Parenting Center PTA School School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Discussion With Nikole Hannah-Jones on Feb. 7

Nikole Hannah-Jones will be at South Orange Middle School on Feb. 7. Tickets are here, and you can learn more about her and see her work on

Events Files Parenting Center School District

Spring Parenting Workshops

Please take advantage of these great resources, courtesy of our valuable Parenting Center.

2012 – Spring Parenting Workshop Series

Events Parenting Center School District

Take-Home Math – Grades 3-5

This free event is being hosted by Seth Boyden. Please download the flyer and plan to attend!!

The SOMSD Mathematics Department & The Parenting Center’s LEAP TO SUCCESS committee present
Closing the Elementary School Achievement Gap Educational Series


Grades 3-5 ~ Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2012 from 7:30pm – 9:00pm Seth Boyden School 274 Boyden Ave., Maplewood

Help your child experience the fun and joy of Math while building important skills! Join Math Specialist Katie Costello for a workshop on:
Curriculum – What are students learning in the classroom? Games activities and strategies for parents and students to use at home.

Events Parenting Center PTA School School District

February Events

1/30 – 3/2 Read-a-Thon


2/8 BOE Special Session on the Middle and High
School Academic Reform Proposal (CHS Auditorium) 7-8:30pm

2/11 SOPAC Theater Day

2/13 Town Hall with Brian Osborne, 7:30-9:30pm, South Mountain

2/15 PTA Open Meeting, 7:30pm, Library

2/16 PTA Meeting Recap, 9am, Cafeteria

2/20 Schools CLOSED – President’s Day

2/23 Black History Month Gallery

2/28 Take-Home Math: Helping Your Child Succeed in Mathematics Grades 3-5, 7:30 pm – 9 pm, Seth Boyden

Community Building Events Fundraising Parenting Center PTA School District

Welcome to 2012!

Happy New Year, Seth Boyden Families!

I hope that all of you enjoyed the long winter break and have re-acclimated to your regularly scheduled lives. I haven’t quite yet, but I’m getting there!

There is so much happening this month, I hope that your calendars are up to date. There are numerous important events taking place around the district. Of particular importance are the meetings scheduled to discuss the Middle School Transformation. Most of our children will be impacted by these proposed changes, so please learn more and make your questions and opinions heard.

Two upcoming events at Seth Boyden are:

1) The American Teacher movie screening on Tuesday, January 17, 7:30 (sponsored by the Parenting Center and the Elementary School PTAs). Please reserve tickets (reservations not required, but strongly recommended; reserved tickets will be given preferred seating) now!! The panel discussion following the movie will include Superintendent Brian Osborne, Board of Ed President Beth Daugherty, Principal Mark Quiles, South Mountain Principal Tina Lehn, 5th Grade Teacher Sheila Murphy, and former SB Teacher Rhena Jasey.

2) Our first Parent, Teacher Talent Show on Friday, January 27, 7-8:30pm (doors open at 6:30pm). Please purchase tickets in advance, if possible. Performances by Principal Mark Quiles, Senor Carberry, and a slew of incredibly talented parents! You won’t want to miss this night!!

Additionally, the charter school debate continues. This issue will continue to affect our District and it’s important that you be informed.

Many of you have New Year’s resolutions — whether you call them that or not. I hope that all of you join me in resolving to continue to make Seth Boyden “1 School, 100%.” 100% participation, 100% achievement … as ONE community. If you aren’t sure of how to get involved, contact me, and we’ll figure out how you can contribute to the success of our school and our kids.


Susie Adamson
PTA President

Events Parenting Center PTA School District

January Reminders

SUBJ: Presidents’ Council Update on Middle School Transformation Proposal and Charter Schools

Dear Families,

We hope 2012 is off to a great start! Since so many of us have been away during the break, Presidents’ Council offers this update on some district happenings, and some events you may want to take part in during the upcoming weeks.

1. Middle School Transformation Proposal

By now you should have received an email from the Board of Education regarding the Superintendent’s proposal for Middle School Transformation in SOMSD. If not, please visit to view the email, which includes a link to the full proposal. In addition, the Board will hold a public forum on the proposal on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, at 8pm in the Columbia High School Auditorium (immediately following the Superintendent’s State of the District address at 7pm). The Board also invites community members to email comments and questions to [email protected] by 4:00 p.m. on Monday, January 9.

2. Charter School Update

Many thanks to everyone who has already sent emails, made calls, and signed petitions urging the State government to provide local communities with more control over whether or not charter schools are approved for their district.

The next 11 days are critical for this round of charter school applications, and for the Hua Mei proposal in particular. Please take a few minutes to do one or more of the following:

· Attend a rally planned by some district parents this Friday, January 6th at 4:30pm in the DeHart Community Center (120 Burnett Ave., Maplewood). Senator Richard Codey and Assembly Members Mila Jasey and John McKeon are scheduled to attend, along with many local families. For more info:

· Sign the online petition urging Commissioner Cerf to listen to the many South Orange and Maplewood residents who do not want our local tax dollars spent on this charter: Signed already? Why not forward it to a few friends and ask them to sign!

· Call or write:

o Acting Commissioner Chris Cerf to urge him to reject the Hua Mei application: [email protected] or 609-292-4450

o Senator Teresa Ruiz to urge her to bring the charter reform bills, especially SB2243 requiring local approval of new charter schools, to a vote: 973-484-1000 or e-mail by clicking on her name via this link:

3. District Meetings and Events in January 2012:

· Jan. 6 @ 4:30pm – Rally to Oppose Hua Mei Charter School and Urge Charter Reform @ DeHart Community Center, 120 Burnett Ave., Maplewood. Organized by Marian Raab of Maplewood.

