OASD updates Chapter 339 guidance counselor plan
By Steven Hoffman
As Oxford School Board vice president Richard Orpneck made his report about the Chester County School Boards Legislative Council on Oct. 20, he noted that 111 days had passed since Gov. Tom Wolf and state lawmakers missed the deadline to finalize a state budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year.
All Orpneck and the other Oxford School Board members could do was shake their heads at the state budget situation.
Despite the absence of a spending plan, most state business continues to operate as usual. However, without a state budget, the state subsidies for school districts have been delayed, forcing some school districts across Pennsylvania to borrow money to fund their operations.
The State House passed a bill that would have served as a stopgap measure to allow for some disbursements to schools and social service organizations, but Gov. Wolf vetoed the bill after it passed both the State House and State Senate.
As the state budget remains in limbo, the Oxford Area School District is managing to continue its operations uninterrupted.
Board member Joseph Tighe, who is the district’s treasurer, credited business administrator Brian Cooney and the business office with helping the district avoid serious financial issues that are plaguing other school districts right now.
Also at the Oct. 20 school board meeting, Dr. David Hamburg, the Jordan Bank School principal, outlined the efforts to update the district’s Chapter 339 plan, which establishes goals and a course of action for school counselors for Pre-K-12.
Hamburg explained that the Pennsylvania Department of Education has redesigned the career and technical education component. The goal for school counselors is to provide students with a wide range of options as they progress through the schools. Students in early grades are to start exploring career possibilities, and the school counselors will work closely with students so that they know all the resources that are available to them as they make decisions about what they do after they graduate from Oxford Area High School.
Becky Heichel, a counselor at Penn’s Grove, told the school board about the purpose, impact, and implementation of the plan.
Steve Roberts, the president of the Oxford Education Foundation, presented the names of seven new volunteers to the school board. The Oxford Education Foundation pairs volunteers in the community with students. The adults serve as tutors or mentors. Roberts said that with the addition of the seven new volunteers, there is now a total of 66 individuals who provide these services for the district. There could be five more volunteers presented for approval at next month’s board meeting, Roberts said.
The school board will meet again on Tuesday, Nov. 10 and Tuesday, Nov. 17. Both meetings take place at 7 p.m. in the Administration Building.