Fundraising Outdoor Learning Center Seth Boyden News

Outdoor Learning Center Is Ready for Students!

After years of planning, hard work and fundraising, only a few small details remain unfinished in the Seth Boyden Outdoor Learning Center. Our students were able to use it the last week of school and over the summer.

This spring, we had amazing participation from our families, who helped do the hard work necessary to bring this project to fruition. We’ve planted the Habitat Garden and Arboretum, built the Outdoor Classroom, and installed drip irrigation. We’ve shoveled dirt and gravel, planted grass, and installed houses for birds, bats and butterflies. It’s an amazing space, right next to our Strawberry Fields garden, and you really have to see it to believe it.

We’ve also reached our fundraising target for the Outdoor Classroom! You can learn more about the project here, and on Facebook.




Outdoor Learning Center Seth Boyden News

Outdoor Learning Center Featured in Village Green

From the Village Green, May 18, 2016

heres the garden“Here’s where you can study outside and look closely at the earth.”

Second-grader Sonya Lynch was giving an informal tour of the new Outdoor Learning Center at Seth Boyden, a community-wide project that has been nearly 20 years in the dreaming and planning stages.

Now — thanks to the generosity of friends, families, local business owners and school administrators — this dream is becoming a remarkable reality. Read the full article on

Seth Boyden News

Facebook Page for Incoming Kindergarteners

k-fb-groupDo you have an incoming Kindergartener for the 2016-2017 school year?

If so, join the Seth Boyden Class of 2022 Facebook page, created by parents for the families of 2016’s incoming kindergarten class to set up playdates, ask questions, and trade information.


Events Seth Boyden News

Photos From the Variety Show

The Seth Boyden Variety Show was held on Saturday, April 2. Below are some images from Act 1, featuring K-3rd Grade. If you have more images, please send them to [email protected] 


Events Seth Boyden News

3rd Grade Recorder Performance

Did you miss the third grade recorder concert? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with this video.

Garden Seth Boyden News

Get Ready for Spring With Beautiful Garden Photos

Maggie Tuohy spends a lot of time in Strawberry Fields, and she has the great photos to prove it. Here are some shots of our wonderful garden to get you in the mood for the fast-approaching warmer weather. Click on the images to enlarge.

Seth Boyden News Testimonials

One Seth Boyden Family’s Testimonial

By Alison Poe

We didn’t start out at Seth Boyden. Because our daughter had shown academic strength in preschool, we initially thought she should go to private school. She applied to two private schools and was accepted to both; we chose the one that seemed friendlier.

By halfway through kindergarten, we were very unhappy with the private school, including its lack of academic rigor and its poor communication with parents. We switched our daughter into Seth Boyden halfway through kindergarten, in January 2015.

Everything about our Seth Boyden experience has been far better than at her private school. The teachers — from the classroom teachers to the ones who teach gym, music, and art — understand our daughter, appreciate her, and work with her to develop her strengths and minimize her weaknesses. They push her firmly but gently, asking for her best but being patient with her kid-ness. They maintain order but also a sense of fun.

The community is full of warm, positive, interesting people from a phenomenal diversity of backgrounds. A much greater percentage of them seem to care actively about their children’s academic and social development than was the case at the private school. The lines of communication to parents from the teachers, the administrators, and the other parents is open, clear, helpful, and supportive.

Our daughter LOVES Seth Boyden. She’s made many friends in her 14 months there. She essentially worships her teacher, and because of the mixed-age model for first- and second-grade classes, she gets to keep this teacher next year. The mixed-age classroom is fantastic: It facilitates exactly the kind of differentiated learning that’s a cornerstone of the school’s educational philosophy.

In our family’s view, Seth Boyden is a model of a racially and socioeconomically diverse school that serves all of its students extremely well, from children who are working above grade level to the ones who need more support. We are very, very, very happy here.

PTA School School District Seth Boyden News

Learning About Kindergarten

On Saturday at Seth Boyden, several elementary school principals and assistant principals as well as a number of PTA presidents answered questions from prospective parents about kindergarten, elementary school, and the South Orange & Maplewood School District. Afterward, there was a parent-to-parent meeting to let the visiting parents know more about our school.

If you’re interested in participating in future parent-to-parent sessions, sign up here.



