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268 Students.
33% Visually Impaired/Blind Students.
67 Staff Members.
Ranked #20 out of 138 schools based on 15-16 School Progress Report Card.
SMALL SCHOOL. BIG RESULTS.

Our Mission

O- WE OWN OUR ACTIONS

E- WE PUT FORTH OUR BEST EFFORT TO EXCEL

C- WE CARE FOR ALL

A Message From Our Principal:

Welcome to Overbrook Educational Center!

Dear Team,

 

There is no other school in the world like Overbrook Educational Center.  If you are reading this right now, then you are unlike 31% of the students at OEC who are unable to read this print without magnification, technology aides, large print or braille. Slightly under 1/3 of our student population is blind or visually impaired (VI).

 

The “C” in OEC’s mission (to Care for all) epitomizes the sentiment that helping others is what life is centrally about.  At OEC, our VI population helps our general education population of students and vice versa in all aspects of learning.  There is nothing more important than what the “C” in OEC stands for, to “care for all.”

OEC is an extremely unique place and the entire OEC family is proud of this distinction.  To reiterate our extraordinariness, we have the largest population in the entire Philadelphia Public School District of blind and visually impaired students. Our purposefully designed vision program is led by a team of experienced, incredibly knowledgeable, and specially trained staff who have had valuable experience working with children who have vision deficiencies.

At OEC, we have a full time counselor, full time special education liaison, and a committed, dedicated staff who consistently use restorative practices to solve conflicts.  We believe that students are continually developing and along with that growth comes errors in judgment.  The most important thing is that students learn from their mistakes and are able to reflect on their past decisions in order to improve and move forward.

At OEC, there are 277 students on roll for the 17-18 school year and we just recently added a life skills class for students in grades K-2 during the 16-17 school year and have expanded this year for students in grades 3-5. For 18-19, we will add a life skills class for students in grades 6-8.  This year, we added Spanish class for 4th-8th grade students and a community service class for our 7th-8th grade students.  One of our primary values is that we honor diversity.  With such a unique population of students who do not have the ability to see fully and in some cases at all, students at OEC learn truly how to respect and appreciate everyone and work together.

The vision for OEC is to be a model school for the School District of Philadelphia by 2020 as rated by the school progress report (SPR) in order to exemplify best practices of using the least restrictive environment specifically for students with special needs. Our ultimate goal is to be ranked #1 among all K-8 schools in the city. Currently, we are ranked 20th out of 138 K-8 schools in Philadelphia based on our SPR.  We improved our school’s rating from 29% overall in 14-15 to 62% overall in 15-16. We will continue to improve through effective leadership, collaborative teachers, involved families, a supportive environment, and ambitious instruction.  Teamwork will enable us to achieve our vision.

To help us reach our vision for success, our team has come up with the below 10 goals:

Goal # Focus Areas S.M.A.R.T Goals
1 IEP Goal Mastery By June 2018, 85% of special education students will have made 15% or more of progress towards their IEP goals per marking period in order to move towards independence as measured by our progress monitoring tool in the EASYIEP system.
2 Literacy K-3: By May 2018, 81% of all students will read on level in the general education classrooms in order to attain our district wide goal of having 100% of 8 year olds on reading level (using the DRA as a measurement tool).

4-8: By May 2018, 85% of general education students will earn a 3 or 4 on a text dependent analysis (TDA) response based on the PSSA TDA rubric.

3 Math By May 2018, general education students will grow 20% of their envisions pre-course diagnostic assessment, or maintain an 80% or higher on their post-course assessment.
4 Science 80% of all OEC students will be able to identify the key steps in the Scientific Method by May 2018, through a school wide science fair (grade appropriate and specific) in which a scientific paper or project is the final product.
5 Attendance By June 2018, the percentage of chronically truant children will decrease by 8% as measured by our google data tracker through our improved attendance initiative that includes mentoring, home visits, daily phone calls home, and attendance contracts.
6 High Quality Instruction 100% of staff at OEC will earn an overall rating of proficient or distinguished by June 2018, as measured by the Danielson rubric in order to provide high quality instruction to students and 88% or more will return to OEC to instruct for the 2018-2019 school year.
7 Professional Development By June 2018, 85% of teachers will have agreed that PD supported their needs and was differentiated based on our google doc feedback.
8 Family Involvement By June 2018, 100% of teachers will have planned one field trip each cycle for parents to engage in a meaningful learning experience with their student(s) in order to increase our overall school climate score by 10% as rated by the school progress report to 87% and maximize family involvement.
     9 Ensures School

Safety

By June 2020, a safe play area will be created in order to ensure zero head injuries occur and a bridge will be built between the two buildings to create a safe and connected school community in order to increase accessibility for our blind and visually impaired population to have an opportunity for the least restrictive environment.
   10 Positive Behavior Incentive System By June 2018, 90% of our children will attend Fun Fridays based on our strategies that include restorative practices, mentoring, peer mediation, and student of the month celebrations in order to promote a single school culture that focuses on reinforcing positive behaviors.

