On May 11, South Mountain School Principal Kevin Mason announced that the elementary school is returning an indoor mask mandate for classrooms and bus transportation owing to COVID-19 outbreaks in three classes at the school. The mandate will continue through May 18.
Note that the mask mandate applies to the “big” school only and does not impact the South Mountain Annex school.
South Mountain School joins Clinton Elementary in re-instituting mask mandates recently. Clinton returned to indoor and bus masking last week due to COVID-19 outbreaks in several classrooms. The Clinton temporary mandate runs through May 13.
Village Green has asked South Orange-Maplewood School District administration if there are any other district schools under temporary mask mandates currently and will update the story when we receive a response.
District administration discussed COVID-19 protocols at a recent Board of Education meeting, as did South Orange and Maplewood elected officials at recent township meetings. Read about those discussions here and here.
From South Mountain School:
May 11, 2022
Dear South Mountain School Community:
This letter is to inform you that there has been an uptick in cases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-
19), as well as continued outbreaks in three classes at South Mountain Big School. Please note that delivery of instruction will continue as normal; however, the South Orange Department of Health is requiring a return to universal masking INDOORS AND ON THE BUS for all South Mountain Big School students and staff through May 18th. We plan to return to mask optional indoors May 19th.
COVID-19 Dashboard Total number of cases are reported weekly on the District Dashboard (updated
every Friday afternoon).
The District is coordinating closely with public health officials and following Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), state, and local health department guidance in order to assure the health and safety of our community – preventing the transmission and containing the outbreaks of COVID 19. In addition, as a reminder, cleaning and disinfecting of the building (including exposed and frequently
touched areas) is done daily.
As of March 14, 2022 the District is no longer directing quarantine of school close contacts of the
positive individual. If individuals are in the class with the outbreak, they would receive a separate
letter with that specific information.
We understand the level of concern regarding COVID-19; and we encourage parents and students to
continue following the CDC and NJDOH promoted safeguards, such as:
• Getting vaccinated and boosted as eligible;
• Staying home when you are sick;
• Considering wearing a mask while in school and in public settings;
• Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using hand sanitizer;
• Covering coughs and sneezes and properly disposing of tissues;
• Limiting close contact with people who are sick and not sharing food, drinks and utensils;
• Practicing social distancing to the greatest extent practicable; and
• Continuing to monitor your health for symptoms. Get a laboratory PCR or Rapid test if you
have symptoms, and see Testing information link under the resources tab below.
As always, we appreciate our community’s support and cooperation. Please continue to assist us in
dealing with this health concern. Thank you to all who have been vigilant in notifying the school district
SCHOOL DISTRICT OF SOUTH ORANGE AND MAPLEWOOD – 525 ACADEMY STREET – MAPLEWOOD, NJ 07040
if you have a positive case or exposure and for staying home if you or someone in the household is sick
with COVID-like symptoms.
Should you have any questions about this situation, please feel free to contact Nurse Sharyn Wills at
973-378-5216 x4503 Below are some resources that might be helpful.
a. NJDOH COVID-19 Information for Communities and the General Public:
b. Get the Facts about Coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
c. Symptoms of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-
d. Testing AND Vaccinations https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing and key in your zip code
Essex County COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Locations for mega sites (Newark, WO) open for walk-
• Consult your Health Care Provider; currently, NJDOH suggests that testing is most meaningful on
day 5 after exposure, or if exhibiting signs and symptoms
• Consult your local health department [SO (973) 378-7715 x7710 or MA (973) 762-8120 x4400]
• Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs)
https://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/primarycare/fqhc/ COVID-19 testing is free of charge at FQHCs
regardless if you have insurance or not.
• MediMobile (New name = MediStation) Walk-in Covid Testing site:
• Saturdays at at the Board of Education Building 525 Academy Street in the District Meeting
Room 9:00am to 3:00pm
• Wednesdays at the Board of Education Building 525 Academy Street in the District Meeting
Room 4:00pm to 6:00pm
e. How to Protect Yourself: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/
f. What to Do if You Are Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-
g. COVID-19 Dashboard Total number of cases are reported weekly on the District Dashboard (updated
every Friday afternoon).
Mr. Kevin Mason, Principal
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