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WOCAS First Ed Town Hall


There was a wonderful “Ed Town Hall” event last night hosted by WOCAS and Essex Rising! There was an informed panel of speakers and a group of concerned teachers and WO residents who were able to get questions answered and clarity on current issues. Sandra Mordecai and Laura Lab showed up about 1/4 of the way through. Changed the tone a bit, but I think they got the message. It seems they are now open to having a similar event (round table discussion, perhaps) with all of the board members!

One of the many interesting things I learned was that the WO school district gets sued regularly by people who are not satisfied with the special education provided. Our district ranks upon the top in the country for complaints about compliance. I wonder how much money they spend on these lawsuits??

West Orange Cares about Schools- Get More Involved!

From the one of the co-founders of West Orange Cares About Schools (WOCAS):

We know things have been, to say the least, hectic lately and that many people’s attention is being diverted to the national news, which is very important. And there are a great many people who have reached out to us to say that they want to become more active and more informed at the local level.

We think this is particularly important in light of Betty Devos becoming the new Education Secretary.

A great many pressing issues will be discussed in the coming months at the BOE meetings (i.e. administrative hiring, the ongoing contract negotiations with the WOSD staff, honors program, PARCC, re-registration of students, the renewal of the Superintendent’s contract, etc.). Thus, we feel that it is important that parents and community members increase their presence at BOE meetings in the coming months. It is our hope that more people will be more informed, and feel more comfortable asking questions of the Board of issues that concern the West Orange School District.

With that effort in mind, if you feel you can commit to coming to some Board of Education meetings or being more active by sending e-mails to BOE members, etc, we invite you to sign up for WhatsApp and then e-mail to either provide your cell phone or request the link from us. We will really only text the group when there is an upcoming BOE meeting or something that requires action.
(For example, the next BOE meeting is this Monday, February 13th.)

We want to engage as many as we can, if you know of someone interested in participating in our mission, to create a health learning environment for all students in West Orange.
Please encourage them to participate.

Thank you so much for being a part of West Orange Cares About Schools. Please feel free to contact us at should you have any questions.

Weekly Checklist of Things To Do

I believe I can make a difference.

Gear up for the next 652 days to the midterm elections.

Print out this worksheet for the steps below:

  1. Put your representative’s name, local phone, DC phone, address, and email on the worksheet or your phone. Get them here.
  2. Put your two senators’ names, local phones, DC phones, addresses, and email addresses there too. Get them here.
  3. Get a pile of postcards (or sheets of 110lb cardstock to make your own) and 34-cent postcard stamps. Snail mail is the new response to full voice mailboxes.
  4. Decide on your “Top Three” most-important issues. Focusing on just a few issues will prevent overwhelm. Consider choosing at least one issue that doesn’t affect you personally.
  5. Have a conversation with yourself and/or beloved others about how you want to give time and/or treasure to your Top Three.
  6. Set aside time each week to be active. 20-60 minutes is a good range. Add this to your calendar. You might consider doing your actions with others for support and community.

I believe in a free, quality education for America’s youth.

Oppose the appointment of Betsy DeVos to Secretary of Education ASAP.
Even if you’ve already called and/or left a message, call again. If you get voicemail, leave a message. (Instructions on the next page.)

Call: Senate HELP Committee Chair, Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 202-224-4944

Call: HELP Committee Ranking Member, Patty Murray (D-WA) 202-224-2621

Call: Your two senators. (lookup)

Script: Hi! I am calling to oppose Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. (Really, that’s all you need to say.)


I believe in equal rights for all Americans.

Oppose Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions

Call: Senate Judiciary Committee Chair, Chuck Grassley (R-IA) 202-224-3744

Call: SJJC Ranking Member, Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) 202-224-3841

Call: Your two senators local office (look up)

Script: Hi! I am calling to oppose Jeff Sessions for Attorney General.


Read the ACLU’s 7-point action plan

Choose what action you will take based on what you read.

I believe in integrity and reject corruption.

Sign the first two petitions on the new White House website. (Incidentally, I’m happy to see the petition page–which Obama started–still on the site.)

  1. Release tax returns:

  2. Divest:


I believe in creating a healthy environment for future generations.

Since the new potus* and crew don’t believe the climate crisis is real, we must ask our state governors to uphold Obama’s climate goals.

Click this link for an easy call with complete script. (Weekly Resistance rocks!)

I believe in my Constitutional right to free speech.

Call your governor if you live in Michigan, Washington (state), Minnesota, North Dakota, or Iowa. These five states are proposing legislation that criminalizes peaceful protest. (source)

Also call your state representative if you live in the states above.

Share: If you know anyone in the states above, ask them to call.

Script: I am a constituent calling to oppose new legislation that threatens my constitutional right to peacefully protest.

I believe in the value of social welfare.

Protest the potus’* wide-ranging, unamerican budget cuts.
Full instructions on The 65


I believe in affordable, accessible healthcare for all Americans.

Read this thorough, timely action plan to prevent dismantling the ACA.

Choose what action you will take based on what you read.


I believe in the power of my voice.

Get coffee: Ask a few friends to meet up and discuss how you’ll proceed over the next four years. This website offers fantastic step-by-step instructions on how to take meaningful action.

Send an email to friends.

Use this guide:


Taken from Jennifer Hoffman’s “What to do this week” email list. To join directly, go HERE!