Oneonta prepares for new school year

by Nicole Singleton

Oneonta students returning to school on Aug 19 and teachers returning on Aug 13 will encounter one major change since last school year – the introduction of the middle school. Students in grades 6 – 8 will now have their own middle school area and middle school office, which will be located where the elementary office used to be. The elementary office is now in the elementary school building.

“The middle school happened quickly,” Supt. Scott Coefield said. “We’re still trying to get the signs up.”

Another change, although not immediate, is the new testing process to prepare students to become college and career ready.

According to Coefield, the school is slowly moving away from graduation testing and implementing testing that is aligned with the ACT.

The beginning of the switch will start this year with English for 9th, 10th, and 11th grades, as well as Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, and U.S. History.

The end-of-course tests will be comprehensive and incorporate all the information throughout the school year, according to Coefield, who says these tests will show the students what they will expect to see and make on the ACT.

The school has also worked on improving CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE the safety plan during the summer by hiring a school therapist. The employee will be hired by JBS Mental Health, the company the school chose to contract with. In addition to the school therapist, Oneonta continues to have a full-time school resource officer to assist in school safety.

“With a comprehensive look at school safety, as well as working with our administration, we are in good shape,” Coefield said.

However, concern for the school’s budget continues to be an issue, says Coefield.

“We have plans in place, we just don’t have enough revenue,” he said. “We’re in good shape as far as extra-curricular activities and school safety is concerned, but we want to improve on technology, more teachers, and facilities. But, we’re making progress and we’re working hard.”