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Oxford school board holds retreat

Last night, from 5 to 8 p.m., the Oxford Board of Education began its annual retreat and training session. This year, they met with the executive director of the Mississippi School Boards Association, Dr. Michael Waldrop.

“The board does not solve problems, the board sets policies,” Waldrop read from an opening mission statement in the MSBA manual that the Oxford board received, “The Right Systems.”

Over the course of the session, Waldrop reviewed five policies from the guidebook and reviewed the board’s goals for the future.

Among the policies discussed was the concept of “mission-driven decision-making.” Waldrop explains that this policy ensures that a school system is making decisions based on moving the district forward as a whole.

“Are 100 percent of the staff making decisions based on the mission of the organization?” Waldrop asked the board. He also reinforced the idea of always keeping the students in mind when decisions need to be made.

Waldrop led the board through an exercise in where they discussed the roles and guidelines for the superintendent, Brian Harvey, and for themselves. They spoke about which situations they would want the superintendent to handle and which ones they would want to have a say in as well.

Harvey presented his “Accountability Plan” to the board and Waldrop, who complimented him on having well-organized data regarding his district goals.

The board held another retreat session today from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. with Dr. Cathy Grace from the School of Education at the University of Mississippi.