In a letter sent via email to parents and guardians of students in the South Orange-Maplewood School District today, new Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Ramos proposed hosting an all-inclusive summit in November (date to be determined).
The summit would “engage all stakeholders, including the students, in a discourse about critical issues facing the district as well as matters that participants want to raise.”
The letter referenced “a tough stretch” recently experienced by the district in “the absence of a permanent superintendent.” Presumably, Ramos is referring to two security incidents in June, but also more generally to issues that have been discussed in marathon monthly Board of Education meetings by board members and public speakers alike on topics as far-ranging as communication, coaching, special education, math, safety, world languages, overcrowding and more.
Read Ramos’ letter here:
To the South Orange Maplewood Community:
School is off to a great and fresh new start! As I spent time in each of our schools these first two days, I have been impressed at the tremendous team effort to begin the new school year and to work together to resolve any issues which arose. Congratulations to all of our students, families and staff!
Recently, the South Orange & Maplewood School District has been through a tough stretch. Due to a series of significant incidents as well as the absence of a permanent superintendent, people have rushed to fill a perceived void.
In the end, most of us want the same thing – we just want the best for our district’s children and young adults. We may not always agree on the way to the desired ends, but we have the wherewithal to be collaborative, deliberate and democratic in charting the best course. I am asking us to resume the protocols and rules of engagement that we all intuitively know to be right. I am asking us to turn the page with a sense of renewed commitment and confidence.
Let’s all just take a deep breath.
We have so many things to celebrate in South Orange Maplewood. We have individuals across this district who are interested and want to help. We have a well-spring of talent and a multiplicity of opinions to draw from. Let’s build on that momentum by holding a district-wide Education Summit!
Let’s seize the opportunity to learn from one another for the betterment of our district and the students we serve. Let’s engage all stakeholders, including the students, in a discourse about critical issues facing the district as well as matters that participants want to raise. I will be proposing a date in early November to hold this important summit.
I wish you the best in this new school year and look forward to working with you.
John J. Ramos, Sr., Ed.D.