UPDATE: Oxford Still Seeking Acceptance into NVL

The board vote to rescind the previous decision ends in a tie, meaning motion stands.

Updated at 9:31 p.m. Tuesday

The Oxford Board of Education voted 4-4 on a motion to rescind a previous decision to seek acceptance into the Naugatuck Valley League. The tie vote means the motion failed and therefore, Oxford will continue to seek acceptance into the NVL.

The board held a contentious debate Tuesday about whether a committee that looked into the move from the South-West Conference to the NVL followed proper Freedom of Information Act laws. Board member Stephen Brown believes the committee did not properly notify the public of its meetings - both the times of them and the outcome via minutes. Therefore, Brown argued the board vote should have been rescinded.

However, Superintendent Tim Connellan said that Connecticut FOIA public education officer Tom Hennick told him the board did not violate FOIA laws because it did not take action at its meetings.

Ultimately, the board voted 4-4. Those for rescinding the vote taken last month to seek a move to the NVL were: Lisa Hellauer, Gerard Carbonaro, Michael Macchio and Diane Soracco.  Those who voted to rescind the vote were Brown, Amy Cote, William Neary and Ted Oszkowski. 

We are working on bringing you more on this story.

Original article published earlier Tuesday 

Oxford sports moving to the Naugatuck Valley League? Not so fast, says at least one board member.

The Oxford Board of Education's agenda for tonight's meeting calls for a discussion and possible motion to rescind a vote taken last month to seek acceptance for Oxford High School into the NVL. Oxford currently plays in the South-West Conference, and last month's vote was met with both praise and criticism by people in the community.

School board Chairwoman Paula Guillet said a board member, whom she would not identify, asked to have the item added to tonight's agenda. Per board bylaws, she said, that request was accepted.

Still, Guillet does not expect anything to change after tonight's meeting, especially after the board voted 6-0 last month to move to the NVL. Board members Ted Oczkowski, Michael Macchio and William Neary were not at that meeting.

"My opinion is some board members didn’t do their homework and are trying to save face now," Guillet said. "But it's going to play out however it plays out."

Still, she said, the "controversy is not good for Oxford or the kids who are going to be playing sports."

"We went through this years ago when Oxford was breaking off from Seymour and it did a lot of damage to our town," she said. "It's sad that people are acting the way they are when we have so many more educational issues. Yet, people are getting hung up on a few disgruntled people who are in the minority over a sports move. ...Hopefully the media will put a positive spin on this."

Tonight's meeting will be held at 7 in the Oxford High School library/media center. 


Click here to read the article about the vote to seek this move.

Click here to read a breakdown of the distance between Oxford and the schools in the NVL and the SWC, plus the populations of all schools.

Oxford Patch will be covering tonight's meeting. Follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter for the latest updates. 

