somsd facts at a glance

District Summary

The School District of South Orange and Maplewood serves more than 6,800 students in nine schools, including six elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school.

The community and its schools are racially and economically diverse with more than 90 percent of Columbia High School graduates planning to attend college each year.

The district’s vision is to be the top-performing diverse suburban school district in the nation. Its mission is to provide an excellent education for each and every student by providing them with rigorous academic opportunities to reach their personal college and career aspirations, including providing supports for struggling students to succeed. The district will provide an equitable education that breaks the links between demographics and academic achievement. The district will educate its students to be responsible and productive members of society at large: caring, collaborative and ethical people; critical thinkers and problem solvers; effective writers and speakers; and lifelong learners.

Enrollment

As of October 15 there are a total of 6,866 students enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12 as follows: 

Columbia High School – 1916;
Maplewood Middle School – 808;
South Orange Middle School – 789;
Clinton Elementary School – 553;
Jefferson Elementary School - 518;
Marshall Elementary School -525;
Seth Boyden Elementary School - 553;
South Mountain Elementary School - 597;
Tuscan Elementary School - 607.

 

Average Class Size Elementary Class Size Maximum/Minimum: 
  |kindergarten and first grade: 22/15|
  second grade: 23/16
  third grade: 24/17
  fourth and fifth grade: 26/19

Secondary Class Size:
  T
he average class size in most classes range from 20-25. 

Points of Interest

Columbia High School
    Observatory
    Clock Tower
    TV Studio
    Graphic Arts Studio
    Swimming Pool Black
    Box Theatre
    Hall of Fame
    Auditorium

Maplewood Middle School
    Ceramic Mural (Front Building Entrance)

South Orange Middle School
    Mosaic Art Project (Cafeteria)

Clinton Elementary School 
    Sculpture (Front Lawn)
    4th Grade Murals (Cafeteria)

Jefferson Elementary School
    Outdoor Classroom

Marshall Elementary School 
    Secret Garden (Media Center)

Seth Boyden Elementary School 
    Teaching Garden (Strawberry Fields)

South Mountain Elementary School 
    Garden (Kinder-garden)

Tuscan Elementary School 
    Dells (Garden)

Underhill Sporting Facility
 

Faculty and Administrative Credentials

PhD/EdD – 2.09 %

MA/MS – 62.39 %

BA/BS – 35.52 %

15 staff members have received National Board Certification 

Faculty/Student Ratio

There is approximately one faculty member for each 10.6 students. The state average is 1/11.1. This includes faculty specializing in art, music, health, physical education, enrichment, media, reading, guidance, resource room, special education and those making up the child study teams.

Kindergarten Entrance Age

Age 5 on or before October 1

Registration Materials Available Online http://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/Domain/40

 

Columbia High School Accomplishments (2013-2014)

Academic Honors and Achievements

Fine Arts and Media Awards

 

  • SOMSD was awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant through the U.S. Department of Education’s Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) – the largest award in the history of grant programs to a New Jersey school district, and the first time a NJ school district has been awarded the grant twice.
  • Seth Boyden was chosen to receive an Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP) Grant to launch 100 MILE CLUB.  ASAP is an initiative of ChildObesity 180.
  • The CHS Student Council received the Standards of Excellence award at the State Student Council meeting.
  • 16 CHS students received a perfect score of 800 on one or more elements of their SATs.
  • 5 CHS seniors received Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar Awards from the National College Board in the category of AP Scholar with Distinction.
  • 7 CHS seniors received Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar Awards from the National College Board in the category of AP Scholar with Honor.
  • 26 CHS seniors received Advanced Placement (AP) Scholar Awards from the National College Board in the category of AP Scholar.
  • 2 CHS students were selected as Semifinalists in the 59th annual Merit Scholarship competition for 2014 by The National Merit Scholarship Program.
  • 4 CHS seniors were named as Outstanding Participants Referred to U.S. Colleges and Universities by the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program, part of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
  • 3 CHS Students were named as semifinalists in the National Achievement Scholarship Competition by the 2014 National Achievement Scholarship Program, part of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation.
  • 21 CHS seniors were awarded Letters of Commendation in the 2014 Merit Program from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation
  • 4 CHS students were named as Scholars/Honorable Mention Referred to U.S. Colleges and Universities by the 2014 National Hispanic Recognition Program.
  • A CHS rising senior earned first place in the William Paterson 30th Annual Foreign Language Poetry Recitation Contest in the French Native category.
  • 34 CHS science students won top places in the Annual Merck State Science Day Test.
  • A CHS student won four awards at the North Jersey Regional Science Fair.
  • CHS Italian students won first place in the Italian Language and Cultural Day Competition. 
  • 10 CHS students were recognized for their scores for the 2014 National Spanish Exam – 1 Silver winner, 7 Bronze winners, and 2 Honorable Mentions.
  • A CHS freshman won a scholarship through the Italian American Committee on Education (IACE) to travel and study in Italy for 2 weeks.
  • 9 Maplewood Middle School students were recognized for their scores for the 2014 National Spanish Exam – 2 Bronze winners, and 7 Honorable Mentions.
  • 23 South Orange Middle School students were recognized for their scores for the 2014 National Spanish Exam – 4 Silver winner, 4 Bronze winners, and 15 Honorable Mentions.
  • 7 South Orange Middle School students competed in the 2014 MATHCOUNTS Competition Series.
  • 3 South Orange Middle School students participated in the 2013-14 Library of Congress letters About Literature Contest.  One student won first place in New Jersey and the remaining two students received Honorable Mention.

