Dear South Orange & Maplewood School District Community,
As the long Memorial Day Holiday weekend (May 28 – 31) is coming upon us (District schools will be closed) we want to share a message from our school nurses regarding travel and updated quarantine guidance for staff/and or families who are planning to travel.
What Does Quarantine Mean?
- This is when someone who might have been exposed to the virus but has no symptoms needs to stay home. This is because they could be infected and could spread the virus, even though they feel well. Someone who starts to feel sick during quarantine should contact their Health Care Provider and consider getting tested.
What is the updated guidance from NJDOH for domestic travel?
- UNVACCINATED PERSONS and Domestic Travel
New Jersey continues to strongly discourage all non-essential interstate travel at this time. Unvaccinated travelers and residents returning from any U.S. state or territory beyond the immediate region (New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware) should self-quarantine at their home, hotel, or other temporary lodging following recommendations from the CDC:
- If travel is unavoidable, travelers should consider getting tested with a viral test (not an antibody test) 1-3 days before the trip and again 3-5 days after the trip.
- If travelers test positive, they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should postpone travel during that time.
- If travelers test negative, they should still quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
- If testing is not available (or if the results are delayed), travelers should quarantine for a full 10 days after travel.
- FULLY VACCINATED PERSONS* and Domestic Travel
You no longer need to quarantine or get tested before/after domestic travel if you are fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months. Fully vaccinated is defined as:
- It has been more than two weeks since you received your second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine; or
- It has been more than two weeks since you received your first and only dose of the Janssen/Johnson and Johnson vaccine; or,
- You have clinically recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months.
Local testing/vaccination options:
- Please note, for middle school and high school students: Students 12 years and older who live in New Jersey are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. To find vaccine locations: https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/finder
- Testing is presently available at 1850 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood for drop-in appointments. NJCOVID Team. Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 4:00PM (973-268-4319)
- For information on local vaccination and additional testing sites click here: https://bit.ly/3eMmxOr
For further guidance on travel, please visit the official site of the State of NJ: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/travel-and-transportation/are-there-travel-restrictions-to-or-from-new-jersey
South Orange & Maplewood School District
The Free and Reduced Price School Meal Program application for the 2020 – 2021 school year is available and still open for the remainder of the school year. If you have not done so already or if your family’s situation has now changed (this includes families who have previously applied) we encourage you to complete and submit an application to the District.
In order for Food Services to process your application as quickly as possible, please return only one application per household to the Administration Building. Applications are available in English and Spanish.
The determination of the free/reduced status of your child(ren) may help your family receive other benefits should the State of NJ or other agencies ask the district for this information. The application can be accessed on the District’s website.
There are several options to complete the application – online or by printing the application, completing it & returning it to the district. Please see below for more information.
Ways to Submit Applications:
- Fill out Application Online:https://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/district/food-services/freereducedapplication/
- Print and Mail: Download the application from the website and mail it to the Administration Building, Attn: Business Office, 525 Academy Street, Maplewood, NJ, 07040 (faxed applications will not be accepted)
- Pick-Up: Families can pick up paper applications at Columbia High School or Seth Boyden Elementary from 12 pm – 2 pm during Grab and Go lunch pick-ups
South Orange & Maplewood School District
Solicitud de almuerzo gratis o reducido para 2020 – 2021 aún abierta
La solicitud del Programa de comidas escolares gratuitas y de precio reducido para el año escolar 2020-2021 está disponible y aún está abierta por el resto del año escolar. Si aún no lo ha hecho o si la situación de su familia ahora ha cambiado (esto incluye familias que ya han solicitado), le recomendamos que complete y envíe una solicitud al Distrito.
Para que los Servicios de Alimentación procesen su solicitud lo más pronto posible, por favor envíe sólo una solicitud por hogar al edificio de Administración. Las solicitudes están disponibles en inglés y español. Clique AQUÍ para completar la solicitud para comida escolar gratis o a precio reducido.
La determinación del estado gratuito / reducido de su (s) hijo (s) puede ayudar a su familia a recibir otros beneficios en caso de que el estado de Nueva Jersey u otras agencias soliciten esta información al distrito. Se puede acceder a la aplicación en el sitio web del Distrito.
Hay varias opciones para completar la solicitud: en línea o imprimiendo la solicitud, completándola y devolviéndola al distrito. Consulte a continuación para obtener más información.
Formas de presentar las solicitudes:
- Por correo postal: descargue la solicitud de la página web y envíela por correo postal a Administration Building, Attn: Business Office, 525 Academy Street, Maplewood, NJ, 07040 (no se aceptarán solicitudes enviadas por fax)
- Complete la solicitud en línea: https://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/district/food-services/freereducedapplication/
- En persona: se pueden conseguir solicitudes en papel en Columbia High School o Seth Boyden Elementary de 12 del mediodía a 2 de la tarde durante la hora de recogida de almuerzos “Grab and Go”
Distrito escolar de South Orange y Maplewood
2020 – 2021 Gratis & Pri Redwi Aplikasyon pou Manje Lekòl 2020 – 2021 Toujou Louvri
Aplikasyon pou pwogram manje gratis ak pri redwi pou ane lekòl 2020 – 2021 la disponib epi li toujou ouvè pou rès ane lekòl la. Si ou pa te fè sa deja oswa si sitiyasyon fanmi ou chanje kounye a (sa gen ladan fanmi ki te deja aplike) nou ankouraje w ranpli ak soumèt yon aplikasyon nan Distri a.
Pou depatman Sèvis Manje a trete aplikasyon w lan pi vit posib, tanpri retounen yon sèl aplikasyon pou chak kay nan Bilding Administrasyon an.
