Oxford Public Schools is committed to excellence in our K-12 academic programs. As such, the following program philosophies provide a unifying framework that justifies and gives direction to discipline based instruction and is a reflection of what our curriculum is striving to reflect.
English/Language Arts Philosophy
Through reading, writing, speaking/presenting, listening and viewing, students build literacy skills in purposeful and meaningful contexts. A major aim of Oxford educators is to instill and cultivate language and media fluency for lifelong learning.
Language development and learning are inextricably linked. Language plays an integral role in students’ interaction with and discovery of their worlds. When students are engaged in a topic which interests them, thinking, learning, and communicating occur in a natural, integrated way, and language becomes refined over time through use.
A language arts curriculum must aim to develop the five aspects of language: reading, writing, speaking/presenting, listening and viewing. As such, students may learn to communicate effectively with various audiences for different purposes. Effective communication is the key to critical thinking and responsive listening, and therefore, is central to learning.
Mathematics is a language for many of the operations of our broader world. Mathematical principles help to communicate ideas, develop solutions, and solve problems. A major aim of Oxford educators is to develop mathematically literate citizens who problem solve and think critically.
Mathematical concepts and ideas allow students to play and active role in their learning. Oxford students in Pre-K to 12 will be exposed to an integrated course of mathematics. In Pre-K to 5, student’s mathematical concepts will include geometry, number and operations, measurement and data, and operations and algebraic thinking. In middle school to high school, students will explore coursework in the areas of algebra, geometry, statistics, pre-calculus and calculus.
The aim of mathematics is to execute an inquiry-based curriculum for the students based on real world application.
The science program educates students to be scientifically literate, responsible citizens who understand and can apply the knowledge and processes of science. Science education aims to develop informed citizens who can reason logically, think critically, and address local and global challenges.
A pre-K-12 science education is developmentally appropriate and sequential, integrating content through disciplinary core ideas, practices, and cross-cutting concepts. Problem-solving and inquiry are integrated through a variety of learning opportunities including laboratory experiences. All students must be actively engaged in both the knowledge and practices of science. This requires working cooperatively with peers, initiating investigations, communicating findings, and completing projects that demonstrate learning.
A focused science education aims to develop students who will continue to learn about science outside of school and will be careful consumers of scientific information that relates to their everyday lives. An effective science education enables students to graduate with the skills to enter careers of their choice, including, but not limited to, science, engineering, and technology. “Science is not just a body of knowledge that reflects current understanding of the world; it is also a set of practices used to establish, extend, and refine that knowledge.” (Carl Sagan)
Social Studies Philosophy
Through a dynamic approach to skill and content-based learning, students strengthen their capacity as 21st century learners and democratic citizens. A comprehensive and rigorous Social Studies education promotes meaningful engagement, global awareness, and employs the goals of college, career, and civic readiness.
Throughout their educational career, Oxford students will be exposed to an integrated course of studies which includes History, Civics, Geography, Economics, Psychology, and Sociology. The importance of community will be emphasized in the exploration of local, state, national, and global issues. Students will gain a greater understanding of their world, and their responsibilities to it through this interdisciplinary approach.
The aim of Oxford’s Social Studies curriculum is to promote and develop critical thinking, reading comprehension, and effective oral and written communication. Inquiry will guide student instruction at all levels to help them discover meaningful connections in all content areas. These connections will be explored through primary and secondary source analysis, and communicated through evidenced-based argument. The 21st century learner will then apply these skills through various forms of digital technology.
World Languages Philosophy
Through reading, writing, speaking/presenting, listening and viewing, students will be linguistically and culturally prepared to function as informed and engaged world citizens.
A world language curriculum aims to develop the five world language readiness standards: communication, cultures, connections, comparisons and communities. Students must learn to communicate effectively through the application of meaningful interaction in the target language. It is the role of the world language instructor to provide communicative and comprehensible input in an interactive and student centered learning model.
Applied Technologies Philosophy
The Applied Technologies provides students with exposure to areas in business and finance technology, family and consumer sciences, and technology education. The varied courses provide experiences and a foundation of everyday living skills, which advance personal, educational, and occupational goals.
- Business and Finance Technology: The philosophy of the Business and Finance Technology curriculum enables students to become independent, competent, and confident users of information and technology to maximize their ability to function as productive citizens in today’s highly technical and global society.
- Family and Consumer Sciences (Applied Education Sciences) :Family and Consumer Sciences (Applied Education Sciences) programs are an essential part of the effort to nurture and strengthen interpersonal, family, and community relationships. Family and Consumer Sciences (Applied Education Sciences) combine academic learning and hands-on application as part of an educational process intended to be useful to the students today as well as throughout their adulthood.
- Technology & Engineering Education: Technology & Engineering Education is an essential component of a comprehensive, experience based, and hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) curriculum. It is an integrated, experienced-based instructional program designed to expose students to technology- its evolution, systems, techniques, uses and social and cultural significance. Technology & Engineering Education enables students to become technologically literate.
Wellness Department Philosophy
The vision of the Oxford Public Schools Wellness Department is to develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills, behaviors, and confidence to enjoy a healthy, physical lifestyle.
The Oxford Wellness Program will provide learning in three domains: cognitive, affective, and psychomotor. Through an articulated and sequential planned program of Physical Education and School Health, each student will have the opportunity to develop and maintain knowledge and skills for maximum development and wellness.
Visual Arts Philosophy
By creating, presenting, responding, and connecting students will become skilled practitioners in art media, develop an understanding of criteria and processes for art selection and presentation, acquire visual literacy skills to analyze, interpret and evaluate art as well as the ability to determine meaningful relationships among the visual arts, society, distinct cultures and historical periods.
The visual arts help us understand the world around us. They provide students with opportunities to collaborate, problem solve, communicate, think critically and understand history and cultures, - all while fostering self-expression and building self-confidence.
The district visual arts philosophy reflects the National Core (Visual) Arts Standards. It is through experiences with different art media along with opportunities to interpret and analyze art work that students gain a greater appreciation for art and the impact it has on how we view history and the world around us. A visual arts education promotes the skill development that is necessary for students to succeed in other core subjects and in daily life. In addition, artistically literate individuals find inspiration and personal well being through participation in the visual arts and seek experiences that support and enhance art both locally and globally.
Music Department Philosophy
Music is an essential component of a child’s education. Our students focus on singing, playing instruments, improvising, composing, reading and notating music, as well as analyzing, evaluating and integrating music with other academic disciplines. This skill‐based approach spirals learning through each grade level and continues through more advanced musical studies. Providing a musical education is a necessary part of educating the whole child, therefore every student should be offered opportunities to perform, create, respond and connect musically.
Music is at the heart of cultural literacy, providing a means for interdisciplinary learning. Because music is an integral part of human history, the ability to listen with understanding is essential if students are to gain a broad cultural and historical perspective; it serves as a way of communicating beyond spoken language. Music education develops self-discipline, perseverance, critical thinking skills, concentration, self-expression and creativity that transfers to all learning.
Musical experiences engage and influence the students’ whole personality, providing insight to one’s self and humanity, establishing connections to the community, and enhancing a sense of belonging and self-worth. The study of music empowers students of all abilities to gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for lifelong involvement in music.