What do you see as the major issue(s) facing our school district?

 

Jim Evans

Funding. We are still operating under the spending caps that were placed on us in 1993 that made us a low spending district. Until the state takes a look at a more equitable way of funding schools. I;m afraid that we will remain a low spending district always at the mercy of the well funded districts.

 

Kristopher Karns

As a parent in the school district I would say the primary challenge facing the district right now is the lack of faith in the current decision making process. Mostly because the communication around the pandemic has been limited and sometimes contradictory. I would prefer to hear from the health department about the safety of our schools being opened and how that impacts the community as a whole. But in doing so next the current administration has not been very clear about next steps nor preparing for this current situation we are in, even though last year most of us knew we wouldn’t be starting schools in the same way we have in the past. Communication needs to be better and is a place we need to earn back the community’s trust. Another area that needs to be addressed is the divide between many groups in the community. It is important to listen to everyone, but some groups are looking at situations from only one perspective. It is vital that we make sure we are looking at issues from all sides and being civil in our discourse on possible solutions to those problems. Civility has been lacking lately and we all need to do a better job. Open and transparent communication will hopefully bridge some of the divide.

 

Elizabeth Wyman COVID has created a new set of issues such as critical loss of students to other districts and private schools, failure rates of students and mental health issues. Along with that we continue to struggle with facilities (both in number and age) and support services for students, including psychological, counseling, social work, and disability. We have lost many partnerships, including Oshkosh4Education and a fully engaged Chamber PALS program. These are critical in engaging our community. We need to recreate a positive culture for teachers, families, and all stakeholders.

 

Robert Rigoni

The financial impact of the large number of children and families who have left the district. The mental health crisis and loss learning that has come about due to the school shutdowns. Creating a competitive compensation package that helps to retain current, and attract new, teachers.

 

Christopher Wright I believe that communication is a big challenge. In my opinion OASD Leadership has failed to provide timely communication not only to the Oshkosh Community but to our school administrators, educators and staff alike and I believe it is paramount to improve communication all around. We need to start communicating our successes as a district on a regular basis. Also in the last 2 1/2 years OASD students have left our district at an alarming, increasing rate. This year alone over 600 OASD students have enrolled with other area school districts, which represents a very large loss in funding. We need to try to get those students back into the district. I believe we should be using the expertise of more mental health providers and making that a collaborative effort. So many of our students, staff and teachers have experienced so much in this past year. We should not expect teachers to be behavioral and mental health experts, we should be supporting them with mental health professionals willing to work with OASD.