As A Matter of Fact!

SOMSD Newsletter | Vol 2. Issue 14 | May 21, 2021

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May Is Mental Health Awareness Month

Dear South Orange & Maplewood School District Community,

Now, more than ever before, many of us could be feeling increased anxiety, stress or loneliness following a year of living with the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is OK to not be OK right now. May is Mental Health Awareness Month and serves as a great opportunity for our community to begin eliminating stigma by starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental illness. 1 in 5 people will have some kind of mental illness in a given year and stigma is the greatest barrier to individuals seeking help regarding their mental illness.

By breaking down the stigma around mental illness, we can support those who are struggling to find resources and treatment. We encourage our District community to visit our mental health resources page for more information for students, staff and families:

South Orange & Maplewood School District

SOMSD Mental Health Resources for Students

Please view a list of mental health resources and support available to District students both internally and via external sources.

Reminder: Summer School Program Registration Deadline is Tuesday, May 25 (Extended to Tues., June 1)

This has truly been a school year like no other. Our students, staff, administration and community experienced learning in ways we never have before. While there have been many successes we realize there have been challenges along the way as well. Because of that, we have been working on creating as many summer opportunities for our students as possible. After reviewing the data from the tremendous response to our Summer Interest Survey we were able to create programs that will meet the needs of our SOMSD students in order to better prepare them for the upcoming school year.

We are excited that student interest in these summer programs is very high and have been working to fill the necessary positions to accommodate our needs. While we are not capping our student numbers at this time, each registration will be time-stamped and each class (excluding CHS credit recovery) will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Please click the link to view courses and register your child(ren):

All Return to School Updates & Resources

All updates and resources regarding the District's January 2021 return to in-person instruction.

Extended Memorial Day Weekend: Schools Closed on Friday, May 28

Each year the District is allotted three inclement weather (or snow days) to be used during the school year. This year, we used two inclement weather days and contractually any unused days must be given back to staff. Therefore, Friday, May 28th will be a give-back day for District staff and all schools will be closed. We will return to school on Tuesday, June 1 after the Memorial Day holiday. In advance, enjoy the long Memorial Day weekend.

Please click here to view revised travel/quarantine guidance from the District:


The SOMSD Covid-19 Dashboard will be updated weekly and will track and reflect positive cases of both virtual and in-person staff and students

Local COVID Vaccination & Testing, Rental Assistance Information & Resources

SOMSD Community, please view information regarding local COVID testing and vaccination and other important Covid-related resources and assistance. Please visit the District website for information:

Of importance please note that as of last week in NJ vaccinations are now open to youth 12 years and up. Everyone 12 or older who lives, works, or studies in New Jersey is now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Essex County is expected to provide the Pfizer vaccine for 12 and up at two locations:

  • Vaccination appointments are available at Essex County College and the Kmart West Orange location. Hours will be 3:00 p.m. -7:00 p.m., which is subject to change. You will be able to schedule an appt on or and see vaccine availability; walk-ups will also be accepted.

Upcoming District/School Events

Join the Special Dance Company Tonight, Fri., May 21 for a Virtual Performance

Congratulations to the CHS Special Dance Company. They are celebrating 50 years of dance and are the longest and first dance program in the state of NJ. Join them for a special celebration broadcast performance tonight Friday, May 21 @ 8 pm. Join them virtually at:
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SOMSD & SOMA Shares Outdoor Book Sharing Event This Weekend

Join us this weekend for the Massive Outdoor Book Sharing Event open to all PreK - 12 SOMSD Students. Learn more here:
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SOMSD Calendar of Events