O- WE OWN OUR ACTIONS
E- WE PUT FORTH OUR BEST EFFORT TO EXCEL
C- WE CARE FOR ALL
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Welcome to Overbrook Educational Center!
There is no other school in the world like Overbrook Educational Center. If you are reading this right now, then you are unlike 27% 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 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 304 students on roll for the 18-19 school year and we recently expanded our life skills program to add a life skills class for students in grades 6-8. In 2016 we started a life skills program for students with visual impairments in grades K-2 and added a 3-5 life skills class in 2017. This year, we also added Spanish full time. 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.
Our mission is to prepare students to become positive, productive citizens who can live independently and with purpose to serve others.
The vision of OEC is to be a model school in the School District of Philadelphia by 2020 as rated by the School Progress Report (SPR) while creating the least restrictive environment for students with special needs. Additionally, 100% of our 8th graders will have the opportunity to attend the high school of their choice. We will accomplish this through:
Our ultimate objective is to prepare students to honor the diverse learner by providing excellent instruction for all students including students who have an individualized education plan (IEP).
We own our actions.
Shared Responsibility: We have a shared responsibility for what we do and our learning.
We put forth our best effort to excel.
Resiliency: We have high expectations to be prepared for high school, college, and career.
We care for all.
Kindness: We honor diversity. We work together, partner with our community, and celebrate each other’s success.
Our ultimate goal is to be ranked #1 among all K-8 schools in the city. Currently, we are ranked 17th out of 331 schools in Philadelphia based on our 16-17 SPR. We improved our school’s rating from 29% overall in 14-15 to 62% overall in 15-16 to 63% in 16-17. Our 17-18 SPR score will be revealed in January, 2019. Teamwork will enable us to achieve our vision and move us into a “model” school as rated by the SPR. We are 12% points away.
To help us reach our vision for success, our team has come up with the below 5 goals:
At least 65% of students will attend 95% or more of school days
During the 17-18 school year, 58.8% of students attended 95% or more of school days. At OEC, we celebrate REGULAR attendance, NOT perfect attendance. Life happens. Our motto is: Try your best to miss 9 days or less! Last year, there were 19 students at OEC who missed either 10 or 11 days and there were 95 children who missed more than 10 days of school. We can do better. We must do better.
2. College and Career:
At least 75% of students will earn A’s and B’s in core courses in grades 5-8
Early indicators of success in high school begin in 5th grade. We track all of our middle school student grades every 6 weeks to ensure that students are on track to earn all A’s and B’s in their courses. If they are falling short of this goal, we make every effort to provide make-up work, tutoring, and extra support either before, after, or during school hours.
3. Early Literacy:
On the Spring aimsweb, at least 70% of kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd graders will score at target.
In their independent reading levels, at least 60% of kindergarten and 75% of 1st and 2nd graders will make at least 1 year’s growth from Quarter 1 to Quarter 4
With a newly hired K-3 literacy coach last year (17-18) aka Mrs. Easley, a new math coach this year, and a full time dean whose primary job is to focus on improving academics, we know that we are going to meet the above goal with confidence. Read, read, read as much as possible at home. If families are in need of a home library, kindly contact any staff member and we will send home multiple books for you to keep!
By April 2018, 85% of students will score a 3 or 4 on the TDA.
No more than 25% of 3rd graders or 20% of 4th-8th graders will score below basic on the PSSA.
Monthly writing assessments focused on text dependent analyses will be administered, scored, and analyzed. Further, previous test questions will be worked on regularly in class extracted from past PSSA exams. This year we had an 8th grade student who earned proficient for the first time in her tenure at OEC. Growth is our focus. The more we practice with non-fiction texts and appropriately challenging texts, through close reading in class, the better we will perform as a school on the ELA PSSA.
No more than 20% of students will score below basic on the math PSSA.
We have hired a math coach this year to come to OEC three days a week to model lessons, pull small groups, and focus on which standards we are teaching and how we are teaching them. Math instruction will be monitored closely this year with frequent visits to classes and bite-sized, specific feedback for teachers to implement. We will also be using i-ready with fidelity and provide students at least 45 minutes per week to practice key skills that are suited to fit their specific needs.
The completion of our above goals cannot be done in isolation, however. Teams are essential to achieving our goals as a school. 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.
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 annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.
This is my fifth 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. I urge you to be a part of the OEC family and our continuing journey to provide 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 every day.
With Gratitude and Best Wishes,