New Campbell School Principal and other key school positions announced

| 112 Comments

Mrs. Florence Carter, 6th grade Language Arts Literacy teacher at Edgar Middle School, has been named principal of Campbell School.  

 

World Languages teacher Susan LaFauci was appointed acting vice-principal of MHS while vice principal Bruce Peragallo serves as acting principal until Mr. Novak's replacement is named.

 

Kevin LoPresti and Christina Spring were named as new Kindergarten teachers at Moss School.

112 Comments

In response to the last poster's remark: The question that should be asked is: do you plan to obtain a two year degree or a four year degree, instead of do you plan to attend a two year college or a four year college.

No, the rankings is correct in looking at how many students go on to a 4 year college and how many go on to a 2 year college (regardless of their intentions). MHS should be preparing, finding resources for, and encouraging as many of its students as possible to go on to a 4 year college if they want a 4 year degree. Look at this week's Time magazine for the latest statistics on how much more likely a student is to obtain a BS/BA by starting at a 4 year college.

In terms of cost, going to a state school and living at home may cost perhaps $8,000 more over the first two years. Low cost student loans can cover that. The kids and their families should understand that some debt like a student loan of $8,000 is worth taking on when the pay-off is having a college degree.

I'd like to see my own kids (and all the kids in Metuchen) starting in the best place possible for them to attain the degree if that is their intention.


In response to the last poster's remark: The question that should be asked is: do you plan to obtain a two year degree or a four year degree, instead of do you plan to attend a two year college or a four year college.

No, the rankings is correct in looking at how many students go on to a 4 year college and how many go on to a 2 year college (regardless of their intentions). MHS should be preparing, finding resources for, and encouraging as many of its students as possible to go on to a 4 year college if they want a 4 year degree. Look at this week's Time magazine for the latest statistics on how much more likely a student is to obtain a BS/BA by starting at a 4 year college.

In terms of cost, going to a state school and living at home may cost perhaps $8,000 more over the first two years. Low cost student loans can cover that. The kids and their families should understand that some debt like a student loan of $8,000 is worth taking on when the pay-off is having a college degree.

I'd like to see my own kids (and all the kids in Metuchen) starting in the best place possible for them to attain the degree if that is their intention.


8:27, the point is not whether 4 year degrees give more opportunity than 2. The point is that many kids who start out at a 2 year school fully intend to go on and do go on to obtain a 4 year degree. Perhaps they need to change the question, which relies on self-reported data anyway. The question that should be asked is: do you plan to obtain a two year degree or a four year degree, instead of do you plan to attend a two year college or a four year college.

Statistically you have a much better shot at getting a bachelor's degree if you start at a 4 year college. If on the other hand, a student is not sure if they want to go to college or if they want a 4 year degree, then a 2 year college is a good place to start.

How many of us want our kids to get a 4 year degree? how many of us think our kids are academically able to get a four year degree after hs? If it's about 75% of us, then MHS is hitting the mark by sending that many students directly on to a 4 year college.

It is NOT elitist in this day and age to expect our children to go on to a 4 year college. State schools are not nearly as expensive as private schools and there's nothing wrong with living at home (like one does when they go to MCC) while attending Kean, Rutgers or Montclair. The community and the BOE should have the same expectations for all the students of Metuchen as they do for their own children.

I believe that Metuchen was ranked in the 40's 2 rankings ago.

But the rankings are only a part of the issue. I was at a school board meeting soon after the nj monthly rankings were released this past year. A member of the public asked a question about 4 year college attendance, and the board wouldn't even concede that 4 year degrees were preferable to 2 year degrees. When I asked a board member after the meeting why the board couldn't even make that concession, I was told they didn't feel it was up to them to make that sort of value judgment, and they didn't want to be "elitist". As I said in a previous posting, there are a few reasons why students would go to a 2 year school instead of 4...mostly financial. But can we not say that 4 year degrees give more opportunity than 2? I say again, shouldn't the hs guidance office be trying to help students navigate the process so they can hopefully find an appropriate, affordable 4 year option? Isn't that a worthy goal? If not that, what is correct role of hs guidance counseling?

