School Details

South Orange Middle School

70 North Ridgewood Road, S Orange, NJ 07079
(973) 378-2733
8

(out of 10)

Public Grades 6-8 & ungraded 673 students 11 students/teacher (NJ avg is 12)

Test Scores by grade

84%
81%
67%
87%
84%
79%

New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK)

In 2013-2014 New Jersey used the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in language arts literacy and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in science. The NJ ASK is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New Jersey. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.
  • This school in 2014
  • South Orange-Maplewood School District average
  • New Jersey state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

78%
78%
64%
77%
78%
67%

New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK)

In 2013-2014 New Jersey used the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in language arts literacy and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in science. The NJ ASK is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New Jersey. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.
  • This school in 2014
  • South Orange-Maplewood School District average
  • New Jersey state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

91%
89%
80%
87%
86%
72%
91%
90%
79%

New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK)

In 2013-2014 New Jersey used the New Jersey Assessment of Skills and Knowledge (NJ ASK) to test students in grades 3 through 8 in language arts literacy and math, and in grades 4 and 8 in science. The NJ ASK is a standards-based test, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined for each grade by the state of New Jersey. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level.
  • This school in 2014
  • South Orange-Maplewood School District average
  • New Jersey state average

% scale represents number of student who met or exceeded standards

About this school

South Orange Middle School is a public middle school in Maplewood. The principal of South Orange Middle School is Mr Kirk E. Smith. 673 students attend South Orange Middle School and are mostly Black, non-Hispanic; White, non-Hispanic; and Asian/Pacific Islander. 1% of the South Orange Middle School students are "limited in English proficiency." 19% of the 673 students here have subsidized lunches. The student to teacher ratio at South Orange Middle School is 11:1. Maplewood Middle School is one of the nearest middle schools.

Extracurricular activities

Arts

  • Band
  • Ceramics sculpture
  • Chorus
  • Computer arts
  • Dance
  • Drawing painting
  • Orchestra
  • Photography
  • Theater drama
  • Video film production

Languages Taught

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Latin
  • Mandarin
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog

Sports

  • Badminton
  • Baseball
  • Basketball
  • Bicycling
  • Cheerleading
  • Crew
  • Cross country
  • Fencing
  • Field hockey
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Gymnastics
  • Lacrosse
  • Martial arts self defense
  • P.E. classes
  • Rock climbing
  • Rugby
  • Soccer
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Track
  • Ultimate Frisbee
  • Volleyball
  • Water polo
  • Wrestling
  • Yoga

Student Ethnicities

Ethnicity School District
Black, non-Hispanic 46% 40%
White, non-Hispanic 45% 48%
Asian/Pacific Islander 4% 4%
Hispanic 3% 6%
Asian 3% %
Multiracial 0.6% 2%
Native American or Native Alaskan 0.3% 0%
Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander 0% 0%

Student Subgroups

Subgroup School District
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 19% 19%
Limited English proficiency 1% 1%

Community ratings & reviews

  • (8 months ago)

    We have been pleasantly surprised with this school. The teachers are reachable and 6th graders have anouth time and guidance to adapt into the new system. My 6th grader transferred from a private school environment and I confess that I was nervous about the transition but so far have had only good experiences.

  • (12 months ago)

    The overall experience was very poor as was the quality of the education. Our son is on the autism spectrum. The school environment is not tailored to him. His class included children with a range of abilities he was expected to travel and function w/in the everyday hustle and bustle of the school and his homeroom teacher did not communicate during the year. Our son did not get any homework & he lost an entire academic year here. There was no transition prep for him into this school which is vital for him. The one opportunity we had to meet with his homeroom teacher he basically explained that this was a life skills based program that would not focus too much on academics. The district's special education services while he was in elementary were wonderful he attended a great school with a great teacher. Our issues started at the middle school and their inability to accommodate a child with his needs. We were diligent in seeking out a private school that was more geared for his needs but his case manager needed a great deal of pushing on our end to get results.

  • (1 year ago)

    This is a great school my daughter loves it. The teachers and staff are very supportive. I do not have any complaints.

