Letters to the Editor

Update on South Orange Maplewood School District Library Cuts

d0d4bd88888d33392988_save_our_libraries.jpg
d0d4bd88888d33392988_save_our_libraries.jpg

The following is an update to the Change.org petition "Save the SOMSD School Libraries," which can be found here.

On March 3, the South Orange Maplewood Board of Education met with the administration and more details were released about the potential cuts to our school library programs. The administration is recommending cutting two full-time librarians -- one from Columbia High School and one from the middle schools. The two middle schools will now share a single full-time certified librarian traveling between the two schools. There is also a plan in place to cut the budget for the elementary libraries. The money will now be used to purchase classroom libraries instead of books for the libraries. There will also be a reduction in the periodical and reference budgets at all schools. 

These cuts are devastating to a once award-winning district library program. The elimination of full-time certified librarians at the middle schools makes absolutely no sense when both of these schools are on the state’s “Focus School” lists due to their issues with the achievement gap. Studies have shown that having a full-time certified librarian helps to reduce the achievement gap. It also makes no sense to cut the librarians at Columbia when the district is seeing an increase of students going to the high school. The demand on the library is already too much for two librarians and reducing it to one will make it impossible for all student to have access to the resources and training they need to be college and career ready. 

Sign Up for E-News

Building up classroom libraries while cutting the library budget is not a “net gain," as stated by one BOE member. Who picks those classroom libraries? While having classroom libraries is great, the students don't have the opportunity to bring these books home and read them for pleasure like they can with the collection housed in the school library. Classroom titles are also not chosen by certified librarians who are trained to pick the just right books for the children. How will those classroom libraries be circulated so that the entire student body has access to them?

In the school libraries, students are allowed to choose any book they want, so if a 3rd grader is reading on a 5th grade level they can take out the new Rick Riordian book if they want. That can't happen easily when that book is not in the library, but in some classroom which has no means in place to make it available for circulation to the entire school. Having an elementary library program without the ability to purchase new books and materials is in no way a “net gain” to the quality education our kids need and deserve.

If you agree, please consider taking the time to share this petition, email BOE members, and come speak at the BOE meeting this coming Monday night at 7 p.m.. 

It is not too late to let the Board of Education know that all of the students at every school in our district deserve the right to have a quality library program cultivated by a full-time, certified librarian.

Supporters can add their name to this letter, which is on Change.org, and has 693 signatures as of March 7.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Letter to the Editor.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

Women's March Wear at Sadie's

Many are gathering this weekend and heading into New York City or over to Morristown to show their support for the Women's March 2018.

Sadie's is offering a few tee shirt options to show your support while marching as well as with your purchase.

The "Nasty Woman" shirt donates to Planned Parenthood and the "I Believe in Science" donates to the Sierra Club." ...

School Freeze Is Not New, And Not Acceptable

Another cold snap and apparently another string of cold classrooms.

Last week, many classes at Columbia High School -- and other schools -- saw frigid temperatures when the cold outside dropped to single digits on several days.

The snow helped a bit by closing schools last Thursday and Friday, although the Friday closing was originally a delayed opening and later switched ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 010

On this week’s AtlantiCast, we take you to the groundbreaking for an expansion to Morristown Medical Center, introduce you to the newest babies of 2018 at Atlantic Health System and share some must-see winter weather tips!

 

South Orange Police Blotter - Two Arrests Reported

January 13, 2018

South Orange Police Blotter as of January 13

Adult Arrest CDS - Benjamin Orgera, an 18 year old South Orange resident was arrested on Sunday, Jan. 7, at approximately 10:20 p.m. for possession of CDS (marijuana). Officers stopped an auto for a motor vehicle violation near the intersection of Ridgewood Rd & Redmond Rd. During the traffic stop, officers determined that the driver ...

The Maplewood Chili Cookoff Returns to The Woodland on Feb. 25

January 23, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - There's a new annual tradition in SOMA: The Maplewood Chili Cookoff. Back at The Woodland for its second year on Feb. 25, the cookoff has local residents sharing their best chili concoctions, all vying for a chance to have their name added to the coveted trophy -- a 35 pound, 100 year-old cast iron cauldron -- which will be on display in ...

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observance in SOMA; Luminary Photos

MAPLEWOOD AND SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race held their 17th annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance, with an interfaith service at 2 p.m., followed by a volunteer fair at 3:30 p.m. at Columbia High School, and an evening MLK Luminary Lighting Ceremony at Maplewood Town Hall and in Spiotta Park in South Orange.

In addition, ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, January 24, 12:00 PM

Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, South Orange

The Purposes and Rhythms of Jewish Living

Education Religions And Spirituality

Wed, January 24, 2:00 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Beginning Mindfulness Meditation Series at ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_56c4b6593ef1c6cb2042_mcoc-logo-500

Wed, January 24, 7:00 PM

Winchester Gardens, Maplewood

Tax Planning: Preparing for What Lies Ahead

Business & Finance Government

Carousel_image_982bc8344531b1a37c85_par_440

Wed, January 24, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Essex County Executive DiVincenzo Elected Secretary of NJTPA

January 22, 2018

ESSEX COUNTY, NJ - Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, Jr. was elected Secretary of the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority (NJTPA) Board of Trustees Monday during its annual reorganization meeting.

"The NJTPA plays an important role, overseeing the investment of billions of dollars in our region's transportation infrastructure and virtually all projects are ...

Newark Makes the Short List for Amazon's next HQ2

NEWARK, NJ--Newark has been named as one of 20 finalists to host Amazon’s next headquarters in North America.

Amazon announced the short-listed cities on Thursday.

Other cities that made the cut include Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Montgomery County, ...

Rutgers Historians Collecting 2018 Women's March Signs

January 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Believe it or not, we’re living through history right now. That’s why the Rutgers University Libraries want to collect artifacts and memorabilia from the present day.

People who took part in Saturday's women's march in Morristown, or one of the "sister" marches across the state can consider donating their signs and protest memorabilia to ...

Director of Gallery U Boutique Says They Will Leave Westfield Over Parking Issues

WESTFIELD, NJ — Gallery U Boutique, an art space and boutique on South Avenue in Downtown Westfield, will relocate at the end of the summer due to ongoing parking issues, Executive Director Robert Greco said.

Gallery U is an extension of Universal Institute, a rehabilitation facility that services adults with traumatic brain injuries. Clients from UI work in the gallery and live in the ...

Skip the Joiner Fee, Join the YMCA Today

January 23, 2018

The West Essex YMCA is waiving the joiner fee to anyone who signs up by Jan. 31. Financial assistance is available.

By joining the YMCA in Livingston, members are committing to more than becoming healthier—they are supporting the values and programs that strengthen their community. At the Y, children learn what they can achieve, families spend quality time together and members build ...

Essex County Deer Management Program Continues Jan. 23 and Jan. 25 in South Mountain Reservation

Essex County will kick off its annual deer management program in South Mountain and Hilltop Reservations this month.  In its eleventh year, the program's goal is to revitalize the forest ecology by reducing the number of deer. 

“Controlling the population by removing deer from South Mountain and Hilltop has proven to be very successful in helping to preserve the forest ...

Above Restaurant and Bar in South Orange Closing for Renovations and Revamping from Jan. 22 to Feb. 12

Above Restaurant and Bar, located at 1 South Orange Avenue in South Orange, will be closing for renovations and revamping from Jan. 22 to Feb. 12.

Above Restaurant and Bar in South Orange will re-open with new management, a new menu, and an updated dining and event space.

For information, please call 973-762-2683.