Board of Education
Responsibilities of the Board
The Board of Education is the governing body of the South Orange - Maplewood School District with responsibility for developing policy to ensure the proper care, management and control of District affairs. The Board consists of nine citizens elected at large by the voters of South Orange and Maplewood. Board members serve three year terms, with three members of the Board subject to election each year.
In addition to setting policy, the Board hires the superintendent; approves staff hirings, transfers, resignations, terminations, and leaves of absence; approves expenditures; approves educational programs (curriculum); and otherwise ensures that the facilities and equipment are available to support learning and teaching in the District. The Board also approves the budget for the School District. However, the tax levy is approved by a separate entity, the Board of School Estimate, which is comprised of three members of the Village Trustees of South Orange, three members of the Township Committee of Maplewood and two members of the Board of Education.
Every year in January the Board holds an organization meeting to elect officers (President and two Vice-Presidents), appoint committees and settle other routine business. There are three standing committees -- Curriculum and Instruction (C&I), Finance, Facilities, & Technology (FFT), and Personnel -- that meet monthly to study specific issues and work on special projects as assigned by the Board, and make recommendations to the the Board as a whole.
The Board meets on the third Monday of each month, except when precluded by a holiday. The Board, from time to time, will add additional meetings. Public sessions of all meetings of the Board are held at the Board Administration building, located at 525 Academy Street in Maplewood, and convene at 7:30 PM.
Public Participation at Board Meetings
The public is welcome to attend School Board meetings, workshops and public feedback sessions. Members of the public may participate in regular School Board meetings in the following ways:
- Hearings of Individuals and Delegations. The Board provides two periods during a regularly scheduled meeting at which members of the public may address the Board about an issue of concern, whether or not the item is on the agenda. The first period is at the beginning of a meeting. Individuals are asked to sign up to address the Board prior to the commencement of the meeting. Speakers are asked to identify themselves and their topic of interest before beginning their comments and may speak for a period of three minutes. The initial period of Hearings of Individuals and Delegations, by Board policy, extends for a maximum of 45 minutes. The second period for Hearings of Individuals and Delegations occurs at the end of the meeting, after New Business. The same procedures and three minute time limit per speaker, as with the initial Hearings of Individuals and Delegations, apply here.
- Presentations. Members of the public may submit a written request to the Board Secretary at least 7 days prior to a regularly scheduled Board meeting asking for an opportunity to address the Board.
The request is to specify the topic of the presentation and the purpose for the request. After reviewing the request, the President of the Board will schedule a time for the presentation. A presentation of this type is limited to the maximum of 15 minutes. A copy of any written material associated with the presentation are to be delivered to the Board Secretary by the Thursday prior to the presentation for distribution to the Board.
Other Methods of Communicating with the Board
A member of the community also may communicate with the Board by writing to the members of the Board and/or the superintendent care of the Board Administration Building or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. As always your input is welcome.
In addition, should a community member wish to contact a specific Board member, they can be reached at the board member's individual district email address. This information can be found on the current board members page.