  • (3 years ago)

    The school has good teachers and concern parents. I had one child complete the eight grade and one currently attending and it has been a positive experience. The class sizes are not too large.

  • (3 years ago)

    SOMS has been an incredible disappointment to our family on many levels. There are some great teachers but in the classes of some other teachers our child receives homework assignments that leave us scratching our heads and wondering "What's the point?" We had hopes that under the new principal things might improve. Rather the changes that have been made this year have been even more alarming. Especially troubling is added busywork in the classrooms and at home. We had hoped that under the new principal a more progressive approach would be adopted. Indeed there was much hoopla upon his arrival to indicate such would be the case. Instead we find the school further mired in rubrics and less interested in accurately assessing whether students are truly learning what they need to learn to be successful individuals. On a bright note the arts and music programs continue to thrive. Hopefully that will continue as those programs are among the few areas less governed by misguided measuring sticks and in which the students seem to be learning valuable life skills and acquiring knowledge that will serve them beyond the next round of standardized tests.

  • (4 years ago)

    Since the first day of school in 2010 SOMS didn't respond well to a transportation blunder. They also did not relay an important message and as a result my child was not at the designated pick up. In addition administrators have questionable priorities in regards to student discipline. Disciplining a child twice for the same occurrence is not setting high expectation and high performance.

  • (4 years ago)

    South Orange Middle School is where our kids matured and were able to nurture great freindships in a warm and caring environment. The principal Mr. Smith is very caring and his efforts to know every child's name reflects his going above and beyond to help solve any issues that arise. The staff is dedicated and caring as well and the teachers are selected for their ability to engage and incite learning in these challenging pre teen years. There have been just 2 or three teachers here we did not care for but this does not diminish the wonderful instructors who have guided our kids. If you ask me they should get rid of Home Ec and replace it (and the instructor) with Environmental Studies. WE are very happy at SOMS and could not have asked for a better experience.

  • (5 years ago)

    The dedicated staff creatively and consistently works with their students to provide a quality education.

  • (5 years ago)

    I Love my School it is great!!! Everything about it is perfect and I recomend it to any child moving to the district!!

  • (5 years ago)

    Great teachers great administrators and fun and interesting class projects. .Also the best Middle School Plays! By the way the school is in South Orange not Orange.

  • (6 years ago)

    This school does not give children an opportunity to express their creativity and that is the key to a good learning experience.

  • (6 years ago)

    I like the actual building and the teachers but the other kids? They're just....bleh. Compared to kids I know that live in N.Y.C. they're horrid (Except for my friends of course). Also the math curriculum is a bit too easy compared to other schools'.

  • (7 years ago)

    SOMS may not have the best facilities but it has amazing teachers and satff who really care about the students.

  • (7 years ago)

    This school is AMAZING! I look forward to going to school every morning! The teachers teach well and are very friendly! I love this school SO much! GO SOMS!

  • (8 years ago)

    My nephew started attending this school since September of 2006 and has been there for 6 months and I'am already disgusted with this school. From the first day I dropped him off to school I just knew this school was not a fit for him. I take him to school every morning and notice many of the children are unruly and disrespectful as well as using profanity. Concerning academics my nephew is given very little homework assignments on week days and rarely anything on weekends. How can what he is learning in school get reinforced if there is very little homework given? Even though I'am paying 13 000 in taxes to live in South Orange I will be putting him in Private school when he starts the seventh grade. If push comes to shove I would rather move to Millburn or Short Hills because they have great schools.

  • (9 years ago)

    What a great school! I am a 8th grader here at South Orange Middle School and I dont want to leave! The teachers are awesome and the principals work hard. Also the Guidance counselers are great! I reccomend this school!

  • (10 years ago)

    i think that south orange middle school is both a very good learning enviroment for children and also a very involving school. No matter what people had said about this school in the past I think this is an excellant school

See all reviews on GreatSchools

Overall score

(based on 20 ratings & reviews)

  • Teacher quality
  • Principal leadership
  • Parent involvement

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