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.
We are always honored to be part of this important community celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “Change does not roll on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”
In recent years, a greater global understanding of both environmental concerns and the measures necessary to prevent them has occurred.
The coronavirus has wreaked havoc worldwide, from social distancing to overcrowded hospitals, to over 88,000 deaths across the nation. But even in darkness, there is light, and even in the worst tragedies, there is always a bit of hope.
When one of my family members asked me to explain my quarantine experience in one word, I said “grateful.” I chose this word because quarantine has made me aware of how much I had taken for granted, such as a loving school community, relationships with people, physical touch, fresh produce, my family having stable jobs, nature, and oddly enough, toilet paper!
Oak Grove’s high school students are obsessing over homework, class participation, tests, and how these will affect student grades. Even during remote learning, where our circumstances are incredibly different, students’ mindsets have remained the same.
The Journalism class produced an in-depth audio report on China-US trade relations.
The spaciousness to ask both practical and perennial questions is an essential part of the Oak Grove educational program. Through academic inquiry (Socratic, scientific, normative, conceptual, etc.), dialogue, Council, as well as reflective practices, students and teachers explore questions about the world outside and within. The student newspaper, The Oak Grove Times, is a place students may give form to such inquiry — a public forum, the published word. Students choose an area of focus and are supported to develop questions, a clear direction, and to establish a detailed research plan (focus groups, data, etc.). The adults engaged in this process serve as mentors, sounding boards, and advisors. Often the relationship among the subject of an article, the student, and the advisors becomes a transformational opportunity to look at their conditioning, biases, and assumptions.
In the fall of 2017, Sanaya Danhanukar, then a junior at Oak Grove, authored an article titled “Who is God?” In it, she writes:
“What created this galaxy that we exist in? We have all heard about the Big Bang Theory, but what caused the Big Bang? This remains a mystery to us all. What would happen if one fell into a black hole? There are some things that even science cannot give us explanations for, without leaving behind questionable doubt. The argument is that this mystery makes it clear that there is a God who is responsible for the creation of life and our world, as we see it today. In times of difficulty and despair, God has answered prayers. While atheists may argue that there is nothing to prove the existence of God, a counter-argument made by believers is that while there may not be concrete evidence to prove the existence of God, there is also no evidence to prove that God doesn’t exist. These arguments are a valid justification for why these people hold the belief that they do.”
In December of 2018, Cassius Calzini, an Oak Grove student for the past nine years, published a piece about the school’s grounds and questioned the need for recent changes to the campus:
“Meditative walks in the oak grove and playing in the lost meadow are experiences that have enhanced my time at Oak Grove School. Now, being a ninth grader, I am looking at my school, and I’m noticing a change: I am feeling a great pressure from society for schools to prepare their students for the outside world in a way that doesn’t allow individuality and personal growth. At Oak Grove School we focus on the individual, not just academically, but as a whole. In return, people graduate from our school as truly amazing human beings, carrying on the impact of what Oak Grove has taught them throughout their lives. I worry that the pressure to conform to society could cause us to lose the unique opportunities provided by our school that allow children to explore themselves, and the freedom to inquire and ask questions.”
In the most recent edition, May 2019, sophomore Nayeli Tirado questioned our biases around immigration, while senior Lewis Lu shared his own cultural conditioning bias as a Chinese citizen against seeing Tibet as a sovereign nation, and student Earl Marvin explored the depths of ethnocentrism with his poem titled “Fascism.”
To delve deeply into a question can confront our beliefs and leave us feeling unsettled under any circumstance, but to then publish that process requires a significant level of vulnerability. This is the power of the published word.
View all of the archived newspapers here.
CONTACT OAK GROVE
Oak Grove School does not discriminate on the basis of any individual or group identity characteristics, such as but not limited to race, color, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national or ethnic origin, differing mental or physical abilities, or family structure in the administration of its educational or admissions policies, employment practices, scholarship, and other school-administered programs. View the unabridged policy.