Superintendent David Woods began the meeting by asking Oxford Area High School Principal James Canaday to introduce several students the board wished to recognize for their recent achievements. Mr. Canaday first introduced senior Frankie Fattori, son of Deborah and Francis Fattori, as the valedictorian of the Class of 2018.
Mr. Canaday told the board that Frankie will graduate on June 1 with a GPA of over 4.6, and had also scored the maximum of 800 points on the chemistry content test of the SAT. This fall Frankie will attend the University of Pittsburgh to study biomedical engineering.
Oxford Area High School Class of 2018 Valedictorian Frankie Fattori is pictured with, from left, Oxford Area High School Principal James Canaday, Board of School Directors President Joseph Tighe and Superintendent David Woods.
Mr. Canaday then introduced freshman Christopher Goodrich, son of Sharon and Mark Goodrich, who placed first out of 91 competitors in the Introduction to Business event at the Pennsylvania Future Business Leaders of America State Leadership Conference held last month in Hershey. FBLA chapter adviser Kim Webber noted that in her 25 years of serving as an FBLA adviser, Chris was the first of her chapter members to earn first place in a written competitive event at the state conference.
Ms. Webber added that Chris also placed first in the Current Events category of the conference's Open Events Competition, a voluntary test event open to all conference participants. Chris will attend and compete at the FBLA National Leadership Conference to be held from June 28 to July 1 in Baltimore.
The board also recognized the members and advisors of the high school's chapter of Future Farmers of America. "The members and advisers have worked extremely hard to reinvigorate the FFA program and we are proud of their accomplishments, especially when you look at where the chapter was only a year ago," said Mr. Canaday. "They've come a very long way and the future is definitely bright."
Agriculture teacher Diane Miller, who advises FFA along with Liz Ward, said the chapter members have participated in First Friday in Downtown Oxford, entered a float in the Homecoming Parade, read books on agriculture to the kindergarten students at Jordan Bank Elementary School and, in conjunction with Tractor Supply Co., have made several Ag Day appearances in the community to talk about the organization.
Ms. Miller told the board that next month several chapter members will attend the Pennsylvania State FFA Convention, the first time in 15 years that Oxford will be represented. "FFA is not just about farming," said Ms. Miller. "It is a leadership program. These young people are going to be our leaders and it is so important that we support them."
Pictured with Mr. Woods and Mr. Tighe are members of the Oxford Area High School chapter of Future Farmers of America. The club is advised by Diane Miller, third from left, and Liz Ward, right. Members include Zach Holmes, Joanne Herr, president; Taylor Todd, secretary; Emily Krivanich, Claire Taylor, vice-president; Kaitlin Bell, Heather Mullins, Kyle Stanley, Parker Baer, Justin Ward, treasurer; Alex Mace, Sam Reyburn, chaplain; Jack England, Chris Burns, sentinel; Joe DiFabrizio, Christina McMichael, Gavra Goldie, Ben Carey, Josh Patrick, Austin Wells and chapter mascot Rhett.
Mr. Canaday concluded by noting that 15 members of the Class of 2018 will be the first to be awarded an associate’s degree through the district’s Early College Academy partnership with Cecil College. This first cohort of students will receive their degrees in general studies at the Cecil College commencement on Sunday, May 20.
The seniors who will graduate from Cecil College are Sean Berman, Jordan Brown, Julia DeGrave, Rhiannon Denison, Katherine DiMatteo, Avery Dworek, Ashlynn Fitzgerald, Joanne Herr, Michael Kelly, Bryant Mahnke, Rebecca Massey, Emily Megonigal, Jessica Morales-Torres, Harrison Phillips and Claire Taylor.
The 2018 Early College Academy spring semester ended with a total of 91 students enrolled in the program. Four members of the Class of 2018 were on schedule to graduate with a 4.0 GPA over their four years in the program, and the average four-year GPA prior to final exams for the 15 Oxford students is 3.27.
Mr. Tighe, Mr. Canaday and Mr. Woods are pictured with three of the 15 seniors who have earned associate's degrees from Cecil College. From left are Claire Taylor, Joanne Herr and Jordan Brown, who was selected to speak at the Cecil College commencement ceremony on May 20.
Mr. Woods introduced Hopewell Elementary School Principal Dr. Nicole Addis and Assistant Principal Jason Soule, who gave a presentation on the school's Community Partnerships initiative which was established for the 2017-18 school year. Dr. Addis explained that at the beginning of the year each homeroom was asked to "adopt" a business, institution or program in the Oxford as its community partner.
Partners included the Sawmill Grill, which hosted a visit where Mr. Barcus and Ms. Winand's students enjoyed smoothies while learning how a restaurant operates. The preschoolers who attend the Head Start program in the Hopewell building were adopted by Mr. Sperow, Ms. Hubbard and Ms. Seeker's students, who visited the Head Start program for various activities throughout the year.
