District News & Announcements
Hello Maplewood & South Orange Community,
Yesterday, it was brought to our attention that a detailed walkthrough of our buildings has yielded warranted concerns around ventilation upgrades needed to safely welcome back the return of staff and students. We are in close contact with the vendor and starting this morning, our facilities department began re-auditing the work performed in all of our District school buildings.
As we have shared in all of our previous communications, our students and staff’s safety and well-being is our top priority. With this said, Monday’s PreK – 8 Academic Town Hall and Tuesday’s CHS Academic Town Hall virtual meetings are both postponed and new dates will be shared with families/students at a later date.
In addition, our hybrid school reopening scheduled for November 12 is being reassessed. We will share the District’s decision to either move forward or postpone our reopening to families and staff early next week. We thank you for your patience and understanding.
Dr. Ronald G. Taylor, Superintendent of Schools
Dear SOMSD Community,
I hope this correspondence finds you well. Allow me to start by thanking every member of our District Family and acknowledging the efforts put forward to move us successfully through the first 6 weeks or so of our school year. Our start has not been perfect but it has been unequivocally a success.
As we announced this summer in concert with Governor Murphy's Executive Order 175, our current plan remains in place to offer in-person educational opportunities beginning on November 12th. The health and safety of our students and staff is our #1 priority; to that end, we have invested significantly in preparing our buildings for our reopening.
To gauge where our District families currently stand, we are sending a revised version of the "Return to School Preference Form" sent in August 2020. We understand that some families may still be apprehensive about sending their children back to school during this pandemic. Knowing this, the District would like to provide parents/guardians with flexibility, but also needs to plan in advance for scheduling purposes and ensure we are abiding by social distancing requirements. Please note, for this round, PreK – 8 and CHS will have two separate preference forms - final responses will be due by Wednesday, October 28th @ 6 pm.
- PreK - 8 “Return to School Preference” Form: https://bit.ly/3lRg2dU (the form link will also be sent to families via email/SMS on Monday, October 19).
- CHS “Return to School Preference” Form: An email will be sent to CHS families/students on Monday, October 19th with the link to the preference form as well as additional sign-in information for the CHS Town Hall event.
To help families make a more informed decision on whether your child will attend school in-person (hybrid instruction) or continue with all-virtual instruction we are inviting the community to join us for a few upcoming virtual events. We encourage families to attend these events. If you are unable to attend, all presentations will be sent to families via email and WebEx recordings will be posted to the District website.
Event #1: Virtual Board of Education Meeting
Date: Mon., October 19 @ 7:30pm
Note: Superintendent Taylor will share a robust comprehensive presentation regarding the details of the District’s re-entry plan.
How to Join:
- Join By Computer / Smartphone: somsd.k12.nj.us/webmeeting
Meeting ID: 173 376 2021 | Meeting PW: RTS2021
- Join By Phone:
Telephone Number: 408-418-9388
Meeting ID: 173 376 2021| Meeting PW: 7872021 from phones
Event #2: PreK-8 Virtual Return to School Academic Update Town Hall
Date: Mon., October 26 @ 7:30pm
Note: The District will provide additional details on the academic model for hybrid and virtual instructions to families so they are able to make a better informed decision on which instructional model they want for their child.
How to Join:
- WebEx Link: https://bit.ly/2FAi7eR
- Event number: 173 376 2021 | Event password: RTS2021
- Dial In: 408-418-9388 | Event password: 7872021
Event #3: CHS Virtual Return to School Academic Update Town Hall
Date: Tues., October 27 @ 7:30pm
Note: CHS will provide additional details on the academic model for hybrid and virtual instructions to families so they are able to make a better-informed decision on which instructional model they want for their child.
How to Join:
- WebEx Link: https://bit.ly/3lTLMir
- Event number: 173 464 6382
- Telephone Number: 408-418-9388 |Event password: Information2020
Yesterday, as a courtesy to our teachers and staff, we shared an internal letter regarding their return to building dates. As of Monday, October 18th, all District buildings will be open and available for staff to return on a voluntary basis, in order to visit and set-up their classrooms and to give them a few weeks/days to test out teaching virtually from their classrooms before students return. All remaining teaching staff will return to their school buildings by November 9th, in preparation for the start of hybrid instruction on Thursday, November 12th.
New Jersey COVID-19 Travel Advisory
Also, of utmost importance, please see below for important information regarding COVID-19 related travel to high incidence areas within the last 14 days. Under the 14-day quarantine travel advisory announced by the Governors of New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, individuals traveling to or returning to New Jersey from states with increasing rates of COVID-19 are advised to self-quarantine for 14 days. This includes travel by train, bus, car, plane, and any other method of transportation. If your family plans to travel to any of these locations prior to the start of hybrid instruction, they will need to quarantine (continue to learn via virtual-instruction) until after the quarantine period is over.
- States: https://covid19.nj.gov/faqs/nj-information/travel-and-transportation/which-states-are-on-the-travel-advisory-list-are-there-travel-restrictions-to-or-from-new-jersey
- Countries: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html
As we move forward in preparation for in-person learning, we continue to remind our community/families that this situation is fluid. While we believe it is important to begin to have our students return to modified in-person learning, we are also being very cautious in our planning and continue to be led by insight from our local health departments, as well as state and federal guidelines. We look forward to sharing our plan with the community in the next couple of weeks.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend.
Dr. Ronald G. Taylor
October 13, 2020
Dear SOMSD Community:
Recently we received confirmation of two-Covid positive student cases in our District. Both are students enrolled at Columbia High School, one is a student-athlete on our tennis team. The other student (non-athlete with no exposure to students on our school sites) unfortunately is suspected to have been infected from their attendance at a possible house-party/celebratory gathering. The cases which have been identified at this point have been localized to specific areas outside of sanctioned District-related sporting practices/events or school areas.
