SOMSD BOARD OF EDUCATION NEWSLETTER

March 21, 2022 Public Meeting Recap | Vol.1 Issue 11

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Highlights from the March 21, 2022 - Regular Session Board of Education Meeting

The District will share a monthly newsletter with the SOMSD community to keep you informed and to provide a recap of key action items discussed and approved by the Board of Education during their monthly regular Public Session meetings. The BOE meeting recap newsletter will be shared monthly after each regular session public BOE meeting (and will only be provided for regular-session Board meetings).

Board President's Monthly Statement

The school board meeting is a business meeting in public and not a meeting with the public. Oftentimes it may appear to members of our audience that the Board of Education takes action with very little comment and in many cases a unanimous vote. Before a matter is placed on the agenda at a public meeting, the Administration has thoroughly reviewed the matter with the Superintendent of Schools/Chief School Administrator (CSA). If the Superintendent of Schools/Chief School Administrator is satisfied that the matter is ready to be presented to the Board of Education, it is then referred to the appropriate Board Committee. The Members of the Board Committee work with Administration and the Superintendent to assure that the members fully understand the matter. After the committee discusses the matter, it is presented to the full Board for discussion before any action is taken. Only then, is it placed on the agenda for action at a public meeting.

Superintendent's Monthly Report

  • Update as of Friday, March 25: The District is pleased to announce that after months of negotiations, the Board of Education and SOMEA have reached an agreement in principle. The three-year contract will run retroactively from July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2024. We are grateful to the participants of both negotiation teams for their focused efforts to bring this settlement together. Read more here.
  • Watch Board President Thair's Monthly report/statement(cued to begin at 1:51:30 mark): https://youtu.be/QJeJjg9PQwI?t=6694
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View/Search SOMSD Board of Education Policies

The District has partnered with Strauss Esmay to provide a more user-friendly and easier way for community members to view/search for District-approved BOE policies/regulations. Polices can be found by # or by inputting a search request by subject.

Key Action Items

  • A full list of action items and associated resolutions is available here.
  • Presentation #1: 2021-2022 District Goal Update
  • Presentation #2: SOMSD II Yr. 1 Overview & Yr. 2 Considerations
  • Approval of Resolution 4281 - SOMSD Intentional Integration Year 2: The Board approved the Superintendent of Schools’ recommendation and directed the Administration to move forward with the year 2 of the Intentional Integration Initiative inclusive of rising kindergarteners and 6th graders for the Fall of 2022 (6th grade families will be informed of their middle school placements by the first week of April 2022; Kindergarten families will learn of their school placements in June 2022).

Approved Resolutions:


There were second readings of 5 policies:
    1. Policy 0156.1 Board Representatives
    2. Policy 2415.04 Title I - District-Wide Parental Involvement
    3. Policy 7436 Drug Free Workplace
    4. Policy 8330 Student Records
    5. Policy 9130 Public Complaints and Grievances

    There were first readings of 7 policies:

    1. Policy 1648.11 The Road Forward COVID-19 - Health & Safety

    2. Policy 2480 Alternative Education Programs

    3. Policy 3233 Political Activities (Certificated)

    4. Policy 4233 Political Activities (Support Staff)

    5. Policy 7510 Use of School Facilities

    6. Policy 7540 Joint Use of Facilities

    7. Policy 9560 Administration of School Surveys

    Board of Education Meeting - March 21, 2022
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    Current BOE Members

    Note: to email all board members, please email boemembers@somsd.k12.nj.us.


    Thair Joshua
    Board President
    Term: 2020 - 2022
    email: tjoshua@somsd.k12.nj.us


    Susan Bergin (1st Vice-President)
    Term: 2021 - 2023
    email: sbergin@somsd.k12.nj.us


    Kaitlin Wittleder (2nd Vice-President)

    Term: 2022 - 2024

    email: kwittled@somsd.k12.nj.us


    Elissa Malespina
    Term: 2021 - 2023
    email: emalesp1@somsd.k12.nj.us


    Erin Siders
    Term: 2020 - 2022
    email:esiders@somsd.k12.nj.us


    Qawi Telesford

    Term: 2022 - 2024

    email: qtelesfo@somsd.k12.nj.us


    Arun Vadlamani

    Term: 2022 - 2024

    email: avadlama@somsd.k12.nj.us


    Courtney Winkfield
    Term: 2021 - 2023
    email: cwinkfie@somsd.k12.nj.us


    Johanna Wright
    Term: 2020 - 2022
    email: johannawright@somsd.k12.nj.us


    Student Representatives to the Board of Education

    Noah Morros
    Term: 2021 - 2022
    email: boestudentrep1@somsd.k12.nj.us


    Vanessa Previlon
    Term: 2021 - 2022
    email: boestudentrep2@somsd.k12.nj.us

    South Orange & Maplewood School District

    The mission of the South Orange Maplewood School District is to empower and inspire each student to explore and imagine, to pursue personal passions, and to collectively create a better future by creating a learner-centered environment through multiple pathways; reimagined structures, systems and supports; innovative teaching; partnering with families; and maximizing community expertise and resources.