A unique Philadelphia school cultivates family members as staffers
Kimberly Singleton was the parent of a student at Overbrook Educational Center in West Philadelphia when she lost her job at a billing company. Already an active volunteer at the school, she jumped at the chance when she saw an ad in the school newsletter for a classroom assistant.
Singleton got the job in February 2020 — an “interesting” time to start, she said, given the impending COVID pandemic — and when the school needed a substitute teacher, she suggested her daughter Kassidy apply. Now both of them work at the school, which Kassidy’s brother attended.
The Singletons are two of 11 staffers at the educational center with family ties to the school, where nearly a third of students are blind or visually impaired, according to its website. While other Philadelphia schools have family members working side by side, it’s “definitely unique” to have so many, district spokeswoman Marissa Orbanek said. And it’s not just a nice statistic. Principal Meredith Foote says the family culture, in which children see friends’ parents as teachers, staffers, and volunteers, “makes everything better.”
CITE is the Center for Integrated Training and Education.
For over 25 years, CITE has and continues to train:
TEACHERS: General and Special Ed Masters (Early Childhood or Childhood), Adolescent Special Ed / Professional Certification Masters, TESOL Masters, Special Ed license extension courses, Bilingual license extension courses, TESOL license extension courses, Early Childhood license extension courses
— in all five boroughs of NYC, Yonkers, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk.
CITE PD: CITE offers CTLE-approved in-school or online professional development tailored to your school’s needs and your vision. We can work remotely with your staff and parents. Info: citepd.com