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.