PTA School

Fall Enrichment Registration Now Open!

Enroll now for our exciting Fall 2011 Enrichment Program!

See flyer for class descriptions or register online (full descriptions on site).

If you have any questions about the classes, program, or registration, please email or call (973) 996-8197.

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 PTA School

Back to School Night Childcare

Back to School Night
Wednesday, October 5th: K – 5

The PTA has arranged for the YMCA to provide childcare on the Back to School Night evening.
All children who participate must be potty trained.

Children may be dropped off beginning at 6:15 PM
All children must be picked up by 9:00 PM

Pre-Registration is required in order to adequately staff the event.
The cost is $9.00 for one child, $13.00 for two children and $15.00 for three or more children per family per evening.

Forms will be coming home in the backpacks!

Questions? Contact Fazeela Gafoor at or 908-358-8100

Fundraising PTA

Donate Online!

You can now make a donation to the Seth Boyden PTA online! Any size donation is appreciated and is tax-deductible. Your donations contribute to our many worthy programs and efforts, including:

  • field trips
  • assemblies
  • after school enrichment
  • library programs
  • student newsletter (Boyden Buzz)
  • teacher appreciation
  • recess supplies
  • and so much more!
Community Building Fundraising Outdoor Learning Center PTA School

Outdoor Learning Center (aka the SB backyard) Update

Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) Update

Exciting things are happening in our Seth Boyden backyard!

What’s happened since June 2011…

  • Our Partners at The National Learning Institute completed the final plan for our Outdoor Learning Center (OLC) and playground. With input from teachers, parents, and students, our OLC Plan is a beautiful expression of the values and educational philosophy of our school. The OLC Plan includes a state-of-the-art playground, a new amphitheater, a gazebo, winding paths and grass mazes, project areas, a multi-purpose sports field, a welcoming new entrance, and an outdoor classroom. We invite you to take time to view the plan in the 1st floor hallway of our school.
  •  In preparation for, and in accordance with, the Plan:
    • Drainage improvements were made the grounds
    • The old stage was removed to make room for the new play equipment. A new amphitheather will be built, and the old benches may be repurposed and placed around the yard
    • The picnic benches were rearranged and the music garden moved
  • The OLC Steering Committee met with three playground equipment companies. After careful consideration of their proposals and designs, we selected a playground company called GameTime.Following the Plan, GameTime proposed three separate play structures for the designated playground area (where the stage used to be). These structures will be installed in phases, with Phase I scheduled for this Fall:
    • Phase I: A “Hexamid” – a hexagon-shaped, roped climbing structure, to be installed in November. Funding for equipment has already been raised. We are working on raising additional funds to add some landscaping and to repaint the basketball pole/backstop and the funnel ball equipment.
    • Phase II: Two large (synthetic) climbing boulders and landscaping.
    • Phase III: Large Play Structure, with multiple overheads, loops, bridges and slides, that offers “a tree house-like experience.”
  •  We’ve strengthened ties with the local Hilton Neighborhood Association (HNA). HNA leaders attended the first PTA meeting to discuss ways in which our school can work with the surrounding community to fulfill the vision of the OLC, as well as to develop a Seth Boyden Alumni Network to be involved in projects like the OLC.
  •  We are working with the NJ Tree Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to reforesting NJ’s most urban cities. Through tree planting, volunteerism and partnerships, they assist numerous communities in improving their environment and quality of life. The NJTF has agreed to work with our community in buying and planting low-cost trees and shrubbery and will advise us as we move through the process of transforming our backyard into a true outdoor learning center.

Moving forward…

  • The OLC Fundraising subcommittee is working on identifying funding opportunities, including corporate and foundation grants, local businesses support and donations from individuals, to fund Phases II and III.
  • Seth Boyden community members can help by learning whether they or their spouse’s employers, offer matching grants.  If so – please let us know so that we can maximize our community support.
  • The OLC Committee will be organizing a community fundraiser for Spring 2012 to coincide with the PTA annual 5K run.
  • Join us! The OLC Committee is planning a volunteer gathering to kick off the new school year, in mid-October. If you would like to be more involved and to help bring the dream of a first-class playground and extraordinary Outdoor Learning Center to Seth Boyden, please contact PERI SMILOW at No previous experience necessary!
Events Files Holidays School School District SOMA

Revised District Calendar


Jan 2 (school closed)

Feb 17 (school no longer closed)

Download the calendar here. Updated Google Calendar here.

