Community Focus Group to be Formed

A Message to the Citizens of the OESJ Central School District

The OESJ Central School District School Board is seeking applicants to serve on a Community Focus Group.  The purpose of the group is to provide representation for all residents, taxpayers and stakeholders of the school district.  The Focus Group will convene with an “outside guest” for a scheduled meeting.  The agenda for the work of the Focus Group will be carefully structured and timed to ensure that the time is spent by participants discussing the report completed by the SES Study Group.  The Focus Group is scheduled to meet on Thursday, April 23, 2015 from 5:30 PM-9:30 PM in the high school cafeteria.  Applications are due on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 to the district clerk.

The documented work of the Focus Group will become a valuable tool for the School Board as they work to make a decision about how best to deliver the program with facility resources.  A report will be written that will document the discussion and analysis by the Community Focus Group, including a rank ordering of the various scenario options in terms of what would be best for our students and community.  Board members, the superintendent and district administrators will be invited to attend to listen to the work of the community members.

The Community Focus Group will consist of at least 20 to as many as 36 community members representing a cross-section of individuals and organizations within the school district.   The board will “invite” certain community members to apply to ensure the group is representative of the community.  They will attempt to choose representation from the following categories:

Parents of pre-school, elementary and secondary students, “empty nesters”, seniors who are retired, business persons, faculty and support staff who are resident taxpayers of the district, student government leaders, municipality elected leaders, unmarried citizens, clergy, music and athletic booster organization parents, Realtors, banker/insurance representatives, and others from whom the general community seeks opinions about important issues facing the community.  Other than faculty/support staff and administrators, priority will be given to those applicants who have no current direct employee relationship with the district.

The board is seeking the following characteristics in those interested in applying:

- Ability to listen  to all sides of an issue and who respect the opinion of others

- Are acknowledged by the community as one who represents constituencies within the district.

-Have demonstrated a previous interest and involvement in some aspect of the school district and/or community.

-Are residents of the school district.

-Who understand and accept that suggestions of members of the Community Focus Group are advisory and that the final decision is the legal responsibility of the School Board.

The Board will select members of the Community Focus Group and appoint its members by April 16, 2015.