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Welcome to Okeechobee Achievement Academy

On behalf of the faculty and staff of Okeechobee Achievement Academy (OAA) we would like to welcome back all of our students, parents, and faculty.

 

This year will be a year of rebuilding.  We had lots of changes in our staff, Community Partners and allocations but we are extremely excited about the quality of our new teachers and paras that we have on board for the 2016-17 school year.  We are especially excited about the new allocation of Intervention Specialist, Ms. Christine Finch. We have seen some amazing and exciting changes in our students, how our teachers teach and how our community partners have stepped up to help our children succeed.  These changes have produced results; 7 years ago more than 50% of the students attending our discipline programs were expelled, last year less than 8% and for two years we have performed academically in the top third of the state in alternative schools. This clearly demonstrates when you invest in helping students where they need help most they reconnect with their education and their community. OAA demographics have gone from more than 50% of our students having both parents to less than 30%! Sixty-four percent have been retained one or more years and 93% of our At-Risk children come from poverty-level homes. These are students who need more support than ever and we are excited about making a difference for them and our community this year.

 

This is where the help of our vested, embedded partner agencies such as New Horizons, Vocational Administration and volunteers such as Mr. Wendell Watts and Ms. Theda Bass are so valuable to our students and faculty.  These agencies and individuals make a significant impact on our student’s success. By working closely with our students and staff they not only provide needed services but also demonstrate how much our community cares about their success. Many of our students value and need good mentor relationships in their lives and we are always in desperate need volunteers who can provide that consistent relationship to build trust, respect, and responsibility.  If interested please contact us.  Our partnerships have provided full-time small group counseling, curriculum services in Drug, Alcohol and Violence prevention. Mr. Watts has spent many years volunteering to teach students scroll saw skills and Ms. Bass joined the team teaching student’s basic art skills.  We are proud of all that has been accomplished by our team of staff and community partnerships and are looking to increase our community partnerships in 2016-17.  We are ready to help students with their social, emotional skills as well as their academic needs.  

 

OCSB and OAA are committed to doing the very best we can to give an alternative hope to those at the highest risk of dropping out. School and district staffs have worked hard to provide our community with a program that will give additional options and support to students who need that extra support. Although the key to every child’s success is simple; know how to read and write well, be able to apply mathematical concepts and understand how to be a responsible, ethical citizen.  To help our students develop these essential skills takes a special commitment and combined effort by all three critical players in these children’s lives; their schools, their families, and their community.  Our teachers’ use a wide variety of researched based methods including; Behavioral Tools, peer coaching, autism training, counseling and community partnerships to help each student realize their potential.  It is hard work that requires lots of the three Ps;  patience, persistence, and perseverance. Our mission is to provide our students a positive, stimulating, and safe learning environment that promotes the development of individual responsibility, acceptable social skills, and academic growth. Upon returning to their former schools, our students will be able to make appropriate decisions and experience success in completing their education. 

We would like to invite all of our parents and family members to join us for our Open House to meet our teachers and staff.  This will be a great opportunity to learn more about your child’s program and to begin building that critical partnership that will ensure your child’s successful future.  There are many things parents can do but the most important is to demonstrate through your involvement, that you care about their education. 

 

Randal Weigum

Principal Okeechobee Achievement Academy

Achieving Starts with Believing