If you're in the 50s you're in the top 10% of the over 500 school districts.

No way, lower than that, and always lower than JP right up the road in Edison

I believe they were in the top 10%.

And what was the highest rank Metuchen ever had in NJ Monthly? (even in the supposed good old days) Not very high

We looked at NJ monthly before buying in Metuchen...that was when Metuchen had a respectable rank. I know others taht did as well. When you dont know the area very well, you have to take these surveys into account.

The NJ State Department of Education puts out an annual school report card. A lot of people use that.

http://education.state.nj.us/rc/rc08/index.html

If you moved here just because NJ Monthly said we have good schools, then you screwed up

Schools have always been ok, but nothing special and never had test scores and results as high as JP Stevens just north of town in Edison.

Read a great new book: Lost in the Meritocracy : The undereducation of an overachiever Kirn, Walter.

When I moved here, one important factor I used in determining whether to move here or not was the amount of after school activities our district has to offer. The surrounding towns (Edison and WB) do not have middle school clubs or sports teams. I felt this would keep my kids busy, while also helping to achieve a well rounded student. I used the school report cards in the Star Ledger as a guide, but following them for many years, you can see the scores change year to year when intuitively, you know things are not changing all that much year to year. Sometimes people need to take a step back and use some common sense. The NJ ranking is one thing to look at, but only a very small part of the puzzle when looking at the schools.

I used the rankings in addition to SAT scores, and available activities 10+ yrs ago when selecting where to buy a house. My mother taught me that resale values are better in better school districts. I am still trying to make my own assessment of whether student achievement is dropping or only our ranking?

I used the NJ monthly ratings when I went to chose a home. greatschools.net was not around then, but everyone I knew buying into an area where we did not know anyone used NJ monthly ratings, we passed it around. That rating has a lot of power like it or not.

And what other school rankings do you think that people look at when they are selecting a public school system to educate their children? It sure isn't The Crit or The Sentinel...although I wouldn't be so confident how we would stack up there as well. Or do you think that young families are encouraged by all of the unmeasurable qualities that the BOE would like us all to embrace? The SAT's are biased anyway, right?

I think it's a marketing success that anyone thinks that anyone else actually turns to NJ Monthly for decisions on where to buy a home in NJ. Where is your proof that people use it as a resource? (Although I'm sure the publishers of NJ Monthly would love to believe they wield such power.)

It is a very important rating for homebuyers new to the area. It influences property values more than you think. You may not care what they say, but a lot of people do.

very funny

NJ Monthly still publishes? And people still care what they say?

Thats funny

Of course a 4 year degree is the goal. One way to do that is through a community college. Thinking that we need to push all students to a 4 year school is just wrong.

In fact, I would support federal funding of college if the first two years were spent at a community college and then transferred to a public state college.

Nj Monthly ratings are important-if we have a lot of kids going to two year colleges then we just have to bump up our SAT scores. We have to remain on top.

9:28, yes, NJ Monthly is snobby and elitist.

Well put, 10:01

I think it is time to agree that there different viewpoints, all of which are valid. I for one believe that it is ultimately best to get a BA, but the best route is not always to begin at a 4 year school. It is not realistic to take finances out of it. Most people who live in this town will at best get only a small percentage paid for by finanacial aid. If we are not goint to look at reality, then there is no reason to discuss.

A better discussion would be what are the specific things that the school district should be doing that would enhance the education off all, while not raising costs, b/c at this time that would not be acceptable to the community.

