No School Today; Info on SOMA MLK Events

luminariesAll schools are closed today as the district observes Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

Join the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race as we gather at this critical moment in our nation to reaffirm Dr. King’s vision of the beloved community. This year’s multi-faith service will be at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church at 767 Prospect St. in Maplewood at 2 p.m. today.  Joseph Ford, Selma Freedom Rider and current Maplewood resident, is the featured speaker. The Volunteer Fair, with opportunities for service and donations, follows the observance.

Be part of the “Luminaria Project” as we light our neighborhoods beginning at 5 p.m., as a sign of peace and commitment to Dr. King’s vision of the “beloved community”! Luminaria kits will be available for a $10 donation at the MLK Observance and the Community Coalition on Race office—call 973-761-6116 or click on the flyer for more info.

For more MLK weekend learning and service opportunities, click here.


Beyond the Bell Enrichment Begins This Week

beyondthebellBeyond the Bell begins on Wednesday from 2:40-3:50 p.m.!

Please note your child’s dismissal door on the class confirmation that was sent home last Friday.

The Big Read: Thursday Night

WonderWe hope you’re enjoying this year’s book, Wonder, by R.J. Palacio!

The big event happens Thursday, January 22, at 6:30 p.m. at the Big School.

Please RSVP to Cathy Campbell if you plan to attend or are interested in being a discussion leader!


MapSO Cares Food Drive: Collecting at SMS All Month

food-driveEach month MapSO Cares collects non-perishable food items at one of SOMSD’s elementary schools. Donations can be placed in the MapSO Cares Project collection box. All donations go to St. Joseph’s Food Pantry in Maplewood, which cares for more than 175 Maplewood and South Orange families.

This month, MapSO Cares will be collecting at South Mountain. Please consider donating the following:

  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Beans
  • Pasta
  • Tuna
  • Mac and cheese (boxes)
  • Canned vegetables (any, but corn and green beans are favorites)
  • Canned fruit
  • Apple juice
  • Cookies

MapSO Cares is a branch of Columbia High School’s Elementors Program, through which high school students work with elementary students as Reading Buddies, Sports Buddies, and Math Buddies. Elementors is sponsored by SOMSD’s Parenting Center.

For more information, contact MapSO project coordinator Lily Bard.


Call for Donations for SMS Rocks the 80s!

SMS_80s_logoOur semi-annual goods and services auction, SMS Rocks the 80s this year, will be at the Maplewood Country Club on Friday, March 27.

This is the PTA’s largest and most important fundraiser, and we need your help!

The first 10 people to drop off or email their donation to our committee will receive a FREE South Mountain School shirt!

Contact Lisa Vick or Rebecca Fausel with any questions or to hand off your donation. Or, if you have a potential donor and would prefer to have the committee get in touch with them, let us know.

Click here to visit the Auction page for donation ideas.



Special Education Community Meeting Tuesday, January 20

special educationThis month’s special education community meeting features a presentation on Central Auditory Processing Disorder. Come learn more about this complex and increasingly common diagnosis and its impact on students’ learning on Tuesday, January 20, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the district meeting room at 525 Academy Street, Maplewood. Everyone is welcome.

Help Fund Teachers’ Projects Though January 31!

Achieve FoundationThank you to everyone who has donated to the Achieve Direct Funding Teacher Grants program this year. Achieve has received over $5,000 so far! Your contributions help fulfill the requests of grateful staff members whose grant projects will have a direct effect on students this spring.

Following are the projects at South Mountain that are still eligible for funding through January 31! (The amounts indicated below are the totals needed to fully fund the grant proposals. Staff members will be able to begin implementing their programs with partial funding, so all donations will be truly appreciated.)

  • Catherine Campbell: Battle of the Books Goes Commercial With Book Trailers ($2,700)
  • Caitlin Cox: Self-Regulation Technology ($1,000)
  • Alison Steiner: Social Work Counseling Programs K-12  ($1,877)
  • Terry Woolard: Infusing Google Drive Into the Classroom K-12  ($8,000)

To donate, click here, choose “Direct Funding” on the form, provide the information requested, and pay via Paypal.

To pay by mail, send your check with the teacher’s name and school in the memo line to Achieve Foundation, P.O. Box 84, Maplewood, NJ, 07040. All donations are fully tax-deductible.

For more information, email Buena Chilstrom or call her at 973-762-8274.

PARCC Practice Test for Parents

parccThe Somerset and Hunterdon County Education Associations are co-sponsoring a pseudo PARCC testing experience at Raritan Valley Community College on the evenings of Wednesday, January 28, and Monday, February 2. The event is free, but you do need to register for tickets. Click on the flyer for more information.

Box Tops Totals

box topsThe next pickup date will be Wednesday, February 4.

Ms. Manikad 885
Mrs. Esposito/Holland 793
Mrs. Devomecourt 638
Mrs. Paisner 624
Ms. Dorton 573
Ms. Gutkin 438
Mrs. Murphy 402
Ms. Feinberg 366
Mrs. Simon 359
Mrs. Schaefer-Gelo 339
Team W 318
Mrs. Masters/Marra 284
Mr. Cahn 271
Ms. King 264
Ms. Henderson 252
Mrs. Heumann 249
Mrs. Pomeranc/
Ms. Sinnicke 240
Mrs. Appenzoller 230
Mrs. Conyers 220
Mrs. Heumann 160
Mrs. Juhlin 154
Mrs. Conyers 148
Mr. Jones
Ms. Ducharme 208
Mrs. Salvas 196
Ms. Pitt 183
Mrs. Juhlin 176
Ms. Potts 86
Ms. Marchak 58

Total: 9,468 or $946.80!


A Message from the Principal to All who made Dear Edwina such a Success

edwinaCongratulations to Ms. Wiggins and the spectacular cast and crew of Dear Edwina! ! It was amazing and enjoyed by all. Our students have much talent and it was thrilling to see so many of them singing and acting with such joy. Thank you to Julie Smith and Nerissa Aschoff for all their hard work, and to the many, many parents who helped make this a huge success.