JYD December 11, 2012 at 05:01 PM
For a BOE that ran on a platform of transparency, I don't understand the refusal to identify the member who is adding the topic back to the agenda. That should be something on the record.
Coach B December 11, 2012 at 05:46 PM
Gotta love Guillett's comments, "My opinion is some board members didn't do their homework and are now trying to save face". Could it possibly be that these board members are actually listening to the voices of the athletes and parents who are not in favor of the move. This group appears to be significantly larger than the committee actually reported. "Hopefully the media will put a positive spin on this" What is this spin she talks about? That enough people voiced their displeasure, but we aren't going to change our vote anyway. As far as our "educational issues" the move to the NVL has that covered. In the "Database Tracks School Performance" article posted this morning, OHS has the highest scores of any public school in the NVL. Our score of 84.9 is almost 20 points higher than the league average. That makes us the Yale of the NVL. Here are the averages of the NVL schools 65.17 (almost 2 points below proficient) and the SWC schools 86.05 (19+ points above proficient). This does not include the Catholic schools in both leagues. Also Bassick, Central and Harding had talks about joining the NVL. The average of those three is 35.2.
Rollie December 11, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Oxford is and always will be considered part of the Naugatuck Valley.If Oxford is the Yale of the NVL, I'm pretty sure we should be able to compete against all the schools in all sports.
Coach B December 11, 2012 at 06:40 PM
It isn't about being able to compete, it's about being able to win games. In most sports the NVL is a significant step below the SWC in terms of competition. In the sports we don't compete well in, it has more to do with coaching than it does anything else. Two of these sports have lost assistant coaches in the past few years that were head and shoulders better/more qualified than the head coaches.
Rollie December 11, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I think the for the first NVL football game we should have a pig roast at half time to bring the people together and have some fun. What do you think.
movingsale December 11, 2012 at 08:07 PM
We should be applauding the board member who is bringing the issue back up. The manner in which this was initiated, "researched," and decided upon, has been deplorable. To say that this is due to "a few disgruntled citizens" and that "the media should put a positive spin" on this move is irresponsible. And what is really damaging to our students is teaching them to go along with whatever politicians and board members think is best for them, without debating an issue, and without doing due diligence. If you really want to help the students, involve them in this decision! This move will impact the many sports that will no longer be available to Oxford students the way they should be available. And as for damage being done to the town of Oxford, we have had a lot of damage already done, and the common themes in all of those instances have been higher ups doing things without public support or knowledge, not having appropriately considered all sides of a decision, and not considering decisions that are best for the long term. This issue smacks of all those mistakes, yet again. Beyond frustrated with how this town operates...
Fed Up December 12, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Coach B,Your remark about NVL sports is way out of line.NVL football is one of the toughest divisions in the state.Part of the present NVL came from the old Housatonic Division which was a tough group.I agree that Oxford should hold a pig roast after our first NVL win
Rollie December 12, 2012 at 01:03 AM
Don't forget Oxford was a part of Derby way back. Heck let's have a pig roast after every home game. We are not any better then anybody else in the NVL. I bet we can give Ansonia a run for the money. Ther a rivalry has started.
Citizen X December 12, 2012 at 01:27 AM
I simply don't understand the desire to be in the NVL. If you compare the schools in each league across the board (academics + facilities + locations + athletics) it seems impossible for the best choice for Oxford to be the NVL. I think the only controversy is why & how the Board voted to join the NVL in the first place. Geographically, Oxford of course (unfortunately) is part of the valley. But I would certainly say that a home in town that is part of the SWC is worth more than the same home in the same town that is part of the NVL. Call it snobby or whatever you'd like, but those schools are better & while Oxford can't change geography the town can certainly choose who to be affiliated with. I'd stay away from the NVL & would never look back. Having said all of this, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Oxford joins the NVL, despite all of the very good reasons to not do so. Awful decision by the Board of Ed, which is par for the course.
Paul Singley December 12, 2012 at 02:18 AM
Citizen X: "Geographically, Oxford of course (unfortunately) is part of the valley." - I'm sure the average person in Oxford doesn't believe he/she is better than the valley; I'm sorry you do.
Citizen X December 12, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Don't be, I'm ok with it.
BrownEyes December 12, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Pig Roast! Hell Yeah! I'll make the macaroni salad!
Cowboy Up December 12, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Citizen X if you think you are too good for the valley then do us all a favor and move to the rich and beautiful Fairfield County. You lost, The Valley won, get ready for some NVL BALL!
Citizen X December 12, 2012 at 05:20 AM
Hell yeah! Yee haawwww!
Ed Smith December 12, 2012 at 12:52 PM
I sure do LOVE the lower Naugatuck Valley! Such a rich history of hard-working people who made the industries that once made America rich and strong. Perhaps home values are indeed a "snobby" (to use your term) way to judge the REAL value of a place. Why is it that Fairfield County costs a half million dollars for a quarter acre house with a traffic jam outside? Could it be because Fairfield County is flush with the loot from liquidating American wealth and power, which has been so profitable for the Wall Street types who exported America's manufacturing to enrich themselves? I suggest anyone embarrassed to be affiliated with the Valley has zero appreciation for real people and real life and perhaps zero appreciation for the real history and future of our state and country.
Rollie December 12, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Citizen X; Not to long ago one of the best running backs in ct high school football came out of the NVL. The former Housatonic Divison was the best around ( Thanks Fed Up for mentioning that ). And by the way that running back went on to earn a four year degree from you guessed it Yale University. I see a good old home cooking pig roast coming up soon at the new high school field with some real down to earth NVL fans and neighbors. Go Wolverines......
Rollie December 12, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Glad to see your coming around Citizen X. Roasted pig is actually pretty darn good. I'll even go to the Hen house and get us some chickens to. To Coach B these two sentences sound like a personal matter to me. From your post: (In the sports we don't compete well in, it has more to do with coaching than it does anything else. Two of these sports have lost assistant coaches in the past few years that were head and shoulders better/more qualified than the head coaches.)
concerned mom December 12, 2012 at 02:58 PM
This is not about the valley. This is about the Board of Education's failure to notify the community of the work on the committe, accept any input from the parents and the student althetes. This is about a personal agenda of several people. There is no reason that public input should not have been obtained and open discussions held on this issue.
Johnny Ribbs December 12, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Welcome aboard Oxford. I think you will find that the NVL is a pretty great sports league. It is possible some of our focus overall is wrongly focused on sports and not education here in the NVL, that is true. But I assure you that you will find the teams supportive of one another in outside league and post season play. I think natural rivalries with Seymour, Derby, Woodland, Ansonia and Naugatuck will be fun to watch develop. We NVL guys love our league, our towns and our sports. I think you will find you fit in more than you realize. Should be fun.
Coach B December 12, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Nothing personal at all, my kids don't play the sports that I mentioned. I didn't feel it was appropriate to name the coaches.
DougT December 12, 2012 at 11:21 PM
The Board of Education didn't fail, they did their due diligence and made a good decision, and unfortunately can't please everybody. The work of the committee was discussed at several public BOE meetings. Parents and students could of come to any BOE meeting and give their opinion. It would be unlawful for them to make decisions based on the elitest views of those who have issues with the socioeconomics of the NVL and SWC. The kids won't be doing algebra while playing soccer. This BOE is doing a great job in the opinion of those who care about EDUCATION and FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY. I give them a lot of credit to take on this controversial issue, do the work, make a decision based on credible criteria, take the heat and stick it to. GOOD JOB BOE!!
Citizen X December 13, 2012 at 01:50 AM
We can even milk some cows & make our own ice cream. As I said I'm not surprised that the Board of Education (more aptly 'Agendacation') voted this way. After all, it is football rivalries & clinging to the past glory of the Naugatuck Valley that is most important for the future of Oxford & the students in Oxford's schools. It is just too bad that I'm not a blue collar worker (according to Ed Smith) who would really 'get it' & understand history, the present, & the future (& of course economics & that it is the 'Wall Street types' who 'exported manufacturing jobs' out of the United States). It is also good to see that the Editor of the Patch can think both critically & objectively in order to have the best understanding of a story & subsequent implications. I'm now going to watch Red Dawn. Wolverines!
Gregg February 22, 2013 at 06:54 PM
FYI, Oxford has officially been accepted in to the NVL, beggining play in the fall of 2014-15. It was announced today.


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