Oak Grove families and friends gathered on campus for a socially-distanced outdoor screening of our all-school musical production of Matilda.
“Our Pandemic Story,” installed inside the school’s new Reflective Classroom, gives students, families and staff the opportunity to share their individual pandemic stories and to create a shared, community-wide story, according to Head of School Jodi Grass.
Humans are social animals. Does the quantity and quality of our social relationships impact our state of health, future risk of disease, and our life span? Are the effects of relationships via social media the same or different from those of in-person relationships? Please join our presenter Dr. Pathik Wadhwa in a discussion that will touch on the biological and behavioral science behind social relationships, both in-person and virtual.
Former Head of School, Meredy Benson Rice, now the Director of Teaching and Learning spoke about her personal journey as an educator and how students experience education at Oak Grove School as part of the 2015 Do Lecture Series.
If you were not able to join us for this timely Parent Education event, or would like to review, we have provided this recording of parenting expert Dolly Klock’s special presentation on the challenge of finding a balance between screen life and real life. The recording includes attending parents’ Q&A.
To make Unplug Day more festive for our students and staff, we are embracing a theme – School Day in 1984. We invite our students to join our staff and dress as if it were the 1980’s! Parent Council will add to our celebration by creating a “1984 Museum” in the Gazebo, where students will see items like VCRs, Reebok high-tops, cassette tapes, and rubix cubes.
Like so many annual events that have been adjusted this year, our annual High School Winter Showcase went virtual.
The 2020 Peace Day Universal Declaration, as set forth by the United Nations, reads: “Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person.” Rather than holding an all-school event on our campus, as we have done in previous years, over the last week our teachers have been celebrating this year’s Peace Day within the classroom curriculum. Although an anti-bias curriculum is woven throughout everyday learning at Oak Grove, teachers are dedicating more explicit time to anti-bias activities and discussions.
Our anti-bias approach to curriculum aligns with Krishnamurti’s directive to examine our own conditioning. Given the depth and complicated nature of the problem, looking at how we (I) actively engage in image-making, biases, and prejudices, it takes courage and vulnerability to confront these issues in an educational setting.
The idea is not that we rid ourselves of biases, which is likely not possible, but for each of us to understand our own thinking. We must understand our own conditioning, how our own biases, our own image-making, contributes to conflict, to the suffering of others.
For children to grow aware of, even resistant to, conditioning, they must feel safe and understood. They must be able to ask practical and perennial questions alike, engage in rigorous intellectual explorations, and nurture the awareness of being sensitive to the world outside them, as well as the world within. Once we understand our own thinking, we are able to see how that thinking can unconsciously guide our actions.
As eloquently stated by John Lewis, “We in the movement decided to actualize our belief that the hatred we experienced was not based on any truth, but was actually an illusion in the minds of those who hated us.” Without justice there can be no peace.
See what Krishnamurti has said about image-making.
Head of School
Our first Parent Education workshop in the series of the year looked a little different, but the content was equally impactful. Organized and facilitated by High School history teacher Will Hornblower, Parent Education Workshops have been an incredible resource, and have recently been made available to the greater community.
On Thursday, May 28, 2020, the Ojai Chautauqua formed a panel to discuss this question in front of a live streaming audience.
In the words of the Agora Foundation: These are unprecedented times, and it’s unclear whether the worst is behind us. A vast majority of schools, at every educational level, have ceased on-site programs for the remainder of the school year. Many schools are also hesitant to set any definite plans for fall 2020, with so much still uncertain. In the meantime, most public and private institutions have moved to online learning and alternative approaches, with varying levels of success.
What is the best thinking in online learning, and where are schools finding success? How are institutions looking at structural change in order to stay viable and effective? How are leaders thinking about the future intersection of K-12 and higher education? How will fields that have in-person practicum requirements fulfill their training? What are schools that rely on international students planning to do next school year? Will job training reorient to high-demand fields on a national scale?
Jodi Grass – Head of Oak Grove School
Erika Beck – President of CSU Channel Islands
Paul Lazenby – Director of Mother of Divine Grace School
Tiffany Morse – Superintendent of Ojai Unified School District
Moderator: Tom Krause, Board President of the Agora Foundation
Ojai Chautauqua (external link)
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