Costumes, Parades, Parties: the Scoop on Halloween in South Orange – Maplewood Schools

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Halloween is on Monday, and many of the schools in South Orange/Maplewood are marking the occasion with parades, classroom parties and costume-wearing. (Note: The costume situation differs from school to school, with some allowing costumes to be worn to school, others asking that students change into costume at school, and a couple of schools that don’t allow costumes. The information below is from the local PTAs and HSAs and has been confirmed by the school district.)

Remember, there also will be parades and festivities in both South Orange and Maplewood that afternoon. 

Here is a round-up of what’s going on in the schools:

Columbia High School

“It is a long tradition at CHS that students may choose to come to school in costume on Halloween,” said CHS Principal Elizabeth Aaron in an email to parents. “Please help us and your students keep this tradition in place by dressing for the day within these guidelines: if it is not okay for a regular school day, it is not allowed on Halloween. Student costumes may not include any references to or use of weapons, drugs, alcohol, or violence, contain full face masks or full face make up or use any imagery or language in violation of school rules, Board policy, or state law.”

South Orange Middle School

From Principal Lynn Irby:

On Monday, October 31st, South Orange Middle School will celebrate Halloween!
Students, as well as staff, are welcome to wear costumes! It is a fun day for all, although in the classroom it is “business as usual’. Please keep in mind the rules below when picking your costume for Monday!


  • No weapons, fake or real, such as swords, knives, guns, etc. may enter the building or be part of any costume.
  • Costumes should be appropriate for middle school.
  • No terrorist types of costumes are permitted.
  • No costumes making fun of any group, or indicating bias of any nature is permitted.
  • No full face masks can be worn. Students’ faces must be seen at all times and vision must not be obscured.

Maplewood Middle School

No costumes should be worn in school, according to a district spokeswoman. Students are allowed to bring their costumes to change after school and participate in town activities.

Seth Boyden School

From a letter sent by Principal Damion Frye: In keeping with last year’s decision, please do not send your child to school with a costume or candy on October 31st. We thank you in advance for your continued cooperation.

Clinton School

10/31 Halloween Trunk or Treat Parade with a Halloween theme and a Harvest Fest with a Fall theme. Costumes allowed for parade, no costumes for the Harvest Fest. Parents can choose which activity they would like their children to participate in.

South Mountain School

Halloween parade and class celebrations. Students should not come to school in costume or Halloween makeup. No masks covering faces, and no fake weapons are permitted.

“We respect that not all families celebrate Halloween,” wrote Principal Jacobs. “If your family does not celebrate Halloween, please let your teacher know. Alternative activities are planned in the library.”

Tuscan School

Halloween parade and class celebrations. Students should not come to school in costume or Halloween makeup but may bring costumes to change into.

“We all recognize that certain costumes related to violent and troubling themes are an inappropriate choice for an elementary school celebration,” wrote Principal Malika Majeed in a letter to parents. “Therefore, costumes that reflect troubling and violent themes, characters and weapon-like accessories are not allowed for our in school celebration. Students will not be allowed to wear certain mask during the parade. Because no dress code can be all inclusive, the administration reserves the right to make the final decision on all attire. Thank you in advance for guiding your child in selecting a costume that is most appropriate for school.”

Marshall School

Halloween parade. Students should not come to school in costume or Halloween makeup but may bring costumes to change into.

Jefferson School

1:30pm parade outside followed by classroom celebration – parents invited to join.
Anyone not participating will have something “fun” to do that’s not related to Halloween; Also no clowns or clown related costumes.

Montrose Early Childhood Center

“At the MECC, we are having our first ever Halloween Parade at 1:15 pm (last year we were not yet in our building). This will be followed by individual classroom activities arranged by our teaching staff and the PTA room parents. Most of the classroom activities will be a book being read, an arts and crafts activity related to the holiday and healthy snacks. Parents are welcome and school will end as usual at 2:00pm. If necessary, there will be an alternate activity provided for any student who does not celebrate this day. At this time we have only one student who will not participate in the parade out of nearly 100.”


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