 

 

  • CHS’s production of Clybourne Park was nominated by Montclair State University’s Theatre Night Awards for: 1) Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Drama; 2) Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Drama; 3) Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama; and 4) Outstanding Production of a Drama.
  • The cast of the CHS musical, CATS, garnered a Paper Mill nomination for Outstanding Overall Production of a Musical in addition to numerous other nominations.
  • CHS student newspaper The Columbian won second place from the American Scholastic Press Association and received A Silver Medalist award from Columbia University Press Association.
  • The Guildscript received First Place with Special Merit Award and the Most Outstanding High School Literacy Magazine Award from the American Scholastic Press Association.
  • The CHS Honors Wind Ensemble participated in the  North Jersey Music Association Concert Band Festival. 
  • CHS Key Club won a Silver Star Third Place Award at the March 30th Key Club International District Convention. 
  • 3 CHS Students were selected as members of the 2013-2014 North Jersey Junior Region Band. 
  • 4 CHS students were selected as members of the 2013-2014 North Jersey Area Symphonic Band.
  • 8 CHS students were accepted into the NJSMA Honors Chorus (Region Chorus).
  • The CHS Concert Chorus and Excelsior Singers both received the highest possible rating in the North Jersey School Music Association Choral Festival.
  • 11 CHS students were selected as members of the 2013-2014 Essex County Honor Band.
  • A CHS sophomore won numerous awards and recognitions for his photography.
  • A CHS junior received a judge’s certification of recognition for her submission in the Pingry High School Photography Exhibition.
  • South Orange Middle School 7th grader auditioned at the world-famous Apollo Theater in Harlem and won the Children’s Amateur Night Competition. 
  • 6 Maplewood Middle School 6th grade students were selected to participate in the Region 1 Elementary Honors Orchestra Festival.
  • The Maplewood Middle School 7th and 8th grade Select Chorus, the 8th Grade Wind Ensemble and the 7th and 8th Grade String Orchestra attended the High Note Festivals with their music ensembles and were awarded trophies and a “Superior” rating. 
  • The South Orange Middle School 7th Grade Concert Band and 8th Grade Symphonic Band, the 7th Grade String Orchestra, the 8th Grade String Orchestra, and the 7th and 8th Grade Select Choir attended the High Note Music Festival to perform for adjudication and received comments and ratings of Superior and Excellent.
  • CHS students won an award for best Stop Motion Film, at the Ocean County Film Festival for their animated film, which was also selected for showing at the Kent Place Film Festival and the 2014 Cresskill High School Film Festival.
  • A CHS junior’s animated film was selected for the 2014 Cresskill High School Film Festival. 
  • CHS students won First Prize in the High School Category for their film   at the 40th annual New Jersey Young Filmmakers Festival.
  • Three Columbia High School students competed and won at the William Patterson Poetry Contest.

 

Sports, Teams and Club Awards

Staff Achievements and Recognition

 

  • The CHS Girls Track Team won for the second straight year at the Penn Relays -- the second straight 4x800 title for Columbia, which became the first U.S. team to win the girls 4x800 at the two times at the Penn Relays.
  • CHS Girls Track Team member was named the High School Girls Athlete of the Meet for Relay Events at the Penny Relays for the second straight year.
  • The CHS Girls Track Team won a 5th straight Group IV Championship.
  • CHS Girls Track Team member won 3 gold medals in the 200 meter dash, 400 meter dash (breaking a meet record), and 800 meter dash.
  • CHS Girls Track Team member won 2 gold medals in the long jump and the triple jump.
  • CHS Boys Track Team member won a gold medal for the boys in the shot put category.
  • CHS Boys Fencing Team finished 14-0 for the season, won the prestigious Cetrulo Tournament at the Morristown Armory and also won the State Title.  
  • CHS Girls Fencing Team finished the season 13-0, won the prestigious Santelli Tournament at the Morristown Armory and also won the State Title. 
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  • The Principal of Jefferson Elementary School was appointed by Governor Christie to the New Jersey Educational Opportunity Fund Board of Directors. 
  • A Music Teacher at South Orange Middle School was nominated for a Grammy for his recording of a Naxos CD, ‘Annelies,’ as part of Williamson Voices.
  • A CHS English Teacher, a 2nd grade Clinton Elementary School Teacher and a 5th grade Seth Boyden Elementary School Teacher all earned National Board Certification.
  • A teacher of Career and Technical Education was the recipient of the Outstanding Potential in Educational Leadership Award recognizing him for dedication and potential contribution to the field of Educational Leadership.
  • The Supervisor of World Languages & ESL earned her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from NOVA Southeastern University.
  • South Orange Middle School librarian was the recipient of the Jean Harris Progressive Library Media Program of the Year Award and won the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Making IT Happen Award. 
  • A CHS math teacher was invited as a conference speaker by the Department of Homeland Security, the National Science Foundation, and the Center for Discrete Math and Computer Science at Rutgers.
  • A CHS dance teacher was named the K-12 Dance Educator of the Year by the New Jersey Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (NJAHPERD) and was named the Eastern District Dance Educator of the Year by the Eastern District of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). 
  • An Art Teacher at South Orange Middle School received the Sister Rose Thering Education Award at the Interfaith Holocaust Memorial Service for her work to educate students about the Holocaust.  
  • A Secretary in the Department of Guidance & Counseling at South Orange Middle School represented Essex County at the Senate Resolution honoring Education Support Professionals by the New Jersey Education Association. 

 

 
Last Modified on January 15, 2015
NOTICE: The School District of South Orange and Maplewood does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, affectual or sexual orientation or sex, gender identity and expression, socio or economic status, or disability in its programs and activities. For further information, call the Office of Civil Rights at (800) 421-3481.