LETTER: Jersey City’s McNair Academic High School should re-hire Principal McCabe

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In a letter to the editor, the McNair Academic Parent Student Alumni Association pleads their case as to why their alma matter should rehire former Principal Kate McCabe.

Photo via jcboe.org.

Dear Editor,

The McNair Academic Parent Student Alumni Association (MAPSAA) sends this letter to register our distress and severe disappointment over the termination of Kate McCabe’s contract as principal of McNair Academic High School.

Ms. McCabe has been an extremely effective leader of an extraordinarily high-performing school. We ask that her contract be reinstated.

Principal McCabe has worked tirelessly with teachers, students, and parents to enhance McNair’s well- known academic rigor while fostering an even more humane and welcoming environment.

Our experience as involved parents, and our children’s experience as students, has shown her to be exactly the sort of leader our school and this district desperately needs.

Ms. McCabe was at the door every morning to greet our children by name as they arrived at school. She initiated Accepted Students’ Day, enhanced school-wide assemblies, and developed a more robust Student Council, all of which made students more comfortable in McNair’s highly demanding environment.

She was instrumental in hiring a counselor to assist students in coping with academic pressure and applying a growth mindset.

She also greatly increased outreach to parents by meeting regularly with them, and with MAPSAA, long after the school day was over. She informed us and eased our anxieties about issues such as curricular choices, college applications, and standardized testing.

She established a Parental Outreach Committee to bring teachers and parents together and sent newsletters informing us of the teachers’ and students’ impressive accomplishments.

She not only maintained but improved McNair’s stellar academic program, resulting in higher SAT scores, greater student enrollment in AP courses, rising AP scores, and sustained success in helping students gain admission to colleges appropriate to their skills and interests.

Additionally, Ms. McCabe never lost touch with the needs of her students. For example, she required that homework be assigned by the end of the school day if it was to be due the next day, a policy implemented with the support of students and parents—and, we assume, of the great majority of McNair’s talented and dedicated teachers.

During Ms. McCabe’s time at McNair, the school has been named the top public high school in New Jersey and has received commendation as a Blue Ribbon school.

From everything we have seen, the great majority of parents and students believe that she created an academically demanding but increasingly positive atmosphere in which students and staff could thrive.

Ending her contract places the school’s and our children’s continued success at risk.
Ms. McCabe’s termination is a devastating loss to our children, to the district, and to the  City.

We implore Acting Superintendent Franklin Walker and the Jersey City school board to reverse this decision, which goes against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of McNair students and parents.

Thank you,

Sincerely,
Kay Minus, President
Daniel Levin, Vice President
Ruby Alvaran, Secretary