Superintendent Harvey Addresses Plan for 2020-2021
Parents and students,
The last six weeks have been difficult for all of us. Finishing the school year online and away from school is something that none of us had ever considered. However, as we close out the 2019-2020 school year we are pressed to think about what we will do in August should the direction from our elected officials and medical professionals be to continue with social distancing or remain closed. We also have to consider how we will transition into and out of these phases with minimal risk to students, families, and our employees.
No later than June 15, the Oxford School District will release our academic plan for August 10, keeping in mind that the situation could change very quickly depending on the circumstances. This plan will include multiple alternatives for educating students of the Oxford School District if we are unable to follow our regular school day schedule. The alternatives include but are not limited to: A blend of in-person instructional and virtual learning and full-time virtual learning should that become necessary due to social distancing requirements. Regardless of the academic schedule, the safety, and social emotional well being of students and staff will be the priority.
One such change has already been made. That change is the transition to a 4x4 block schedule at Oxford High School. Student schedule requests will still be honored for yearly enrollment. Some of the highest performing high schools in the state have a 4x4 block schedule. The block schedule will do several things that will aid with the uncertainty of the future. First, students will only be responsible for up to 4 academic courses per semester. In the event of a future closure, this will help students to focus only on four academic courses and alleviate the stress of not having to complete assignments in six different courses in a semester. Second, the block schedule will also limit the number of class exchanges during the day, therefore reducing the exposure to potential risks and the need for as much hand sanitizer and cleaning materials. Third, it is also a step closer, although sooner than we had planned, to our career academy model that is included in our District of Innovation plan.
As of today, the construction for Central Elementary and the Arts addition at Oxford High School are on schedule and will be open when school starts. We are making plans for tours and ribbon-cutting ceremonies as local guidelines will allow. Information about summer learning opportunities is forthcoming. My next communication will be in mid-June.
I want to say “Thank You” for finishing the year strong. Teachers, Students, and Parents found ways to celebrate and support each other. We can be proud for the work that has been done and the work that we are prepared to do in the future.