I'm sure there are many success stories about students who went to 2 year schools and succeeded spectacularly. There are also many stories of people not making it through HS and being successful. There are also stories of people with post-graduate degrees being serial killers(see unibomber)

All of these stories and testimonials are beside the point. Once again, not to disparage 2 year schools, but can we not even agree that if you take finances out of it, that 4 year degrees are preferable to 2 year degrees? Shouldn't resources of the guidance dept in MHS be spent trying to help students navigate the financial aid and admissions processes so that as many students as possible can attend 4 year colleges? Why do you think NJ monthly uses that statistic in their rankings? Are the just snobby and elitest?

I transferred from MCC to RU and then on to Penn for my graduate work. I feel, strongly, that MCC prepared me quite well for the rigors of an honors program at Rutgers and that I made a wise decision in earning 60 credits more economically than spending a full 4 years at Rutgers. I must disagree with an earlier post listing "maturity" as a reason why one might opt for a 2 year school over a 4 year; I found that working full time and juggling a full time course load at MCC to require a great deal of maturity on my part.

Tell that to NJ monthly-they are harsh on us with their ratings.

A good route for a 4 year degree does run through a 2 year college. You take care of electives there and your AA degree gains you admission to a 4 year school and you earn your ultimate degree at a 4 year school.

Much cheaper than attending the university for 4 years and when all is said and done, your degree looks like everyone who attended there for 4 years.

It wouldn't surprise me if Obama pushes 2 year schools when he works on education reform here in America.

To poster 11:48

Reason # 5 Social
Reason # 6 Emotional (maturity)

When that happens, and it will, the complainers will just find something different to complain about.

I wish there was a statistic on the number of our graduates that start at a 4 year, then come back and do a year at Middlesex, then go on to another school. Once my children hit HS, I was astounded at the number of kids that come back after one year. Not sure why, but one thing I am sure plays into it is that the parents here seem to be what colleges are now calling "helicopter" parents. They hoover over their children with everything that they do, then these kids have a tough time making it on their own. As much as it sounds great to have multiple counselors working on getting the kids into schools, looking for aid etc., I would like to see parents and the administration give the students the tools to do these things themselves. It isn't realistic in this economy to think that hiring additional counselors is going to happen.

I personally don't think the board and administration have "cowed" to anyone. I have never watched a board meeting where people got up to say we should be satisfied with 2 year schools. I just am very interested to see when the rankings come out based on this years graduating class, if we are ranked much better, will people be satisfied, even though nothing will be different other than the population of students that the data was drawn from.

I understand that many students start at 2 year colleges and eventually move onto a 4 year college.

I don't see where I have "put down kids and families". This whole thread is discussing the school system, not the individual choices that students make.

The last poster says that two year college attendance hinders the NJ monthly rankings. Why do you think they use that statistic in their calculations? Because four year colleges are more difficult to get into than two year, they offer bachelors degrees not associates degrees, and lead to better paying jobs or graduate degrees.

Students go to a 2 year college for only three reasons that I can think of.

1)financial.

2)academic.

3)geographic.

If the school administration had a belief that 4 year schools were preferable to two year, then one of the guidance offices main tasks would be trying to find financial aid, grants, scholarships, and lower cost 4 year options for students in a difficult financial position(with the cost of college..I think that is nearly everyone). They would also be educating those students that are academically borderline for college of the steps they should be taking to make themselves more attractive to the admissions process.

Because some vocal people scream "elitist!!!" whenever someone suggests that 4 year schools are preferable to 2 year schools, I believe the board and administration have been cowed into inaction. Is it a put down to those students who have attended 2 year colleges to say that 4 year colleges are preferable? If they didn't have the financial, academic, and geographic constraints, is it not fair to say that the vast majority of those students would have gone to 4 year colleges? Why can't a priority of the hs be to help students overcome these difficulties?

I think we all agree two year college is great-it just hinders the nj monthly ratings. It is what it is.

1:03, Please consider that some people start out at a two year college even though they plant to get a four year degree. Some other people start out at a four year college and end up with nothing.

