School Updates

 
January 15, 2021
 
Good Afternoon Blackhawk Nation,
 
Education at Oxford Academy continues to be going well.
 
Faculty and staff have adjusted to the COVID procedures and protocols seamlessly as have students.
 
We continue to evaluate our status every day and are keeping a careful watch on events going on around us.  Thankfully, COVID-19 cases in the school setting have remained low even though Chenango County numbers have been increasing. 
 
Due to our low case numbers, we have decided to move to Phase III of our reopening plan, beginning Monday, February 1, 2021.  Please refer to this CHART for specifics on what that will look like. 
 
It’s important to understand that we will continue to monitor local and regional data and will react accordingly if cases affect our buildings.  The well-being of our faculty, staff, and students remains our number one priority.  
 
We understand that this is a challenging time for everybody and we appreciate your flexibility as we continue to provide the best education possible for all of our students.  
 
Stay safe and take care.
 
John T. Hillis
Superintendent
Oxford Academy and Central School District
 


November 12, 2020

Good Afternoon Blackhawk Nation,

I wanted to reach out to give everybody a few quick updates on our current status and some expectations moving forward.  
Right now, Oxford is in good shape with respect to infections.  Our procedures have been effective to this point and as long as everybody in the community remains vigilant, we should continue to be fine.  

Our schools are at about 50% capacity and our staff is working very hard to provide a safe, secure and structured environment in which all students can learn.  They have become the unsung heroes of the pandemic thus far and we owe them much of our gratitude and thanks as we approach Thanksgiving.  

Building shared decision-making teams are planning for Phase III.  We will release updated plans for that when the time is appropriate.  As of now, the plan is to get through the holidays and evaluate the COVID situation in January.  If things are stable at that point, we may move to increase in-person numbers again at the end of January.  This will coincide with the end of the first semester in the MS and HS.

And lastly, as the weather begins to turn, I would also like to remind everyone that there has been no change to our snow day procedures.  Snow days will be called when needed and there will be no instruction on snow days.  Let the kids wake up excited and let them play.  And as usual, there will be no significant impact on our school calendar unless we exceed the allotted number of days.

That’s it for now.

Stay safe everyone,
John Hillis


October 28, 2020
  
Good Morning Blackhawk Nation,
 
I’m writing to keep everybody up to date on our current situation and how things happening around us may affect our posture moving forward.
 
As you all know, cases in Chenango County have been on the rise recently.  
 
The good news is, this rise doesn’t have anything to do with schools being open but has more to do with what people are doing on their free time.
 
Having said that, if cases continue to increase, the school will be forced to react.
On October 21, 2020, New York State released its Micro-Cluster Strategy and in it, Oxford is located within a Tier 4 Geographic Area.  
 
This means that if we attain a 7 day rolling average positivity rate of 4% or higher for 10 days, and 15 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on a 7 day average, we will be labeled a Yellow Precautionary Zone and we will be required to begin testing 20% of our in-person students and staff.
 
Depending on the availability of tests, whether they are provided free of charge by NYS or if we have to purchase them, and a number of other factors, we may need to change our current status back to Phase I (25 % capacity) or even move to fully remote.
These will certainly be worst case scenarios but I want everybody to be aware of the volatility of this situation.   
 
We will do our best to be as transparent as possible throughout this situation and we will relay relevant information as soon as it becomes available. 
 
We continue to work closely with Chenango County Department of Health and follow guidance and directives from them.
 
Please keep in mind that this is only an FYI at this point.
 
The District will not make any decisions of this magnitude without carefully weighing pros and cons and giving the community as much advanced notice as possible.
Thank you for your continued support and stay safe everybody!
 
Sincerely,
 
 John T. Hillis
 
September 30, 2020 update from Superintendent Hillis
 
Good Afternoon Blackhawk Nation,
 
Thus far, our reopening has been going well.
 
Faculty and staff have implemented the new changes in procedures and protocols seamlessly and students have adapted to the new norms quickly and efficiently.  
 
As promised, we have been evaluating our status every day and are keeping a careful watch on events going on around us.  Currently, there have been no COVID-19 cases in our buildings and there are very few active cases in the county.
 
Because of these factors, we have cautiously made the decision to move to Phase II of our reopening plan, beginning Monday, October 19, 2020.  
 
Please refer to this chart for specifics on what that will look like and please be aware that we made a change to the Middle School schedule for safety purposes.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but the well-being of our faculty, staff, and students has always been our number one priority.
 
We will continue to monitor local and regional data and react accordingly if needed.  However, we wanted to give everybody ample time to plan.  
 
We understand that this is a challenging time for everybody and we appreciate your flexibility as we continue to provide the best education possible for all of our students.  
 
Stay safe and take care.




September 18, 2020 update from Superintendent Hillis                  
During the school year, we will continue to send out periodic updates to keep everybody informed about what's happening in the District.  
Thus far, our opening has been going well.  There have been no COVID-19 cases in our buildings and our new procedures are working.  We fully understand that there are areas where we can certainly improve, but we are aware of them and we work on them every day.
Broadband across the region is still an issue so brief lapses in connections may affect instruction.  It is important to note that this is not necessarily an Oxford issue and the Regional Information Center at BT BOCES is diligently working on it with area providers. 
Keeping lines of communication open throughout this pandemic is very important.  If you have specific questions, please reach out to school main offices for assistance.  We will do our best to help solve any issue you may have.
We're doing well so far, Blackhawk Nation!  
Let's try to stay on the same page moving forward and prepare to move to Phase II.
We will let everybody know well in advance but start thinking somewhere around Columbus Day if everything continues to go well. 
Have a great weekend everybody.  

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