Elementary — 1st through 5th grade
“On the school tour, we really appreciated the size of the classrooms, the rapport between the students and educators, and the beautiful outdoor spaces. The programs you all offer, the compassion between children and adults, and the foundational spiritual undertones felt magical to us and to our son.” -Prospective family
In classes averaging 14-18 students, a developmentally appropriate academic curriculum is offered which integrates California State Standards and National Common Core Standards with Oak Grove’s unique framework of learning expectations expressed in The Art of Living & Learning. Students apply problem-solving approaches and inquiry-based learning to all core subject areas (math, language arts, social studies, science) which are taught by the homeroom teacher. Subjects are integrated, and academics are differentiated to teach to the individual child’s developmental level. Core academics are balanced with an array of specialist classes in Spanish, art, music, drama, horticulture, computer/library skills, and physical education. Students also learn experientially through our Outdoor Education Program and opportunities for field trips and community service. Students are encouraged to develop intrinsic engagement, be independent learners, and develop focus while learning.
Unique to Oak Grove’s program is a particular emphasis on the art of relationship and caring — for oneself, others, local and global communities, and the environment. Elementary students are active in creating a safe environment for learning and interacting. This is supported by community circles, student-created classroom rules, respectful communication, and teacher-supervised recess times. Care is also promoted through a strong emphasis on community service and environmental awareness.
Academic, social, and emotional needs are closely monitored by the homeroom teacher. Mid-term parent-teacher conferences and comprehensive semi-annual narrative evaluations ensure that parents are given a complete and accurate picture of the elementary student’s academic, social, and emotional development
The Art of Living and Learning
At Oak Grove we approach teaching, learning, and living as an art form — The Art of Living and Learning. Driven by their wonder and curiosity, elementary students are asked to take the time to question deeply. With teacher-as-coach, students learn to research, discern facts from opinions, create presentations, and share their discoveries. Collaborative problem-solving is emphasized each day across content areas, and students learn to rely on one another to find solutions to complex problems. Our experienced elementary faculty creates a safe, supportive, non-competitive environment within which students can actively wonder, reflect, explore ideas, develop skills, and grow intellectually, socially, and emotionally.
We do this by:
- Striving to build a strong academic foundation that retains a child’s natural love of learning. The curriculum is designed to integrate California State Standards along with Oak Grove’s own unique framework of learning expectations expressed in The Art of Living & Learning.
- Recognizing the individuality of each and every student and offering rich, engaging, multi-leveled projects and assignments that speak to developmental readiness, personal interest, and creativity.
- Working, collaborating, investigating, and having fun together.
- Developing strong partnerships with parents so that students receive consistent support from both home and school.
- Empowering students with self-responsibility and ownership of their own learning, we ensure they have the skills they need to succeed in education and in life.
Awakening Natural Relationship through Camping and Exploration
Closeness with nature begins early at Oak Grove School. The wooded campus is bordered by acres of oak groves and wetlands, and the curriculum and daily schedule provide for large blocks of outdoor activity. On a given day, Preschool and Kindergarten children explore fields in search of seasonal insects and flowers, elementary classes tend herbs and vegetables, Middle School students sketch in a rose garden, and High School sophomores spend biology class in a grove observing the web of life through energy exchange. A familiarity with and comfort in nature is emphasized across the school, and nowhere is this better manifested than in the camping program. Through a graduated sequence of trips, students build their confidence, self-sufficiency, awareness, and appreciation of beauty. Most importantly, they develop self-knowledge through a relationship with nature and each other.