I think we all agree that our high school should offer all students the most acedemically challenging curriculum possible. All students should be encouraged to attend whatever higher education suits their needs and talents. Success is indeed defined as achieving ones goals. That being said, I think it is horrible that people put down kids and families that determine that starting at a 4 year college is not the right path for them. I am thankful that in our family, my husband choose the route of going to a community college, then finished his last year at a 4 year university. We started our married life without any student loans and were able.

ps.... if you were at any of the awards ceremonies prior to graduation this year you would have been extremely impressed at the schools that these kids are going to. They obviously were accepted to some amazing schools.

1:03....your last response shows that you do not at all understand my position. Earning power/income/money are not my personal definition of success. Having enough money to pay the bills and live comfortably (no, not Mcmansion comfortable, I did that, quit the corporate world and downsized/simplified, thankfully, to a ranch). I don't equate success in my life with what you term "earning power" but with more personal characteristics and life experiences: kindness toward others, passion for one's work, a willing heart and ear, dedication to one's family---meaning no 65 hour work weeks in favor of time with kids! Please remember that "success" is more than the "statistics" you refer to and at least for me, much more than a salary.

I can appreciate that not all people can or do go to a 4 year college right out of HS. That being said, every statistic you can find shows a tremendous disparity in earning power between those with 4 year degrees vs. two year degrees vs. HS degrees vs. no-hs degree.

I don't understand the resistance to saying what is obvious...our hs should be encouraging as many students as are able(financially or academically)to attend a four year college. It should be trying to gear its curriculum to educate all students with that goal in mind. It should take standardized test scores seriously and try and improve them, because that is how the school district is judged by the outside world, whether in college admissions or job searches; and in the end, that is where our students will have to make their way...in the outside world.

Three people in town took different routes to very successful careers. One went to Middlesex for two years before transferring to Rutgers to complete a 4 year degree. One decided not to go to college but after a short time working realized that he did need to go to college and completed a 4 year degree at a SUNY school. The last went to college for a year and determined that college wasn't for him, but was highly motivated and took a job where he could learn about computers and is now an IT Director. 3 people, all very successful productive members of our society. None of the three went the traditional route of graduating from a 4 year college right out of HS. Everyone is different and one path isn't right for everyone.

Would you mind expanding on that? What did I write that was "snobby". Do you think people shouldn't be educated and encouraged to reach their full potential? Should we all just slink away and be happy for whatever crumbs are thrown to us?

5:55---You're a snob.

Nobody is looking down upon plumbers and electricians. They make a good living and provide a useful service to society. But wouldn't a better educated electrician...someone who went through a rigorous hs program, was encouraged to be the best student he/she could be, and, yes, was encouraged to go on to higher education be more likely to have the tools to be a good businessperson? Sure, learning a trade is education, but if you want to own your own plumbing business; if you want to employ other people and create wealth for yourself and society...tell me again why testing to confirm our schools are reaching its goals and encouraging higher education is not important?

Education comes in many different forms and college is just one of them. Why is it not ok for a young person to want to go into a profession, like a plumber or electrician, for example. As long as they are educated in that trade, isn't that good enough? You can be extremely productive, innovative and successful without a college degree. However it seems in this town if you do not head to a 4 year college (to start at a 2 year college isn't good enough)you are looked down upon.

I'm sorry to turn this discussion into a philosophical rant, but I can't take this type of bs anymore. Should our schools teach children to an objective standard or not? The prior poster seems to feel that testing to determine the level of success in our schools is invalid. He/She seems to be suggesting that instead of of have real educational goals like learning to read and write, understand mathematics, science, etc. and testing to see if we have reached those goals, the goals of our school system should be to produce "caring people" that will "make the world a better place". Would you care to define that? I can almost guarantee that your definitions of those lofty and amorphous goals are different than mine.

