Ocean City School District Seeks Community Input on Key Issues

Ocean City School District Seeks Community Input on Key Issues

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Former teacher Ricardo Valle admitted that he engaged in sexual conduct with a student prior to leaving Ocean City High School in June 2016.

By MADDY VITALE

The Ocean City School District is hosting a second community forum in less than a month this Tuesday to discuss programs, curriculum, current mandates and to listen to concerns and input from the community.

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Ocean City Free Public Library Lecture Hall at 1735 Simpson Ave. Masks are optional since the event will not be on school grounds.

Among the topics will be policies and procedures that affect school operations.

“These are challenging times, as we deal with an ongoing pandemic, legislative updates and the latest Executive Orders that impact our schools,” school officials said in a news release.

Among the topics to be presented for discussion are critical race theory, gender identity, and issues relating to social and sexual health.

The forum may also focus on initiatives and issues involving student conduct. Some things that may be discussed are attendance and lateness, vaping and student behavior.

The district’s search for a new school superintendent was the focus of the lightly attended Oct. 12 forum.

An Oct. 12 community forum focused on the search for a new school superintendent. Former Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Taylor retired in August. The interim Superintendent Dr. Tom Baruffi is heading the district until a replacement is selected.

The forum was designed to hear input from the public in what they would like to see in a new leader of the district. The professional search firm Strategic Educational Advantage, or SEA, is helping to guide the district in the superintendent search. The evening event was lightly attended, but there were meetings with community stakeholders throughout the day.

Some audience members said they want the person who is chosen as the new superintendent to be present for important events in the community and schools.

Other residents believe that the superintendent should live in the district and also should help bring back a family atmosphere that was once a part of the school community.

Others said they want someone who would put an emphasis on the importance of students’ mental health and wellness and ensure that all students get the help they need, especially in light of the loss of in-person learning during the pandemic.

A Superintendent Search Committee was formed several months ago, comprised of some school board members and stakeholders.

For more information about the Ocean City School District visit https://oceancityschools.org/