Detèminasyon estati lib / redwi pitit ou a (yo) ka ede fanmi ou resevwa lòt benefis si Eta NJ oswa lòt ajans mande distri a enfòmasyon sa yo. Ou ka jwenn aplikasyon an sou sit entènèt Distri a.
Gen plizyè opsyon pou ranpli aplikasyon an – sou entènèt oswa pa enprime aplikasyon an, ranpli li & retounen li nan distri a. Tanpri gade anba a pou plis enfòmasyon.
Fason pou soumèt aplikasyon yo:
- Posté: telechaje aplikasyon an sou sit entènèt la epi poste li nan bilding administrasyon an, Attn: Business Office, 525 Academy Street, Maplewood, NJ, 07040
- Ranpli Aplikasyon sou Entènèt: https://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/district/food-services/freereducedapplication/
- Al Chèche: Fanmi yo ka al chèche aplikasyon an papye nan Columbia High School oswa Seth Boyden Elementary soti nan 12pm – 2 pm pandan nap ale ak pran manje midi.
South Orange & Maplewood Distri Lekòl la
You are invited to preview the middle school experience, with Principals Dara Gronau, Maplewood Middle School (MMS) and Lynn Irby, South Orange Middle School (SOMS). Each school will host a virtual welcome event, where they will provide you with an overview of what you need to know as you prepare for the next chapter of your child's educational journey, including:
- Curriculum Overview
- Academic Placement
- Wellness Initiatives
- Extracurricular Activities
View the event information and/or download the respective flyers for each school's respective "Welcome to Middle School" event below:
Date: Wednesday, April 21 | 7pm - 8:30pm
Event Link: http://bit.ly/SOMSWelcome
Event #: 129 873 2412
Password: Village2021 (84552432 from phones)
Call-in #: 408-418-9388
Download: SOMS "Welcome to Middle School" flyer
Date: Thursday, April 22 | 7pm - 8:30pm
Event Link: http://bit.ly/MMSWelcome
Event #: 129 920 6828
Password: Maplewood2021 (62753966 from phones)
Call-in #: 408-418-9388
- View the SOMSD Reopening Update Letter for Phases 3-5 (via Google Doc)
- Download the SOMSD Reopening Update Letter
- View the shortened Reopening Update presentation as shared by Superintendent Taylor
- Read COVID-19 Health-Related Rationale for SOMSD Updated Reopening Plan
SOMSD School Reopening Video Message Update from Superintendent, Dr. Ronald G. Taylor
Dear South Orange & Maplewood School Community,
Over the past several weeks, we have had ongoing conversations and negotiations about reopening with our various stakeholders. Today, on behalf of the Board, our Administration and our teacher’s union, SOMEA, we are happy to announce that we have reached a resolution that resolves health and safety concerns regarding building ventilation issues that will allow for significantly more instructional spaces to expand the roll-out of in-person hybrid instruction for students whose families have opted in over the next few weeks.
Our reopening plans (as also discussed and supported by our local health departments) will begin on Monday, April 19 as detailed in the chart below. Updates to our reopening plan are guided by the Governor’s recent announcement reducing social distance for elementary grades, while keeping the six-feet social distancing guidelines intact for middle and high school students.
As a reminder: Parents/guardians of incoming “new to hybrid” students, please remember to send your child to school with an appropriate face mask (pack 1- 2 extra face masks for your child), hand sanitizer, and a water bottle [Click here to view District requirements for face masks: bit.ly/SOMSDFAQs]
Explanation of Phases & Timeline
The consolidation of cohorts and additional grade levels returning will be a significant adjustment for Phase 3. It marks the return of some of our younger students (PreK - 2) whose families have recently opted in; as well as the return of our older students (8th and 12 graders) who will be transitioning out of their schools and who all have not been in school since March 2020. Our logic for the two-week gap between Phase 4 and Phase 5 students’ return to in-person instruction are two-fold:
- The gap will help new students transition back to the normalcy of attending school in-person again (while allowing our local Departments of Health time to monitor the possible impact of community spread).
- It will allow time for staff to be returned to their assigned classroom (due to the recent concerns with SOMEA a subset of teachers were working in different spaces, i.e., 2nd graders in 4th grade rooms), however, with ventilation concerns being addressed, teachers will need to be relocated back to their classrooms to make room for the incoming student population.
COVID-19 Health-Related Rationale for SOMSD Updated Reopening Plan
We have been in discussions with our local health departments as well as District health leads and have updated our reopening plan based not only on state guidelines, but are also factoring and monitoring Essex County and local COVID positivity rates and spread. The NJ Essex County COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) Score is presently “3” which is orange or high, which it has been since November 13, 2020. Since the week of January 22, 2021, when we began the District Dashboard, we’ve had 81 confirmed reported cases that were contracted from community exposures (outside of school). There is no evidence of SOMSD in-school transmission.
- Click here [bit.ly/2PM9zGO] to read a more detailed explanation from our health care professionals as well as more information on who should get tested for COVID-19 and the new testing location in Maplewood open from April 5 - 30.
It has been a long road. However, as we begin to see light at the end of this journey, we are extremely happy to have a plan in place that will allow for all of our students/families who have opted-in to hybrid instruction, to attend the last few months of school in-person. We again thank our students/families for their patience, our building administrators, staff and teachers for their hard work over the past-year, as well as our partners SOMEA for helping to move the needle forward to this point.
Additional updates will follow as needed from the District (i.e. regarding YMCA aftercare updates) and forthcoming return to school logistic details will be provided to families by your building principals.
SOMSD Updated Phased-In Reentry Plan for In-Person Hybrid Students