School District SOMA

Foreign Language for Elementary Students (FLES)

WHAT IS FLES? FLES is an after-school opportunity for elementary students to be introduced to languages by high school student-instructors.

WHAT LANGUAGES ARE OFFERED? French, Italian, and Latin

WHEN? Wednesdays, 3:45-4-30 P.M. beginning October 12 and ending March 28.

WHERE? Columbia High School Media Center (Library)

TRANSPORTATION: Parents/Guardians are responsible for transportation to & from CHS

COST: $65 per child, cash or checks/money orders payable to CHS-FLES
(Fee waivers are available for those needing assistance. No student will be denied participation due to financial hardship)

Elementary students will be placed into small groups where they will be learning French, Italian and Latin at the most basic level through use of oral drills, a variety of visual materials, and
hand-on activities and projects. These groups are taught by carefully selected high school students who are presently enrolled in upper level language courses. The high school students
are supervised by the coordinators of the program who are world language teachers and who are experienced with elementary school children.

Names, basic greetings, colors, numbers, days, months, seasons, dates, weather, clothing, parts of the body, classroom objects, subjects, actions, food, meals, likes, and dislikes.


District elementary students from grades 3, 4 and 5 are eligible; selection is made using a lottery system, with preference given to older students first.
There will be a second level for those students who participated last year provided there are enough students for at least one group.
If you would like your child to be enrolled in the FLES program, please fill out the application form and mail it with the fee by September 16.

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

Community Building Events Fundraising PTA School

School Spirit Day

Hi Everyone,

Just a reminder that our first School Spirit Day is quickly approaching so please have your merchandise order forms submitted no later than Tuesday, September 13 to ensure that your child has their shirt in time to wear on Friday. Please remember to include payment or your order can not be processed.

Feel free to email me with any questions.

Caryn Emmons
Merchandise Coordinator

Events General PTA School

School Pictures

Hello Seth Boyden Families!
School Pictures will be taken on
Monday, September 19, 2011
Order forms will be in backpacks on
Monday, September 12th
Please return your order forms and payment by
 Friday, September 16th.
Note for Kindergarten Parents –
The kindergarten students will be taking their pictures just after the bell rings at 8:45
If you would like to stay while your little one(s) get their pictures taken;
please feel free to come to the front of the auditorium after the bell rings
Please let me know at 908-358-8100 or if you have any questions.
General PTA

E-list reminders

I hope everyone is settling in for a new, wonderful year.

As we start off the new year, I want to remind everyone to read or review the E-List Guidelines and emphasize a few key points to keep the list effective.

1) The E-List is intended for rapid and efficient (no “lost” flyers) communication within the school community. It is not a general discussion or general publicity list.

2) The E-List is an activity of the PTA, and thus bound by the national PTA charter which prohibits political or commercial uses. I know many parents have or are associated with local businesses, but this list cannot be used to announce such commercial activities. Likewise, political messages or announcements are prohibited.

3) General comments, questions, or discussions of individuals — staff or students — are not appropriate. The exceptions are informational (“who do I ask…”), announcements of accomplishments, and thanks for contributions to school events.

4) Finally, if you have “graduated” from SB, we wish you and yours happy trails and you can find simple instructions for unsubscribing at the end of the Guidelines. Please remember to unsubscribe from the e-mail address you joined with.

The complete Guidelines (and instructions for using/leaving the list) are downloadable from the Yahoo site at:

(click on TermsofUse.doc)

Feel free to contact me directly with any list-specific questions or problems.

Julie Burch
E-List Moderator

Events PTA

PTA calendar changes

I sincerely hope that your child(ren) and you have had a great first week of school!! Despite the rain, the children seem quite happy and the classes are humming along 🙂

Only a few days in and we have several changes to the PTA calendar! Our online calendar is up-to-date or you can download a fresh copy for your fridge or wall.

