September 6, 2021
Dear SOMSD Community,
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As we all recover from the impact of Tropical Storm Ida, we sincerely hope this message finds you and your family safe. As a school district, we suffered significant losses, and from the evening of the storm throughout the long weekend, our staff has been assessing the damage.
The purpose of this communication is to share the District’s status with you. We suffered damages to our facilities and our transportation vehicles. Our Facilities Team has worked tirelessly throughout the weekend and done a terrific job of remediating the water damage to our facilities. However, the most pressing concerns for our reopening center around our school buses and transportation vans. We have been working closely with our insurance adjuster and the mechanics that we have an ongoing relationship with to assess the situation. At this time, we have received updates that have made us somewhat optimistic that our transportation fleet will be operational sooner than our original estimates.
Another significant concern for us is the valuable school and classroom preparation time lost by our educators. We want our Fall Reopening to be a positive experience for all after the challenges presented by the last 18 months. To that end, we will be delaying our first day of school. The new date for all students is tentatively Monday, September 13, 2021.
All staff will report to their buildings on Thursday, September 9 & Friday, September 10 to finalize their preparation for the return of our students. This delay will allow us to have a clearer picture of the condition of our Transportation Fleet, as well as other ongoing remediation efforts.
In closing, the school year calendar will be shifting, the first day of school will tentatively be Monday, September 13 for all grade levels Prek-12. Staff will be returning to the buildings on Thursday, September 9. If this plan is required to change, we will immediately update the community.
South Orange & Maplewood School District