November 25, 2013
Dear Parents, Promoters, and Friends,
In only four weeks we will be concluding the first semester of this school year. It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the time goes by - it seems like only a few days ago we were receiving our “new” students and now they have lived almost a whole semester worth of positive experiences through their integral formation, cultural outings, and new friendships.
This semester has been for all of our Overbrook staff an exciting time of progress as we strive to meet the demanding goals we have set for ourselves since we were accredited by AdvancED.
Before I explain how we have been progressing in the different areas let me give you a little background information: as most of you know, last year we went through an intensive preparation for our accreditation with AdvancED which is the world´s largest education community, with over 100 years of experience in accreditation. Up until now it has accredited 27,000 schools (public and private) which embody 16 million students and 3.5 million educators In 69 countries. AdvancED is dedicated to advancing excellence in education worldwide and to effectively drive student performance and continuous improvement in education.
Since 2011 nine Legionary/Regnum Christi school have received accreditation. Overbrook academy was the 8th one to be accredited. We received our accreditation last June; and, as I said above we have been working enthusiastically this semester to meet our goals so that we can continuously offer a higher standard of education and integral formation to our students.
Some of the academic advancements we have made so far these past two months have been in these areas:
Ipads: All the students are currently using their Ipads throughout the school day for their academic work. We have downloaded multiple apps to enrich the class content in English, history, art, music, geography, civics, Theology of the Body, math, and religion.
o Personal Academic Websites: The students are currently designing their own academic websites using their class content, their English writing skills, and visual graphic skills. These websites will be made accessible to the students’ parents.
o Infrastructure: We have progressed in establishing technological infrastructure with a greater capacity to manage the quantity of students and internet programs being used. We recently had two additional Wi-Fi access points installed and updates on all the ipads downloaded.
Academic Support for Our Students:
o Academic Advisors: Since September each student has been assigned an academic advisor to help her oversee her studies and intellectual formation. Our academic advisors are licensed teachers who help each student discover her academic strengths and weaknesses, track her progress, and set challenging and reachable goals for herself.
o Tutors: Several of our teachers are dedicating time throughout the school week to tutor students who need extra help in certain subjects, especially in the content areas of math, science, and English. We have also begun a peer tutoring program in which the students who are academically strong tutor their peers who need extra help in their classes.
o Progress Reports: We have instituted academic progress reports this year. Halfway through each academic quarter the teachers fill out a progress report for every student, they share their input with the students and then those progress reports are posted for the parents to see. Progress reports have been a good way for students to see how they are advancing in the middle of the quarter and what they need to do to improve or maintain their academic level.
o Academic Warnings: Two weeks after the academic progress reports are posted the teachers send out academic warnings for students who need more support in a particular subject so that their parents are aware of it. Then with the help of the academic advisor and faculty members and the collaboration of the students, we look for the most formative and efficient way to help each student raise her grade before the end of the quarter.
As we continue to move forward with AdvancEd using our accreditation to highlight areas where there has been improvement and areas that we still need to improve we will keep you updated on our progress. Thank you.