Our students today are not automatons, testing robots, etc. I'm sorry that we can't all be so cavalier with our futures as to "learn for the sake of learning" and "go to college if you care to, don't if you don't". It seems to me that Metuchen Schools should be giving its students the most rigorous eduction possible...should be preparing them to be productive members of our extremely dynamic society, and encouraging its students to (gasp!) go to college and become the most successful, productive adults they can become.

And I'll clue you in to something...by becoming the most educated, productive, and innovative person you can be...that is how an individual can most successfully contribute to making this a better world.

How times have change-----education is not at all about learning; it is about rankings. Learn how to take the SAT, the earlier the better, be sure to move to a town with a high ranking on the NJ Monthly list, etc. Why not learn for the sake of learning; go to college if you care to, don't if you don't. Parents have turned their households, their towns, and their schools into pressure cookers, producing automatons who can test well, regurgitate lots of data, but what else? Are they caring people? Do they seek work to make this world a better place? Or is their idea of a better place simply a bigger Mcmansion and a bigger bank account. The kids of the 70's have turned into the greedy parents of today---I wonder what your children will contribute to this world---or will they simply continue to suck it dry?

There are other factors besides SAT scores that are used in the rankings, e.g. the percentage of graduates going on to a 4 year college, the percentage of students taking AP classes, the percentage of students in AP classes who take the AP exam and pass it, etc. The high school should make a concentrated effort to improve outcomes in all areas, not because better outcomes will improve MHS's ranking, but because these measurements are used to predict how well our students are prepared for the rigors of college work and all MHS students should be well prepared.

There are other factors besides SAT scores that are used in the rankings, e.g. the percentage of graduates going on to a 4 year college, the percentage of students taking AP classes, the percentage of students in AP classes who take the AP exam and pass it, etc. The high school should make a concentrated effort to improve outcomes in all areas, not because better outcomes will improve MHS's ranking, but because these measurements are used to predict how well our students are prepared for the rigors of college work and all MHS students should be well prepared.

9:11-Thank you-that is a great tip.

My daughter had Mrs Carter for a teacher. I think she is a great choice for Campbell!!
I am looking forward to having her there.

6:18, we have that now. If you want full day kindergarten you are free to choose that for your child. You just have to pay for it yourself. Or, you could have chosen to move to a town that had full day kindergarten. Expecting the town to add this huge expense in these economic times in unrealistic.

Besides the simple fact that the district does not have the space for it. If the entering classes keep growing we may have to revisit the idea of moving the first graders back to Moss. Put the BOE offices in trailers, not the kids.

9:03, If you click on the comment from anonymous link the comment that is being replied to appears at the top of the screen.

7:15 What are you talking about? How far back are we to find the anonymous comment you are replying to?

Anyone who thinks we are diagnosing students as autistic just for some extra services clearly has had no contact with students on the spectrum, or with children, in general. These are children with social, academic, emotional and sometimes physical impairments. Soon-to-be-parents are as fearful of autism as a homosexual was of AIDS in the early 1980's. By offering additional services earlier in life, we have an opportunity to save a great deal of time and emotional trauma later in life. Please keep your mean-spirited and ignorant comments to yourself.

How about a choice? half day for those who chose and full day for others.

Let's form the committee and get some numbers. Half day kindergarten has to cost something, it just might not be that bad to go up to full day.

I meant, how much sense does it make to call that full day kindergarten and charge as if it is full day kindergarten? All that really is is half-day kindergarten with wrap around care - which is exactly what Metuchen offers.
I think that Metuchen should keep half day kindergarten because that's an appropriate amount of time - just like 4:08 stated.

It makes perfect sense, because children at the age of 5 are spent after 3 hours. Many come home from school and fall asleep on the couch or at least rest a bit.

My neice attended a private kindergarten (not in Metuchen.) You had the option to attend half day or full (and you paid accordingly.) My sister initally was going to send her for a half day but then discovered that all the acedemics were covered in the morning, and after lunch was recess, specials, celebrations, etc. How much sense does that make????

