Cephas welcomes second community school to the 192nd

HARRISBURG, May 15 – State Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila., said she is excited that the Overbrook Education Center, located in the 192nd Legislative District, is part of a third cohort of neighborhood schools selected to become community schools.


“Designating the Overbrook Education Center, the only public school in Philadelphia that educates students with visual impairments, a community school is a decision I am pleased with,” Cephas said. “This initiative ensures that all students, particularly those with special needs, are afforded a chance at quality academics and the opportunity to live a fulfilling autonomous life beyond primary school.”


Community schools are public schools with a full-time coordinator who works with the entire school community to identify and meet the needs of the whole child. School coordinators attempt to address barriers students face at home and in school. This includes increasing access to medical services, expanding after-school programs, as well as providing opportunities for job training. Community schools ultimately identify resources to address the out-of-school needs of students to reduce the demands of school staff and to improve the academic performance of the students.


Cephas said the school’s ongoing goals, before becoming a community school, include increasing student attendance rates by encouraging them to miss nine or less days a year, improving early and general literacy skills, improving math skills, and special attention to third through fifth-grade academic performance, which has been a determining indicator for students’ success in high school and beyond.


“As a community school, however, Overbrook Education Center can now look forward to having these prior goals met,” Cephas said. “It will also be able to address the other barriers that prevent students from regularly attending school and inhibit their scholastic performance.”


Cephas said she encourages the schools in her district to seek these opportunities and is happy to know that the educators who submitted the application for Overbrook Education Center are equally enthusiastic about the benefits this designation will provide to the young children they serve, including more access to medical services like dental and vision screenings.


In conjunction with providing traditional academics for grades K-8, the Overbrook Education Center is the only public primary school focused on educating students living with varying degrees of visual impairments and teaching them to become productive citizens who can live independently.


The Overbrook Education Center is the second newly designated community school in the 192nd Legislative District, since Samuel Gompers Elementary School in 2017.


For more information, contact Cephas’ office at 215-879-6625.