From Supt. Dr. Ronald Taylor:
Dear South Orange and Maplewood School District Community,
As we approach Fall Break, please know that it marks a significant milestone for us as we move to what we all hope will be a post-COVID 19 world. Fall Break marks seven (7) weeks since we have returned to full-time in-person learning for all students and staff. I would like to commend our Administrators, Teachers, Support Staff, Students, and our Families for your support in bringing the work of our Reopening Task Force to fruition.
Our vision of a safe, responsible and ‘close’ to normal return has been a success. As we have previously reported, the few positive cases that we have reported on our COVID 19 Dashboard ( https://www.somsd.k12.nj.us/coviddata/ ) have not resulted in (or from) in-school spread. This demonstrates that research and science are correct in asserting that the layering of mitigation strategies is effective in stopping the spread of the pandemic. While this work is far from complete, we remain confident that with more school-age vaccination approvals on the horizon that this trend of safe daily in-person instruction will continue for the remainder of our 180 days of school.
For those who may not be aware of the genesis of Fall Break. Tuesday during the first week of November is traditionally election day for our local and state public office races. During this same week, Thursday and Friday coincide with the New Jersey Education Association’s (NJEA) annual convention. These three days are customarily days of school closure. To that end, we believe it was best to utilize this natural break as a time for pause, reflection and rejuvenation for all who are a part of the school community.
Thank you for all you have done to support our schools. We hope that staff, students and families alike enjoy the upcoming break.
Dr. Ronald G. Taylor