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.

School District Seth Boyden News

Mr. Hein Talks Baseball

An interview (by Mrs. Tuohy, Seth Boyden Garden Teacher) with Mr Hein, 4th grade teacher at Seth Boyden School, about the South Orange Maplewood Rec Baseball Program. 

Hello Mr. Hein. Thank you for speaking with me about the South Orange Maplewood Recreation Baseball Program. I’d love to hear more about it and share what I learn with the Seth Boyden Community.

Thanks Mrs. Tuohy. I’d love to share some information with you!

What is South Orange Maplewood Recreation Baseball?

SOM Baseball is a local baseball league where anyone from South Orange or Maplewood between the ages of 5 and 15 can be on a team. Kids that are 5 and 6 play T-Ball, kids that are 7 and 8 play practice games, and kids that are 9 and up play competitive games.

I know you played as a child, are you still part of the program?

I am! I’ve actually been involved with the program for most of my life, beginning with when I played T-Ball at age 5!! Now, I am the Umpire Coordinator. That means I am in charge of coordinating training and scheduling the SOM Baseball umpires. Anyone ages 13 and up can sign up for the umpire program. I also volunteer as a coach.

How did you get involved with umpiring?

I actually started umpiring through the SOM Baseball umpire program when I was 13 years old! Now I umpire higher level games.

How long have you played baseball and what did you like most about playing as a kid?

I haven’t played baseball since high school (although I do play some pick-up softball) because I decided to focus on umpiring, but I loved playing as a kid. My favorite part was being a part of a team, and the competition. I love competition!! My favorite positions when I was a kid were first base and catcher.

Can anybody participate?

Yes! While the majority of participants are boys, anyone is more than welcome to participate at all age levels.

Do you recommend kids try it? Why?

Absolutely! Not only will you have so much fun playing, but you’ll also make new friends on your team. Also, many players, especially at the younger ages, have never picked up a baseball bat in their lives! The coaches will teach you how to play!!

What baseball teams do you root for now?

I’m a long suffering Mets fan. Things are looking up for us though!!

To register for the 2021 SOM Baseball season click HERE. Registration ends on January 31st, 2021. 

Scholarships are available by contacting the South Orange Recreation at [email protected].     

For more information about the program please visit the SOM Baseball Website, reach out to the South Orange Recreation department, or reach out to one of the SOM Baseball Committee members (click HERE for contact information).

If anyone has older kids that are interested in signing up for the umpire program with Mr. Hein, you can sign up on the same page as the player registration. Email Mr. Hein at [email protected] for more information.

School District Social Work YMCA

YMCA Childcare Support – Now Available at Seth Boyden!

Our local South Mountain YMCA is offering 8:00 am – 4:30 pm care with possibilities of extended-day care from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm for elementary school children.

There are 80%-90% financial scholarships available to families who are eligible to receive free/reduced lunch. 

New spots are opening up for the program in the coming weeks at Seth Boyden Elementary School. 

How to register!? Just 3 easy steps!!!

Step 1: Complete the free/reduced lunch application online at the following link:  
If you’ve already done so for this academic year, you’re ready for step 2!

Step 2: Upon completion, email Ms. Dinkins (Seth Boyden Elementary School Social Worker) at [email protected] to have her check on the status of your application. 

Step 3: Upon approval, Ms. Dinkins will direct you on the next steps for enrollment!

The program will provide the following: 

  • a quiet space for schoolwork, 
  • STEM, Arts & Enrichment, 
  • Character Development, and
  • Social/Emotional Learning, as well as
  • Outdoor Recreation.

Parents/Guardians must provide the following:

  • student’s books, 
  • school work and supplies, 
  • laptops and chargers, 
  • headphones/earbuds are required, 
  • lunch and a refillable water bottle, 
  • backpack (with all items inside labeled), 
  • and two mask coverings are required (masks worn all day.

Please do not be deterred if you don’t have these items, support is available through the school and PTA.

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.

School School District Seth Boyden News

Our PTA Believes that Black Lives Matter

black lives matter sign

As a PTA, we need to say that we see and acknowledge the particular pain, anger, and trauma that so many of our Black students and families and community members of color are feeling following the recent police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. We recognize that there are many more victims of systemic racism and police violence. We as a group are deeply committed to equity and social and racial justice. We stand against racism, bias, and prejudice in all forms and believe that all Black Lives Matter today and every day.

We support peaceful protest, free speech, and social activism against racism. Our work as PTA of the only majority Black school in our district has long centered on advocacy and equity for Seth Boyden students. As uprisings against systemic racism and racist policing sweep our nation, addressing the needs of our students and listening to the voices of our Black families will continue to be at the forefront of our work. 

While we are lucky to have two school songs (the Seth Boyden Community Song and the Seth Boyden Cheer), we also have a third song that every student learns and sings together: Lift Every Voice and Sing, the Black national anthem (listen to our students sing the Black national anthem).

Mrs. Glander and Ms. Murphy sent out this message from our school leadership and your child’s individual teacher should have been in touch with tools and resources to support your at-home discussions about the protests, police violence, and the racism and white supremacy in this country.

You can read our district’s response by clicking here

You can read the National PTA’s response by clicking here

See below for information about a district parent workshop about talking to our children. 

As parents, our PTA members have been using books and web resources as tools and catalysts for conversations about race and racism. Learning to talk about race and white privilege and systemic racism is not easy but is an essential step on the journey to being the change we want to see and to raising our children to be committed to equity and justice.

Here are some tools and resources from our parent community: 

Books are a valuable tool and can be revisited multiple times. With libraries closed, it is often possible to access these books for free via YouTube. Simply search “(book name) read aloud” and you will likely find a video of it. With thanks to Ms. Fakhoury, 4th Grade Teacher, for this book list. 

