Superintendent Shawn Bissetta

Shawn Bissetta Superintendent

Another successful year has come to a close at Oxford Academy and Central schools.  2017-18 provided a little bit of everything for our school community.  Some of our achievements played out in a very noticeable way, while other accomplishments, while not as publicized, will none the less position our district in a favorable way as we move forward. 

In terms of making a big splash, few were bigger than Oxford Academy serving as the New York State host site for the International Robotics competition known as RoboRAVE.  Students from around the region ranging from elementary to secondary grade levels descended on Oxford in early April to test their teamwork and problem solving skills.  What an awesome event!  It was terrific to see what a great time both adults and students had in planning for and participating in this unique undertaking.  The best news is that this is just the beginning – RoboRAVE will return next year to host even more students and teams from around the country, and quite possibly, from around the world. 

Another exciting opportunity for students came in the form of the ever-expanding Lego Club.  In just a short time, this grass roots initiative started by teacher Jon Carey has grown into a model program for student engagement, with over 150 students voluntarily staying after school to practice their teamwork and problem solving skills.  If you didn’t get chance to see the Lego Art Show, the culminating exhibit for student projects, you really missed out.  If you didn’t make it, you will have another chance next year, as the Lego initiative will only expand as we move into 2018-19. 

While initiatives like Lego Club and RoboRAVE garnered a great deal of attention, progress was made in other areas of district operation that are equally important.  In the area of facilities management, our Smart Schools capital project is fully underway and scheduled for completion later this summer.  Paid for fully with funding from the Smart Schools Bond Act, Oxford will undergo numerous facility upgrades that will address safety and technology updates.  Included in the project is improved point of entry security features, enhanced security lighting system, and a new phone system.  We are pleased to bring these enhanced security features during this time of great concern regarding school safety.  You will hear more about the project throughout the summer months as the project is completed. 

Several behind the scenes initiatives occurred this past year that will improve our day-to-day instructional programming.  Our UPK-12 Curriculum Council continued to work to bring consistency and continuity in our work with both students and colleagues.  A focus on academic intervention and also providing advanced academic opportunities, as well as how we plan for the transition of all students from grade to grade and building to building, has been and will continue to be a focus of our work.  Our modified busing scheduled introduced this year added approximately 75 hours of available contact time for students in both the primary school and high school.  We will continue to work on developing new and creative ways to ensure that we maximize this expanded contact time with students.  Creativity and adding relevance and real world connection is the hallmark of our Pathways and Work-Based Learning programs.  Both programs made great strides during 2017-18, with over 50 students participating in this model program for regional engagement.  Without a doubt, the best is yet to come for both programs. 

We are truly fortunate to be a part of such a dynamic and supportive school community right here in Oxford.  With our dedicated team of educators, motivated students and highly supportive family and overall community support, the sky is the limit for where our district can go in 2018-19 and beyond.  Thank you to our entire community for making 2017-18 a success. 

Shawn Bissetta, Superintendent

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