Community Building Fundraising Press PTA Seth Boyden News Uncategorized

Giving Tuesday!

Giving Tuesday is Nov 30Support our students and staff! This year, our PTA needs your donation more than ever to fund field trips, supplies for our teachers, and more. Please consider a one-time financial gift during this time of year. Donate via Paypal or Venmo @SBPTA (add “donation” to the message). Your contribution is greatly appreciated!

General Press PTA School School District Seth Boyden News

PTA Statement

October 8, 2021


The Seth Boyden Parent Teacher Association believes that our schools should be inclusive spaces for learning and growth. Students should never face discrimination. We stand in solidarity with the student who was allegedly asked to remove her hijab, and support her family.

While this incident is being investigated by the school administration and the school district, we will support and collaborate with staff and administration to ensure that our school community remains a place of acceptance, belonging, and learning for all individuals.

2021-22 PTA Board Members

A Statement from Carey Smith, State of NJPTA, Region V Director

The State of New Jersey PTA, and National PTA stands firmly against racism in all forms and the culture of oppression that permeates the United States.

Continued respect for, and expansion of civil rights requires they be defended whenever threatened and that children and youth be taught the significance of civil rights and responsibilities in American Culture.

We support – Prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, gender, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, national origin, language, religion, age, physical and academic ability, and sexual orientation

While this incident is being investigated by the school administration, school district, and the local authorities, we will support and collaborate with staff and administration to ensure that our school community remains a place of acceptance, belonging, and learning for all individuals.

As an association that represents all children, we must listen, educate and advocate beyond rhetoric and rise to correct all inequities and injustices.

Community Building Events General PTA Seth Boyden News Uncategorized Volunteer Opportunities

Thank you Families & PTA!

Seth Boyden PTA Board: Right to Left, Jasmine Jones (VP), Katie Kaplan (Secretary), Anna Dunbar (VP), Allyson Murphy (VP), Nadine Hart (President), Sabena Khan (Treasurer), Mandy Tenner (Secretary) & Jen Warren (VP) are not pictured, though they are much appreciated!
Seth Boyden Meet & Greet
Principal Glander welcoming our families.

A special thanks to the PTA for organizing a lovely Seth Boyden First Day of School Meet & Greet! Thank you to all the families for showing up for our school and for taking the time to volunteer for so many activities!

The PTA is still looking for volunteers! Please sign up here.

General Outdoor Learning Center PTA School Seth Boyden News

First Day Coffee Meet and Greet!

Seth Boyden OLC

September 13, 2021 8:45AM at Seth Boyden Elementary School

Please join the PTA at the OLC (Outdoor Learning Center) to welcome Seth Boyden parents new and old back to campus!Right after drop off, there will be pastries from The Bread Stand and coffee. Masks are required when not eating. We will welcome new families, review upcoming activities and ways to participate in PTA! 

PTA Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

2021-22 PTA Executive Board

Our new PTA executive board was elected at last Monday’s PTA meeting. Thanks to these parents for stepping up to take on these important roles for our school community!

But there are still important roles to fill, including SEPAC liaison, auction chair, OLC chair, and book fair chair — there are roles to suit all skills/time availability. Email [email protected] to learn more about how you can help. 

  • President: Nadine Hart
  • Vice President: Jasmine Lewis
  • Vice President: Jen Warren
  • Vice President: Anna Dunbar
  • Vice President: Allyson Murphy
  • Recording Secretary: Mandy Tenner
  • Correspondence Secretary: Katie Tichacek
  • Treasurer: Sabena Khan
Arts Grants PTA Stepping

New Jersey Council on the Arts Grant Helps Seth Boyden Step it Up!

Seth Boyden Stepping it Up!

Even during a very challenging year for students, teachers and administration, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Young Audiences Arts for Learning New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania has helped Seth Boyden Elementary Demonstration School find joy and dance into summer on a high note.

