Saturday, April 29, 2017


From the South Orange Maplewood School District:

Dear SOMSD Community:

On Monday April 17th, SOMSD Administrators met with parents and guardians to discuss issues of particular interest to the Special Education community.

Kevin Walston, Assistant Superintendent for Administration, provided an update on the search we are conducting with Atlantic Research Partners for a new Director to replace Ella Rideau, who retired in December 2016.  The initial search in Fall 2016 did not result in identification of a suitable candidate who had the right mix of expertise and experience in key areas.  Atlantic restarted the search process in January 2017, using both advertising and outreach to professional networks.

In the process, the District and Atlantic expanded the role to include Youth Development, which adds responsibilities for overseeing 504s, guidance, intervention and referral services (I&RS) and social worker services to the previous responsibilities of the Director of Special Services.  The newly reconfigured position is now titled “Executive Director of Special Services & Youth Development.”

Since the redefinition of the job, we have received and reviewed additional candidates, bringing the total candidate pool to 71 applicants.  We plan to hold level 1 and level 2 interviews in early May.

David Lieberman, current Interim Director of Special Services & Youth Development, facilitated a discussion on ways the expanded role of this position will facilitate more seamless services for students, more effective communications for parents/guardians, and better support for staff.  Mr. Lieberman also provided an update on some initiatives currently being worked on by the department.

More complete notes of the discussion are in the attached updates.
South Orange Maplewood School District

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