I would like to know the actual instructional time in our neighboring towns. I had a child attend a private full day kindergarden which had morning snack, lunch, recess, rest time, and afternoon snack. Add in Library, art and music, programs that are usually incorporated into a full day program and you can see where I am going with this. I agree that our program is too short, but there are alternatives to a full day.

Interesting comment about how the kids in the current graduating class did it all without laptops.....a big concern of mine is how the students in middle school have very poor writing skills, editing skills and written grammar b/c they do all their writing at home on a computer. This is a problem. I would like to see teachers require written essays where there is no spell check and grammar check!

I think full day for 1st grade provides all that you mention 12:20. This reasons are very valid and I am in total agreement. However, I do not feel that 5 year olds need it. I don't think that our full-day kindergarten neighbors are out-performing us in the lower grades as a result of full day kindergarten. Children come to kindergarten from daycare, 5 day pre-K programs, 3 day preschool programs, 2 day preschool programs, and being home with mom or grandma. I don't see the necessity of jumping into a 5 day/week full day program. I believe that enough is derived from a half-day program.

Why does this rare 15 month age discrepancy really matter? Even if it occurred in one class how would it matter if there was a lesson plan to educate the children for a full day? I see plenty of 4 year olds that are academically ahead of 5 or 6 year olds. A successful curriculum will keep all of the children no matter what their level involved in the lesson plans.

I also find the educational validity of Kindergarten arguments a bit confusing. Is there any doubt that more classroom and teaching time would be of benefit to our children? To say that this year's second highest SAT class all came from a half day kindergarten is not applicable. This class also did it all without laptop computers or the new E Tablets... should we cancel future technology orders because we performed well? Let's stop making excuses and start finding a way to make it work for the children.

Full-day Kindergarten is of value in a community where the children come from a disadvantaged homelife or where the socio-economic profile suggests a need. From what I know of Metuchen, there are very few children who fall into this category. Someone said it will add to the property value of my home. I don't want to move so that does nothing for me. You are suggesting that I pay higher taxes every year in the future so that your child can have 1/2 day more of kindergarten for one year. If people are moving to a town based on whether or not they offer full-day Kindergarten, they have very limited expectations and even less discernment.

I think your referring to Abbott schools.

I just think that having an age window of 15 months now (assuming the Sept. child who goes to school on time and the "held-back" June child mentioned above) is huge. And moving to full day will make more parents of the June-Sept. birthday kids be held back AND some of the Mar-May kids being held back.
Remember that a kindergarten teacher has kids in the class, and they are not tracked by abilities yet. The teacher has to engage the entire class at each child's level. If you make that window even larger - it's harder to do that. Yes, the special needs children should/will have a para to help. But, what about the older ones? Parents tend to think that they are giving their child the "advantage", but realistically, they could be forcing an older child who may have been acedemically ready LAST year to sit in a classroom and be bored.

All these comments about if we should have full day kindergarten yet not one post mentions how kindergarten actually improves a childs education.

Does it? Is it a nice to have or a must have? Would it just be taxpayer funded childcare? What do the studies show?

Throwing money into education isn't the answer, Newark spends more on education per kid than Metuchen does, does that mean they have better schools?

There already are some June children who started school a year late.

Don't we spend enough on "special needs" kids? Give me a break.

We should spend the same amount on each child, sorry, why should one group suck up more tax dollars than another?

More and more people are now claiming thier children are either autistic or have some type of ADD as a way to get their kid extra tutoring. Its crazy.

I do not think that 5 year olds needs to be in a school setting all day. There are many other leaning opportunities. Half of this town holds their children back if they have July, August, and September birthdays. If you move to full day kindergarten, even more children will be held back. Right now, if a September child goes to school on time, and she's with a July child who was held back, there's a 14 month difference in ages. That's pretty big gap at that age (for abilities, motor skills and maturity.) Now, imagine full day kindergarten and more people thinking that they should hold back because their child is on the younger side. If you start holding back April, May, and June children, you could make the gap in ages almost 1 1/2 years!

