The Oxford Update

Oxford Elementary School

Happy July!

It is hard to believe that it is already the month of July! It sure feels like time is flying by this summer. I hope this newsletter finds all of our OES families, happy, healthy, and safe. We hope that you have found time to enjoy the beautiful weather we have been having, yes even the rain this week that was much needed! Hopefully, you have played outside, gone swimming, ridden bikes, camped, or maybe read a few good books! Whatever you do this summer, we hope you stay safe and have fun!


I wanted to share with you that district leaders and building administrators have been hard at work making plans for the 2020-2021 school year. I am sure that you are all anxiously awaiting news on what school will "look like" in the fall. While we don't have all the answers yet, we are making progress on a plan which will be shared with the public by August 1st.


In the meantime, Superintendent Colpitts sent out a letter last week that included a family survey that is part of our planning process. If you have not taken that survey yet, please make sure that you do it as soon as possible. We NEED your input to create the best plan possible for the Oxford Hills School District. I will put a link to the survey below in this newsletter.


I hope you enjoy the Fourth of July holiday weekend that is coming up and know that we miss you all and can't wait until we can see you! As always, if there is anything we can help you with please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

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Summer Reading: Book Lists and Tips for Every Age

Summer will look different this year, and it’s important to find engaging activities to keep kids busy throughout the day. This year Brightly has put together a summer reading challenge that’s fun and educational! Click the button to learn more.

A Letter from Superintendent Colpitts

Parent Update June 25, 2020


Dear Parents and Students,


I first wish to express my sincere appreciation for the work and efforts exhibited by parents and students this spring. No one anticipated prior to March 16 that we would be thrust into remote learning yet you found ways to embrace it and make it work. Our teachers worked diligently to ensure students had learning opportunities and resources but it was up to parents and students to embrace the work and exhibit the effort. We know that some of you found remote learning a challenge when paired with other family and work responsibilities. I appreciate your efforts and sympathize with your concerns. The remote learning experience this spring provided opportunities to learn during an emergency situation, but also had challenges that will be addressed.


I know from e-mails and letters that you are eager to learn the district’s plans for school in the fall. I know there are a number of rumors circulating. There are many more questions than answers at this time. The Maine Department of Education is working with many stakeholder groups to develop school reopening guidelines; these are expected to come out in mid-July.


What we know now is that the decision to reopen school will be made in consultation with the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (MCDC), Department of Education (DOE), and the district leadership. This will include a town by town analysis of the rate of community spread of the COVID 19 virus. Mild spread within our communities will lead to a less restrictive path and a greater likelihood of school reopening. The greater the community spread - the greater the restriction of our path to reopening.


The district has formed three working committees that are meeting weekly all summer to review existing data and advice from Maine state leaders, assess other state reopening plans, and to develop plans that will address three likely scenarios for the fall. These options are:

  1. Schools reopening with some distancing restrictions (mild community spread occurring)

  2. A hybrid of open and remote learning (moderate community spread occurring)

  3. Remote learning only (significant community spread occurring)


It is our goal to have plans completed by July 31 for each of the three likely scenarios. Staff training and parent notification of the plans will begin in early August. We may not know what scenario will be recommended by the state in early August but you will know what the district’s response will be when the decision is made.


Our facilities are being re-examined with a new lens for providing safe distancing and personal protections for staff and students. When we reopen, students and staff will notice a change in routines and practices. We are developing these routines in consultation with the district’s physician, nurses, building administration and teachers. These practices will need to align with the Maine CDC and DOE recommendations and will most likely include some of the practices currently practiced in churches, stores or office buildings. We will outline these practices in a letter to parents in early August.


Knowing how parents feel about sending their children back to school is an important factor in our reopening plan. Your opinions matter and we are interested in hearing them. We have created a survey and encourage all families to complete the survey as soon as possible. You may access the survey here. Please share the link with other parents. We need your feedback.


Parents and students are inquiring about fall athletics. The district is waiting for guidance that is expected from the Maine Principals’ Association sometime next week. A committee of coaches, administrators, and health advisors will review that guidance after it is released and a plan for fall athletics will be developed shortly thereafter. Once the plan is complete it will be shared with parents and athletes.


The District Board of Directors recognizes the challenges associated with reopening schools in the fall and is committed to working diligently to address these so that learning can continue in whatever format is permitted by the state. To accommodate the training that is required of staff to address these challenges the Board has modified the FY 20-21 school year calendar. The first day of school is now scheduled for August 31, 2020. A copy of the new calendar may be accessed by selecting one of the links below:


Prek-6 School Calendar

7-12 School Calendar


I hope you enjoy your summer. We promise to remain in touch and we look forward to hearing back from you on the survey.


Sincerely,


Rick Colpitts, Superintendent

Family Survey About Returning to School

Click the button above to take the family survey regarding reopening schools in the Fall.

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Oxford Elementary School

Tiffany Karnes, Principal

Denise Bourgoine, Assistant Principal