Board of Ed to Vote on South Orange – Maplewood Strategic Plan December 19

by The Village Green
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The South Orange – Maplewood Board of Education will vote on a resolution to adopt the district’s Strategic Plan, accept the Action Plans, and authorize Administration to begin developing an Implementation Schedule at its Monday meeting.

The meeting will be held at the Columbia High School auditorium at 7:30 p.m. It will be broadcast and live streamed. See the full agenda here.

Meanwhile, a group of parents and residents has started a petition asking the BOE to delay voting on the plan and reconsider the process.

Here is a recent letter from Supt. Dr. John Ramos explaining the process:

Dear SOMSD Community,

We began more than a year ago with the essential question:  How do we educate our children and prepare them with the skills and knowledge they will need for a future we have yet to imagine?

Now, a year later, we have had a series of incredible gifts from our community…

  • More than 1,500 people shared hopes, ideas, and suggestions, with an overarching theme that  our community wants to see a paradigm shift from fitting students and families into currently established structures and systems to structuring programs, services, outreach and communications to meet the needs of students and families.
  • 27 stakeholders took the community input and used it as a foundation to create a Strategic Direction which sets the vision, mission and direction for the district’s new Strategic Plan.
  • 92 individuals representing different stakeholder groups worked on Action Planning teams to focus on 9 different domains of our work.  The teams assessed how our district is currently doing  in each domain, reviewed best practices across the nation, and developed recommendations  for initiatives that would help grow and expand our practices.

This has been a collaborative process, so that the Strategic Plan represents the values of our community and the needs of our students. Thousands of hours of work, thoughtful research, and a tremendous amount of care and creativity have resulted in 47 recommendations which SOMSD can use as first steps in transforming our schools.

On Monday December 19, 2016, the Board of Education will vote on a resolution to adopt the Strategic Direction including the Mission Statement, to accept the work of the Action Planning teams, and to authorize Administration to begin the next phase of the Strategic Planning process – prioritizing the action plans and creating an implementation schedule.  This meeting will be broadcast live on SOMATV and can also be watched via livestream.

To learn more about the Strategic Plan, including the Action Plans:

I am incredibly grateful for the dedication, enthusiasm and expertise that parents, teachers, administrators, students and other community members have brought to this process. I hope you will join me in celebrating the work of our volunteers, and look forward to continuing our partnership together.


John J. Ramos, Sr., Ed.D.



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