Maplewood & South Orange

While Maplewood and South Orange are different towns, they have a lot in common.  In addition to sharing a high school, they both have a jitney system to their respective train stations, quick commutes to NYC, tree-lined streets with mature trees, and older, beautiful homes. Also, both communities are centers for the arts, such as South Orange’s SOPAC performance venue and Maplewood’s annual concert with a variety of local bands called Maplewoodstock.

Maplewood & South Orange School Information

The township shares a common school system, the South Orange-Maplewood School District, with the adjacent town of Maplewood. The district has a single high school, Columbia High School, located in Maplewood (but nearly on the town border), two middle schools and several elementary schools in each municipality.

Schools in the district are Clinton Elementary School (grades K-5, Maplewood), Jefferson Elementary School (3-5, Maplewood), Marshall Elementary School (K-2, South Orange), Seth Boyden Elementary School (K-5, Maplewood), South Mountain Elementary School / Annex (K-5, South Orange), Tuscan Elementary School (K-5, Maplewood), Maplewood Middle School (6-8, Maplewood) South Orange Middle School (6-8; South Orange) and Columbia High School (9-12, Maplewood). Columbia High School was ranked #96 in the 2014 NJ Monthly Top High Schools report.  The report is produced every two years and the 2016 rankings will be available August, 2016.

Private schools

Our Lady of Sorrows School is a K-8 elementary school operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, which also oversees the all-girls Marylawn of the Oranges High School.

Higher education

Seton Hall University, which serves approximately 9,700 students, was founded in 1856 by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark and named after Elizabeth Ann Seton, the first American saint. South Orange’s downtown has a college feel with this Division I university located along the east side of South Orange Avenue, the community’s main boulevard.

Maplewood & South Orange Commuting Information

South Orange is served by two New Jersey Transit railroad stations along the Morristown Line: the South Orange station, located on South Orange Avenue near the Intersection of Vose Avenue, and the Mountain station, located in the Montrose section of South Orange.

In addition to trains, New Jersey Transit operates three bus lines that run through South Orange. These include the 31 Coach USA Bus which stops at the corner of Irvington Avenue and Academy Street and travels between the Livingston Mall and Newark Penn Station, the 92 route which goes from South Orange Train Station to Branch Brook Park in Newark, and the 107 route which goes from South Orange Train Station to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.

Maplewood & South Orange Downtown, Arts & Parks Information

Maplewood prides itself on being a diverse and family-friendly community. In a number of surveys it is ranked among the most desirable places to live in the United States. The township has a downtown area alternatively known as “the village” or “Maplewood Center” with its own movie theater, several upscale and mid-scale restaurants, a small supermarket, independent café, two liquor stores, a toy store and a small bookstore. Maplewood is served by a New Jersey Transit rail station which is named after it. The structure of the village is largely unchanged since the 1950s.

South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is located at 1 SOPAC Way, nestled right next to the NJ Transit South Orange station. The performance venue is a 415-seat proscenium theater, with a five-screen Clearview Cinemas movie theater, and a dance studio/rental space in the same complex.

SOPAC presents music, family, dance, theater, and comedy programs throughout the year. Notable artists and companies who have performed at SOPAC include Paquito D’Rivera, the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, Olympia Dukakis, Richie Havens, Yo-Yo Ma, James Marsters, Eddie Palmieri, Madeleine Peyroux, Paula Poundstone, Anoushka Shankar, Phoebe Snow, Angie Stone, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Dionne Warwick, and Nancy Wilson.

SOPAC is still relatively young for an arts organization, but is making big strides in programming, arts education, and reaching out to the community. Partnerships with NJ-based companies like Lydia Johnson Dance and Battery Factory Theater have expanded their arts education initiative. SOPAC also partners with Seton Hall University to present Seton Hall Arts Council events throughout the year. These events include the Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘n the Hall, and Seton Hall Theatre—student theater productions.

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