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GreatSchools Rating

South Orange Middle School

Public | 6-8 & ungraded | 12 students

 

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Last modified
Community Rating

3 stars

Community Rating by Year
2014:
Based on 1 rating
2013:
Based on 1 rating
2012:
Based on 1 rating
2011:
Based on 2 ratings

Teacher quality

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Parent involvement

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16 reviews of this school


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Posted July 10, 2014

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted November 26, 2013

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


Posted February 9, 2012

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 4, 2011

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 6, 2011

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted December 8, 2010

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted April 16, 2010

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


Posted November 2, 2009

I Love my School it is great!!! Everything about it is perfect and I recomend it to any child moving to the district!!
—Submitted by a student


Posted September 23, 2009

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 9, 2009

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


Posted December 21, 2008

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'.
—Submitted by a student


Posted April 27, 2008

SOMS may not have the best facilities, but it has amazing teachers and satff who really care about the students.
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 28, 2008

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!
—Submitted by a student


Posted February 16, 2007

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.
—Submitted by a parent


Posted February 25, 2006

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!
—Submitted by a student


Posted January 30, 2005

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
—Submitted by a former student


Community ratings and reviews do not represent the views of GreatSchools nor does GreatSchools check their accuracy or verify the reviewers' identities. Use your discretion when evaluating these reviews.

About these ratings

The Community Rating is the school’s average rating from its community members (e.g., parents, students, and school staff). The highest possible rating is five stars; the lowest is one star.

The test results by subgroup show how the designated group of students is performing in comparison to the general population.
Language Arts Literacy

The state average for Language Arts Literacy was 66% in 2013.

266 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
78%

2010

 
 
75%
Math

The state average for Math was 79% in 2013.

266 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
87%

2012

 
 
89%

2011

 
 
86%

2010

 
 
80%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 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.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Language Arts Literacy

The state average for Language Arts Literacy was 65% in 2013.

248 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
82%

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
71%

2010

 
 
76%
Math

The state average for Math was 64% in 2013.

248 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
81%

2012

 
 
79%

2011

 
 
76%

2010

 
 
73%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 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.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Language Arts Literacy

The state average for Language Arts Literacy was 82% in 2013.

211 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
89%

2012

 
 
93%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
92%
Math

The state average for Math was 69% in 2013.

211 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
79%

2012

 
 
81%

2011

 
 
71%

2010

 
 
74%
Science

The state average for Science was 79% in 2013.

211 students were tested at this school in 2013.

2013

 
 
87%

2012

 
 
90%

2011

 
 
85%

2010

 
 
86%
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 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.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Language Arts Literacy

All Students82%
Female88%
Male76%
Black67%
Asian100%
Hispanic76%
Pacific Islandern/a
White92%
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantaged51%
Not economically disadvantaged90%
Special educationn/a
General education90%
English language learnersn/a
Not migrant82%
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a

Math

All Students87%
Female90%
Male85%
Black76%
Asian100%
Hispanic71%
Pacific Islandern/a
White97%
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantaged65%
Not economically disadvantaged93%
Special education44%
General education95%
English language learnersn/a
Not migrant87%
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 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.

The different student groups are identified by the New Jersey Department of Education. If there are a small number of students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Language Arts Literacy

All Students82%
Female88%
Male75%
Black69%
Asian82%
Hispanicn/a
White94%
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantaged54%
Not economically disadvantaged87%
Special education43%
General education87%
English language learnersn/a
Not migrant82%
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a

Math

All Students81%
Female86%
Male76%
Black67%
Asian91%
Hispanicn/a
White94%
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantaged54%
Not economically disadvantaged86%
Special education47%
General education86%
English language learnersn/a
Not migrant81%
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 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.

The different student groups are identified by the New Jersey Department of Education. If there are a small number of students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Language Arts Literacy

All Students89%
Female94%
Male85%
Black81%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White97%
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantaged68%
Not economically disadvantaged93%
Special educationn/a
General education94%
English language learnersn/a
Not migrant89%
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a

Math

All Students79%
Female84%
Male75%
Black64%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White95%
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantaged45%
Not economically disadvantaged87%
Special educationn/a
General education83%
English language learnersn/a
Not migrant79%
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a

Science

All Students87%
Female89%
Male85%
Black75%
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Pacific Islandern/a
White98%
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantaged63%
Not economically disadvantaged93%
Special educationn/a
General education93%
English language learnersn/a
Not migrant87%
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 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.

The different student groups are identified by the New Jersey Department of Education. If there are a small number of students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Biology I

The state average for Biology I was 58% in 2013.

