“Let me say thank you for the gifts, and more thanks because the greatest thing you gave is all the joy you brought my family. Thank you for remembering us.” (From laid-off SOMA parent of four school-aged children, 2018)
We all know how generous the South Orange Maplewood Community is, especially when it comes to making life easier for one of our own neighbors. Never is that spirit more evident than at the holidays when the South Orange Maplewood School District Parenting Center runs its annual Holiday Toy Drive.
Now in its 22nd year, the South Orange Maplewood School District Parenting Center Holiday Toy Drive provides holiday gifts for children of families in need in our school district. Last year our toy drive benefited over 500 children in 150 families in our two communities. This year, we hope to provide the same and more to children in need throughout our SOMSD community.
Please feel to bring new, unwrapped gifts and toys to one of our drop-off boxes located in schools and businesses in our town between December 2 – 13, 2019. Your tax-deductible contributions will be used to purchase books and gifts for children from infancy through age 17; no donations will be used to cover administrative costs. Unwrapped gifts will be provided to parents who, in turn, will wrap the items themselves and give them to their children during the holidays.
If you don’t have time to shop or aren’t sure what to get, then feel free to contribute via one of the additional channels below:
- Buy gifts online: SOMSD Amazon.com gift registry
- Make an online tax-deductible donation: SOMSD Parenting Center Holiday Toy Drive GoFundMe page
- Make a check to payable to SOMSD Parenting Center: Mail to – Parenting Center | 525 Academy Street | Maplewood, NJ, 07040
On behalf of the South Orange Maplewood School District Parenting Center, we offer our heartfelt thanks for your generosity. Your gifts will provide the holiday joy this year that our district’s most vulnerable families might not otherwise have.
SOMSD Utilizes Danielson Framework to Evaluate Teachers
Consistent with New Jersey Department of Education’s requirements for the hiring and employment of staff members, the South Orange & Maplewood Board of Education operates in compliance with the state Department of Education’s New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) by fulfilling the six required indicators:
- Evaluation of staff (includes summative evaluation scores using an approved evaluation instrument);
- Professional learning of staff (includes professional development plan);
- Provisional certification of staff (includes mentoring and standard certification attainment);
- Staffing practices (includes criminal history clearance, physical exams, personnel file maintenance);
- Position control roster (includes base salary, position type, status, stipends, tracking #) and;
- Supervision and feedback (Includes employee evaluation and goal setting).
The South Orange & Maplewood School District (SOMSD) uses the state and SOMSD board-approved Danielson Framework for Teaching in the annual evaluation of staff. The Framework for Teaching is a common language for instructional practice that is grounded in a philosophical approach to and understanding of great teaching and the nature of learning. The Framework was developed not only to define great teaching and elevate the profession but also to outline a comprehensive approach to teacher professional learning across the career continuum – from pre-service teacher preparation through teacher leadership (The Danielson Group).
The framework consists of four Domains that reflect a comprehensive approach to the evaluation process:
- Domain 1: Planning and Preparation
- Domain 2: The Classroom Environment
- Domain 3: Instruction
- Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities
Renowned educator and creator of the Danielson Framework, Charlotte Danielson, shares that these components reflect not only the complexities of teaching but also “those aspects of a teacher’s responsibilities that have been documented through empirical studies and theoretical research to promote improved student learning.”
All staff members are required to have annual training on their evaluation instrument, and all administrators must also take and pass an annual re-certification on the framework prior to conducting staff observations.
Dr. Gayle Carrick, Interim Assistant Superintendent of Administration
What is I&RS/PIRT?
The importance of a strong partnership between schools and families to educate children is a critical component of a child’s education, particularly in today’s complex and demanding global society. Neither educators nor parents are afforded the time to get to know one another and to establish a mutually supportive relationship on behalf of children. To this end, each school has established one or more I&RS or PIRT Teams.
I&RS or PIRT is a school based problem-solving team for general education students intended as a primary way in which general education teachers or specialists can assist a student who is at-risk within the general education environment.
I&RS or PIRT process is not intended to replace traditional methods or resources for helping students to function effectively in school. Rather, I&RS or PIRT exists primarily to focus on particular concerns using available resources within the general education environment. I&RS or PIRT affords schools a structure to meet the academic, behavioral, health, enrichment, and social-emotional needs of all students
At the Pre-School level, the role of the PIRT Specialist is to coach teachers on social/emotional development using the Pyramid Model for Social and Emotional Competence in Infants & Young Children, help plan interventions and provide professional development. To this end, the role of PIRT is to help teachers modify children’s challenging behaviors (i.e. physical, social, language, emotional) that block successful participation in a general education preschool classroom through development and implementation of action or intervention plans.
Along with the PIRT Specialist, the PreK Master Teacher’s role is to coach classroom teachers on curriculum implementation and best practices, and to facilitate professional development that addresses all areas of our children’s development.
For additional information, you may access the brochure that describes the I&RS and PIRT process and you will find contact information in each of our schools. Intervention and Referral Services brochure.
Dr. Laura Morana, Interim Assistant Superintendent Special Services