Thursday, June 13, 2013
Challenging Science Fair projects are awarded during School in Action Night.
Thursday, June 13
The South Orange Middle School cafeteria was turned into a giant science hall on May 23 as visitors – students, parents, teachers, and incoming sixth graders – were invited to interact with exhibits on everything from biology and psychology to technology and ways schools can help children with autism learn better. The event took place during the middle school’s traditional School in Action Night, an opportunity to show rising fifth graders the variety of opportunities and learning awaiting them beginning next September. The awarding of trophies to winners of the Science Fair is among the highlights of the evening. This year, 55 projects were entered in the science challenge, said Diane Grant, the teacher who organizes the event and …
Monday, April 1, 2013
Two local girls win this weekend.
Aliea Nalbani and Olivia Elliott, students at Jefferson School, competed against students from Maplewood, South Orange and Summit in this weekend's Robotics Spring Fling at South Orange Middle School to win one of the two main competitions. The girls were part of a team from Robot Revolution, a program founded by local parents Darin Czukoski and Chris Marbaix's to teach elementary and middle school students how to create and program real robots, using the Lego Mindstorms robot. The school launched only this past September with 18 students. By the winter session, the number of students swelled to 42. Locally, classes take place at Sparkhouse Kids in South Orange Village. (There are also classes at Mondo in Summit and Doodlebugz in Madison…
Thursday, March 21, 2013
Over 130 students are participating in the classic performance.
South Orange Middle School (SOMS) students will be performing "Guys and Dolls" this weekend. The classic show has a plot in which two gamblers, Nathan Detroit and Sky Masterson, make a bet that causes romantic problems between them and their loves, Sarah Brown and Adelaide. It is directed by Elizabeth Harris, who also teaches chorus at SOMS. "I really enjoy the experience, and I think the kids are doing an outstanding job," said Donald Tighe, the musical director of the performance and band teacher at the school. "It's a lot of work, but it's really fun," commented Ben Blais, a 7th grader who plays Rusty Charlie, one of the main gamblers in the performance. "We rehearsed until 9 p.m. once." The musical will be performed on Friday, March …
Friday, December 14, 2012
The South Orange Middle School newspaper has moved online.
Hot off the (virtual) presses, the latest issue of The Odd Orange Journal is out. The South Orange Middle School newspaper is student-written, led by teacher Anthony Cicenia. Staff of The Odd Orange Journal propose story ideas, research, write and then submit their copy; Cicenia does the online layout. "We're completely online," he explains. This editor had a chance to visit the staff at a Monday meeting. Students demonstrated their knowledge of journalism lingo, identifying headlines, bylines, cutlines, and captions in newspapers. The students also asked questions about the role of reporter. Asking good questions, they learned, is a reporter's main job! Best wishes to the staff and editor of The Odd Orange Journal. If you want to learn …
Thursday, December 6, 2012
Braff was welcomed back to his middle school
Zach Braff joined the South Orange Middle School Hall of Fame on Wednesday. Braff was welcomed to his alma mater by current students, staff, and faculty, including teachers who knew him as a teen. Speaking to the student body in the Stirling Hall auditorium, Braff described himself as "paralyzingly shy" as a young teen. Nonetheless, recalled Braff, he auditioned again and again for acting roles. "If you work hard," said Braff, "and don't allow anyone else to outwork you, the sky's the limit." Braff, who attended Marshall, Jefferson, SOMS and graduated from Columbia High School, is the youngest of four siblings raised in South Orange. Braff is an actor, screenwriter, producer, comedian, and director. was nominated for an Emmy Award and …
Monday, October 15, 2012
South Orange LIbrarian Elissa Malespina brought together an author and her students
Avid Harry Potter fans and aspiring authors, disguised as Muggle-born middle school students, gathered in the South Orange Middle School library for a Virtual Author Visit with J.K Rowling live from Edinburgh Scotland. South Orange Middle School Librarian Elissa Malespina organized the event for more than 40 sixth and seventh graders. "As part of the Harry Potter reading club, Scholastic sponsored a Virtual Author Visit with J.K Rowling live from Edinburgh Scotland," she explains. Students came with their English classes "to listen to the Harry Potter author speak about her inspirations, her writing techniques and also hear her read an excerpt from one of her books." Malespina was able to project the author's image at the same time the …
Saturday, October 6, 2012
A Columbia High School student reporter describes the three upcoming student plays
The following was written by Abigail Baker: Given that the South Orange - Maplewood community is abundant in seasoned artists and practiced professionals, it is of little wonder that the district’s public schools reflect young, unique talent in an extensive array of mediums. Indeed, in the particularly active facet of theatre, Maplewood Middle School, South Orange Middle School, and Columbia High School each rehearse and perform a musical every year. These full-scale productions are dually an educational and artistic experience for the students as well as a staple of the school and district community. South Orange Middle School’s musical is the classic Guys and Dolls, a timeless story of love and personal growth. The plot premise is a …
Friday, August 31, 2012
The school is ready and so are the students.
The SOMS HSA sponsored a “Back to School BBQ” in the South Orange Middle School courtyard. Attended by SOMS families, especially those with incoming sixth graders, the BBQ provided an opportunity for parents and students to meet Principal Joe Uglialoro as well as other members of the SOMS staff who were on hand. Before and after the BBQ, sixth grade students were given the opportunity to attend a transition program that included a welcome from the school administration, a review of school policies, and tours of the building. The school year starts on September 6 for SOMS sixth and seventh graders (and on September 7 for eighth graders).
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
SOMS students can prepare for school now
South Orange Middle School students and families have summer assignments! Besides summer reading, what follows is a list of important back-to-school dates. Attached as a pdf is a list of school supplies. Summer Reading Assignments: Click here. Important Dates: “Back to School BBQ” on August 23rd from 11:30-1 p.m., South Orange Middle School courtyard. RSVP to email@example.com 6th grade Transition Program, Thursday, Aug. 23, school auditorium 6th grade students with last names beginning with A-M, 10-11:15 a.m. 6th grade students with last names beginning with N-Z 1:15-2:30 p.m.. “Principal’s Tea” for parents of all incoming 6th graders on Thursday, August 16th, 9-10 a.m. in the school library.
Saturday, July 21, 2012
The Donaldson hearing for Steven Cohen was held Wednesday
South Orange Middle School teacher Steven Cohen learned that he will not return to the district in September. He was notified on Saturday that the Board of Education chose to uphold the decision not to rehire that was made in May by Principal Joseph Uglialoro. Kathleen McCort, who also taught eighth grade Social Studies at SOMS, was similarly notified that she wouldn't be rehired. Her Donaldson hearing, held in June, saw the same result. Neither teacher was retained by the district. A replacement for Cohen was approved by vote at the Monday Board of Education meeting. McCort's replacement comes from within the school, but from another discipline. That announcement was made in June. Patch will update this story.