Dear SOMSD Pre-K Parents/Guardians:
We hope that you and your family are well. Please allow us to provide an update of the District’s Preschool Education program and registration for the 2020-2021 school year.
As you may be aware, the New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) through the Division of Early Childhood and Family Engagement Office, awarded the South Orange and Maplewood School District, Pre-School Education Expansion Aid (PEEA) funding to expand our preschool program that was launched in the 2018-2019 school year. The primary goal of the PEEA is to increase access to high-quality full-day preschool for three- and four-year-olds.
As a District, we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to have access to quality Pre-K programs. The funding received through the PEEA supports the Board’s commitment to expanding access to a free high-quality preschool education program in 2020-2021 for children in our community. As such, this expansion will be accomplished through the placement of students at the District’s Montrose Early Childhood Center and includes our partners: Applecore Learning, La Petite, Zadie’s of the Oranges, Iris Family Early Childhood Education Center and KinderGan.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a major shift in our normal operations. Some of the early effects of this disruption are being felt, as a couple of our previously anticipated preschool partner sites now cannot commit to partnering in September 2020; thereby, lowering the number of seats we are able to offer for the 2020-2021 Preschool program. In addition, the pandemic may also affect the funding amount that we were awarded; in the coming weeks, we will learn of the state’s revised budget allocation to our District. If PEAA funding is reduced, this may also affect the number of new preschool placements that we are able to provide.
Currently, for the 2020-2021 school year, we anticipate providing a placement to 314 three- and four-year-olds who will continue or who will be new to the program. Based on the number of online registrations submitted (only based on enrollments received by the preregistration deadline), we have an overage and there will be approximately 84 families/students who will be placed on a waiting list. The preschool program lottery will be held during the week of May 18th. While we are unable to accommodate all placements at this time, we are optimistic that we may be able to expand partnerships with other local child-care providers to meet the needs of pre-registered students by January 2021.
In the next couple of weeks, we will be sending out additional correspondence to all families who pre-registered and completed their online enrollment process (by the deadline). The additional communications will include:
- Parent notification and child placement dates (please note, all placements are contingent pending full compliance of District registration requirements/processes)
- Revised in-person registration procedures
We thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time. Please email us at email@example.com with any questions. Be safe and well.
Melody Alegria, Ed.D
cc: Leroy Johnson III, Supervisor, Preschool Education Program
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” ― W.B. Yeats
May 5, 2020
Happy Teacher Appreciation Day (Week)! As we celebrate this annual acknowledgment of the individuals in our society who have chosen as a profession one of the most important, challenging, and satisfying undertakings ever known, please allow me to say ‘Thank you’. Whether you teach Pre-K or AP Chemistry, being a great teacher is an important, challenging, and satisfying role.
The importance of our profession does not just rest solely on the academic outcomes and skill mastery that we are held accountable for. What is truly important is that our students may be profoundly impacted by not just our formal lessons, but by literally every word that comes out of our mouths on any single day. When we remember our teachers, we often remember the toughest ones…the most challenging. The importance of those tough (but fair) instructors was most likely not the lesson’s content but the overall expectations. We learned about our own personal capacity for excellence. We learned that grit and tenacity resided inside of us. This is not only important, but it is also life-changing!
The challenge of being a great teacher lies in the effort we put forward as we always yearn for the ‘perfect lesson’. The lesson that is differentiated, to engage all learners, with their variety of learning styles and outside interests. The lesson that is equitable and culturally competent, yet fun and captivating. The lesson that has rigor and common sense fair evaluations of its effectiveness. The challenge of that perfect lesson lies in the fact that its attainment only makes you strive to replicate it for the next 5 hours of the day!
The satisfaction that we experience when the perfect lesson is executed is euphoric! We see that our lesson plans, curriculum, and PLCs were not just adhered to as a mandate by our supervisors, but these tools truly link to how we TEACH! For neophyte teachers in our profession, this is satisfaction; for seasoned educators, we know that true unmatched satisfaction comes from our students when they return to us years later as fully formed human beings who actually remember ‘us’! Euphoria is knowing that ‘we’ contributed to this ‘person’. That is the true ‘Teacher Appreciation’ moment.
Please know that you are valued and appreciated by your Board of Education, Superintendent, School Leadership Team, Principals, and District Administration Team. We know, as research tells us, the most important variable linked to the success of a student is an excellent teacher. Our current distance learning circumstances are no different, and our students need you more than ever.