Other partners included Herr Foods, whose representative visited Ms. Shahadi, Ms. Olsen and Ms. Gillund's triad and then hosted a visit to the Nottingham headquarters; and the Oxford Educational Foundation, with Ms. Hurrelbrinck, Ms. Robinson and Ms. Hannum's students hosting a holiday crafts party for the OEF tutors, mentors, and staff members.
Mr. Soule reviewed a partnership with the Oxford Public Library, which was visited by Ms. Sauer, Ms. Gollatz and Ms. Shoop's students, who presented the librarian with original bookmarks made and illustrated by each student. Through two partnerships by Ms. Hicks and Ms. Smoker's students, Dr. Justin Yesolonis of Elk Creek Veterinary Clinic visited the students to talk about pet care; and Mr. Sapp of Sapp which, who is Ms. Smoker's father, spoke about cars and the best way to buy them.
Other community outreach projects at Hopewell included the EarlyAct service club's sponsorship of a holiday sale, with proceeds benefitting the Oxford Neighborhood Services Center; staff members volunteering at the Lighthouse Youth Center; and the recent Career Day, where 25 businesses, professionals and organizations made presentations to the fifth and sixth graders.
As part of his report Mr. Woods asked Assistant Superintendent Dr. Margaret Billings-Jones to review recent curriculum-related activities. She announced that the district will once again host "To Oxford and Beyond," a K-12 curriculum and programming informational evening, on Wednesday, May 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Oxford Area High School.
"This is an opportunity for teachers and students in each of our buildings to truly display what is so good about various programs at their schools," said Dr. Billings-Jones, adding that the district's technology team will be on hand to demonstrate the advances in instructional technology made over the past school and what is planned for the coming year.
Dr. Billings-Jones also announced that the Art Goes to School program will come to the district in the new school year. Art Goes to School brings fine arts education into the classroom through volunteer instructors.
Dr. Billings-Jones said the program receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Janice Miller of the Oxford chapter of Art Goes to School will visit classrooms to bring the stories behind great artists and their work to the students.
"The program is well-established and very successful in several of our neighboring school districts," said Dr. Billings-Jones. "It's almost like bringing an art museum into the classroom."
Dr. Billings-Jones also reported that the district has established a tip line as part of its ongoing school safety initiatives. Community members can use the anonymous tip line to report any safety concerns at district schools.
Anonymous tips can be submitted to district administration by calling 610-463-0859 or by visiting the district website at www.oxfordasd.org and clicking on "Safe Schools."
Chester County Intermediate Unit and Technical College High School Representative Howard Robinson reported on Reach, a program for teenagers with severe mental health disorders established 20 years ago by the IU while under the executive directorship of Stanley K. Landis. "This was the IU's first adolescent mental health program," he said.
Mr. Robinson said Reach serves county residents ranging in age from 14 to 21 who have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder. "The program specializes in helping these young people gain the skills they will need in order to return to and succeed in a regular school setting," he said.
Mr. Robinson said the Reach program paved the way for several other mental health programs at the Intermediate Unit, including CARE, TEACH and Gateway. Since being established, Reach has grown from two mental health professionals on staff to employing 53 mental health professionals serving 30 students, two of whom live in Oxford.
Mr. Robinson said the the success of the Reach program led to the establishment of a program for children ages six through 13 called TEACH (Therapeutic Education Advancing Children's Horizons.) TEACH serves 32 students, five of whom live in Oxford.
Budget & Finance Committee Chairman Robert Tenga reported that the committee met prior to the board meeting and discussed cafeteria pricing. The committee recommended that breakfast prices at Hopewell Elementary School, Penn's Grove School and Oxford Area High School increase by 25 cents and lunch prices at those schools by five cents. He added, however, that if Hopewell is approved for Community Eligible Provision status, which Mr. Tenga said appears likely, breakfast and lunch will be provided to the fifth and sixth grade students at no cost.
Oxford Area High School senior Alina Snopkowski was presented with a plaque in appreciation of her service as the board's Student Representative during the 2017-18 school year. After graduating on June 1, Alina will attend LaSalle University to major in economics and international studies.
Senior Alina Snopkowski, the board's Student Representative for 2017-18, with Mr. Woods and Mr. Tighe.
The board approved Student Participation Fees for the 2018-19 school year as follows: Oxford Area High School sports, $75 per sport; Penn’s Grove Middle School sports, $50 per sport; Oxford Area High School parking, $50 per year. There is no increase in these fees for the upcoming school year.
The board approved the Final General Fund Budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. The $69,268,862 budget represents a 1.06 percent increase over the current budget and includes no increase in millage, which remains at 31.1484. Major expenditures include salaries and fringe benefits at approximately $38.5 million.
Tuesday, June 12 - Athletics & Student Activities Committee, 6:30 p.m., Administration Building
Tuesday, June 12 - Facilities & Safety Committee, 6:45 p.m., Administration Building
Tuesday, June 12 - Work Session, 7 p.m., Administration Building
Tuesday, June 19 - Technology Committee, 6:30 p.m., Administration Building
Tuesday, June 19 - Regular Meeting, 7 p.m., Administration Building
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“Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together.” ― Scott Hayden