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Preparation is key to future success of students and community

By Brian Harvey

The Oxford School District, based on the state’s most recent ratings of schools, is ranked first among Mississippi’s public schools. With 16 National Merit Semi-finalists and 92 current students at OHS who have a 30 or better on the ACT, our ACT and SAT scores are among the best in the state. Our arts, drama, debate, journalism, choral and band programs are all award winners. Our athletic department, with multiple state championships in 2016-2017, is ranked 14th nationally in the most recent MaxPreps Cup rankings.

These successes are rooted in the hard work of our students, teachers, staff and administrators with support from our parents and community.

We live in one of the best communities in the state of Mississippi and the Southeast region. Our schools, city and county are increasing in numbers and with that growth comes the responsibility to prepare for the future.

Recent decisions made by the Board of Trustees of the Oxford School District and the Lafayette County School District as well as the Board of Supervisors and the Board of Alderman have focused efforts on literacy for our youngest inhabitants that will further improve the quality of lives for all of our citizens for generations to come. The Oxford-Lafayette School of Technology Board has recently made the decision to transition to a computer coding class that will further enhance our students’ opportunities to be competitive with the jobs of the future. We must take action now to prepare for the future success of our community.

On April 10, the first community meeting was held to discuss a potential bond referendum for a new elementary school. We looked at birth rates in the county and how they impact the Oxford School District. We discussed enrollment in all of our grades, pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade, and we briefly discussed the needs of our existing schools.

Meetings are scheduled tonight at 6 p.m. at the Kayla Sue Mize Auditorium on the campus of Oxford Middle School, and next month on June 5.

Tonight’s meeting, after a brief review of the numbers, will focus on evaluating several sites and a more in-depth review of existing facilities. These meetings are important because they help us determine a direction for the next generation of our citizens.

Your input is wanted and needed. This is an important part of the planning process and one that, if we are going to continue to be looked as a leading community in our state and region, must have your participation.

We hope you will join us tonight; but, if not, please go to www.oxfordsd.org/bondref to provide your thoughts and feedback.

Brian Harvey is superintendent of Oxford School District.