Survey Results and Meeting with Dr. Ramos

As you know, your PTA has been working to keep you informed of developments in our school district and to advocate for Seth Boyden students at the district level. To that end, we conducted a survey, asking for your feedback about Seth Boyden. The survey results were so interesting and you can find them here.

We also attended the April BOE meeting, where Dr. Ross Haber, the consultant hired by the South Orange/Maplewood School District to report on building use and demographics, gave his report, which is now online here.

On the evening of May 22, PTA Board members from this year and next year met with Dr. John Ramos, District superintendent, and some Board of Education members to share results from the survey and to advocate for Seth Boyden.

Here are the demands we made based on the survey results and discussion with Mr. Frye.

True equality and equity in our district starts at Seth Boyden.

Equality

  • Zoned families should have the same rights as their SOMA neighbors to choose a school.

Equity in Registration

  • SB Kindergarten registration numbers are low.
  • Have pre-registration at SB for families to check their documents to ensure they have filled everything out correctly before they take time off of work to register.
  • Add late evening, early morning, weekend registration times and publicize these new hours to the community in a way that will actually reach our community.

Resources

  • SB needs a Community Engagement Specialist

Our community needs more individualized communication from school than current staff can handle. This position will have a direct impact on student success in terms of parental involvement, teacher communication, arrival at school on time and on-time pick-up, access to services, etc.

SB would also benefit from enrichment that addresses the “whole child.” Mr. Frye has specifically requested a part-time Environmental Science teacher and a Performance Arts teacher. We recognize that these positions were not originally requested in the budget.

Here were the conclusions of the discussion:

  • By June 1st, Dr. Ramos will provide the BOE with a report on practical ways SB zoned families could have a real choice of schools including transportation.
  • By July 15th, Dr. Ramos will report to the BOE regarding expanding registration times and accessibility.
  • Susan Grierson will use Title 1 money for a Community Engagement Specialist if the final Title 1 funding amount allows.

Your PTA will be attending the BOE meeting on June 15th at 7:30 at the CHS Library to follow up. Please join us if you can.

Thank you to those who completed the surveys; they were very helpful!