Oxford School Board approves new contract for teachers
By Steven Hoffman
The Oxford Area School District has reached an agreement with the Oxford Area Education Association on a new teachers' contract for a period extending from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2022.
The School Board unanimously approved the new collective bargaining agreement at its meeting on Oct. 16 after a lengthy negotiating process between the school district and the teachers' union. The membership of the Oxford Area Education Association had already voted in support of the deal.
Ryan Maule, a teacher at the Hopewell Elementary School, serves as the president of the Oxford Area Education Association. He said that both sides were professional and cordial during the negotiating process, and he thanked superintendent David Woods, business administrator Brian Cooney, and the school board members who served on the negotiating committee for maintaining a high level of professionalism and civility throughout.
The agreement includes a salary increase of 2.75% in each fiscal year. There is also an additional personal day included for all bargaining members.
The employee healthcare contribution will be 7.5% for the first three years and 8% in the final year of the contract.
During his report to the school board, Woods recognized an impressive achievement by Hannah Bartlett, a senior at Oxford Area High School. Bartlett was named as a Commended Student in the 2019 National Merit Scholarship Program.
According to a press release from the school district, approximately 34,000 Commended Students throughout the United States were recognized for their exceptional academic promise. These students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of the more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Bartlett, the daughter of Yvonne and Scott Bartlett, is a member of National Honor Society, president of the National English Honor Society and a member of the high school team in the Chester County Academic Competition. She has played on the tennis team for four years, including the past two seasons on the varsity squad. After graduation next June, she plans to attend college to study biology.
The school district also has a new comprehensive plan that will be open for public review for 30 days before its final adoption.
Dr. Margaret Billings-Jones has been keeping the school board updated on the efforts to complete the new comprehensive plan. Pennsylvania school districts are required to have comprehensive plans. A committee comprised of various stakeholders in the district has been tasked with developing strategies for everything from curriculum development and how to improve student achievement to school safety and program needs of students.
At the Oct. 16 meeting, Tami Motes, the principal of the Penn's Grove school, outlined how the staff is working to address some of the goals in the areas of student achievement on standardized tests, incorporating technology into the curriculum, and school safety.
The full Comprehensive Plan will be open for review for 30 days at the Administration Building.
The school board approved a series of personnel items on the agenda, as well as the second reading of some policy revisions.
The Oxford School Board will hold its next work session on Tuesday, Nov. 13. The next regular meeting will take place on Thursday, Nov. 20. Both meetings will take place at the Administration Building at 7 p.m.