Join the Conversation: SOMSD Education Summit Nov. 10 at CHS

by The Village Green
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The South Orange-Maplewood School District will hold an Education Summit on Tuesday, November 10 at Columbia High School at 7:30 p.m. Here are the final details from the district:

Education Summit Logistics

We hope you will be joining us on November 10th from 7pm-9:30pm at Columbia High School for our Education Summit!

This is an opportunity to share in the development of the District’s new Strategic Plan. We want all voices to be part of the process so that the Plan reflects the true priorities and vision of our community.

Please note that the Summit is the beginning of the conversation, not the end. We will have multiple opportunities for community members to continue discussing these topics for 30 days after the Summit.

The evening will begin in the auditorium with a brief orientation with Superintendent Dr. John J. Ramos, Sr. Participants will then choose to attend a smaller group for the rest of the evening to discuss a specific topic in depth – including dreams for that area and proposed action items. There will also be a short time at the end of the evening for each group to discuss other topics, ideas and issues.

The final list of topics is available here. Please note that there have been some changes and additions to the list. Thank you to everyone who has given us feedback and submitted topics as we have been planning for this important event.

For a preview of what you might expect in your topic room:

Click here for a timeline/agenda for the discussion groups.
Click here for the ground rules for all discussion groups.

Education Summit Topics

Please note: There will only be time to participate in ONE topic during the evening of the Education Summit. There will be time for general discussion at the very end, and multiple opportunities to discuss all topics in the 30 days after the Summit.

  •   Access & Equity / Academic placement
  •   Achievement Gap
  •   Arts Education
  •   Assessment (Issues may include: Standardized Testing, District Assessments, and Reimagining How we Assess Students’ Progress and Skills)
  •   CHS – Fostering a Culture of Respect and High Expectations (Issues may include: Access and Equity/Choice, Setting all students up for success, Discipline, Increasing the Graduation Rate, Supporting students in post-CHS studies)
  •   CHS – Reimagining the High School Experience (Issues may include: School start times/school hours, Rethinking homework, Alternative paths, Career Prep)
  •   Creating Innovators
  •   Cultural Competency
  •   Deep Engagement and Exhilarating Experiences of the Whole Student in Their Learning (Issues may include 21st Century Learning approaches such as Interdisciplinary connections, Curriculum alignment, Blended learning, Project-based learning, and regular updates to ensure relevance)
  •   Discipline & School Culture (Issues may include: Discipline, Restorative Practices, Code of Conduct)
  •   Extended School Day/After School Activities
  •   Family/School Connections
  •   Gifted and Talented Strategies
  •   Global Education
  •   Humanities (English Language Arts, Social Studies, Writing across the curriculum, and Social Justice)
  •   Life Skills and Healthy Choices (Issues may include: Developing Leadership, Organizational Skills, Planningfor the future, and Drug-free schools)
  •   Meeting the Needs of ALL Learners – Struggling, Middle, and Advanced (Issues may include: Supports for academically struggling, middle of the road, and advanced students; from preschool – post-CHS; Boys’ Development)
  •   Profiling Black Students
  •   Rebalancing Elementary Enrollment and Demographics (Issues may include: Redistricting, School Pairings, Magnet Schools)
  •   Reimagining Public Education (Issues may include: Blow Up the Plan, Role of Homework, Personalized Learning Plans, Blended Learning)
  •   Reimagining School Spaces to be Relevant for Today’s Learners (Issues may include Capital Improvement Plan, Facilities)
  •   Reimagining Seth Boyden Demonstration School (Issues may include: Role of a Demonstration School, Choice for All Elementary Students, Possible Areas of Focus such as STEM, Project-Based Learning, Arts, Environmental Sciences)
  •   Resources (Issues may include: How do we offer more with less? Maximizing dollars without sacrificing quality, State funding, Partnering with outside organizations, Class size)
  •   School Safety (Issues may include SROs/security guards)
  •   Social/Emotional Learning
  •   Special Education Pre-K- 5th Grade (Issues may include: Communications, Administration of Services, Curriculum Access)
  •   Special Education 6th – 12th Grade (Issues may include: Communications, Administration of Services, Curriculum Access)
  •   STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
  •   Supporting Excellent Teaching/Professional Development

In addition, you may want to watch this video of a talk by Education and Innovation Expert Tony Wagner, which will give you a sense of the spirit which we hope will guide the work at the Summit.

Any questions or comments about the Education Summit? Share them here.

We want all voices to be part of the process so that the Plan reflects the true priorities and vision of our community.

There are services available to make it as easy as possible for all community members to participate, including:

  • Free Transportation from the Maplewood Pool Parking Lot and the South Orange Middle School Parking Lot (pick-ups at 6:30pm and 6:45pm)
  • Free Childcare for children 3 and up (please email to reserve a childcare spot:
  • Free Translators available at Check In

The flyer with full details is available here.

Any questions, comments or suggestions about the Education Summit? Share them here.


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