Parents and grandparents dropping kids at school on opening day this past week would have noticed lawn signs up around town proclaiming “STRONG SCHOOLS. STRONG TOWN.” If you didn’t notice them, hopefully you will now.

What’s it all mean?

It’s a call to action for Mountainside.

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It’s become evident in the last year that we can do more as a community to support and assist the Mountainside Board of Education and our school administration. A big part of “STRONG SCHOOLS. STRONG TOWN.” is getting all of us more involved with actionable ways to help.

Our Boro may only have some 6,800 residents, but we are a talent-stocked community of lawyers, doctors, writers, designers, engineers and accountants. We work hard, we network, we excel, and we bring all that talent home each night to 07092.

So how can you take action? Here are five ideas:

  1. Attend Board meetings. They are the last Tuesday of each month—8 pm public sessions at Beechwood Elementary. If you can’t watch, all meetings are recorded and rebroadcast on local TV.
  2. Let the Board know who you are, be it in board meetings or offline. As a candidate for BOE, one immediate action I propose is increased community engagement. We want to know who you are, what you do, and how you might be able to help. If the Board should seek assistance with potentially adding solar panels to the roof at Deerfield, let’s bring in experts in town with connections to help. If we need a data analyst to crunch student performance numbers, let’s have the right people ready to assist.
  3. Voice questions and concerns. There are lots of ways to contact the Board and administrators. We should not assume that they know who we are, what we do and who we know. We should not assume that what appears on TAP Into Mountainside or Mountainside Matters on Facebook makes its way back to the Board.
  4. Tell friends and neighbors. If you believe in STRONG SCHOOLS. STRONG TOWN. if you believe in what that means in terms of long-term excellence in our schools, a long-term sustainable fiscal approach for our taxpayers, rising property values, and general pride in what Mountainside stands for, then get excited about it. Tell people to get involved about where we are as a Boro and school district and where we need to be.
  5. Vote on Nov. 3. Whether you are 100% in favor with our current status, or whether you feel more change and a fresh approach are required, you get your shot to tell us on Nov. 3. Don’t miss it. Register if you’ve yet to do so. Complete an absentee ballot if you’re Disney bound that week like much of New Jersey.

Bottom line, whether you’ve seen the lawn signs or not, and whether you believe in what they represent, don’t drive by with blinders on. That’s not what Mountainside is all about.

Jordan Hyman is a Mountainside resident and a candidate for Mountainside School Board in the upcoming Nov. 3 elections. For more info and content, please check out and like our STRONG SCHOOLS. STRONG TOWN. Facebook page