Maplewood Middle School
The South Orange & Maplewood School District, ELA Department & SOMA Shares are proud to continue their partnership to present a massive book giveaway and swap event to the entire SOMSD school community. All PreK – 12 students/families are invited to join us for this one-day event at two locations where thousands of new and gently used children/teen books will be available to take home for your own home libraries! You can also feel free to drop off your new and gently-used children’s books to share with others!
- South Orange Middle School (SOMS) | Time: 9 am – 1 pm | Location: 70 N. Ridgewood Road, South Orange (school parking lot)
- St. Joseph’s Catholic Church | Time: 10 am – 2 pm | Location: 767 Prospect St, Maplewood (church parking lot)
Columbia High School Wants You to Become a Cougar !!!
CO-CURRICULAR SPORTS / MARCHING BAND SIGN UP NOTICE FOR 2022-23 SY
For all rising 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th graders | For full details and sign-up information visit: https://bit.ly/3NiEymo
Hello SOMSD Families,
My name is Ken Mullen and I am the Interim Athletic Director / Supervisor of Student Activities for Columbia High School (CHS). I first want to say that I hope all of you and your families are doing well in these trying times. At CHS, we are already looking to the future and are presently getting ready for the 2022-23 school year.
We want to inform families of incoming CHS students (rising 9th graders) as well as rising 10th, 11th and 12th grade students that registration for CHS athletic programs and marching band is now open. The information shared below outlines registration information for all fall, winter and spring sports offered at CHS. In addition, registration information on the CHS Marching Band for prospective participants is included.
If your child is interested in participating in a co-curricular activity for the upcoming 2002-23 SY we encourage you and them to review the information shared in the link: https://bit.ly/3NiEymo and sign up before the July 15 deadline.
Best of luck to everyone as we wrap-up the end of the school year and I hope you have a happy and safe summer! For full details and sign-up information visit: https://bit.ly/3NiEymo
Ken Mullen, CHS Interim Athletic Director & Supervisor of Student Activities
Hello SOMSD Community,
We continue to prioritize keeping our students in school as much as possible for a full day of in-person learning. Based on the most recent COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) Report released by the New Jersey Department of Health (NJDOH), Essex County as well as the majority of NJ, is now considered in high community transmission (orange).
According to the NJDOH for schools that choose not to institute a universal masking policy, it is recommended that schools should strongly consider universal masking during CALI score of high (orange) – for all students and staff, especially if there is difficulty incorporating other layered prevention strategies (e.g., adequate spacing of students). Furthermore, the NJDOH also clarifies that – during an outbreak or a general increase in cases, schools should consult with their local health departments as to whether short-term universal masking or masking in affected classrooms should be required to control the outbreak/increase in cases.
Currently, due to several classroom outbreaks, two of our school communities, Clinton Elementary and South Mountain Elementary (big school) have been required to shift to a mandatory short-term “universal masking” indoors/buses for all staff and students.
While the NJDOH and the local health departments strongly recommend “universal masking” during high COVID community transmission, as a District, we are not instituting a District-wide return to mandatory “universal masking.” This is due to the fact that the outbreaks identified by our local departments of health were contained to the respective schools and/ or classrooms and the appropriate actions have been taken.
However, with the rise in outbreaks in our District over the past two weeks and the new information from the state, we are strongly recommending that all students/staff consider masking while indoors and on the bus. Based on the information we’ve provided, we are leaving it at the discretion of parents/staff to determine the best decision for themselves and their families and will respect the choices made by our students and staff.
Presently, mandatory indoor masking will be required for the following cases:
- During large indoor gatherings including, but not limited to, large assemblies, plays, art shows, concerts, upcoming moving up ceremonies;
- For individuals who are returning to school after COVID-positive isolation on days 6-10 (mandatory)
- As recommended or required by the DOH (i.e., significant increased transmission, outbreak)
The current mitigation strategies will continue to be followed:
- The district will maintain our cleaning and sanitization protocols in all classrooms and buildings.
- We will follow the recommendations from the Department of Health for ventilation and airflow in the classroom, optimize distancing (when possible), and as the weather warms up will begin the use of outdoor space if possible.
We encourage you to visit the District’s Covid-19 dashboard [https://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/coviddata/] for a snapshot of weekly reported Covid cases (as a reminder the dashboard only accounts for lab confirmed tests). Moving forward we will also include two new fields to the Dashboard to inform the greater community of major outbreaks or school closures across the District:
- Temporary Return to Schoolwide “Universal Masking” – Will provide a brief summary of school buildings who have been required to shift to short-term “universal masking” indoors/buses.
- Temporary School Closures: Will share update on any school that is required to close for a period of time (and shift entirely to virtual instruction) due to rising Covid cases.
In addition, later next week we will update our current 2021-22 School Year & Covid webpage to reflect the District’s most current Covid guidelines and protocols, as well as include FAQs for common questions that we have received from our parent community.
As always, the health and safety of everyone in our school buildings is our top priority. As such, we are closely following the recommendations of our state and local health officials. As these recommendations change, we will adjust our health and safety protocols accordingly. It remains possible that we may need to re-implement our mask policy if the numbers of positive COVID-19 cases in our schools or community increase.
We thank you for your support and understanding.
|We understand the level of concern regarding COVID-19; and we encourage parents and students to continue following the CDC and NJDOH promoted safeguards, such as
South Orange & Maplewood School District
The South Orange and Maplewood School District is pleased to announce that the SOMSD music department has once again earned a Best Music Community Designation from the National Association of Music Merchants.
SOMSD is among 738 school districts that are among the Best Communities in the nation for music education. The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education. Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.
Founded in 2006, the NAMM Foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs. The NAMM Foundation represents the generosity and philanthropy of the music products industry. A supporting organization of NAMM, the National Association of Music Merchants, the NAMM Foundation is funded through trade association activities and donations.
Congratulations to our entire District music department staff, students and parent community for helping us to achieve this prestigious recognition.