Superintendent Shawn Bissetta

Shawn Bissetta Superintendent

While the temperatures are cooling down outside, the activity level is starting to heat up at Oxford Academy.  As we move into Fall, there are several important items that I would like to draw your attention to that will impact our school community in the coming months.  First of all, I’d like to update you on two capital projects that the district is involved with.  Most people would agree that maintaining a safe environment is the most important goal of any school district.  In addition to making sure that we have safe facilities that support quality learning, we also want to make sure that we are sensitive to the concerns of the taxpayers of the district.  My update for this edition of the newsletter will focus heavily on how we are approaching the maintenance and improvement of our facilities in a fiscally responsible way.    

As you know, our school has been involved in a “Smart Schools” project for several months.  I’m pleased to report that the project is nearing completion, with several noteworthy upgrades to report.  When the Smart Schools initiative was announced several years ago, districts around the state were tasked with identifying projects that would address safety and technology needs of the district.  Funds were made available through the state of New York, paving the way for districts to undergo facility upgrades without having to raise local taxes as a result.  Our district used the approximate one million dollar allocation to address numerous security features, including the installation of door contact sensors (providing notification when exterior doors are open), enhanced emergency lighting technology and point of entry security systems.  Additionally, a much needed phone system upgrade was included in the project.  All of these upgrades will make us a more safe and secure school as we move into the new year.

Looking ahead, it’s time to turn our attention to our next capital project, scheduled for a referendum vote in December.  In keeping with our philosophy that we have an obligation to maintain facilities in a way that provides an inviting learning environment for students and that continues to be a source of pride for the Oxford community, we are pressing ahead with this next phase of facility updates.  Details will be coming out shortly, with numerous opportunities for the community to learn about the various components of the project.  The goal of the project is to address basic infrastructure needs (such as roofs and boilers) while also updated instructional space to best meet the learning needs of our students.  Equally important is remaining responsible to our taxpayers.  With that in mind, the planning of the project is moving forward with the priority of not causing an increase in the local tax levy.  This is done by working closing with our fiscal advisors to make sure that we maximize state aid and even out debt financing in the best long-term interest of the district.  Again, there will be numerous opportunities for you to learn more about the project as we offer public presentations throughout the months of November and December. 

Finally, I want to once again remind you that Oxford Academy will be rolling out a brand new electronic newsletter this fall.  The launch was delayed as we were working through some platform issues, but are pleased to announce that you will now have this additional source of important school information.  Whether it is about the capital project or any number of the exciting learning initiatives occurring throughout the district, the newsletter will be a terrific source of current information relating to Oxford schools.  Please be on the lookout for the newsletter, and make sure that you encourage your friends to check it out as well.  I look forward to seeing you at the many events happening around the school at this busy time of year!  

Shawn Bissetta, Superintendent

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