 

The completion of our above goals cannot be done in isolation, however.  Teams are essential to achieving our goals as a school.

At OEC, the staff is expected to partake in the below strategies to reach our instructional goals:

  1. Plan monthly units or bi-weekly lesson plans to ensure accurate sequencing and the evolution of objectives each month.
  2. Implement a daily intervention block of focused instructional time to improve student academic growth by using student groups based on skill need.
  3. Utilize a google docs data tracker to group students based on skill need and monitor student progress.

In terms of school climate, we have several main goals:

  1.  All 67 staff members will be paired with a student who is a high priority (*attendance, academic or behavior) by October 15, 2017 and meet regularly.  The purpose is to ensure every student has one adult in the building with whom they are able to connect with as a mentor. The purpose of this mentor system is so that we are proactive about student social and emotional development.
  2. 1,000 additional hours of volunteer service will be implemented in order to support our school’s vision and mission to increase our school’s climate score according to our SPR BY 10%.  Our Foster Grandparent Program, Students Helping Students, Verge Mindfulness and Yoga, and Delaware Valley Fairness Project are all programs that help support the above goal.

Our vision program is what makes OEC the exceptional school it is today.  Our doors are always open and we welcome you to come visit.  We invite you to come to OEC, check us out, and see all the wonderful things happening in each of our classrooms every day.

Every student needs and deserves a mentor, coach, or guide in life.  Parents, grandparents, teachers, coaches, religious leaders, aunts, or uncles can serve as these crucial motivators in student lives.

The most influential person in my life was and is my dad. Seven years ago, he lost a courageous battle to cancer.  Even though my dad physically is no longer here, I feel his spirit every day.  My dad taught me three main lessons that I want to share with you.

First, education is of utmost importance. Second, kindness is contagious and it must be practiced. Third, everyone has one of the following; time, talent, or treasure to share. Helping others is the primary purpose of life.  In whatever capacity that might be, everyone has the ability to serve.

The “E” in OEC represents part of the mission of OEC and that is to put forth your best Effort to excel.  In our vision to excel all students will have the skills needed to positively impact society.  At OEC, we are preparing students to do just this by participating in service projects like our most recent one where students fed the homeless on Dr. King’s birthday.

This is my fourth year as principal at OEC.  Previously, I taught high school English and served as an administrator in Newark, New Jersey.  My former supervisor, Principal Sam Garrison of Camden Street School, taught me that anything is possible if you dream big.  He always put children first and served as a valuable mentor to me.  Without my dad, Mr. Garrison, and countless others, I would not be at OEC.

I am both grateful and proud to be a part of the OEC Family.  We are constantly looking for community partners, volunteers, and collaborators to provide resources, opportunities, and exposure to a variety of careers for our students.  Students and families at OEC deserve the best and my goal is to help provide as many opportunities as possible to ensure the students put forth their best Effort to excel, demonstrating the “E” in OEC.

Students cannot achieve all of our goals as a school community and their personal goals without a guide, mentor, or coach.  I urge all family and community members who are currently in this position to take it seriously.  Students at OEC need you!  There is no place like OEC.  Our unique population of students are amazing young people who have incredibly bright futures ahead of them.

We need your help!  Come in and give your time, talent, or treasure to us and you will not regret it.  I guarantee it.  At OEC, our mission is to prepare students to become positive productive citizens who can live independently and with purpose to serve others.  We focus on accountability through owning our actions, resiliency by putting forth our best effort, and kindness by ensuring we care for all while honoring diversity.

I urge you to be a part of the OEC family and our continuing journey to providing students everything they need to transform their dreams into reality.

Our doors are always open and we welcome you to come visit.  We invite you to check us out and see all the wonderful things happening in our classrooms ever day.

With Gratitude and Best Wishes,

 

Meredith Foote

Cell: 610.731.6039

Email: mfoote@philasd.org