Platform

The Advocates for All campaign in partnership with students, teachers, parents/community is seeking to improve the overall education experience provided to the students of the South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD).

SOMSD has a unique opportunity to exact the kind of change that can and should be institutionalized in this community. Spearheading that campaign is what the Advocates for All partnership is about. Through the efforts of the incredibly diverse community and organizations that lie within its borders, there is fundamentally no reason that we cannot make SOMSD into the premier district for educational quality, and educational leadership.

Our key student focused areas include, but are not limited to:

Achievement Gap:

  • Bridging the achievement gap at the earliest stages of learning. Setting directives and measurable goals for annual improvementReal advancement of all children in every measurable way is an honorable and attainable goal.

Facilities Budget Oversight:

  • Enhancing district facilities for learning and athletics. We are for the suggested improvements to the schools safety and security (93 million portion of the bond proposal) for all schools. We are for Options J 38 Million) this is for expansion of the elementary schools making them K-5 to address enrollment. This is a choice model program which also keeps our two middle schools 6-8th in both towns.
  • We are NOT for Option B redesign and change of middle school to combined all 5-6 and 7-8 in two buildings.

Hiring:

  • Development of a strategic approach for attracting, retaining and promoting Teachers & Administrators to work with our diverse student population. Additionally it is critical that we have a strategic approach to hire and retain more teachers of color. Recruiting talented educators from near by districts should be a prime focus immediately.

Special Education:

  • Collaborate to expand and in some cases create new district services with a goal of providing more options to retain a greater % of the students in the district. We need process and methodology behind early detection, how we engage, review and use specialists to determine the best options for the child.    

Information conduit:

  • The BOE of SOMSD needs to actively link to, and engage with, the community at large in a more structured and transparent way. We call it the information conduit. In moving forward with a strategically critical series of steps, the community needs to be more engaged in the decision making process. With the mandate that the BOE has from the community to serve the community, it is paramount that the information conduit works in two unimpeded directions.