Oxford Hills classes begin Tuesday


PARIS — New teachers, new students and new programs will greet thousands of children headed to classes in the Oxford Hills School District next week.

On Tuesday, Sept. 1, all elementary students and seventh- and ninth-graders will return to school. All others start Wednesday, Sept. 2.

The district includes the towns of Norway, Paris, Hebron, West Paris, Waterford, Harrison, Otisfield and Oxford.

“We’re looking forward to getting kids back to school,” Tiffany Karnes, principal of Oxford Elementary and Otisfield Community schools, said.

Teachers and administrators districtwide have been preparing for the school year at workshops and sessions on new mathematics programs, proficiency-based diploma requirements and the district’s safety plan.

Some children continued their education at summer learning camps, such as the one held at Paris Elementary School.

But summer is over and it’s back to school next week.

At Paris Elementary School, students will greet new Principal Mary Lou Peterson, who was vice principal, and new Assistant Principal Lori Pacholski.

“We have lots of new things going on at Paris,” Peterson said.

Also, she said are a number of new teachers and those who have transferred from other districts.

“Overall, we have a staff willing to support our district initiatives to improve students’ academic performance, increase parental involvement and offer professional  development opportunities for our teachers,” she said. “This takes teamwork, and at Paris, we know that ‘One is too small a number to achieve greatness.'”

At Guy E. Rowe Elementary School in Norway, Principal Dan Hart said there are changes in programs, staff and bus routes.
There will be fewer buses for Rowe School because students who live near the school will walk there with adults accompanying them. Hart said parents should contact coordinator Rebecca Powell at [email protected]  or 393-7373, if they have questions.
A second prekindergarten classroom, a new prekindergarten curriculum and a small group learning activity and conference room are also new this year.
New staff members include a preschool teacher, two second-grade teachers, a third-grade teacher, several special education teachers, a food service worker and kitchen manager.

Principal Karnes said she is welcoming eight new staff members to Oxford and a new secretary at Otisfield.

Several new programs will be rolled out, including one to enforce positive behavior,  one for writing and one for math.

At Agnes Gray School in West Paris and Hebron Station School, Principal Beth Clarke said students will be greeted by new staff and new programs. At Agnes Gray, they include a reading recovery interventionist, a third-grade teacher, a secretary and ed techs. Also, 15 4-year-olds are enrolled in a new all-day prekindergarten class. There is also a pilot math program and a new writing curriculum. The school will also host 21 kindergarten students.

At Hebron Station, new staff include a fourth-grade teacher and an ed tech, Clarke said.
At Oxford Hills Middle School in Paris, Principal Troy Eastman said the trimester schedule continues with students rotating between the Paris and Oxford campuses.
Quest program offerings will be expanded to include partnerships with local businesses, such as Maine Machine Products in Paris, he said. The program at Oxford Hills Middle School inspires students to learn in nontraditional ways

One of the programs is race-car building, which will be expanded to include freshmen at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in Paris. A race car will be built for the next racing season. Also, students will build a news station set to broadcast news.

Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School Principal Ted Moccia said he is looking forward to the new year.

“Every start of a new school year brings a sense of excitement and anticipation for both students and staff,” he said. “We have 17 new people at the high school and we are excited to have them share their expertise and experience with our students.”