Though it may be challenging, continue to push forward, because we understand that the work we do is even more important during these times. Wishing you and your families well, be safe! Onward and upward…
Dr. Ronald G. Taylor,
Superintendent of Schools
SOMSD Food Support Programs
Programas de apoyo alimentario de SOMSD
Pwogram Sipò pou Manje yo
District Food Service:
If your family needs food support during our school closing…
All district students are now able to receive free meals!
SOMSD Food Service will now provide meals to any district students and siblings under the age of 18, including the District’s out of district placements, and those attending charter schools regardless of eligibility status.
Packed /hot lunches are being distributed at:
- Columbia High School
- Seth Boyden School
Every School Day from
11:00AM – 1:00 PM
Parenting Center: Food Support Initiative
If your family needs additional food support…
If you need food support during our school closure, please let us know, and based on availability we will arrange for food delivery for your family. If you request food support we will share your contact information with a community volunteer who will make a food delivery to your home.
You can request support by either:
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For email please provide your name and phone number and we will contact you with details.
- Phone: Call the Parenting Center: 973-762-5600, X1850
- Please leave a voice message, provide your name and repeat your phone number twice (please speak slowly) – if, you do not leave a phone #, we will be unable to contact you.
The SOMSD community is a family & we support each other during challenging times.
Español: Programas de apoyo alimentario de SOMSD
Si su familia necesita ayuda para recibir comida durante el cierre de nuestros colegios…
Todos los estudiantes del distrito pueden recibir comida de manera gratuita!
El departamento de Alimentación de SOMSD ahora proporcionará comidas a todos los estudiantes y hermanos del distrito menores de 18 años, incluso a aquellos que han sido asignados a escuelas fuera del distrito escolar y a aquellos que asisten a escuelas autónomas, independientemente del estado de elegibilidad.
Los almuerzos se distribuirán en…
- Seth Boyden School
- Columbia High School
Todos los días escolares de:
11:00am – 1:00 PM
A nadie se le negará una comida
Si su familia necesita ayuda para recibir comida adicional …
Si cree que necesitará ayuda para recibir comida durante el cierre de nuestros colegios, por favor háganoslo saber y organizaremos una entrega de alimentos para su familia.
- Mande un correo electrónico a email@example.com (o)
- Llame a Parenting Center – 973-762-5600, X1850
- Por favor, deje su nombre y número de teléfono y nos pondremos en contacto con usted con detalles. Hable despacio y con claridad y repita su número de teléfono dos veces.
Si solicita ayuda para recibir comida, compartiremos su información de contacto con un voluntario de la comunidad que hará una entrega de alimentos a su hogar.
La comunidad SOMSD es una familia y nos apoyamos mutuamente en tiempos difíciles.
Kreyòl Ayisyen: Pwogram Sipò pou Manje yo
Si fanmi ou bezwen sipò manje pandan lekòl fèmen…
Tout elèv nan distri yo kounye a kapab resevwa manje gratis!
Sèvis Manje SOMSD pral kounye a bay manje a nenpòt elèv distri ak frè ak sè ki poko genyen laj 18 tan, ki gen ladan plasman Distri a soti nan distri a, ak moun ki ale nan lekòl charter kèlkeswa estati kalifikasyon.
Yap distruba manje nan:
- Lekòl Columbia High
- Lekòl Seth Boyden
11:00am – 1:00 PM
Tout moun akeyi
Centre Paran: Inisyativ Sipò Manje
Si fanmi ou bezwen plis sipò manje…
Si ou santi ke w ap bezwen sipò manje fè nou konnen epi nou pral fè aranjman pou yon delivre manje pou fanmi ou. Si ou mande sipò pou manje nou pral bay enfòmasyon kontak ou a yon volontè nan kominote a ki pral fè yon delivre manje lakay ou.
- Imèl: firstname.lastname@example.org (ou)
- Pou imèl tanpri bay non ou ak nimewo telefòn e nou pral kontakte ou avèk detay
- Rele Centre Paran nan: 973 762 5600 Ext: 1850;
- Tanpri kite ou non ak nimewo telefòn ak non pou nou kap kontakte ou avèk detay. Tanpri pale dousman epi byen klè & tanpri repete nimewo telefòn omwen de fwa.
Kominote SOMSD se yon fanmi & nou sipòte chak lòt pandan moman difisil yo.