THE ART OF LIVING AND LEARNING
Oak Grove is a progressive day and boarding school serving students from preschool through high school and is located in Ojai, California, just north of Los Angeles. Founded in 1975, our unique approach to education has been a model for educators around the world. Oak Grove fosters an environment where students are encouraged to ask deep questions that flower from a truth within. The expansive 150-acre wooded campus, along with our focus on self-understanding, offers a safe space for deep inquiry, affectionate communication, and openness in the face of challenge, while infusing our days with a sense of ease and joyfulness. The Art of Living and Learning expresses several overarching themes embedded in our school’s culture, curriculum, classroom practice, and expectations of student learning.
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.
Preschool through Second Grade
Serious respect for the work and play of children is combined with developmentally appropriate expectations of classroom routine and social learning. Children begin to learn how to get along with others – to express themselves in words, to be aware of other people’s feelings, to share, and to solve disputes.
Third through Fifth Grade
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.
Sixth through Eighth Grade
Middle School (Junior High) is an exciting transitional journey from childhood to young adulthood, and our dedicated faculty will help you navigate these important times and prepare you for the path ahead. Oak Grove Middle School offers a rich, balanced experience that taps into your interests and natural creativity. We pursue deep academic inquiry, social-emotional growth, and joy, giving strength to our students’ inner lives and to enrich our lives together in community.
Ninth through Twelfth Grade
High School students develop life-long practices of intellectual discipline, good communication, self-reflection, understanding, and clear thinking. We offer a challenging college-preparatory curriculum that is approved by the University of California and is designed to exceed admissions requirements for the most rigorous and selective universities across the country.
Kindergarten through 12th Grade
Our youngest learners begin camping on campus and nearby campgrounds with parents. During their elementary years, students hikes and camp locally, including trips to the Channel Islands. Middle school students attend science camps in Wyoming and Washington. High School students take weeklong backpacking trips in local mountains, roadtrip through the southwest as juniors, and seniors travel to India.
Serving the Whole Student
At Oak Grove, we are committed to serving the whole student. The Pastoral Care Program is designed to offer social-emotional support for students and staff, so that each is able to show up intentionally and engage authentically, generating a sense of belonging and community. Once we are present and feeling connected, we are then able to embrace learning and to excel in other areas.
In order to help our parents, students, and teachers work together as a “family unit,” we offer a Parent Education program that spans the Oak Grove experience from preschool through 12th grade. Parent Education events are led by teachers as well as outside professionals, covering topics like Growth Mindset, social media wellness, college readiness, inquiry-based dialogue, diversity & equity, teen sexuality, and more. In addition, the program emphasizes building relationships and support networks among parents, teachers, and community members.
June through August
Summer camp offerings include imagination filled games, outdoor adventures, a variety of culinary explorations, mindful archery, special effects make-up, and kid’s dance and yoga camp, and more.