Seth Boyden received an Artists in Education grant for $10,000 from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Young Audiences Arts for Learning New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania for an artist-in-residence program bringing the dance art form of African American stepping to the Seth Boyden third graders.  The two professional artists ­— Quynn Johnson and Ryan Johnson — are with SOLE Defined, a BIPOC-led dance company that uses dance to educate and foster creativity. Ms. Quynn and Mr. Ryan have focused on the emergence of stepping within African American culture in the early twentieth century, particularly within the “Divine Nine,” the nine Historically Black Greek-Letter Organizations (HBGLOs) that originated at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). This history resonates strongly with the many African American students at Seth Boyden, some of whose family members are alumnae/i of HBGLOs and HBCUs, and with third-grade teacher Rahmiece Lawson, an HGBLO alumna.

Principal Shannon Glander, Assistant Principal Sheila Murphy, and third-grade teacher Rosemary Connell formed part of the Steering Committee for the grant, as did Seth Boyden PTA President Elizabeth Leonard Evangelista, PTA Assemblies Coordinator Susanna Einstein, and former PTA Development Officer Alison Poe. Dr. Poe was also responsible for coordinating the program with this year’s district Covid guidelines and making sure everyone was able to participate, which has been invaluable. Ms. Connell says the program has been very engaging and “helps a lot of kids who may be losing interest after all the remote learning.”

Twice a week, for the past eight weeks, students have explored fundamental step moves as well as the basic historical and cultural background of the art form with Ms. Quynn and Mr. Ryan, whether online or in person. Anaaya Ahmed, a third grader, says that she especially loves learning about the different kinds of claps and the Greek alphabet. She says the program is “fun, educational, and tiring.” Manuel Perez, another third grader says, “It was really fun learning stepping with my friends.  I hope everyone has the same experience next year.”

As the program’s culminating event, the third graders performed a stepping dance they co-choreographed with SOLE Defined: the Seth Boyden School Spirit Dance, a gift to the school that will be handed down as a lasting legacy. In-person students performed the dance live (masked and socially distanced) in the Outdoor Learning Center for the fourth graders; at-home learners contributed solo performances of the dance to a forthcoming video about the residency.  A live performance by the Columbia High School Infinite Step Team concluded the outdoor show, which will also feature in the video. When the Infinite Step Team completed their routine, captain Eartha West asked the third and fourth graders if they wanted to join the squad once they got to high school, and a score of hands shot into the air.

The Seth Boyden community is very grateful to this dedicated Steering Committee and The Artists in Education Residency Grant Program, now in its forty-eighth year. The residency is a co-sponsored project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Young Audiences Arts for Learning New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania in partnership with regional New Jersey arts organizations, including Appel Farm Arts & Music Campus, Count Basie Center for the Arts, and Morris Arts.

Fundraising PTA

Brain Quest Fundraiser!

Seth Boyden is participating in a fundraiser with Brain Quest! They have workbooks, summer workbooks, Q&A decks, and even some “just for fun” activity books. The age range is pre-school through 7th grade.      

We are running the fundraiser until Tuesday, June 22. 

Please check it out and share it with your family and friends!

Our customized landing page:

At checkout, use promo code: SBPTA

A bit about Brain Quest

Brain Quest is America’s #1 educational bestseller, with more than 50 million copies in print. Curriculum-based but infused with a spirit of fun, it’s loved by kids, trusted by parents, and used and recommended by teachers because it works—and entertains, too.

Each Brain Quest deck is a fast-paced question-and-answer game that challenges kids on the stuff they need to know, when they need to know it. Brain Quest workbooks are jam-packed with curriculum-based activities, exercises, games, and challenges, all in full color. All Brain Quest content aligns with national and state standards and is overseen by a panel of award-winning educators.

