As a Matter of Fact!

SOMSD Updates - May 8, 2020, VOL. 1, ISSUE 9

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Superintendent's Corner

Hello SOMSD Family,

This week was Teacher Appreciation Week, and I'd like to share a letter of appreciation that was sent to our District staff earlier this week. If you haven't done so yet, it is never too late to #thankateacher. Have a safe and healthy weekend:




Happy Teacher Appreciation Day (Week)! As we celebrate this annual acknowledgment of the individuals in our society who have chosen as a profession one of the most important, challenging, and satisfying undertakings ever known, please allow me to say ‘Thank you’. Whether you teach Pre-K or AP Chemistry, being a great teacher is an important, challenging, and satisfying role.

The importance of our profession does not just rest solely on the academic outcomes and skill mastery that we are held accountable for. What is truly important is that our students may be profoundly impacted by not just our formal lessons, but by literally every word that comes out of our mouths on any single day. When we remember our teachers, we often remember the toughest ones…the most challenging. The importance of those tough (but fair) instructors was most likely not the lesson’s content but the overall expectations. We learned about our own personal capacity for excellence. We learned that grit and tenacity resided inside of us. This is not only important, but it is also life-changing!

The challenge of being a great teacher lies in the effort we put forward as we always yearn for the ‘perfect lesson.' READ MORE.

Educationally yours,

Dr. Ronald G. Taylor

SOMSD Expands Food Support Programs

If your family needs food support during our school closing…

Si su familia necesita ayuda para recibir comida durante el cierre de nuestros colegios...

Si fanmi ou bezwen sipò manje pandan lekòl fèmen…

I. SOMSD Food Service

All District students are now able to receive free meals!!! SOMSD Food Service will now provide meals to any district students and siblings under the age of 18, including the District’s out of district placements, and those attending charter schools regardless of eligibility status.

Packed/hot lunches are being distributed at ….

  • Seth Boyden School
  • Columbia High School
  • Every School Day from 11 AM – 1 PM

2) Parenting Center: Food Support Initiative

If your family needs additional food support during our school closure, please let us know, and based on availability we will arrange for food delivery for your family. If you request food support we will share your contact information with a community volunteer who will make a food delivery to your home.

  • Email: (leave your name and contact info.) (or)
  • Call the Parenting Center: 973-762-5600, X1850 (leave your name and phone #)

For Information / Informacion / Pou Enfòmasyon:

Curriculum & Instruction

Dear SOMSD Families,

As of Monday, May 4, 2020, Governor Murphy made the decision that all New Jersey schools will remain closed for in-person instruction for the remainder of the school year. Therefore, our District will continue with the distance learning instruction methodology that we transitioned to on March 18.

COVID-19 has prompted a shift in how K-12 instruction is normally delivered across the country. Additionally, this change has led the District to create a revised and temporary grading strategy for the fourth marking period. Visit the District website to learn more about the adjustment and new approach to our grading system.

Click Here

MMS "Next Move" Challenge

Take a look at how some of the MMS Staff are spending their time. Hopefully, this will bring a smile to all of you.
Maplewood Middle School Next Move Challenge

SEND YOUR VIDEOS: Dr. Taylor's #SmartandStrong Dance & Song Challenge

Don't forget to send us your videos for Dr. Taylor's #SmartandStrong Dance & Song Challenge. View Dr. Taylor's video from April 24 to review the #SmartandStrong, song, lyrics, and dance. We invite our students, staff, and families to join us in the #smartandstrong challenge. Remember to either post your videos to our Facebook or Twitter pages; or email your video to

View the video below.

#smartandstrong #SOMSDFamily #weareinthistogether

Superintendent Taylor's #SmartandStrong Dance & Song Challenge

The School District of South Orange and Maplewood

A district that celebrates diversity!