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

School School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Town Hall Meeting With Superintendent Taylor

Town Hall with superintendent flyer

Seth Boyden News SOMA

Online Registration is Open!

Do you or anyone you know plan to enroll a rising kindergartener at Seth Boyden or transfer a student for the 2019-2020 school year? The district’s new online registration system is now open! The process also requires an appointment, which can be booked starting this Wednesday, Jan. 9.

Community Building Events Fundraising PTA School Seth Boyden News SOMA Two-Towns Turkey Trot Volunteer Opportunities

Sign Up for the Turkey Trot!

2017 Turkey TrotOur annual Two Towns Turkey Trot 5K and Kids’ Fun Run will be held on Saturday, Nov. 17, the weekend before Thanksgiving.

This is a great fundraiser for our school that brings people from all over the area together, so please help us spread the word and register today!


South Mountain Reservation, Crest Drive/Bear Lane/”Loop.” Directions: From South Orange village, take South Orange Ave. West and make a left just past “The Top.” Follow the signs to the dog park. There is limited parking, so we recommend carpooling.


  • 8:00-8:45am: Race Day Registration/Packet Pickup (approx.)
  • 9:00am: 5K Race (approx.)
  • 10:00am: Kids’ Fun Run (approx.)
  • 10:15am: Awards Ceremony

Entry Fees

  • Kids’ Fun Run: $10
  • 5K Race: Pre-registration: $25 (includes T-shirts while supplies last)
  • Race Day: $35
  • Seth Boyden Staff Members: 20% off
  • Register today!

Thanks to All of Our Sponsors!

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.

Fundraising General PTA School Seth Boyden News SOMA


SOMA General Store is a cooperative online marketplace featuring local stores and makers, which can serve as a sort of Amazon alternative: local goods and stores delivered to your door.

It’s a great place to buy gifts, clothes, toys, art, and those end-of-year teacher presents. Just write Seth Boyden in the notes section at checkout, and a percentage of your purchase goes to the PTA!

School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Getting Ready for Middle School

getting ready for middle school flyer

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 PTA School School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Montclair State African Drumming Ensemble Performs at Seth Boyden

African Drumming AssemblyMontclair State University’s African Drumming Ensemble performed at a special assembly on Wednesday at Seth Boyden. The show marked the start of our district’s music partnership with the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University.

“The Montclair State University African Drumming Ensemble provided our students with an amazing and interactive learning experience,” Principal Frye said. “Students and teachers were dancing, playing African percussion instruments, and singing along with the ensemble. We are truly looking forward to our continued relationship.” Read all about it on The Village Green

Events PTA School School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

#ChooseKind Week In SOMA

As part of #ChooseKind week, students in our district have a chance to buy discounted tickets to see the new movie “Wonder,” which was adapted from the popular children’s novel of the same name by R.J. Palacio.

The specially priced screenings at the Maplewood Theater are on Friday, Nov. 17, at 4, 5, 6 and 7pm, and on Saturday, Nov. 18, at 10am. Tickets are $7 or $11 (includes popcorn and drink) and will go on sale soon at and the theater box office.

Learn more about #ChooseKind week on The Village Green.

School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Board of Education Election Resources

Nine candidates are running for three open positions on the SOMSD Board of Education. We hope this list of resources, compiled by Seth Boyden parent Eric Paul, will help you learn about the candidates and their positions on the issues facing our district. The election is Nov. 7, so now is the time to start studying! You can find your polling place here.

Do you have something to add? Email [email protected]

News and Information

Candidate Statements

Links to Candidate Forum Videos

School District Seth Boyden News SOMA Special Needs

Special Services Department Back to School Night

The district’s Special Services Department is holding its Third Annual SOMA Back to School Night on Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 7-8:30 pm in the Columbia High School cafeteria.

You can hear from the district’s behavior analysts and meet the new Executive Director of Special Services and Youth Development, supervisors, case managers, speech and language therapists and leaders of various special education parent support groups.

Events School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Board of Education Candidates’ Forum

The Schools Committee of the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race is hosting its 12th Annual Forum for candidates for the Board of Education on Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 7:30 PM at Marshall Elementary School in South Orange. The committee will present a series of questions to the candidates that challenge them to consider the relationship between Board actions and racial integration and true inclusion in both schools and classrooms.

community coalition on race candidates' forum

School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

District Survey on Course Selection and Academic Supports

SOMSD NewsThe School District of South Orange and Maplewood is seeking parental input on the course selection process and available academic supports. This survey is for parents/guardians of students attending any of these schools:

  • Maplewood Middle School
  • South Orange Middle School
  • Columbia High School

Please provide your thoughts and suggestions by filling out this survey by Friday, Oct. 27.

Thank you!