· Jan. 11 @ 7:00pm– State of the District Address followed by Public Meeting about Middle School Restructuring @ Columbia High School, 17 Parker Ave., Maplewood


· Jan. 16 @ 10:30am – “My Friend Martin” @ SOPAC, One SOPAC Way, South Orange. Presented by Marshall School PTA

· Jan. 17 @ 7:30pm – Screening of “American Teacher” @ Seth Boyden, 274 Boyden Ave., Maplewood. Presented by the Elementary School PTAs and The Parenting Center

· Jan. 18 @ 7:30pm – Board of Education Meeting, including proposal for changes to Columbia High School @ Board Office, 525 Academy Street, Maplewood

· Jan. 26 @ 7:30pm – Helping Your Child Succeed in Math in Grades 3-5 @ Seth Boyden, 274 Boyden Ave., Maplewood. Presented by the Math Department and the LEAP to Success Committee of The Parenting Center

· Jan. 31 @ 7:30pm – Helping Your Child Succeed in Math in Grades K-2 @ Clinton, 27 Berkshire Road, Maplewood. Presented by the Math Department and the LEAP to Success Committee of The Parenting Center


What is Presidents’ Council?

Presidents’ Council is an organization consisting of all PTA, PTO and HSA Presidents in the South Orange Maplewood School District, whose purpose is:

To discuss matters of interest to members including topics affecting the district as a whole, as well as individual schools;
To provide an interchange of ideas and concerns among the presidents of various schools;
To promote communication and a sense of unity among the schools

Events Parenting Center PTA

Reserve Tickets for American Teacher Movie Screening

JANUARY 17, 2012, 7:30pm
Seth Boyden Demonstration School



** Panel discussion to follow screening ** (including Rhena Jasey)


AMERICAN TEACHER is the feature-length documentary produced and directed by Academy Award winning filmmaker Vanessa Roth; produced
by Ninive Calegari, co-founder of the literacy nonprofit 826 National, and bestselling author Dave Eggers; and narrated by Academy Award-winner
Matt Damon. AMERICAN TEACHER chronicles the stories of four teachers — Erik Benner, Jonathan Dearman, Jamie Fidler, and Rhena Jasey — who live
and work in disparate urban and rural areas of the country. By following these teachers as they reach different milestones in their careers, the film tells the deeper story of the teaching profession in America today. The film shows us the experience of these four young teachers as they recognize the importance of what they do, and how much they love what they do, but have to ask themselves: Can I afford to continue to teach?

In the next ten years, more than half of this country’s current 3.2 million teachers will be eligible to retire. We will then have a choice: continue with the current broken system of trying to attract talented college graduates to the teaching profession by offering long hours, little support, no prestige, low pay system that results in high turnover and low morale and translates into 85 percent of graduates refusing to even consider the profession. Or we change: increase compensation and improve conditions to attract the best college graduates who might otherwise go into law, finance, or other lucrative fields. With the best and the brightest in the profession, our schools will get better.

Based on the New York Times bestselling book, Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America’s Teachers (The New Press,
2005), AMERICAN TEACHER is an endeavor of the Teacher Salary Project, a nonprofit organization offering an interactive online resource and a national outreach campaign to change how teachers are valued in our society.

“Essential“ New York Daily News

Produced and Directed by Oscar Winner Vanessa Roth

Produced by Ni­nive Calegari and Dave Eggers

Edited and co-directed by Brian McGinn

Music by Thao Nguyen

Narrated by Matt Damon

Reserve your tickets today!! (Recommended but not required for admission)

Holidays Parenting Center School School District SOMA


South Orange-Maplewood Schools will be closed again tomorrow due to the aftermath of Saturday’s storm.

Additionally, the Parenting Center’s presentation “Lingo Bingo” will not take place as scheduled on Tuesday November 1st. The Parenting Center will try to reschedule Lingo Bingo for March, to help parents prepare for the new March round of parent/teacher conferences.

Halloween activities planned for today will not be rescheduled.

Events Parenting Center School District SOMA

Lingo Bingo!

November 1, 2011


Jefferson School
518 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood

Just in time for the November parent/teacher conferences! Join Jefferson Principal Susan Grierson and South Mountain Principal Tina Lehn as they explain:

• Student Assessments – How is student work evaluated?
• Teacher Reports – What will be discussed?
• Parent Questions – What to ask?

For more information, download flyer here.

Events Parenting Center School District SOMA

Reminder – Call to Action Event!

A reminder about this important event. Please come out to support our own Ms. Sackett and Mrs. Horn!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
7:00—8:30 pm

Clinton Elementary School
27 Berkshire Road
Maplewood, NJ 07040

Events Parenting Center School District SOMA

Invitation for Call to Action

The Parenting Center’s Leap To Success Committee presents a community wide symposium to address closing the elementary school achievement gap. Featuring a distinguished panel of experts on the subject, the evening promises to be an engaging and provocative discussion on how we can collectively move forward on this pressing issue.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011
Clinton Elementary School

Opening Remarks and Panelist:
Christopher Cerf, Acting NJ Education Commissioner

Dr. Brian Osborne, Superintendent of the South Orange/Maplewood School District
Andrea Wren-Hardin, Board Member
Tina Lehn, Principal, South Mountain Elementary School
Marianne Hess, Assistant Principal, Tuscan Elementary School
Raquel Horn, Assistant Principal, Seth Boyden Elementary School
Shayna Sackett, Teacher, Seth Boyden

Barbara Heisler, Executive Director of Funding Exchange and former Executive Director of the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race

Events Parenting Center School District SOMA

Important Parenting Center news

The Parenting Center of South Orange – Maplewood School District sponsors some incredibly helpful and engaging events throughout the year. Please see their speaker calendar for the 2011-2012 school year. Visit their website for more information about the many resources they provide to our community!