Oxford School Board approves opt-out resolution
● By Steven Hoffman
The Oxford School Board approved a budget opt-out resolution at its Jan. 15 meeting, a procedural measure that establishes the school district’s intention to remain within the Act 1 Index limit when the budget for 2019-2020 is adopted.
School board member Robert Tenga explained that 3.2 percent is Oxford’s Act 1 Index limit for the 2019-2020 school year.
By approving the budget opt-out resolution, the district can now proceed with a normal budgeting process. If a school district in Pennsylvania wants to exceed the Act 1 Index, it would need to seek approval for the tax increase through a referendum during the primary election. That would require the school district to adopt its preliminary budget earlier in the year than what would be typical. A final budget must be approved by June 30.
In his Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU) report, school board member Howard Robinson noted that Dr. Joseph O'Brien, the executive director of the CCIU, is retiring after 12 years in the that position. His retirement will be planned for June 30.
Dr. Margaret Billings-Jones, the district's assistant superintendent, reviewed some of the School Performance Profile data that was recently released by the state's Department of Education. Billings-Jones explained that school districts share the data with building principals and teachers in order to make decisions about classroom instruction moving forward.
The school district has planned a presentation about Educational Pathways initiatives for parents of Penn’s Grove School seventh- and eighth-graders. The presentation will take place at the school’s auditorium on Feb. 5 at 6:30 p.m. High school course offerings and Early College Academy programs will be topics covered during the presentation.
Billings-Jones also talked about the state’s Safe2Say Something program that is being unveiled in school districts across the state this month. This program, which is run by the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General, teaches children and adults about how to recognize warning signs of individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others. The goal is to get people to say something before it is too late and a tragedy occurs.
Billings-Jones also informed the school board that the school district has received a $25,000 grant for safe Schools and Security Grant Program.
The school board approved a series of personnel items including hirings, resignations, and retirements, as well as supplemental contracts.
One significant new hire is Christopher Garchinsky, who is taking over as the school district's Supervisor of Special Education.
The school district received its audit report for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2018. The audit report was prepared by Barbacane, Thornton, & Company.
As part of his superintendent’s report, superintendent David Woods recognized the contributions of the nine members of the school board as part of the School Director Recognition Month.
The Oxford School Board will meet again on Tuesday, Feb. 12 and Tuesday, Feb. 19. Both meetings take place at 7 p.m. at the school district's Administration Building.