Thursday, May 2, 2013
New filing procedure and deadline for interested candidates.
The South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education elections are now in November, instead of April. According to the Essex County Clerk’s Election Division, there are new procedures for candidates for the November elections. In the past, interested candidates could pick up candidate packets at the BOE office in Maplewood. Now, all interested candidates must pick up packets at: Essex County Clerk Election Division, Hall of Records 465 Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd., Room 246, 2nd floor, Newark, NJ 07102 Hours: Monday – Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact information: (973) 387-7311 All candidates petitions must also be submitted to the same office. The Petition Filing Deadline for the School Board Election is: June 4, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Vote on 2013-14 South Orange - Maplewood school budget will follow public hearing.
The South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education will hold a special public session tonight at 7:30 p.m. to conduct a public hearing on the budget, after which it will vote on the final budget. On March 4, the BOE passed a $104,473,642 preliminary budget for 2013-14 with an operating budget with a 2.47% tax impact and an "all-in" total tax impact of 2.93%. The board is currently addressing a $2.8 million shortfall in the 2013-14 budget. At Monday's regular Board of Ed meeting, Columbia High School senior Ellie Williams gave an impassioned plea to the board to save the position of Student Assistant Counselor, one of which which will be cut if the budget passes. Williams, who told Patch after the meeting she was planning to bring "a …
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
At Monday's BOE meeting, the administration announced awards and honors.
Wednesday, February 27
Monday's Board of Education meeting kicked off with a rousing performance by the Columbia High School acapella group The Unaccompanied Minors. (Check out a video of the group performing earlier this year at CHS; attached to this article.) BOE member Lynne Crawford announced the following board recognitions of students and teachers: Columbia High School Student, Michael Ferranti, a freshman member of the CHS honors wind ensemble, was selected as a member of the 2012-2013 North Jersey Junior Region Band for his audition on the trumpet. Three members of the CHS Honors Wind Ensemble were selected as members of the 2012-2013 North Jersey Area Symphonic Band. Junior Ryan Morey will be joining the Area Symphonic Band for the second year in a row …
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
District's only reading specialist makes spirited statement against proposed budget cut.
The article has been updated to include a comment from Board President Beth Daugherty. A South Orange - Maplewood School District employee whose position is likely to be cut if the Board of Education votes to approve the administration's proposed 2013-14 budget spoke out against the move at Monday night's BOE meeting. Elimination of the district's two elementary curriculum specialists (one each for reading and math), is part of a package of reductions being proposed by the administration in an effort to close a $2.8 million budget gap. Elementary Reading Specialist Donna Grohman read from a written statement deploring the cuts, to the enthusiastic response of several district teachers in the audience. "At a time when teachers have more …
Monday, February 25, 2013
With only four months to go before contract expires, BOE and union reps have yet to meet.
Sandra Karriem, chairperson of the South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education's negotiating task force, said at Monday's board meeting that the South Orange Maplewood Education Association (SOMEA) teachers' union had not yet responded to the board's overtures to begin negotiations on the current teachers' contract, which will expire on June 30. Since September, Superintendent Brian Osborne has issued monthly reminders at board meetings that the current contract will expire in June of this year. Monday night, Karriem said she thought the public deserved to know where the negotiations stand. The board is "deeply committed" to reaching a mutually satiscfactory contract and the task force has been meeting regularly with a consultant since …
Monday, February 18, 2013
Wednesday's public meeting will address projected $2.7 million budget gap for 2013-14.
The South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education will hold a special budget workshop on Wednesday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 pm, in the district meeting room at 525 Academy Street. Board members will discuss the 2013-14 school district budget, and the possible impact of using "banked cap" to plug — at least in part — an estimated $2.7 million gap in the 2013-14 budget year. At January's regular BOE meeting, Business Administrator Cheryl Schneider estimated the shortfall would necessitate trying to find further efficiencies in programs considered "variable costs," as well as cutting 20 full-time positions. However, she explained that the district can utilize $975,328 in banked cap available through 2013-14 (after which it expires) and $506,833 …
Friday, December 21, 2012
Resolution will make Board of Education the ultimate taxing authority, and will also extend terms of sitting board members.
The South Orange - Maplewood School Board of Education voted to adopt a resolution to move the Board of Education (BOE) elections from April to November at its monthly meeting on Monday. The resolution moves the elections from the third Tuesday in April to the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November, the date of the general election. The resolution passed 7-1, with Bill Gaudelli voting against. (See the entire resolution attached to this article as a PDF). Previously, the Maplewood Township Committee (TC) had voted in favor of the move; while the South Orange Board of Trustees declined to take any action and the Board of Education voted against. "I believe that we would have a better discussion in the community with a special …
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Issues include the 2% budget cap, reregistration, the Montrose School and more.
The South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education passed the 2013-14 District Goals on Monday night by a 7-1 vote, after adding amended language regarding a 2% cap on the operating budget. Board member Madhu Pai was the lone dissenting vote; member Wayne Eastman was absent and was unable to vote. Before the vote, the board voted to amend a milestone for the 2013-14 school year regarding budgeting. The old language read: "Approve 2013-14 operating budget with a year-over-year tax impact not greater than 2% for the operating budget. In the case of extenuating circumstances, such as the loss of state aid, banked cap may be used." The new language, which will replace the bolded sentence, is: "Should, after exhausting all feasible options to …
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
The governing bodies of Maplewood and South Orange joined the Board of Education to share information and plans for the future.
The Maplewood Township Committee, the South Orange Board of Trustees and the South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education (BOE) shared information on important issues -- including budgets, redevelopment and more -- that impact both towns and the school district at a special workshop on Thursday. Here is a summary of some of what was discussed: Moving BOE Elections to November The group discussed the possibility of moving the BOE elections from April to November. In the past, the Maplewood Township Committee (TC) voted in favor of the move; while the South Orange Board of Trustees declined to take any action and the Board of Education voted against. (BOE President Beth Daugherty explained that SOMSD is unusual in that it is the only school…
Thursday, October 11, 2012
The South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education to begin regular office hours starting October 18.
The residents of SOMA have spoken, and the members of the Board of Education have listened. In response to input from community members in last year’s survey asking for greater communication with the school district, the board is initiating a pilot program of monthly BOE office hours starting Thursday, Oct. 18, from 7:30-9:00 p.m., at the South Orange Public Library. Parents and community members can speak one-on-one with board members about school issues or topics, in an informal, drop-in setting. Two to four board members will be available each time. Beth Daugherty, Lynne Crawford and Madhu Pai will be at the Oct. 18 meeting. "The board felt it was important to find additional ways to engage with the South Orange/Maplewood community …