If full day kindergarten is becoming the norm in the area, shouldnt we be providing it too? Arent we the Brainy Boro? Dont we want to attract young families to the town? This years kindergarten class was so energetic and creative - I would have love to see what they could have learned in a full day, especially with the great teachers that are there now. The amount of time they had to learn each day was rediculously short. Yes, its more money, but at least the kids would get something out of it.

I think more money should be spent on special needs kids instead of full day kindergarten.

I believe that I wrote that these after care dollars would "help to fund" the full day program, not to fully fund the program. I attach merit to all of your comments to support your position. I do realize that any additional service carries increased costs. It is also my opinion that tax increases for this sevice would be partially paid back with incrimental property values. I have taken Dan Benderly's advice to reach out to Teri Sinatra to be part of the ad-hoc committee. I look forward to working together with you and others to attach actual costs to this program and to get the facts on the viability of full day kindergarten for Metuchen.

8:08 St. Francis Cathedral School's Kindergarten has been full for atleast a couple of years now, which means it is not due to Cabrini closing. There were not that many Cabrini families with kindergarteners for 2009-2010 school year.

8:08 St. Francis Cathedral School's Kindergarten has been full for atleast a couple of years now, which means it is not due to Cabrini closing. There were not that many Cabrini families with kindergarteners for 2009-2010 school year.

After care dollars would fund the program? That is rather simplistic and completely unaware of how you fund municipal and school activities. You can't selectively charge, it is a cost born by all tax payers. Do you even have any idea of the cost? I've heard it estimated by the BOE as a $650,000 expense or over 7 tax points. This is not a cheap endeavor. It is not without merit to pursue but you ought to get a better grip on the cost and the realistic funding mechanisms if you're going to win the support of the majority of the community. If you're just going to presume that everyone is looking to fork over $200 a year for full day kindergarten I think you've got another thing coming. It is true that Metuchen has a lot of commuters. It is also true that there are a lot of people living on fixed incomes that are quite tired of the ever increasing tax burden that is being placed on them by all the higher costs.

I believe St. Francis' kindergarten is full for 2009/2010 because St. Francis Cabrini is closing.

I believe St. Francis' kindergarten is full for 2009/2010 because St. Francis Cabrini is closing.

I agree that all kindergarten is essentially a scholastic daycare regardless of being public or private. Let's concentrate on the scholastic portion. I also agree that Moss does an excellent job with the short amount of time that the children have at the school. When the kids are soaking up knowledge like sponges I think it would be of tremendous benefit to have them spend more time with their teachers. The present system has many children of working parents being dropped off at the YMCA in the morning to play, then they are bussed to school, then they are bussed back to the YMCA until their parents return from work. There was an excellent post suggesting overlapping schedules to increase the kindergarten curriculum. It is innovative ideas like these that may be the best solution. Let's also not forget that a longer school day for the kindergarten may also be complimented by an after care program at Moss that is presently served by the YMCA. I am sure that working parents would be at ease that the transportation of the young ones would be eliminated and these after care dollars would help to fund the full day kindergarten.

I don't know what is being implied by calling Moss "daycare." I was very impressed with the teachers and staff there and my child learned a great deal this past year.

I heard St. Francis kindergarten is full for next year. I also think a lot of mom's went back to work.

The Private Schools in the area including St. Francis have seen a decrease in their full day kindergarden enrollment, which may be a direct offset to our increase. We may see that there is not the 20 - 25 children we typically see come from Private kindergarden to Public first grade. This is most certainly due to the economy and that parents do not want to pay for kindergarden. There are other options to full day kindergarden. Maybe we could increase the time to something b/w the current 2.5 hours and a full day. Many systems in NJ have extended days where there is some overlap, at which time the students coming in have a special etc. We should be creative in evaluating options.

