OHS tardiness, local aid cuts on SC agenda
by Becky Harvey
OXFORD - The School Committee met Monday, December 10. First on the agenda was Guest speaker Kevin Wells, principal of Oxford High School, who brought up a major concern: the outrageous number of tardies which high school students at OHS are amassing. The school will be working on turning this issue around in the months to come.
Allen Himmelberger, Superintendent of Schools, gave accolades to the school. He has heard nothing but good things about the improvements made to the quality of education available in Oxford at the high school level. He congratulated Wells and Dave Nugent, the Assistant Principal, as well as the students. He is proud of the way in which students conduct themselves, though he jokingly said “tardies not withstanding.”
Himmelberger also mentioned his 2nd “supper with the super” that was held at Clara Barton. He was very pleased with the response and feedback. He concluded with a plea to all Oxford drivers to exercise caution while driving. With all the winter conditions and distractions related to new technologies, he wants people to be extra careful to avoid unnecessary accidents.
Mr. Richard Mathieu, the business manager, discussed the inclusion of line items to cover funds for a resource officer, for contractual salaries where money had been reduced by reduction of title one grants, for substitute teaching pay and for keeping reading instruction on at the middle school. There was also discussion of an amount, $28,304, that would be kept as contingency monies for the next fiscal year. All the mentioned amounts were voted on at the special town meeting in October. Chairman Daniel Coonan called for a vote to approve the allocations and all present voted to approve.
Two of the town’s buses did not pass inspection and were considered “unsalvageable.” Mathieu suggested they be declared surplus and turned over to the town for auction. It was determined that there was no other option and therefore the motion was passed.
Coonan offered a motion stating that the board should write to state representatives in response to Governor Patrick’s announcement that he is looking to make budgetary cuts that would affect Oxford Schools' bottom line. Due to the budget formula the school system uses, Oxford does receive state UGA (unrestricted Government Aid) monies. The catch with using this formula is that in years with mid-year reductions, there is the chance that the legislature can enact cuts that would take away funds the town counts on. Mathieu urged the board to contact legislators to refuse to enact any cuts. Coonan mentioned that cuts have affected the town in the past, while under former governor Romney. He stated that it had taken years for the town to recover. The motion passed without contest.