Garden Picture Day PTA School Volunteer Opportunities

School Picture Day June 7 & 8

School Photos are coming June 7 & 8! — REGISTER TODAY

When: June 7 & 8 (your child’s teacher will email you the day closer to picture day)

Where: In the garden at Seth Boyden

Register: Use this link (password Sethboyden21) to register by June 6

IMPORTANT: Remember you need to register for your child(ren) to be photographed even if the photos are being taken during the school day. When registering, please use the full name your child used to register for school (ex: use “James,” not “Jimmie”)

Volunteers needed!

Please sign up if you can help with the school picture days of June 7 & 8

We are so excited to be able to offer individual student portraits this year! … In our gorgeous, blooming Seth Boyden garden!

In-person students will be photographed during school hours.

All families who have remained virtual will be able to come in the afternoon for photos if they wish by signing up for a time slot here:

(Group class photos will not be offered this year.)

All in-person students are photographed. If you do not place an order by June 6 you will receive a proof. You can then place an order using the proof information provided. Please note: there will be a $7 shipping fee for orders placed after picture day.

More information about the photographer Peter Collura is on the attached flier. 

CDC guidelines to ensure a safe picture day include: working outdoors, social distance from students and staff, masks on photographers, and sanitizing picture area as needed. 

PTA Seth Boyden News

Help Seth Boyden Family That Lost their Father

It is with heavy hearts that we share the sad news that Marc Ulysse, father of 5th grader Marvens and 4th grader Marc, passed away over the weekend from complications due to COVID-19. Mr. Ulysse was a loving husband, committed father, and the sole provider for his wife and five children. Mr. Ulysse was a longstanding Maplewood resident and, until his passing, was a school bus driver in Newark. He will be sorely missed by his family and all who knew and loved him. 

The thoughts, love, and condolences of the entire Seth Boyden community are with the Ulysse family at this time.

We want to do all we can as a community to support the Ulysse family – there is a meal train being organized by the boys’ classes and we as a PTA have set up this GoFundMe:

Please contribute if you can, and help us spread the word about the GoFundMe far and wide.

Let’s rally around the Ulysse family and help them through the next difficult weeks and months ahead.

If you need help with how to discuss this sad news with your child, you can contact our school social worker, Ms. Jordan, via [email protected]. You can also access the following resource from the National Association of School Psychologists: Helping Children Cope With Loss: Tips for Teachers and Parents

Community Building PTA Seth Boyden News SOMA Shares

Seth Boyden Strong

Some of our awesome students (and one teacher!) showing their #SethBoydenStrong spirit during remote school, Fall/Winter 2020

End-of-Year Message from the Seth Boyden PTA:

What a year 2020 has been!

From the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, this community has shown, again and again, how to be Seth Boyden Strong.

From Go Fund Mes for Seth Boyden students who lost parents to the incredible grassroots efforts of SOMA Shares — supporting our community with groceries and masks and books and coats and more — to the teachers who have done so much during such a difficult time — and the generosity and grace showed to them by our Seth Boyden families — to the class captains who have worked to forge connections between classmates to all the PTA volunteers and board members who have kept it going throughout and the students — these incredible children — who have had their normal lives pulled out from under them and still show up at their computers every day and persevere.

These are just a few of the countless examples of the generosity of spirit and giving that is Seth Boyden. 

We are looking forward to 2021 with great hope and anticipation, and as we prepare for a new year, we ask that if you are able to make a year-end gift, to please consider supporting Seth Boyden PTA. We are a 501(c) (3) organization and your gift helps to fund efforts like getting books in the hands of students, assemblies that enrich our children’s education, teacher gifts, SOMA Shares, and so much more in the future. Your gift truly makes a difference! 

You can make a tax-deductible gift through PayPal, and you can even make it recurring. Click here

And if your employer matches charitable donations, then the impact of your donation to Seth Boyden could be doubled! Ask at work. 

We are Seth Boyden Strong because we are a unique, dynamic, and exceptionally caring school community filled with so many people doing good every day. We are Seth Boyden Strong because of YOU. 

General PTA School SOMA YMCA

YMCA Food Distribution – Oct 23 and Oct 30

In partnership with Seashore Produce, the South Mountain YMCA is distributing free food boxes on Friday, Oct 23, and Friday, Oct 30.  

