Education in South Orange and Maplewood

School for Everyone from Preschool to College…

South Orange and Maplewood share a common school system – six elementary schools, two middle schools and Columbia High School. All are supported by active parent and teacher organizations.

Elementary education is based in traditional, family-friendly buildings with up-to-date facilities, including computers and internet access in all schools and modern media and technology centers.

Clinton Elementary School
27 Berkshire Road, Maplewood
Bolden Elementary School
518 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood
Marshall Elementary School
262 Grove Road, South Orange
Seth Boyden Demonstration School
274 Boyden Avenue, Maplewood
South Mountain Elementary
444 South Orange Ave., South Orange
South Mountain Annex
110 Glenview Road, South Orange
Tuscan Elementary School
25 Harvard Avenue, Maplewood

Maplewood Middle School and South Orange Middle School serve grades six-eight, guiding students academically and socially through the “tween” years and preparing them for the transition to high school. Along with a well-structured academic foundation, middle school students also are involved in character-building programs and community activities. Music and drama are highlighted in the All School Musicals involving students in all aspects of putting on a show, from acting to set design.

Maplewood Middle School
7 Burnet Street
South Orange Middle School
70 N. Ridgewood Road
Columbia High School
17 Parker Avenue, Maplewood

Founded in 1885 and rich in history, Columbia High School offers academic excellence and a wide range of elective courses and extracurricular activities. In 2015 Columbia High School was awarded a Silver Medal as one of the Best High Schools in the Country, according to U.S. News and World Reports and ranked 41st in New Jersey, and 1006th nationally. 26 CHS students received a perfect score of 800 on one or more elements of their SATs.

Columbia offers a strong college preparatory curriculum, with 21 AP offerings. Five or more Columbia High School seniors are usually selected as National Merit Semi-Finalists each year. Electives include forensic science, TV production, animation and computer graphics, film-making, music technology, philosophy, and Project Adventure, a high ropes course. More than 91% of graduates pursue further education. Recent graduates attend an impressive list of colleges and universities including: Boston College, Brown, Columbia, Cal Tech, University of Chicago, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Howard, Johns Hopkins, MIT, Princeton, University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers, Stanford, University of Virginia, and Yale.

Outside of the classroom, students participate in championship athletics and an extensive array of extracurriculars. Just a few examples include an award-winning literary magazine and student newspaper; award-winning annual musicals; the Minority Achievement Committee (MAC) whose goal is to inspire academic excellence among African-American students, students of African descent, and students of color; philosophy and opera appreciation clubs, Diversity Rocks, Spectrum (LGBTQ support & awareness), a Gospel Choir, and many other talented music and drama groups.

Noted alumni come from a wide range of disciplines, including: Pulitzer winner, publisher, and CEO of the Knight Foundation, Alberto Ibargüen (1962), sexologist Alfred Kinsey (1912); architects Peter Eisenman (’50) and Richard Meier (’52); Olympic runner Joetta Clark (’80); renowned artist Bisa Butler ('91); Grammy award winning musician Lauryn Hill (’93); actor Zach Braff (’93); author Paul Auster (’65); first female United States Court of Appeals judge and first female African American partner in a Wall Street law firm Amalya Lyle Kearse (’55), and fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad ('03), also known for being the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympics; and Grammy award winner SZA, aka Solana Imani Rowe ('08). Ultimate Frisbee was invented here in 1968.

A wide range of high quality day care providers and preschools serving children from two-months to pre-kindergarten. After-school programs are also available to meet the need of families that require extended supervision. Click here for a list of local preschools
Adult Education
Founded in 1933, the South Orange – Maplewood Adult School is the oldest adult school in the state and offers over 300 classes for adults and an extensive summer enrichment and sports program for children. Recognized as a Local Legacy by the Library of Congress, it provides “quality experiences which enhance understanding and enjoyment of life and create a learning environment for the betterment of the individual and society.”
Seton Hall University has an extensive campus in South Orange. Their library and cultural activities are made available to local residents.
Private Schools
Our Lady of Sorrows School
172 Academy Street, South Orange
973- 762-5169

For more information see the following links:
The South Orange-Maplewood Adult School
South Orange/Maplewood Board of Education >
Residents have established the Achieve Foundation for those wishing to make financial gifts to support additional innovative programming in the South Orange/Maplewood School District.