Oakbrook Middle School is helping students develop the World Class Skills of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate by providing all students with opportunities to work on interdisciplinary, real-world projects that involve creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem-solving, collaboration and teamwork, communication, information, media and technology. We strive to create a nurturing environment where staff, parents, and community work together to provide challenges and opportunities for students to reach their maximum potential.
We RISE UP to teaching the whole child with instruction that focuses on the three main areas of the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate: World Class Knowledge, World Class Skills, and Life and Career Characteristics. Our instruction fosters growth in academics, fine arts, technology, and communication skills. Oakbrook Middle School provides our students with rigorous instruction as a platform to enter high school using South Carolina State Standards in English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. We also offer advancement through the GATE program or remediation through several intervention courses. In addition, we offer many courses to earn high school credit and to explore future career pathways.
To meet the needs of our students, we provided our students remediation opportunities and additional support through “Quarter Recovery” and 13 sessions of “Saturday School.” These two initiatives served as catalysts to maximize the academic success rates of our students.
The Oakbrook staff collectively met during the summer of 2021 to develop a comprehensive program that incentivizes positive behavior by recognizing students who work to excel in the classroom and display positive behavior. The program was called “Rise Up and Soar.” Community member and parents donated items and time to operate a “Soar Store” each month. Students who were noticed exhibiting positive behavior or hard work were given SOAR cards by staff that could be used as currency in the store. At the end of each quarter, students were given the opportunity to earn membership in the Rise Up Club at different levels, depending on grade and discipline data. These students were given perks and rewards throughout the year, including entry into the Rise Up Rally, which was a pep rally managed by faculty. Students who did not qualify were allowed to participate in academic remediation activities to improve their grades.
Several new initiatives were established to recognize and celebrate our students’ accomplishments beyond the classroom. For the Core Value Student of the Month, each month teachers nominated students who demonstrated one of the district’s core values. For the Comeback Kid Award, each grading period teachers nominated students who had overcome an obstacle or made a complete 180-degree turn in their classroom performance. At the end of the year, we had an awards banquet for each grade level to recognize our honor roll students and Students of the Year for each grade level.
We also had a faculty member recognized for her advocacy, hard work, and dedication to their respective fields. Amy Baldwin, Gateway to Technology teacher, was awarded the Project Lead The Way National Teacher of the Year.
Furthermore, OMS made great efforts to engage our parents and community in school improvement. Our School Improvement Council hosted a Day of Caring in February and students, parents, and faculty all participated on a Saturday morning in painting a mural in the school cafeteria. Our PTA helped provide volunteers for our Soar Store and for monitors during state testing. The PTA also organized a successful dance and student/faculty basketball game, raising around $1,800 for school beautification projects. We also had a very successful Rising 6th Grade Parent Night in March, where families of incoming students were provided with valuable information to prepare their child, as well as a chance to tour the school, meet faculty, and learn about electives and extra-curricular activities.
We are proud of what we have accomplished, and we feel strongly that Oakbrook Middle School is a school where “Students learn to care and care to learn.”