Limited availability – first come, first served.

Pick up begins at 1 pm at Seth Boyden.

Pick up instructions:

  • Use the school’s circular driveway
  • Pop your trunk open
  • Do not get out of your car
  • Staff will load box
  • Masks required

If you don’t have a vehicle, please email [email protected] and the PTA will connect you with a volunteer driver. 

For information in Spanish – click here

For information in Creole – click here

PTA Seth Boyden News SOMA Shares

SOMA Shares Book Giveaway Day

SOMA Shares Book Giveaway Day Flyer

SOMA Shares is thrilled to announce our first book giveaway day! 

All students from pre-K through 12th grade are invited to join us for the best kind of book fair: FREE! 

When: Saturday, Oct 10, 11am-4pm (rain date: Oct 18)

Where: St Joseph’s Church, 767 Prospect Street, Maplewood (parking lot between Franklin & Hilton)

What: Free children’s books for readers of all ages and stages

This event needs volunteers to make it a success! If you can help set up, help out during the giveaway, or clean up, then please sign up by clicking here 

SOMA Shares will also be accepting donations onsite. Please wear your masks and respect social distancing! 

Garden Outdoor Learning Center PTA School

Outdoor Learning Center – Fall Clean-Up

Come One, Come All
Seth Boyden Outdoor Learning Center Clean-up!

OLC Clean up kids

Looking for a way to help our school this fall? Bring the family and join the outdoor learning center clean-up!

On October 10th and 11th we’ll be weeding, watering, spreading mulch, moving logs– you get the idea!

Oct 10 – 9 am to 1 pm
Oct 11 – 1 pm to 5 pm 

Please bring your own work gloves and tools if you can (we don’t want folks sharing tools because of covid). Kids welcome! And of course, wear a mask!!

Sign up today to reserve your spot – click here

General PTA

Supply Lists

Did you order a school supply kit via the PTA? If so, it will be distributed when the PTA gives out other materials at a date still being worked out. If you entered an email in the order, look for an email from Marianne about it as well. Thanks to those who ordered!

While we’re starting the school year virtually, our school supply lists are ready! Some of these items (like cleaning supplies) are for when we’re able to be back together safely!

Kindergarten Supply List 2020-2021

Zip top soft pencil case (no pencil boxes, please)

8 packs of glue sticks

3 boxes (8 – eight) pack of standard color Crayola Crayons

Children’s scissors


Paper towels

Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer (not soap)

Last Name A-L: Gallon Ziploc Bags

Last Name M-Z:  Sandwich Ziploc Bags


Lysol wipes

Baby wipes

1st Grade School Supply 2020/2021

2 heavy duty, plastic 2 pocket folders

2 8 packs of standard color Classic Crayola Markers (fat not skinny)

2 boxes of Crayola crayons

1 4-pack of glue sticks

1 Pack of pencils (if possible sharpened)

Teacher Wish List Items:


Hand Sanitizer

Disinfectant Wipes

Paper Towels

Second/Multiage List Per Student:

1 heavy duty, plastic 2 pocket folder

1-2 8 packs of standard color Classic Crayola Markers

1 8 pack of standard color Crayola Colored Pencils

2 boxes of Crayola crayons

1 pack of glue sticks


Teacher Wish List Items:

Hand Sanitizer

Liquid Soap

Gallon Ziploc Bags

Sandwich Ziploc Bags

Index Cards

Sharpie Markers


Paper towels


Third Grade List per student:

2 12 pack of Ticonderoga pencils

zippered pencil case

1 marble notebook

2 5 subject notebooks

2 plastic folders (1 for homework/ 1 for classwork)

1 box of Crayola crayons

1 box of standard color classic Crayola markers

2 highlighters

Pack of glue sticks


Teacher Wish List Items:



paper towels

1 box of Crayola colored pencils

Fourth Grade List per Student:

