8th Grade

About the 2022-23
School Year

Hello, 8th Grade Families!

Welcome to your student’s last year at SOMS (wow)! We know at this point, it may feel a little like, “been there, done that,” or perhaps because it is their last year, you want to get involved in all things SOMS. Either way, we want to get you the information you need and make this year as special and memorable as possible. 

We’re your HSA 8th Grade Coordinators. Our role is to work with the SOMS 8th Grade Team Leaders to help plan events/field trips, graduation and related events, and mixers with MMS to get our students ready for high school. We’ll also send communications and answer your questions, or at least figure out where to send you for answers! We have some ideas for events, which we’ll outline below, and we’re meeting with the Team Leaders soon to come up with others. Our main goal is to find ways to celebrate this last year at SOMS by providing opportunities for our kids to connect and have fun together as safely as possible.

HSA 8th Grade Coordinators:
Cynthia Tiangco-Withers – ctiangco@gmail.com
Judy Tu – judytu2@gmail.com
Marla Kouyoumdjian – marlad20@icloud.com

SOMS 8th Grade Team Leaders:
8A – Lynn McGlotten  lmcglott@somsd.k12.nj.us 
8B – Anna Elson  aelson@somsd.k12.nj.us
8C – Hillary Rosen  hrosen@somsd.k12.nj.us

Related Arts – Jake Ezzo  jezzo@somsd.k12.nj.us  

General Info/Reminders

  • Have questions about your student’s schedule? Concerns about the transition to high school? The SOMS Guidance Website is a great place to start! From here you can connect with your student’s counselor, get grade-specific scheduling information and access an array of academic, social, and emotional resources. 
  • Are there are district forms you haven’t completed yet? Not sure? You can do so on PowerSchool. Simply log on and go to “Forms” on the left navigation bar.
  • If your child is going to be absent, you still need to contact the school, not just their homeroom teacher. You can do this in two ways:
    • Through PowerSchool via “Forms” on the left navigation bar. From there, scroll down to “Attendance” and select “Student Absence Notification”.
    • Call (973) 378-2772 and select option 1

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us! We’re happy to help in any way we can.

Thanks, and let’s have a great year!
Cynthia, Judy + Marla


A yearbook is a great way to commemorate the school year, especially for our 8th graders! While they don’t come out until the spring, yearbook sales begin in the fall and the earlier you purchase one, the cheaper it is. But don’t worry, we will share information about this soon, and will continue to do so until sales close in May. So please keep an eye out!

We also need your help collecting photos throughout the year. Of course, the school is preparing for professional yearbook portraits (more info to come), but we all know that the candid shots and pictures with friends are the most fun! Stay tuned for more details and a link to submit photos.

Getting Information/Communication

  • There is always a lot going on at SOMS, particularly with our 8th graders. To ensure that our families are getting all the essential information, we will try our best to communicate via multiple channels: 
      • Flyers  Posted around school and sent home with your student. 
      • Canvas Messages  These are sent out by your student’s teachers. To make sure you are receiving these updates, log into Canvas via the “Parent Portal” (if you need help setting this up, please email one of us). Select “Account” from the navigation bar on your left hand side, then “Notifications”. From there make sure the “Announcement” notification is turned on (email and/or push notifications).
      • Weekly e-Blast Newsletters  If you haven’t already, register to receive weekly e-Blast Newsletters! Simply click HERE to sign up or go to the SOMS HSA Website and click the gray “Sign Up” button under “Email Blasts” on the lower-left corner of the SOMS HSA page. If you have already signed-up, remember to UPDATE YOUR GRADE (your grade will NOT automatically update)! You can do this by “opting in to another list” via the same link/“sign up” button.
      • SOMS Facebook Pages
        SOMS HSA – The official public Facebook page of the HSA. Simply “Like” it to follow and stay connected.
        SOMS Families (South Orange Middle School, NJ) – A closed group started by and run by parents in the school. While this is not the official page, the SOMS HSA often shares posts here. You can join to stay connected here too!
        SOMS 8th Grade Parents (2022-2023) – Another closed group started and run by parents in the school but communicating grade/year specific information. Your HSA 8th Grade Coordinators will make sure to share grade specific information here as well. 

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us! We’re happy to help in any way we can.

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