District administration has been in contact with the Maplewood and South Orange Departments of Health as well as town officials. Members of the CHS Tennis team have been notified and are quarantining. As of today, the District has decided to suspend all tennis matches/practices for the next two weeks. At this point, there are no other known cases of any other student-athlete exposure or confirmed Covid-positive cases. Therefore, our existing NJSIAA-mandated fall sports practices/schedules (these sports currently include: football, boys’ & girls’ soccer, cheerleading, band, field hockey and boys & girls’ cross-country) will continue as normal and we will continue to adhere to our COVID-safety measures to ensure that our student-athletes and staff are safe.
Due to privacy, we are not permitted to share more information regarding students/families; however, the individuals in question have been quarantined and the town health departments are working on contact-tracing. If there are any additional confirmed student-cases, the Health departments will reach out to necessary parties and contact the District. We will keep you updated as more information becomes available.
For anyone who may have been exposed to a positive or suspected case, you should be tested, especially if you have symptoms, and quarantine until test results are received. As a reminder, free COVID testing is being offered at the Maplewood community pool through the end of the month. Also, please note that updates to the District’s reopening plan will be shared at our next virtual Board of Education meeting taking place on Monday, October 19, at 7:30 pm.
In the interim, we encourage parents to please monitor for symptoms and remember to notify your school building administrator should you, your child, or a family member test positive and/or be exposed to COVID-19. We also want to remind families/students that we are not out of the woods yet; the CDC and state guidelines continue to encourage mitigation strategies to keep COVID cases from spiking again. Among them social gatherings (without mask-wearing or social distancing) can become super-spread events, please make sure to continue to follow guidelines.
Recently the Maplewood Board of Health issued an emergency resolution to mandate mask-wearing at all times in Maplewood Village. In a statement released yesterday, Township Mayor, Frank McGehee, and Candice Davenport, Health Officer & Public Health Nursing Supervisor encouraged everyone, including our youth, to “wear facial coverings or masks when they are in the Village.”
Last night, at the virtual South Orange Board of Trustee meeting, Village President, Sheena Collum shared, that South Orange reported five-positive COVID test cases in one-day, after close to five-weeks of no cases (April 2020 marked the last time their cases were at this number). In addition, South Orange, Emergency Management Coordinator, Scott Egelberg, stressed that “unnecessary gatherings are discouraged and all gatherings (see NJ guidelines on pg. 2), in general, should follow all state and CDC guidelines and encouraged all families to continually discuss and remind each other to stay safe and not to grow complacent.”
In closing, please know that the District continues to work hard to develop solutions to issues that may be present during the current times in our world. We continue to value parent/family relationships and engagement and hope that you will continue to provide the support that it takes to ensure that your child adheres to safety guidelines. Please feel free to reach out to us at any time if you have any questions or concerns or to report any event being held in violation of Covid restrictions to our office or local officials.
On behalf of the District, Maplewood Township, and the Village of South Orange, our request to parents and students is the same, “please help support our community, your neighbors, friends, classmates, and local businesses by wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, adhering to in-person gathering guidelines (see NJ guidelines below) so we can all be safe during these unprecedented times.”
Dr. Ronald G. Taylor
COVID Facts for Essex County, Maplewood & South Orange
- While our cases may be low, they are increasing in other areas all across the state.
- NJ has been added to Massachusetts’ Higher Risk States List, and now if you travel to MA you are required to fill out a travel form and quarantine.
- Last Thursday, Governor Murphy reported that our state had 1,301 new positive cases in one day – Thursday’s number was the most announced in one day since late May.
- The Essex County 7 day average positive new case count has more than doubled from 24 to 56 in the last 30 days.
- 1,091 people have died in Essex County and 27 people have died in Maplewood.
- State COVID hospitalizations have been increasing every day – hitting a mark of 666 late last week – the highest mark since August 5th.
- Maplewood has had 378 confirmed cases to date and while we saw 17 new cases in August and 16 in September, just 11 days into October, we have 9 new active cases with over 50% of them being in their thirties or younger.
- South Orange reported 5 confirmed cases yesterday, 10/12, after five-weeks of no cases reported.
- General indoor gatherings must be limited to 25 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower. All attendees at indoor gatherings must wear face coverings and stay six feet apart.
- Indoor gatherings for weddings, funerals, or memorial services must be limited to 150 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower.
- Indoor gatherings for religious and political activities protected under the First Amendment must be limited to 150 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower.
- Indoor gatherings for entertainment centers where performances are viewed or given, including movie theaters, performing arts centers, and other concert venues, must be limited to 150 people or 25% of a room’s capacity — whichever number is lower.
- General outdoor gatherings must be limited to 500 people and social distancing must be practiced.
- There is no limit for outdoor gatherings for religious or political activities protected under the First Amendment.
Online Report Card & Progress Report Instructions
See below or Download PDF Instructions
Accessing Report Cards and Progress Reports In PowerSchool
Note: Progress reports and report cards are not accessible through the PowerSchool iOS and Android applications. Please use a computer or the internet browser on your smartphone to view the reports.
- Open an internet
- Navigate to the district homepage at somsd.k12.nj.us.
- Select Quick Links > Parents >
- Enter your username and password in the appropriate
- Press the Sign-in button
6. Select eDocuments on the left navigation
7. Select Report Card / Progress
8. Select the desired trimester/marking
9. A new tab will open in your browser and will display a PDF copy of the If the new tab does not display the report or shows the message “Please reload the page (2)”, refresh the browser.
If you do not have a parent portal account or forget your login credentials, please view our parent portal support webpage by c licking here. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.