No more semestering for Oxford

OXFORD – Oxford High School students are sitting down this week to create their schedules for next year. According to Principal Janet Laytham, the process began Tuesday with juniors “plugging in course selections” for their senior year.

“The kids have a lot of good questions,” the principal said. “They seem to be taking it very seriously.”

The entire scheduling process is a learning experience for the district. Not only are kids playing a more active role in crafting their schedules, but the school is working with a new model. Gone is the block semestered schedule the high school has employed for more than a decade. In its place will be an eight period schedule, with 40-minute periods.

Doing away with the tried-and-true semester model was not a choice the district made on its own. Instead, they have been forced to reconsider how they do scheduling as a result of the New York State Education Department.

Last June, the state agency threatened to eliminate January Regents testing, which would render semestering obsolete. Only a small percentage of New York schools use the model. Several Chenango County districts – Oxford, Norwich, Unadilla Valley, Otselic Valley, Bainbridge-Guilford and Afton – fell into that category at the time.

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