documentary, visit:
  • CQE/MHS Alumni College Day:  On Monday May 20, alumni from the MHS Classes of 2011 and 2012 will return to their alma mater to speak to their former schoolmates about the challenges, rewards and realities of college life.  More information will follow on how the alumni can get involved and how adults can volunteer to help at our 7th annual Alumni College Day.
  • CQE Scholarship:  Over the last two years, CQE has awarded over $1500 in scholarships to Metuchen High School graduates at Senior Convocation in June.  For more information about the scholarship, please see:

To learn more about Citizens for Quality Education (CQE) and the benefits of membership, please review our Website.  Click on “Join CQE” on the right sidebar to get a membership form and instructions.

Important BOE Meeting–December 11, 2012

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

On Tuesday December 11 at 8 PM in the Metuchen High School cafeteria, the Board of Education will meet and will cover two important topics. Up for discussion are a language arts curriculum which will inform the way instruction is delivered in grades 3-5, as well as changes to the grade point differential for AP classes at the high school. This meetings bring to a vote the two items which were first on the agenda of the November 13 meeting.

Important BOE Meeting: Tues. Nov. 13 at 8 PM

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

On Tuesday November 13 at 8 PM in the Metuchen High School cafeteria, the Board of Education will meet and will cover two important topics.  There will be a presentation on balanced literacy, which will inform the way instruction is delivered in grades K-5.  There will also be a discussion on the grade point differential for AP classes at the high school. Changes in these two areas will affect the education of Metuchen students for years to come.

Board of Education meetings are open to the public; please plan to attend. To view the agenda for tonight’s open session, see: Agendas

Please share this information with interested parties and parents whose children could be affected by these changes.

Next CQE meeting: Weds. Oct. 17 at 8 PM

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Citizens for Quality Education cordially invites all Metuchen residents to its first public meeting of the 2012-2013 academic year on Wednesday October 17 at 8 PM in Borough Hall in the 2nd floor conference room.  This year we will begin each meeting with a discussion of an educational issue of interest to parents.

In October, the topic is “academic ability grouping.”  We think the dialogue will be lively.  Drawing on current research, our intention is to be informative, thought provoking, and unbiased.

Also at the meeting we will discuss plans for Story Time, CQE’s longstanding program  at Campbell School where members of the Metuchen community visit 1st and 2nd grade classrooms to read to the children.

We hope you can join us! For more information about CQE, our programs and the October meeting, please write  To learn more about CQE, explore our website.

–JoAnn Sabatino-Falkenstein, President

Next CQE Meeting

Monday, June 18th, 2012

The next CQE meeting will be held on this Wednesday, June 20 at 8 PM in Borough Hall (second floor). Please join us at this end of year meeting when we re-organize, assess our progress, and plan our direction for the coming year.  Everyone is welcome.