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A Word from Oxford School District Superintendent Brian Harvey

Brian D. Harvey
Superintendent, Oxford School District

Brian Harvey is the Superintendent of Oxford School District. 

With the start of a new school year comes many expectations. There are expectations of students, teachers, parents and administrators. This school year begins with the expectations from our community. Not only expectations of a single school year, but expectations of what our community desires for the educational outcomes of our students to be for many years into the future.

Last school year we had a public discussion regarding the award winning documentary “Most Likely to Succeed.” Through those screenings and the subsequent Portrait of a Graduate process, with the help of many of our community leaders, we identified seven attributes that we desire the graduates of 2030 to possess. You can find those attributes at here. Also, we continually discuss how to ensure our students have the opportunities and support necessary to succeed in a world that is increasingly more technological and less reliant on routine jobs.
As such, the District is currently reviewing our vision, mission and goals. Our values will remain unchanged but will take a much more prominent role in shaping the culture of our school district. How will these values lead to improved student outcomes, both short-term and long term? We must raise the expectations for all students and provide them with the necessary support to be successful. By ensuring equity and building relationships, we will provide the service that this community deserves and expects.
In talking with our staff last Friday, I alluded to a stake in the ground regarding our future goals. We discussed the 95 in 5 plan. This plan includes the following five goals in five years: 1) 95 percent graduation rate 2) 95 percent proficiency on state assessments 3) 95th percentile in growth on student benchmark assessments 4) 95% of seniors enrolled in AP, dual-enrollment or career and technical education classes 5) 95% of students who enroll in college are eligible to take credit bearing courses as freshmen.
Reaching these goals will not be easy. It will not be achieved by utilizing the teaching methods of the past. It will not be realized using the traditional test-prep approach. It will be achieved through active learning and activities that acknowledge students’ and teachers’ passions. It will involve many of the AVID (Achievement Via Individual Determination) strategies that are growing in our district. It will involve Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM). It will involve authentic assessments that relate to our Portrait of a Graduate.
It is important for you, our community, to know that this path is not one without short-term failures. We as a school staff will be learning and innovating with our students. We will be asking what works, imagining solutions to our own problems, building structures and systems to ensure student achievement, evaluating and improving those structures and sharing our results. We will continue to lead the way in innovation and achievement in our state.

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