SOMSD Strategic Plan Meetings on Feb. 9, 10 Expanded to 90 Minutes

by The Village Green
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As the South Orange-Maplewood School District proceeds with its Strategic Planning process, Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Ramos says the response to the announcement of two community forums on Feb. 9 and 10 has prompted the district to expand the meeting lengths to 90 minutes.

Ramos also reminds families that the application period to serve on one of the Action Planning Teams for the Strategic Plan continues through Wednesday, February 10, 2016. Training for the team members on Friday, February 19, and Saturday, February 20 is only mandatory for Team Co-Chairs, although other team members are highly encouraged, but not required, to participate in the training.

Read more from Ramos below:

Dear SOMSD Community,

We hope you will join us at one of the Community Forums on the Strategic Direction next week!  We have received many questions by email and via Let’s Talk! so we are extending the time for both events to 90 minutes to give additional time for questions (please see attached revised flyer). Both sessions will be broadcast live on CCN (Channel 35 in Maplewood, 19 in South Orange, and 22 on FIOS) and available on demand on our website the following day. We have also created a special page on our website where you can access all materials: We will continue to email you with updates and invitations to events to keep you informed of our progress.

A common thread in the conversations we have been having about the Strategic Direction is a question as to why the language is so broad, and why key phrases we are used to hearing (e.g. “achievement gap,” “levels,” “rigor,” and “standards”) are not in the document.  We began the Education Summit with the essential question:  How do we educate 21st century learners for a world that hasn’t been imagined yet? That question is central to the entire Strategic Planning process.

The language in the Strategic Direction document is purposefully inspirational and aspirational, to create the mindset and airspace we need to reimagine how we can deliver quality education that empowers our students with the skills they need to succeed in a future that has yet to be imagined. The concrete words and plans and deliverables and timetables which are essential to make this vision a reality will be developed in the next phases of the Strategic Planning process – Action Planning and Implementation.

The application period to serve on one of the Action Planning Teams of 5-9 members each continues through Wednesday, February 10, 2016. To clarify, the 2-day training on Friday, February 19, andSaturday, February 20 is only mandatory for Team Co-Chairs. Other Team members are highly encouraged, but not required, to participate in the training. Please note: All applications will be considered, but we cannot guarantee involvement on an action planning team. The application form is available:

In reviewing the applications which have been submitted so far, it is exciting to see the high level of interest and broad array of skills and qualifications.  We have heard from professionals and volunteers we already know in our schools, and from educators, parents, and community members with whom we have not previously worked, all of whom are eager to share their passion for innovative education and commitment to the very best for SOMSD.

I am astounded by the wealth of talent and ideas in the South Orange Maplewood community, and look forward to continuing our work together.


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

Letter from Superintendent

Invitation to Community Forums on Strategic Direction

Application for Action Planning Teams

SOMSD Strategic Plan Information

Download (PDF, 227KB)

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