Oxford School Board tables transportation contract until next meeting
● By Steven Hoffman
The Oxford Area School District’s contract with Oxford Transportation Inc. was tabled at the January 21 school board meeting until next month. The current contract ends in June of this year.
The Oxford School District provides bus transportation to almost 4,000 students within the Oxford School District boundaries, including those on regular and special needs buses, field trip buses, and athletic buses.
The district transports to two Avon Grove Charter School campuses, Sacred Heart Catholic School, Bethany Christian School, West Fallowfield Christian School, Upland Country Day School, Landerberg Christian Academy and Chester County Intermediate Unit, in Pennsylvania and Mt. Aviat Academy in Childs, Md.
The Transportation Department consists of approximately 40 people, which includes drivers, mechanics, and supervisors.
In other business, Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Margaret Billings-Jones, presented a technology update to the Board. She explained that the district’s Wi- Fi updates have been completed at no cost to the school district, and Shawn Mellinger, has been hired as the new director of technology, starting this month.
She also confirmed that iPADS have been distributed to all students in grades 1 through 12. Kindergarten students will receive their iPADS by the end of January.
Billings-Jones presented charts illustrating how many technology requests have come through each building’s help desk since the beginning of the year. The greatest number of help tickets, exceeded 250 and were from the high school during the month of September.
A new software mobile app, Blackboard, was also introduced to the district which allows teachers and coaches to contact students and their families through their smartphones and tablets. This will keep parents, students and the entire community engaged with the latest student academic information, news and alerts.
The Raptor badging system used district-wide has also been upgraded. The system is used to check the identity of visitors as they enter each of the buildings in the district. The upgrade was free to the district. New features include a report that is immediately generated in the event of an emergency or evacuation, which lists all the visitors in the building. This system will also aid with early dismissals of students or in checking in and out for appointments.