1 heavy-duty plastic folder for homework

3 boxes of Ticonderoga/Dixon #2 pencils

1 pencil case

5 boxes of tissues

1 1L hand sanitizer bottle

Teacher Wish List Items:

Pencil Top Erasers or bar erasers

Handheld pencil sharpeners


1 package of Post-It Notes

Clorox/Lysol/Store Brand Wipes

Paper Towels

Fifth Grade List per student:

1 sturdy plastic homework folder

2 100-page marble composition notebooks

24-48 Ticonderoga #2 pencils (the green boxes)

1 zipper cloth pencil case

3 large boxes of unscented tissues

Teacher Wish List Items:

Paper Towels

Hand Sanitizer

Baby wipes

Clorox or Lysol disinfecting wipes

PTA School District Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

Summer Food Support Program to Begin June 29 at Maplecrest Park

South Orange & Maplewood School District in partnership with the Township of Maplewood, the Parenting Center, and its partners are providing various options for food support over the summer months.

The District’s summer breakfast and lunch are provided through the USDA Summer Meals Program in coordination between Township of Irvington and Township of Maplewood. Free breakfast and lunch Grab ‘n’ Go meals for kids start tomorrow, June 29, and continue through August 21, Monday to Friday, 9 am – 11 am at Maplecrest Park, between Essex Road and Boyden Parkway. Details are available on this flyer from the district, in English, Spanish and Creole, which summarizes local food support programs and information.

PTA School Seth Boyden News

Alomo Donates Books, Toys and Crafts

Last week, we put out a call for donations of food and books and art/school supplies. We’ve seen a tremendous response but we wanted to give a special shout out to Alomo Books.

Alomo gave our Seth Boyden Book Pantry a huge donation of books, toys, and crafts. Co-founded by Seth Boyden parent Kwaku Essel and South Mountain parent Jessi Gottlieb Empestan, Alomo curated books that centered black characters and highlighted storytellers of color so that black and brown children could see themselves in the books they read.

They also brought the books to life with accompanying crafts and activities. Due to the pandemic, Alomo is wrapping up its operations and generously donated the remaining inventory to our community.

The books, toys, and crafts are a huge hit with our families at lunch pick up. They are truly helping to make these months when we can’t be together brighter and more joyful! Thank you, Jessi and Kwaku, for your vital work to diversify book publishing and for your generosity to Seth Boyden! We’re so grateful to you.

PTA School Seth Boyden News

New Jersey Council on the Arts Grant to Bring Stepping Artist to Seth Boyden

Seth Boyden Elementary Demonstration School has received an Artists in Education grant for $10,000 from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for an artist-in-residence program for the 2020-21 school year. 

The AIE grant will bring an expert in African-American step dancing to Seth Boyden.  The artist will work primarily with the school’s four third-grade classes, teaching fundamental step moves as well as the basic historical and cultural background of the art form.  The lessons will dovetail with the geography and civics units of the third-grade curriculum.

The resident artist will also meet with the third-grade faculty and the art, music, and physical education teachers at Seth Boyden to brainstorm about ways to incorporate step and other movement into their pedagogy more broadly.

The Columbia High School Infinite Step Team will play an important role in the program.  In addition to performing a step assembly for all grades at Seth Boyden, members of this squad – some of whom are Seth Boyden alumnae – will provide mentoring to the third-grade students.

As the program’s culminating project, the third-graders and the resident artist will choreograph a step number that will become the Seth Boyden School Spirit Dance, a legacy to be passed down to future classes.

Since stepping has deep roots in African-American and African culture, the art form is part of the cultural heritage of many Seth Boyden students, more than half of whom are African-American, many of them second-generation African or Afro-Caribbean.

Principal Shannon Glander, Assistant Principal Sheila Murphy, and third-grade teacher Rosemary Connell formed part of the Steering Committee for the grant, as did Seth Boyden PTA President Elizabeth Leonard Evangelista and PTA Assemblies Coordinator Susanna Einstein.   Pending funding and any necessary pandemic-related modifications, the Seth Boyden step residency will begin in or shortly after November.

