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julianna mcdonald

on 22 February 2015

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Member of Jamesburg Board of Education
Stresses the need to get along
Worries that Jamesburg will not be able to afford to send kids to Monroe
Monroe's demands unrealistic
State not helping either
Jamesburg schools in "dire need"
Merging school systems is necessary
Money and Politics often come before students

Monroe School Board President
Stressed unity within the high school
Admits that Jamesburg sudents arrive unprepared
Merging is not an option due to financial reasons
Her primary concern is Monore residents
Monroe Township resident
12th grader at MTHS
No opinion of Jamesburg
Takes MTHS resoruces for granted
Unaware of Jamesburg struggles
Has no opinion about a possible merge
20 students
About 50% White, 40% Hispanic/Latino, & 10% Black/African American
De facto segregated seating
No backpacks, carry books
"Jamesburg Pride" clothing
The History of the Towns
Monroe Township & Jamesburg
When Two Worlds Collide:
Monroe High School
Brand new building
Less than five years old
Roughly 1600 students
Jamesburg and Monroe students both attend this school
Jamesburg must pay $14,000 per student in order for Jamesburg children to attend MTHS
Jamesburg also owes "debt service" of $600,000 to Monroe
Jamesburg Today
Image by Tom Mooring
A Tale of Two Cities
Monroe Township Middle School Observation
First Impressions
By: Erin Hodgkiss
Cailtin Foley
Kate Dobromilsky
Juli McDonald

Grace M. Breckwedel Middle School Observations
Grace M. Breckwedel
Monroe Township Middle School
Serving over 6,000 pupils in 2013/2014 school year
Operating budget for 2013/2014 is $84,000,000
Estimated $11,000 to educate one child in Monroe
Employs 648 teachers
2010 NCLB: 83.3% of students proficient or advanced in LAL
76.5% of students proficient or advanced in Math
Jamesburg School District
Enrollment: 758
Operating Budget: $ 12,358,814
Estimated $8,000 per student
2010 NCLB: Grace M Breckwedel is "in need of

High School Student Interviews
Monroe students receive substantially more resources than Jamesburg
Shows the segregation of NJ
We feel it would be beneficial for the school districts to merge
For financial reasons this will not happen in the foreseeable future, despite being in the best interest of the students
Monroe Today
Older building
Antiquated buzz-in system
Historical posters and inspirational quotes
Bathroom rules
Chalkboard homework posting
Lack of classroom technology

1838 - Monroe Township established
1838 - Buckelew's Mill (now Jamesburg) became a part of Monroe Township
1847- James Buckelew (Jamesburg's namesake) built new school
1887- Jamesburg established a commission form of government
1896- Jamesburg becomes a completely independent borough
1979- Court order to merge in the high school
District Goals
District Goals:
1. To improve the academic achievement and address
diverse learning needs
of all students through the use of student performance data, performance assessment,
differentiated instruction, and an
improved learning

2. Greater utilization and integration of
across the curriculum K-8 and expansion of Genesis.

3. To promote
community engagement
in examining
implications and needs related to emerging educational
Monroe Township
Large suburban township
Population: 30,000 residents
Home value has skyrocketed in the last decade
92.8% White, 2% African American, Hispanic, & Asian
8.1% foreign born
88.6% of residents speak English at home
Median Income: $65, 525
Finance and Insurance most commonly held job for men
Healthcare most commonly held job for women
3% of Monroe is below the poverty line
Monroe School System
Stark contrast in funding has lead to vastly different experiences in the two middle schools
Monroe Middle School Philosophy and Goals:
Our Philosophy as a Middle School is to provide an environment that will nurture adolescents according to their
developmental needs
. During this transition period, the school will afford students the opportunity for the acquisition of
essential academic skills as well as the development of a positive self-concept
. Furthermore, we aim to instill in students a sense of values leading to respect for others and their differences, the ability to work with others, and a sense of responsibility for the environment and the community. It is our hope that the time spent at Monroe Township Middle School will foster
life-long learning for students.
Population: about 6,000
73.9% White, 8.8% African American or Black, 4.5% Asian, & 22.4% Hispanic or Latino
Foreign-Born Persons: 15.9%
75% of residents speak English at home
Most Common Industry: Construction and Healthcare
Median Household Income: $61,703
6.9% of residents living in poverty
Monroe offers teams of many teachers
Emphasis on meeting academic needs
Jamesburg only has one "team" per grade, all teachers teach 6th, 7th, 8th grade
Emphasis on behavioral needs
Lack of aides to assist special ed
"Team Advantage"
English Language Needs
91.9% of Monroe residents speak English at home, not very many bilingual students
Only 75% of Jamesburg speaks English at home
Town has more Hispanic residents so many students are bilingual or ELL
Can be a challenge for Jamesburg teachers to communicate with both students and parents, very few are bilingual
Not enough funding for more ELL and ESL teachers
Detracts from student's own learning if have to act as translator
Less comprehension of English materials, textbooks etc.
Extracurricular Activities
High school offers iPads
Students of Monroe middle school familiar with technology, most have a computer at home
Most Jamesburg students do not have a computer at home
Assigning certain projects challenging
Emphasis on incorporating technology in Jamesburg but have to use outdated resources (old computers)
Teaching Styles
Monroe: More emphasis on different learning styles
Creative exercises, recreating Ancient Greece, Guided Visualization ect.
Jamesburg: more worksheets, less creativity
More emphasis on skills instead of content, Cornell note-taking strategy
More emphasis on behavioral correction, "Activity Day"
Monroe offers a plethora of activities outside of school
Sports, Mock trial, UN, band
Late buses every day after school
Jamesburg offers no extracurricular activities
No money to offer buses for regualr day, let alone after school
No electives offered either
Often a source of teacher anxiety about student success in high school
School Board Interviews

Resident of Jamesburg
11th Grader at MTHS
Enjoyed Jamesburg's small class sizes
No extracurricular activites or field trips
Likes MTHS because of its new facilties and resources
Thinks that Jamesburg students enter MTHS with fewer skills
Wishes Jamesburg children could attend Monroe schools starting in Kindergarten
Jamesburg Mission Statement
"The mission of the Jamesburg Public Schools is to develop, through an
active partnership with the community
, more independent young citizens who
achieve the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards
at all grade levels, possess the knowledge, skills, self-esteem, and
motivation to continue their individual educational growth
, solve problems and
respect the cultural differences
that exist in our American Society."
First Impressions
Student Observations
Charlie M.
Class In Session Observations
Paul Gentile
Kathy Kolupanowich
7th Grade, World History
Pre-test studying comments
Project Instructions
Disabled child and rude aide
Roman Empire test and extra credit
Cheating comments
Worksheet after test
Activities Day conversation
Mr. P Interview
High School students visit
Lots of control over curriculum
Skill based teaching philosophy
No extracurricular activities
School support network lacking
School resources lacking
Confusing relationship with Monroe Township
Michael H.
Relatively old building /old science classroom
New buzz-in system
Useful bulletin boards
Budget conversations
White board postings
Extensive classroom technology
Student Observations
7th Grade, World History
About 28 students
About 75% White, 25% Mostly Asian and Asian Indian
Russian student
Differences in student's clothing
Seating chart
Ms. E Interview
Pre-set/structured curriculum
Skill/lens based teaching philosophy
Many extracurricular activities
Helpful school support network
Multiple school resources
Poor relationship with Jamesburg
Class In Session Observations
Do Now and title questions
Analyzing "prosperous"
Guided Visualization
Postcard project (with examples)
Group work on homework with prizes
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."
- Charles Dickens

Monroe Township High School
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