  • as you know, the ice cream social has been moved from last night to next Fri, 9/16
  • school picture day has been changed to Mon, 9/19 (more info to come in your child’s backpack)
  • the Harvest Festival will now be held on 10/22 (not 10/29)
  • the activity in Dec will no longer be a bowling party. We are working through some great ideas for an event on that date.

We’re sorry for any confusion, but I hope you’re all ready to roll with the punches! There are bound to be more changes as we go… whee!!

Have a great weekend!

Susie Adamson
PTA President

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

Community Building Events Fundraising PTA SOMA

Rainy days and sundaes…

Ice Cream Social

 Seth Boyden Gardens and Playgrounds

It’s a rainy week so we’ve made a NEW DATE!

Friday September 16th

6:00 PM

Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy

ice cream for dessert!


Hotdogs and snacks will be available for sale as well

$1 per ice cream

Remember to bring small bills for easy change!


Please note that use of rollerblades, Heelys, skateboards, or bicycles on school grounds during arrival, dismissal, or school/ PTA events is dangerous and prohibited.

Would you like to  VOLUNTEER?


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!

Events Files PTA School School District

Updated calendars!

Get ’em while they’re hot!

South Orange-Maplewood School District (as of 7/18/11)
(2/17/12 added to Winter Break; End of school year extended)

Seth Boyden PTA (as of 8/25/11)
(reflects above changes; date of Kindergarten Celebration added)

All dates have been updated on our Google Calendar


Welcome new families!

A hearty hello to all of you with students starting at Seth Boyden this year! Whether you are new to our school and community, or veterans, we hope you’ve had a wonderful summer and are looking forward to the start of a great new school year.

A few things that we wanted to share with you before the first day of school:

* We hope that most of you have already joined our school e-loop. While it is not our only method of communication, it is one of the primary ones. Please go to our yahoogroup page and click on “Join this group” at the right of the screen.

* If you haven’t yet, please bookmark this new web site or make it your homepage. We plan to keep the site regularly updated with news and information. There is some helpful info for new families – take a look! If you haven’t seen them yet, the preliminary school supply lists are available from the site.

* Please plan to join us at the kindergarten/new student picnic on Thurs, 9/1 at 6:30pm in the playground area. Bring some dinner for your family, Mr. Quiles will provide the popsicles! Kindergarteners will be able to meet their teachers and see their classrooms.

* After you drop off your child(ren) on the first day of school, please don’t rush off! Join us in the cafeteria for a cup of coffee, have some breakfast, and meet other parents!

* New parent, Heather Puglisi, has generously taken up the charge of coordinating a kindergarten playdate! Here’s her invitation:

Come join us for an informal playdate for all incoming Kindergarteners on Wednesday, August 17th at Maplecrest Park Playground at 4:00 PM. If you can’t make it but would like to meet another time, contact Heather Puglisi Inserro (mom to Max Inserro) at 862-216-8559 or

Please RSVP to Heather so we have an idea of how many to expect.  Hope to meet you soon.

There will likely be another playdate scheduled for any families who can make this one. Stay tuned!

We look forward to seeing you all soon! Please let me know if you have any questions, thoughts, suggestions, etc.! We welcome your input and participation!

Susie Adamson
PTA President

Press PTA

Ample supply of good press

Helping to launch our new website, the Patch featured our new site in their round-up of PTA websites.

Community Building Events Fundraising PTA SOMA

And we’re off!

We couldn’t have asked for better weather or a better crowd for our First Annual Seth Boyden 5K and Fun Run! We had over 100 runners registered for the 5K and 50 kids in the fun run. Prizes were awarded to the top male and female runners and for the top runners in each age group — 16 prizes in total.

Every child who participated in the Fun Run received a medal, with top runners in each age group receiving a small trophy.

The crowd was a wonderful blend of Seth Boyden families, teachers, members of the broader Maplewood/South Orange community, and runners from other parts of NJ and even NY!

Each runner and spectator was a winner as we ushered in a fabulous new tradition for our school and community!

News coverage:

Maplewood Patch

News-Record (print version only)

General PTA School

Come on in!

Welcome our new school and PTA web site!  We hope to keep this site full of useful and timely information. We’ll be tweaking this website as we go. If you see something wrong with this new site, please contact us and we’ll do our best to fix it. Thank you!