Oxford School Board works on renewing memorandum of understanding with Oxford Educational Foundation
● By Steven Hoffman
The Oxford School Board discussed the superintendent's goals, the school board goals, the memorandum of understanding between the school district and the Oxford Educational Foundation, and several other items at a 60-minute work session at the Administration Building on Sept. 12.
Superintendent David Woods offered a brief outline of some of the superintendent's goals that have been established for the upcoming year, focusing on student achievement and other issues impacting the district.
When the discussion turned to school board goals, board president Richard Orpneck said that one of the major goals the board is moving forward with is negotiating an early-bird contract with the teachers in the school district. The current teachers' contract expires on June 30, 2018, and talks about a new contract have been ongoing.
Another discussion item on the agenda was the teaching of cursive writing in the schools—which was at one time a few years ago a school board goal, Woods noted. The superintendent explained that the district introduced cursive writing instruction into the third grade curriculum as part of the Fine Arts program so that students have the opportunity to learn cursive writing in school if they want to.
In response to some questions that had previously come up about the amount of screen time that students should spend working on computers, iPads, or smartphones, Woods suggested that the American Academy of Pediatrics website has some helpful guidelines that are based on a child's age that could be useful to parents.
The Oxford Area School District is in the process of renewing the memorandum of understanding between the school district and the Oxford Educational Foundation. The Foundation recruits and maintains a roster of volunteers who serve as mentors or tutors to students. The Foundation also provides funding for professional grants that cover needs outside the school district's regular budget.
Steve Roberts, the president of the Oxford Educational Foundation, said that the new memorandum of understanding is very similar to what has been used for years. The Oxford Educational Foundation will follow all the school district's policies, Roberts said, and will make sure that all the volunteers receive the necessary training to make sure of that.
The Oxford School Board will hold its next work session on Tuesday, Oct. 10. The meeting will take place at the Administration Building, starting at 7 p.m. The next regular meeting will take place on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. That meeting will also be held in the Administration Building.