“I am thrilled to have this opportunity to look forward to,” Principal Glander said.  PTA President Evangelista echoed the sentiment.  “This is an enormous bright spot for all of us: our school, faculty, and students!”

The Artists in Education Residency Grant Program, now in its forty-eighth year, is a co-sponsored project of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the Young Audiences Arts for Learning Network of New Jersey & Eastern Pennsylvania, in partnership with regional New Jersey arts organizations, including Appel Farm Arts & Music Campus, Count Basie Center for the Arts, and Morris Arts.

PTA School School District Seth Boyden News

3/16/20: Letter From Mrs. Glander

Good Afternoon Seth Boyden Families,

If your child was absent from school and did not take home their book baggies and classroom supplies, or if you require hard copies of the remote learning lessons, the district will be delivering these items to Seth Boyden families tomorrow, Tuesday,  March 17, 2020.  

Teachers were asked to identify any students that they were aware of that did not have access to the internet at home. All assignments can be completed on paper, but instructions are online. If you cannot access the online assignments and need a paper copy, please email me at [email protected].  Please do not go to the board office for the materials as the district is trying to limit the amount of people by assigning specific time slots for the other elementary schools, and providing home delivery for all Seth Boyden families.  

Information on logging into Google classroom was mailed home by the District on Friday and if you haven’t gotten it, you should be getting it today or tomorrow. If you need additional support logging into the google classrooms sites for the assignments please visit the Nursing Services/Coronavirus update area under tech info and resources on the district website.

For students with special education services, please see the email sent by Dr. Morana to all families yesterday and follow her instructions.  Please continue to check your email consistently as we continue to provide updates as soon as possible.  

We want to thank the teachers, staff and families for the overwhelming amount of support during this tumultuous time. The health of our staff, students and families is paramount and we hope that all of you are healthy and safe.  Thank you also for your patience and flexibility as we continue to develop plans to address this unthinkable situation.

Please take care and be well and reach out with any questions.  I will do my best to get back to you as quickly as possible.

Mrs. Glander

PTA School Seth Boyden News Yearbook

Fifth Grade Baby Photos and Yearbook Best Wishes!

It’s time for two of our favorite Seth Boyden traditions: Seth Boyden fifth grade baby photos and best wishes for the yearbook!

baby photos

Please submit your fifth grader’s baby picture so it can be included in the school yearbook. It’s so fun to see how the kids have (or haven’t!) changed over the years!

The yearbook will also contain a “best wishes” section where you can send a message to a fifth grader or any student. The wishes are $4 each or 3 for $10. Each wish must be 30 words or fewer and you can send as many wishes as you would like.

Email your best wishes and photos by Friday, March 13, to [email protected]. Any questions? Check out the flyers below or contact Becky Hanger at that email or 347-268-6796.

Best Wishes | Baby Photos

Events Musical PTA School Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

Musical Will Be Disney’s Aladdin Jr.!

Aladdin Jr. logo horizontal

We are excited to announce that Seth Boyden’s fifth graders will be presenting Disney’s Aladdin Jr. from June 12 to June 14. 

Please join the PTA in welcoming our new director, Vanessa Jones! Ms. Jones’s experience ranges from performing on Broadway to teaching and directing students at NJPAC, and we are thrilled to have her at Seth Boyden! Fifth-grade families can expect to receive information about the show and auditions in the coming weeks. This year’s production will have action, adventure, and maybe even a rapping genie! Please encourage your students to participate.

As always, we need lots of help to make the show a success! We have volunteer opportunities for everyone—whether you have always wanted to know what goes on backstage, or you’re a theater expert hoping to share your knowledge and skills with the next generation. There are jobs big and small, and all are important for this year’s fifth graders to shine!

Please visit this signup genius link or contact Heather Heinnickel at [email protected] to tell us how you can help!