The South Orange-Maplewood School District is in the process of a “two-pronged” initiative to “address health and safety issues and expand capacity to meet growing enrollment” as well as integrate schools.
The first prong — the approximately $140-million Long Range Facilities Plan — was approved by the Board of Education last fall. The Board of School Estimate has indicated that it will approve the bonding for the project this spring.
The second prong —the Intentional Integration and Innovation Initiative — is still in development and is being spearheaded by former Columbia High School Principal Elizabeth Aaron and Dr. Edward Fergus of Temple University. Aaron and Fergus led a presentation on October 25, 2018 at Seth Boyden introducing and outlining the scope of the initiative to the public. (See the video here. See the powerpoint presentation below.)
As part of the process, SOMSD, through the Parenting Center, is seeking parents and guardians from each of the district’s six elementary schools — Clinton, Jefferson, Marshall, Seth Boyden, South Mountain (and annex) and Tuscan — to participate on the “SOMSD 2020 Parenting Center Committee.”
“SOMSD is in the process of reconfiguring our elementary schools, focusing on innovation and controlled choice, to ensure that the student population in each of our schools are reflective of our district’s diversity,” read a flier from the Parenting Center. “Done right, It will bring us an innovative model that leverages our community’s unique and diverse strengths to deliver cutting edge educational experiences for our kids.”
“We are looking for a small group of dedicated parents/guardians who can help determine the kind of supports our community needs to make this important transition a success.”
SOMSD is looking to include 2-3 volunteers from each elementary school.
“The first meeting will be on Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. at the Central Office, 525 Academy Street, Maplewood.”
Contact Karen Weiland at [email protected].
Village Green will be posting more about this initiative shortly.