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 …
Sunday, February 24, 2013
A look at what's ahead in town.
The South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education will meet on Monday night at 7:30 p.m. at 525 Academy Street. The BOE will continue its discussion of the 2013-14 budget, including how to plug a $2.8 million shortfall. If you want to let the board know what you think of the proposed plan to cut teachers, you will want to be at this meeting. Also on Monday, this month's Maplewood Green Drinks event will feature guest speaker Nora Shepard of Safe Routes to School (SRTS), which is helping Tuscan Elementary School pilot a "Walking School Bus" program. Patch will interview one of the parent coordinators of the initiative. Elks Lodge, 220 Prospect Street, 7 p.m. We will also be looking into the continuing discussion of the township's budget, …
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 …
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Maplewood, South Orange and the BOE will convene Thursday to discuss schools, budgets.
Elected officials from the Maplewood Township Committee, the South Orange Board of Trustees and the South Orange - Maplewood Board of Education (BOE) will meet for a special workshop on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. in the district meeting room at 525 Academy St. Agenda items include the discussion of potentially moving the BOE elections to November, and how the move would affect the role of the Board of School Estimate; upcoming capital and redevelopment plans for both towns; budget previews; an update on residency issues and the district's reregistration process (and how the district works with the administrations of both towns on the issue), and emergency management. The agenda is attached to this article as a PDF. The meeting is open to…
Monday, September 24, 2012
Here's a look at what's coming up this week in town.
Monday, September 24, 2012
The Maplewood Farmers Market is open today from 2-7 p.m. on Springfield Avenue at Indiana Street. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. the South Orange - Maplewood School District will hold a Board of Education Meeting at 525 Academy St. The agenda is attached here. Remember, all South Orange - Maplewood School District Schools will have a day off on Wednesday for Yom Kippur. On Thursday from 7:30 - 9:00, author Don Lattin will share his book Distilled Spirits at Words Bookstore. The Maplewood Community Band will be recruiting interested musicians to play in their ensemble on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in DeHart Park.
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Students use online resources to communicate and demonstrate
Adults who bemoan the emerging organizational skills typical of middle school students take note: the eighth graders who have demonstrated at South Orange Middle School (SOMS) in recent weeks have used social media to organize their protests. Shortly after news spread around South Orange Middle School that two eighth grade Social Studies teachers, Steven Cohen and Kathleen McKort, were to be denied tenure, students shared the news with Columbia High School students via email. Many of those students, who had the teachers while they were at SOMS, spread the news further and joined a newly-established "closed" Facebook group. Several of the students credit the Facebook group with sharing the information. "I learned about Mr. Cohen and Ms. …