For the most current information
The first school, which was probably stone and consisted of one
room, was located on the common where our present flagpole triangle
stands. It was an obstruction in 1811 when a new toll road, including
South Orange Avenue, was planned from Morristown to Newark. Therefore,
a new two-storied wooden school was built on Academy Street in 1815,
its trustees naming it "The Columbian School." Here tuition
was fixed at $1.75 per quarter for spelling, reading, and writing,
but $.25 was later added for arithmetic. Pupils shared the cost
of firewood for the stove. One teacher received $75 for six months
in 1827, his female assistant $48.
In 1867, county superintendents replaced township control and grading
of classes was started. By Village election, tuition became free
in 1870. In 1880, the old wooden school building was replaced by
a two-storied brick building. In 1885, a kindergarten class was
established. When a three-year high school course was established,
the new school was called "Columbia High School." Between
1887-93, school supplies and text books were free. The township
plan of administration to bring all schools under one control was
adopted by the state in 1894. In 1891, the high school course was
changed to four years which remained until 1927 when it reverted
to three years because of the senior and junior high schools. The
old Columbia High building became that of the South Orange Junior
High School. End wings had been added to this old building in 1898
Marshall School was built in 1922; First Street School in 1923;
Montrose in 1924; South Mountain in 1929 and Newstead in 1955.
Street School closed in the Fall of 1974. Columbia High School
opened its new building in 1927 to serve both South Orange and
pupils. A west wing was added to this building in 1958, and further
additions were completed in 1971. The new Junior High School on
Ridgewood Road was completed in 1956; the old one on Academy was
razed. The Clinton School was built in 1929.
Since its inception, the School District of South Orange and Maplewood
has always been recognized for excellence in education because the
residents of these two communities have made the education of their
children a priority. From the days of the Revolutionary War, when
the school district consisted of a one room stone school house,
to the present, when we find that our student population of almost
5,000 requires nine schools, the district's success in educating
its children has been evidenced by the many outstanding citizens
and leaders it has produced. From business to politics to sports
and the arts, district graduates are acknowledged leaders in their
South Orange and Maplewood students continue to receive local,
state and national recognition for their accomplishments in academics,
the arts and sports. The many scholars artists, athletes and humanitarians
that are found within our schools and community are a tribute to
the tradition of exceptional staff members, a caring Board of Education
and involved community members that pride themselves on maintaining
an exceptional school district.
The communities of South Orange and Maplewood are united in one
school district. The Board of Education is legally responsible for
policy and supervision in all matters concerned with elementary
and secondary education. The Board has no standing committees but
rather delegates Board members, community representatives, and staff
members to serve on committees as the need arises.
The Board of Education is composed of nine members elected for
three year terms. These citizens serve without pay, assisted by
the services of the secretary of the Board of Education. The superintendent
sits with the Board in an executive capacity.
The Board meets on the first & third Mondays of the month and
the public is invited to attend the public meetings, which are held
at the Board of Education Offices, 525 Academy Street, Maplewood.
Meetings begin at 8:00 p.m. and are announced in the local newspaper.
The superintendent of schools is appointed by the Board of Education.
He is the operating head of the school system, as well as the official
who puts into practical application the policies of the Board of
The district consists of nine schools - six elementary schools,
two middle schools and one high school, for a total of almost 5,000
students. The elementary schools are currently adding additions
which include classrooms, cafeterias and technology rooms.
** Columbia High School, 17 Parker Ave.
** Maplewood Middle School, 7 Burnet St.
* South Orange Middle School, 70 N. Ridgewood Rd.
** Clinton School, 27 Berkshire Rd.
** Jefferson School, 518 Ridgewood Rd.
* Marshall School, 262 Grove Rd.
* South Mountain Annex, 112 Glenview Rd.
** Seth Boyden School, 274 Boyden Ave.
* South Mountain
School, 444 West So. Orange Ave.
** Tuscan School, 25 Harvard Ave.
* located in South Orange
** located in Maplewood