FYI .... Taxes in South Plainfield have gone up quite a bit from last year.

The population of children in Metuchen has been growing steadily, at a rate higher than the overall population. The board of ed had a chart up with the budget documents that showed the growth in student population for the last 10 years or so, but they took it off the web site. Too bad, because it was very informative.

Are you suggesting that if we need to add kindergarten teachers this year, then next year we will have to add 1st grade teachers? Is the population in this town growing that much?

The 2009 graduating class had the second highest combined SAT scores in the HISTORY of Metuchen High School. Luckily that class will be the group evaluated in next years NJ Monthly ratings. Interestingly enough, the rating could go up significantly, while nothing changed except the students used in the sample.

Yes my daughter is very disappointed that she is leaving Edgar.

Who will replace Florence Carter? Those will be some big shoes to fill!

No, they used 2007 data.

We are an upscale town?

Are you kidding?

Hahahahaha

Thanks for the laugh

No, they used 2007 data.

Didn't the class that just graduted MHS drop from 52nd to 86th on New Jersey Monthly's list of NJ high schools?

Thank you Dan. I emailed Teri and I look forward to being involved in these discussions.

Are they raising the taxes in South Plainfield?

We just graduated a class full of some of brightest students Metuchen has ever seen. They all had 1/2 day Kindergarten. Full day does not mean greater success, just higher taxes.

We just graduated a class full of some of brightest students Metuchen has ever seen. They all had 1/2 day Kindergarten. Full day does not mean greater success, just higher taxes.

I am thrilled that it's still half-day kindergarten. I hope that all of my children get through Moss before it turns into full day!

We can do it, let's form the committee. Six year old children should be in school for more than 2 and a half hours. With all the taxes we pay, there should be some way to carve this in. WE are an upscale town- we deserve this.

We can barely afford half day, how are we going to afford full day?

Seems like nothing but a pipe dream to me

Saying "no" is an option

2 1/2 hour daycare or full day daycare, whats the difference, still just daycare.

The district is forming an ad-hoc committee to study the benefits, cost and feasibility of full-day kindergarten in Metuchen. Anyone who would like to volunteer for that committee should contact Teri Sinatra at TSinatra@metboe.k12.nj.us

Well said.

Thank you for the news with regards to our neighbors instituting full day kindergaten. Why does it make sense for these townships and not Metuchen?

I would expect that a commuter town such as Metuchen would embrace this added service. I would also expect that the costs of a full day kindergarten would be easily transfered to higher home values despite the challenging economic conditions.

Metuchen has always exemplified a boro that would deliver high value for higher costs. We all support this ideal as we pay up for it when we pay our tax bills each quarter. In my mind, the present kindergarten system does not represent a "discount" to achieve education but only serves as a waste of taxpayer money with zero return on investment.

I realize that this is not a new arguement, however the demand for this service is not going away. In fact the numbers of kindergarten students is on the rise. Let's stop treating these young minds to a 2 1/2 hour day care. I am sure that the BOE members that we have elected can make this happen just as the towns around us have succeeded. Just saying "no" is not an option going forward.

not true- they are fitting the budget with the mountains of money they already collect. Full day kindergarten remains in Edison.

I read that Edison is going back to half day because their budget didn't pass.

Mrs. Spector is not returning next year - one of the two new teachers is her replacement, the other will teach a 4th class in the AM.

Maybe this question is for the next BOE meeting, but are these hires an indication that the upcoming kindergarten class is much larger than previous years? What's going to happen next year when the children that are in full-day private kindergarten children join these children at Campbell school?

Well, if South Plainfield and Edison have it-we should too.

They don't have room for full day unless the BOE moves.

Too bad.

It's still half-day kindergarten. 4 sessions in the am.

maybe we are getting full day kindergarten. South Plainfield is starting full day kindergarten from half day this September. Our children should have the same benefits. Let's hope.

2 Kindergarten teachers? I thought they were only hiring one?

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