Employment Resources Incorporated opened The Gladys H. Oberle School, the region’s first alternative, special education day school, in 1991. Located in the City of Fredericksburg, the school is licensed to operate by the Virginia Department of Education and is accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities.
Students attending the Oberle School are working towards an advanced, standard, applied studies, or special diploma. We serve the disability areas of autism, emotional disturbance, intellectual disability, specific learning disability, other health impairment, visually impaired including blindness, hearing impaired, speech or language impairment and multiple disabilities. Many of our students also are diagnosed with mental health disorders. To ensure individualized instruction, our teacher to student ratio averages 4:1 and some classes also have a paraprofessional when the need arises. Two COUNSELORS are also available to address mental health needs.
All of our students are placed through their Individualized Education Plan and are funded through local monies. We do not accept private pay.
Our program varies from most traditional private special education schools in the area as we offer not only a SOL-based and IEP-driven curriculum but also Career and Technical Education and Education for Employment. Our CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION is newly designed and furnished with leading-edge equipment. Our current CTE course offerings include small engine repair, bicycle repair, carpentry, building trades, culinary arts, and graphic design courses. The biggest component of our transition programming is our EDUCATION FOR EMPLOYMENT classes. Students can take a variety of EFE classes beginning with the classroom-based Introduction to the World of Work and eventually work independently in the community in our EFE level classes. To support our focus on interactive, hands-on instruction, we also have a graphic design lab, a science lab, an art lab, an independent living lab, and a working culinary arts lab. Each classroom is equipped with computers and whiteboard technology for an enhanced educational experience. Several acres adjacent to our building provide green space for physical education. The local YMCA, as well as city parks, also serve as classrooms for PE. Students are able to complete the classroom portion of driver’s education through a state-approved online program. Besides the traditional, required academic courses, a variety of ELECTIVE CLASSES are also available.
Many of our older students also have an opportunity to take courses at GERMANNA COMMUNITY COLLEGE. Our staff works closely with the special education specialist at the college to ensure the experience is positive. Students are administered placement tests so an appropriate course can be chosen for each student. Most of our students begin with the student development course and take the class as a group during our regular school day. One of our staff drive them to campus and also work with them during our Bulldog Block (extended lunch period) to assist with the work.
INTERACT CLUB, sponsored by the Stafford Rotary, is one of the most active clubs at Oberle. Interact provides students the chance to participate in many worthwhile community service projects throughout the school year. A variety of other CLUBS are designed to provide students with opportunities to explore their interests and talents. Club days are held on the first and third Wednesday of each month during our Bulldog Block.