At the Eastland School in Peekskill, New York, Edna Garrett (Charlotte Rae) oversees the day-to-day lives of students who come from all walks of life. Under the care of this slightly nutty but always caring housemother is the beautiful, rich and spoiled Blair Warner (Lisa Whelchel); the witty, plump and impressionable Natalie Green (Mindy Cohn); Dorothy “Tootie” Ramsey (Kim Fields), the young and persistent campus gossip; and Joanna “Jo” Polniaczek (Nancy McKeon), a Bronx-born and bred streetwise kid whose tough exterior masks the brains and compassion she's hiding underneath. Whether it's the challenges posed by Eastland's academic and social scenes, the rise, fall and rebirth of the businesses they start and run together, or the comings and goings of new faces in school and town, including Edna's replacement (and sister) Beverly Ann Stickle (Cloris Leachman), the girls are always ready for a new challenge, and perceptive enough to learn from each new situation.

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