The Oxford Central School’s special social-emotional learning (SEL) program, or character education program, first sprouted from a tree-like superhero, called Rootman. The program was developed by OTEA members Pat Carr, Richard Baran, and Manju Mathew.
Over time, Rootman evolved into seven characters known as the CORRECT Crusaders, each representing an important trait: Courage, Optimism, Respect, Responsibility, Empathy, Citizenship and Trustworthiness. Oxford’s SEL lessons and programs revolve around these seven traits and lend the program its name: C.O.R.R.E.C.T. The program is part of the district’s effort to implement state policies aimed at preventing harassment and bullying in schools.
The district currently has no cases of harassment or bullying to investigate—compared to the eight to 10 reports per month that occurred in the 2007-08 year. The OTEA members attribute this dramatic decrease to the innovative and engaging program they developed with their K-8 students, noting their success was due to, “…every staff member here playing a key role, especially in promoting, developing and carrying out lessons throughout the year.”
Oxford’s character education program has been named one of 54 nationwide Districts of Distinction. The recognition is annually bestowed on innovative districts from the national school administrator’s magazine, District Administration. Other districts that received recognition from New Jersey are Wharton, Highland Park, Piscataway Township, Berkeley Township (Ocean County) and Washington Township (Morris County).
Learn more about Districts of Distinction and about Oxford’s program.
Oxford Central’s character education program, CORRECT, was the subject of a “Classroom Close-up, NJ” episode. Watch the program here.