Events Seth Boyden News

Lenape Lifeways Visits Seth Boyden

John Kraft from Lenape Lifeways gave a great presentation to our third graders on Friday, Jan. 15, about the Lenape tribe of New Jersey and Delaware.

Kraft’s presentation covered traditional Lenape life in their Eastern woodlands homeland and included many artifacts he discovered right in Maplewood!

Our third grade classes have been studying Native American communities of the past, including the ways in which they used the resources in their environments, so the presentation was a great supplement to the curriculum.

Events Seth Boyden News

Join Us For Movie Night Tonight!

Movie Night Tonight!

Feature flick: Muppets: Most Wanted Its hilarious – Ricky Jervais, Tina Fey and the muppets. What more could you ask for?!

Doors open 6pm, movie starts 6:30.   Cost is $5 per family – a bargain! Concession stand with popcorn, candy, etc.  Invite your friends and your neighbors!!

Events Seth Boyden News

Choosing Kindergarten? Meet Parents.

The Seth Boyden PTA is hosting three parent-to-parent get-togethers for families who are in the process of choosing a kindergarten for the 2016-17 school year. The first is Saturday, Jan. 30, at 11am, immediately after the district’s kindergarten welcome.

Fundraising Garden Outdoor Learning Center Seth Boyden News

Seth Boyden Wins $10,000 Grant to Develop Garden

Seth Boyden has become one of 11 schools and/or districts in the state to be awarded a $10,000 grant through Sustainable Jersey’s first round of school grants for the year. The grants were funded by the New Jersey Education Association and checks were presented at a brunch and ceremony on Thursday in Trenton.

The money will fund Story Trails and new planting in the school’s Habitat Garden, a mostly wild area in the school’s back yard devoted to plants and trees native to New Jersey. The story trails will be designed to lead students on walks of discovery through the garden, helping them learn to identify species in the garden, as well as to discover the animals and insects that call the patch home. Planners hope members of the community will use the garden as well.

Garden Harvest Festival Seth Boyden News

Harvest Festival 2015

See all the great photos from Seth Boyden’s annual Harvest Festival, which was held on October 17. A huge crowd enjoyed great food, an obstacle course, a bouncy house, the Montclair Art Museum’s Art Truck, pony rides and more.

Seth Boyden News Uncategorized

The Socks Have Dropped

Fifth-graders Adrien Carter, Jazmyn Coleman, Jaden Hargrove, Seth Powder and Nicholas Franklin led this year’s Sock Drop, a service project in September and November for young people in need.

“We have been collecting socks and scarves to help keep teens warm this winter,” Adrien said.

Seth confirmed that the new socks and warm weather gear collected would be donated to Covenant House in Newark. Jazmyn informed fellow students that Covenant House provides food, shelter, care, and other important services to young people between the ages of 18 and 21.

Jaden noted that the 21 Covenant House locations in the U.S., Canada and Latin America serve more than 56,000 young people each year. Nicholas concluded the final tally: 15 scarves (2 of which were hand-made), 6 hats, 6 pairs of gloves and 94 pairs of brand new socks.

Way to go Seth Boyden!

Field Trips Seth Boyden News

Multi-Age Classrooms Visit Essex County Environmental Center

Our first- and second-grade multi-age classrooms had a field trip to the Essex County Environmental Center on Thursday, Nov. 19. The students learned about local plants and animals, explored the Lenape Learning Center and got a close-up look at the Passaic River. 

Garden Press School Seth Boyden News

Strawberry Fields Adds an Outdoor Kitchen

It is harvest cooking time at Seth Boyden, thanks to the efforts of a soon-to-be Eagle Scout and the school’s garden teacher.

On Oct. 18, Columbia junior Jack Kelly cut the ribbon on Seth Boyden’s new outdoor kitchen, which he built as his Eagle Scout project. The kitchen, which includes a long stainless steel prep counter with a sink, and a small gathering space complete with white board, was built mostly in Jack’s parents’ garage. (Jack’s mom, Lynn Kelly, is a teacher at Seth Boyden and his Boy Scout Troop, Troop 5, calls Seth Boyden home.) Jack raised all the money for its construction and then, with the help of fellow Troop 5 Scouts and some dedicated dads and friends, lugged it to the garden and installed it.