School District Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

Summer Food Support Programs & Information

Programa e Información de Apoyo Alimenticio de Verano

Pwogram Sipò ak Enfòmasyon Pou Manje Pandan Ete

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

Download these flyers for more information in English, Spanish and Creole.

summer food support flyers
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

School School District Seth Boyden News

The ABCs of Kindergarten

Follow the links below to learn everything you need to know about registering your child for kindergarten for the 2020-21 school year.

School School District Seth Boyden News

Kindergarten Registration

For any parents with incoming Kindergarteners, the South Orange-Maplewood School School District has launched its online preregistration appointment system. You can find details here on how to register your child for Kindergarten. 

School School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Town Hall Meeting With Superintendent Taylor

Town Hall with superintendent flyer

School District Seth Boyden News

Getting Ready for Success in Middle School

Here is the Getting Ready for Success in Middle School presentation for 5th grade families.







School District Seth Boyden News

Restorative Practices Workshop

School District Seth Boyden News Volunteer Opportunities

SOMSD 2020 Parenting Center Committee

PTA School School District Seth Boyden News

Updated: PARCC Score Errors Special Committee

Update on 10/26: Dr. Ficarra has asked SOMSD Director of Technology Keith Bonds to address the questions raised by the committee. Bonds said he expects to have more information by the end of this week.

PARCC logo

A group of concerned Seth Boyden PTA members has formed a committee to address issues with the 2018 PARCC results. The scores for Seth Boyden’s opt-in students were assigned to their zoned school, and not to Seth Boyden, which could have implications for our students, teachers, school achievement rates, and more.

The newly formed PARCC Score Errors Special Committee has submitted this letter to Dr. Thomas Ficarra, the interim superintendent of schools.

If you share this committee’s concerns, we encourage you to attend the Board of Education meeting at 7:30pm on Monday night at 525 Academy Street in Maplewood.

School District Seth Boyden News SOMA Special Education

Upcoming SEPAC Meetings

Please note two upcoming meetings for Special Education parents.

SOMA School District-sponsored Department of Special Services Back-To-School-Night (more details)

  • When: Thursday October 18th 7:00-9:00 pm
  • Where: Columbia High School Auditorium, 17 Parker Ave, Maplewood

SEPAC-sponsored IEP Binder Building Workshop: Beth Cosentino from Understood presents “How to Organize Your Child’s IEP Binder”

  • Register in advance
  • When: Wednesday October 24th 7:30-9:00 pm
  • Where: Montrose Early Childhood Center, 356 Clark St, South Orange

Please reach out to [email protected] if you have any questions.

School District Seth Boyden News

Submit Your Questions for Board of Education Candidates

The PTA Presidents’ Council and the League of Women Voters of Maplewood & South Orange are hosting a debate for Board of Education candidates this Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 7:30pm at 525 Academy Street in Maplewood. If you have questions you’d like to ask, you can submit them for consideration to [email protected] We can’t guarantee that your questions will be chosen, but we will pass them along to the PTA Presidents’ Council.

The debate will be on Facebook Live on the Village Green Facebook page.

Events School District Seth Boyden News

Intentional Integration and Innovation

Click the image to download the flyer.integration and innovation

PTA School School District Seth Boyden News Special Education

SEPAC Meeting Schedule

Mark Your Calendars!

SEPAC is an advocacy group focused on policies, programs, and practices within the South Orange/Maplewood School District. Families and caregivers of student(s) with learning needs or students eligible for or receiving services under an IEP or 504 plan are encouraged to attend SEPAC Meetings. (See the meeting schedule.)

This year, the community has one special education parent group as the Special Education PTO has merged with SEPAC. SEPAC provides parents with tools and information to work collaboratively with the school district and to be more effective advocates for their children with special educational needs. Our meetings consist of featured conversations/ presentations as well as support, resource sharing, and the ability to connect with other members of the special education community. Meetings with featured topics are our attempt to get those with similar concerns in the same room at the same time but all are always welcome!

Questions? Go to or email [email protected]

PTA School School District Seth Boyden News

Beyond the Bell Registration

Beyond the Bell logoBeyond the Bell is an after-school program created by the South Orange Maplewood School District’s Parenting Center. Beyond the Bell is designed to help all students stretch and grow by coordinating, deepening and expanding after-school opportunities at the elementary level.

The fall session will begin the week of October 1st. Students will be introduced to a wide variety of subjects and activities, taught by enthusiastic and experienced instructors in a comfortable and familiar environment. Some of the instructors are SOMSD teachers and parents; others come to us from the wider community.

The registration packets were sent home via backpacks last week. An electronic copy is also available here.

Online registration for Seth Boyden began Friday, September 14.

The online registration process shows class availability and will provide a confirmation of your class registration as soon as credit card payment is finalized. We have a new online registration vendor so you will need to set up a new account/profile. To find your school/classes, after you log in, please click on the locations button on the upper right, then select your school.

You can also send the paper registration form in through your child’s backpack. It is important to indicate your 1st, 2nd and 3rd choice options to ensure your child gets a class they will enjoy.

If you are seeking a scholarship (based on free and reduced lunch), you can find paper registration here or in your school’s office. Please make sure to sign the form and return it to the school as soon as possible.

If you have any questions, please email Jonelle Delk at [email protected] We look forward to welcoming your children to our after school program in October!

Events PTA School School District Seth Boyden News

Week of Respect

October 1st-October 5th is the New Jersey State Week of Respect. We will have a series of activities and spirit days to celebrate. Here is what we have planned.

Semèn kap vini an, komanse 1 Oktòt pou rive 5 Oktòb, se semèn respè pou State New Jersey a. Nan okazyon sa a , nou pral gen yon seri aktivite ak jou plezi pou nou selebre. Nan jou sa yo, Nou planifye.