School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Board of Education Candidate Debate on Tuesday Night

All the Board of Education candidates will be in the Little Theater at South Orange Middle School for a debate at 7pm on Tuesday night. The eight candidates, who are running for three open positions, are listed below.

  • Elizabeth Baker
  • Robin Baker
  • Shannon Cuttle
  • Felisha George
  • Avery Julien
  • Anthony Mazzocchi
  • Sheila Shindia
  • Donna Smith

The debates are sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Maplewood & South Orange and the Presidents’ Council, which is made up of each school’s PTA/HSA Presidents/CoPresidents and an Executive Board of former Presidents.

Download the flyer.

School School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

District Meeting on Lead in Water

district meeting on lead in water

The school district held a meeting in the Seth Boyden auditorium on Saturday to address the nine water outlets throughout the district that were recently found to have high levels of lead in their water.

Superintendent John Ramos led the meeting, which included members of the board of education, health officials from South Orange and Maplewood, building maintenance staff from the district, and a representative from the LEW Corporation, which did the testing.

In a long and sometimes contentious meeting, many questions were asked and many concerns were voiced by parents from Seth Boyden and around the district. You can watch a Facebook video of the entire meeting if you join the South Orange-Maplewood Cares About Schools Facebook group. A list of every test result for 2016 and 2017 is available on the district site, as are links to more information on lead in water.

Some of the major takeaways from the meeting:

  • All 9 water sources are being retested. New samples have been taken, and the district is waiting on results.
  • The district is going to replace all nine affected outlets, and will be installing lead filters on every water fountain in the district. The district will also be including long-term water system solutions as part of its larger building maintenance and capital improvement plans.
  • District officials said they were looking into options for testing students for elevated lead levels. Board of Education President Elizabeth Baker said that setting up testing for all students in the district was proving to be more complicated than they had anticipated, but that they were working on a plan that could include testing by a lab provider or community-based health provider. Maplewood Health Officer Robert Roe said any family without access to medical care would be able to get tested for free, and that they would have a plan for that “in a couple of weeks.” (More on that here.) Seth Boyden teacher Sheila Murphy spoke strongly of her opinion that free, in-school testing was needed for all students immediately.
  • The elevated levels found in the test results came from a “first draw” test, which means the taps were off for 8 to 48 hours before the samples were taken. These samples are designed to produce the highest lead levels, as the water is sitting in place for a long period before it’s drawn. The representative from the LEW Corporation said that we are still waiting on “second draw” test results, in which the samples are taken after running the tap for a set period of time.
  • The representative from the LEW Corporation also said that water testing shows a high level of variability. In other words, the numbers are often different form test to test, from “first draw” to “second draw,” etc.
  • The representative from the LEW Corporation said that they’ve tested about two dozen districts since testing became required by law in New Jersey, and that an average of a little less than 10 percent of outlets came back with elevated lead levels. Our district, with 9 of 223 outlets, was about 4 percent.


Events PTA School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Board of Education Meeting on Monday Night

Thanks for everyone who came to Saturday morning’s PTA meeting. We had another productive conversation about the various issues facing Seth Boyden and our district. We hope that our school community will continue to stay informed and take an active role in making our voices heard with the Board of Education.

On Monday (4/24) night at 7:30, a consultant to the district will present possible options for addressing issues of racial imbalance, socioeconomic imbalance, and overcrowding in the South Orange Maplewood School District. The meeting in the Columbia High School library is open to the public, so we encourage you to attend.

We will also share the presentation on and social media when the district makes it available.

Community Building Events Fundraising PTA School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Old School Hip Hop Party This Saturday!

For more information, contact Sandra Sampayo at [email protected]

Old School Hip Hop Party

PTA School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Important PTA Meeting on Saturday

The Board of Education will soon be considering redistricting changes to our school district that may affect all of our children. The proposed changes will be presented at a BOE meeting on April 24. Every parent should be informed about the issues before these changes are proposed so we can evaluate them and make our opinions known to the BOE before they make a decision.

Please attend our PTA Meeting this Saturday, April 22, at 10am in the Seth Boyden Cafeteria to learn about the issues and how you can make your voice heard. There will be middle school children present to play outside with the younger children.

After the meeting, stay for lunch provided by your PTA and pitch in on our garden workday.

Events Fundraising PTA School District Seth Boyden News SOMA

Sign Up for the UnRun

Uncompetitive, unorganized and uncommonly fun, the UnRun 5K will be held on Saturday, April 1, at 9am to benefit Maplewood and South Orange PTAs. The course begins and ends at the Marshall Elementary playground and is run entirely within the Montrose neighborhood.

Kids are encouraged to run. It’s $25 per person, with all proceeds going to the elementary school PTA of your choice. Sign up at