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Oceanport Superintendent Outlines Goals

Superintendent Andrew Orefice has four goals for the year, including filling a major vacancy in the district business office.

Oceanport Schools Superintendent Andrew J. Orefice shared his four goals for the new school year, which include finding a suitable replacement for departing district Business Administrator Norma Tursi. Orefice presented the “rough draft” of these goals to then board of education at its regular meeting on Thursday, Sept. 20 at Maple Place School.

“These are my most pressing priorities,” Orefice said as he presented his list. Goal one, he said, is to work with the building and grounds committee to tackle the most urgent issues regarding school buildings. A study was recently completed to assess these issues, but details have not yet been released.

The superintendent’s second goal related to the district Web site. Orefice said he would like to find a Web expert to build up the district’s site and make it easier to use and more informative. Candidates with previous experience with school Web sites, he said, are currently being interviewed.

Orefice’s third goal is to work on filling gaps in the business office, which  is linked with finding a replacement for Tursi, who announced her resignation on Sept. 13. Orefice suggested hiring an interim business administrator who would be employed on a month-to-month basis rather than a permanent one.

“I think we would be doing ourselves a disservice if [Tursi] leaves and we don’t have someone already in place,” he said.

The final goal set by Orefice focused on the district's curriculum. The superintendent said he would like to have all faculty members up to speed the state’s common core standards of education, that are made up of required lessons embedded in classes throughout the school year. Orefice pointed out that the responsibility of adhering to these state standards does not lie solely on the shoulders of district teachers. “We cannot expect our staff to be experts on common core standards … if we don’t make sure they are trained,” he said.

This goal also included new initiatives, such as infusing more non-fiction books in classrooms across the district, which Orefice said would help prepare students for a wider range of careers and open up new interests, like engineering.

“This is a draft,” Orefice told the Board, asking that they review it carefully before voting on it at their Oct. 11 meeting. Nevertheless, certain points were marked as urgent, such as finding a replacement business administrator, which the Board members agreed with.

“We need to move fast on this,” Board President Colin Soyer said, adding that their goal should be to have a candidate for the position at the next meeting.

Melissa Taylor Bahrs September 22, 2012 at 12:18 PM
My AP English Language and Composition students have been benefiting from the inclusion of / emphasis on non-fiction works, chiefly shorter pieces (essays, speeches, newspaper text, travel logs, nature reflections, science writings, writings from linguistics field), since 2004! Traditionally the base for the AP English Language and Composition course, this non-fiction work and inquiry is excellent, practical training for both close reading and for clear expository writing. As my 2012 Manhattan College instructor told his AP English Language and Comp. teacher attendees this summer: "The Common Core follows the AP English Language and Composition course." Another fine program, the IB Diploma Programme, now includes an option for non-fiction --- which my students study, and like! This all being said, please note that fiction is still absolutely emphasized, and is vital to a full study of literary analyis, and to promote human understanding. Our recent Great Books Group, after school, and attracting 35 students who want to read more and more great works of fiction, attests to the importance of fiction as well. We cannot do anything without our K-8 teachers, and neither can the students: we 9-12 'ers appreciate all that you do, and unite with you. Anything we can do to communicate, to help, to confer, or to listen: we would love to! Melissa Taylor Bahrs, MA, BA Teacher of AP, IB and College Prep English Shore Regional High School District

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