Oak Grove’s residential program reimagines the High School boarding experience. Set in the peaceful and beautiful Ojai Valley, just 90 minutes from Los Angeles, Oak Grove offers boarding to domestic and international students in 9th through 12th grades. Our family-style boarding facility provides a safe and friendly living and learning environment. Because some boarders live within an hour or two from Ojai, weekends can be spent with family, if desired.
Our dormitory facility, Besant House, is just that — a house! In reality, though, it’s more than just a house, it is a place many call home. Our residential students enjoy the comforts, schedules, and experiences that a large family might. While most students have their own room, bathrooms and laundry facilities are shared. Day and boarding students enjoy the communal spaces such as the TV room, computer room, music room, and kitchen after school and throughout the weekend. Ping-pong, hiking, bike rides, tennis, and other outdoor activities are popular. Dinner is enjoyed together with dorm parents each evening at 6:00pm in the dining room, or weather permitting, on the back patio adjacent to the meadow.
A dedicated residential staff lives on the premises, offering support, guidance, great food, good conversation, and abundant opportunities to explore Southern California, as well as the local town of Ojai, home to many famous writers, actors, and artists. A comprehensive Residential Life Team consisting of academic teachers, advisors, chefs, maintenance staff, and parent volunteers also contributes to the vitality of our program.
The weekend lends itself to a world of opportunity. If staying in Ojai, downtown is just a short bike ride from Oak Grove, and High School students are often found shopping at the Sunday farmer’s market, grabbing a bite to eat, or playing music at Libbey Park. The charming coastal communities of Santa Barbara and Ventura are nearby, and dorm parents can provide transportation to breathtaking beaches, shopping, culture, and entertainment. Organized trips and activities are also available to both day and boarding students throughout the year. Visiting the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, watching a Globetrotter’s basketball game at UCSB, singing along to top artists at a concert, or skiing at local mountains have been requested this past year. Our flexible 7-day boarding also allows for family time between Friday and Sunday, if desired.
All students at Oak Grove participate in at least 25 hours of community service per year. Our boarding students often go above and beyond, immersing themselves in the local culture and community of Ojai. In the past, students have worked with homeless shelters to help prepare and serve food, cleaned up our local parks, volunteered with event set-up and break-down, assisted the elderly with technology tutoring, worked with the local animal shelters, and much more!
Oak Grove School is fully vegetarian, and we prepare delicious organic meals sourced from our own organic garden as well as local farms. True to our family-style program, all week-night meals are enjoyed together in a technology-free dining room, where both delectable food and lively conversations are on the menu. Students enjoy lunch on campus thanks to Oak Grove School’s award-winning Vegetarian Hot Lunch Program. Breakfast, afternoon snack, and dinner are prepared at Besant House. Our cooks are often asked to prepare favorite dishes, and house members contribute to the grocery list — even helping cook in the kitchen when interested. Meals outside of school are not restricted to a vegetarian menu, and students enjoy a variety of wonderful local restaurants.
Day and boarding students attend classes Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm, with school ending at noon on Wednesdays. Students have a holistic and balanced schedule of academic courses, electives, athletics, and leisure time, allowing day and boarding students to develop relationships and explore passions both in and out of the classroom. Boarding students interested in pursuing additional or alternative extracurriculars off campus are supported by the dorm staff with their scheduling and transportation needs.
At home, at school, day trips and weekend activities.
Boarding schools allow students and faculty to develop close, meaningful relationships that transcend the classroom. With our small program, Besant House is an ideal place for students to work closely with one another and adults to create an exceptional place to live, learn, and grow. I love working with this vibrant community of students and staff, and seeing how each year reflects the students’ creativity and development.