Oxford School District superintendent discusses entry plan

Published 9:18 am Monday, August 2, 2021

When Bradley Roberson was named the next superintendent for the Oxford School District in March, he mentioned the idea of having a plan for his first year in charge.

The plan was unveiled earlier this month with OSD’s Superintendent Entry Plan, which Roberson lays out his vision for what he calls the first transition year as the new superintendent.

“Some of the things I’ve already done that are outlined in that plan,” Roberson said. “There’s a lot of work in that plan that’s going to take place over the next school year. What a lot of the plan encompasses is to making ensure there is a true transparent line of communication through every system in our organization and community. I said on the day that I was announced (as the next superintendent) that my ultimate goal was to transition OSD from a school system to a school community.”

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Similar to when a newly-elected President lays out his goals for his first 100 days in office, Roberson had taken the same approach with the entry plan. There are five categories in the plan: People, Learning, Culture, Service and Resources. Each category has a chart that show different strategies and when those might begin.

One strategy that is in the People category is to strengthen the partnership with The University of Mississippi School of Education to help “recruit and hire diverse, high quality employees.” The status of that strategy currently says ongoing. Other statuses say either not initiated yet or in progress.

When Roberson took over at OSD, he also restructured the leadership atop the district into five different cabinet members. That move to remove an assistant superintendent position and replace with the cabinet structure is hand-in-hand with the entry plan that is one of the more in-depth and thought out changes to a school district in recent years.

“It’s actually something that’s very important to me,” Roberson said. “That the transparency in that is critical if we’re going to move our district to the next level. Meaning that leading to all students being successful in our community.”

Another key aspect to the entry plan is to help the students find success in the classrooms, which means returning to the classrooms. The OSD Board of Trustees voted on Monday on their Return to Learn plan where full time in-person learning would resume when the 2021-22 school year begins on Aug. 6 amid another surge of COVID-19 cases across the state and in Lafayette County.

Earlier this munch during a special OSD Board meeting, Roberson noted there was a 20 percent decrease in proficiency in the results of the last state assessment exams given in the spring. In some grades compared to the previous data from the 2019 state exams. The state assessment exams were not held in 2020 due to the pandemic and school districts implementing virtual learning.

“We’ve been thrown for a loop the last year and a half and it was different. It was a transition,” Roberson said. “I will say this. We’re in a lot better plan than a lot of school districts across the state. But, there was some digression in student achievement based on the state assessment scores that I’ve seen. Now, those are very early numbers at this point and we’ll have some more information in the coming months.”

The full Superintendent Entry Plan can be viewed on OSD’s official website at oxfordsd.org/superintendent.