2013

 
 
n/a

2012

 
 
n/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 New Jersey used the New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT) to assess students in Biology. The New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT) is standards-based, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined by the state of New Jersey. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level on the test.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

Biology I

All Studentsn/a
Femalen/a
Malen/a
Blackn/a
Asiann/a
Hispanicn/a
Pacific Islandern/a
Whiten/a
Other ethnicityn/a
Economically disadvantagedn/a
Not economically disadvantagedn/a
Special educationn/a
General educationn/a
English language learnersn/a
Not migrantn/a
Limited English Proficient Current Plus Formern/a
Limited English Proficient Formern/a
Scale: % at or above proficient

About the tests


In 2012-2013 New Jersey used the New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT) to assess students in Biology. The New Jersey Biology Competency Test (NJBCT) is standards-based, which means it measures how well students are mastering specific skills defined by the state of New Jersey. The goal is for all students to score at or above the proficient level on the test.

The different student groups are identified by the New Jersey Department of Education. If there are a small number of students in a particular group, the state doesn't report data for that group.

Source: New Jersey Department of Education

What is the GreatSchools Rating?

The GreatSchools rating is a simple tool for parents to compare schools based on test scores, student academic growth, and college readiness. It compares schools across the state, where the highest rated schools in the state are designated as “Above Average” and the lowest “Below Average.” It is designed to be a starting point to help parents make baseline comparisons. We always advise parents to visit the school and consider other information on school performance and programs, as well as consider their child's and family's needs as part of the school selection process.

 
Above average

Test score rating
Student growth rating

1-3 Below Average

4-7 Average

8-10 Above Average

 

How schools in the state rate:

25%
of schools in the state are Below average
48%
of schools in the state are Average
26%
of schools in the state are Above average

Breaking down the GreatSchools Rating

The graphs below compare this school's results in each area to other schools in the district and state.

Test score rating 20131What's this?

Test score rating examines how students at this school performed on standardized tests compared with other schools in the state.

Close
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District
State
1
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8
9
10

Student growth rating 20132What's this?

Student growth rating measures whether students at this school are making academic progress over time. Specifically, the rating looks at how much progress individual students have made on reading and math assessments during the past year or more.

Close
This school
District
State
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10

Math growth at this school

Above average

Reading growth at this school

Above average


1 This rating is based on 2012-13 NJ ASK, HSPA, and/or NJBCT results from the New Jersey Department of Education.

2 This rating is based on 2012-13 Median Growth Percentiles in math and reading from from the New Jersey Department of Education.

Student ethnicity

Ethnicity This school State average
Black 46% 16%
White 45% 51%
Asian or Asian/Pacific Islander 4% 9%
Hispanic 3% 22%
Two or more races 1% 1%
American Indian/Alaska Native 0% 0%
Hawaiian Native/Pacific Islander 0% 0%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Student subgroups

  This school District averageState average
Students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch program 19%N/A34%
Source: NCES, 2011-2012

Teacher resources

Special staff resources available to students Art teacher(s)
Assistant principal(s)
Computer specialist(s)
Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
Librarian/media specialist(s)
Music teacher(s)
Nurse(s)
PE instructor(s)
School social worker/counselors(s)
Special education coordinator
Read more about programs at this school
Source: Provided by school community.

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Special education / special needs

Staff resources available to students
  • Special education coordinator

Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math (STEM)

Staff resources available to students
  • Computer specialist(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse

Arts & music

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
School facilities
  • Art room
  • Music room
Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Chamber music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
Performing and written arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Video / Film production

Language learning

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Health & athletics

Staff resources available to students
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

School basics

Before school or after school care / program onsite
  • Before school
  • After school

Programs

Foreign languages taught
  • Spanish

Resources

Staff resources available to students
  • Art teacher(s)
  • Assistant principal(s)
  • Computer specialist(s)
  • Instructional aide(s)/coach(es)
  • Librarian/media specialist(s)
  • Music teacher(s)
  • Nurse(s)
  • PE instructor(s)
  • School social worker/counselors(s)
  • Special education coordinator
Transportation options
  • Buses/vans for students only
  • School shares bus/van with other schools
School facilities
  • Access to farm or natural area
  • Access to sports fields
  • Art room
  • Auditorium
  • Cafeteria
  • Computer lab
  • Garden/Greenhouse
  • Gym
  • Internet access
  • Library
  • Music room
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Let your school shine!

School leaders: Help your school shine on GreatSchools
by verifying community responses, adding program highlights
and more! Get started »

Arts & music

Visual arts
  • Drawing / sketching
  • Painting
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
Music
  • Band
  • Chamber music
  • Choir / Chorus
  • Instrumental music lessons
  • Jazz band
  • Orchestra
Performing arts
  • Drama
Media arts
  • Video / Film production
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Upcoming Events

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School culture

Parent involvement
  • Chaperone school trips
  • Join PTO/PTA
  • Organize fundraising events (school auction, bake sales, etc.)
  • Volunteer time after school
Note: Data provided by community members,
needs to be verified by school leaders.

Apply

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TIP: Don't forget to ask about documents required for enrollment, such as your child's birth certificate, proof of address, or a record of immunizations.

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

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