Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange Towns Uncategorized

SOM Board of Ed Communications Committee Issues Action List, Creates Direct Emails

The South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education has followed up on a May communications forum by issuing an “Update on Communicating with the Board of Education and its Members” document that provides individual email addresses for Board members.

Previously, Board of Education members had on only one official shared email — [email protected]. That addresses remains active for members of the public who wish to email the entire Board of Education.

The notification announcing the new email addresses states that members of the public can communicate with Board members via email, or at forums, meetings and workshops, and that “[m]embers of the public may participate in regular School Board meetings during the times designated for Hearings of Individuals and Delegations.”

The new individual Board of Education member email addresses are:

Johanna Wright, chair of the Board’s Communications, Engagement & Outreach Committee, also issued an Action List that she compiled coming out of the May forum. Wright said that the action list would be used to “keep track — and follow up — on the topics that came up.”

Read the action list here:


■ BOE members will present answers to questions that have been asked by stakeholders at the last Board meeting during the public speaking times.

■ E-mail blasts and /robo calls to parents and guardians informing them about Code Red/Yellow situations, etc.

■ Substitutes and the school budget: Why there is a shortage of substitutes in the district and when will this be addressed?

■ The creation of a “Communications Hub,” staffed by people who have a vested interest to keep the community up to date and informed about school news and events.

■ Create “Survival Handbooks” — one for parents and a separate one for students – that include district contact information to make it easier to figure out who is responsible for programs and other matters. For example, who should be contacted for information regarding the Step Up Program.

■ Website Improvements. Our site should have a table of contents (could use Google as a search engine). It should also include issues that parents have had resolved to help others having similar problems. We want to schedule a meeting with or get together over the summer with HSA website parents along with Mr. Roth to take a closer look at improving the site.

■ Change the public speaks and BOE responsibility during public speaks.

■ Board policies not communicated well—we need a clear way to get information out to the community.  Where do you receive your information regarding schools?

■ Allow students to speak earlier during BOE meetings.

■ Liaisons. Comments on how effective it was to hear from town officials at these school meetings. (We are going to continue those.)

■ Coordinating Township calendars and the BOE calendar. (Currently there is a conflict in South Orange with the Board of Education/South Orange Trustees meetings.)

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