Welcome to Oak Knoll
Oak Knoll is a big school of over 690 students that feels small, personal and focused on its mission: Every student an exemplary scholar, a valued friend, and a courageous citizen. As you walk onto our campus, you will notice the focus is on the whole child. Learning is not limited to our classrooms, but is accessible everywhere on campus. You will see children of various ages working together and learning from each other. You will see students who love to read, as evidenced by the large number of students who stroll around book in hand. In the halls, you will hear children as young as five playing violin, or classes of kids engaged in a hands-on science, or small groups of students discussing their reading. If you glance into the open doors of our classrooms, you will observe students using technology as a learning tool, students engaged in dynamic lessons, and individual students sitting with their teachers receiving targeted instruction. You might also notice signs on our classroom doors welcoming teachers to observe teachers! You will notice students taking the initiative in tending our school garden, planting seeds, and caring for the chickens. You will see students running the broadcast studio that produces the KNOL morning news and will watch the student tech crew doing sound checks behind the scenes at school-wide assemblies and performances. At recess, you will find children self-directed and participating in various games, sports and other activities, such as visiting our bustling school library. During this time, you might also notice groups of kids in the Gaga (Israeli dodge ball) pit, which students advocated for, designed according to geometric principles, and then built during math classes. If you venture further into our playground you will begin to hear the outdoor instruments, the large "big kid" sandbox (because big kids like to dig in the sand too), and the far off place called the Nature Zone where students work together using nature to build structures. While all of this is going on, over on our kindergarten playground our youngest students are riding trikes and building with our Imagination Playground (oversized foam blocks).
At Oak Knoll our mission is our blueprint and keeps us focused on what we value. Exemplary scholars have a growth mindset so we make sure to teach Dr. Carol Dweck’s “Mindset” research to our students and parents. They understand that intelligence is not an asset determined at birth, and that the brain is pliable and capable of amazing accomplishments with practice and perseverance. Smart is not something you are; smart is something you get through hard work and practice. Developing exemplary scholars may be impossible without focusing on the whole child. We also emphasize students becoming valued friends and courageous citizens as part of our school mission. All three parts of our mission are equally important to us. We empower our students by providing many leadership opportunities in and out of the classroom. We prioritize and hold a high expectation for compassion. Our fervent belief in inclusion for students with specific needs has helped create an appreciation and celebration of unique differences. We value diversity and celebrate race, language and culture on our campus. Oak Knoll has many students from around the globe. Valued Friends are compassionate students so we make sure to teach our students to empathize with others and embrace diversity. Courageous Citizens provide service to others and at Oak Knoll service is not a special project, but instead something Oak Knoll students regularly provide.
Oak Knoll believes in the power of relationships and connection. Teachers provide targeted instruction to students in the classroom who have not yet reached proficiency. This instruction is designed around academic goals and is also used as a critical time to deepen relationships. Speaking of relationships, our school staff also has strong working relationships which result in a lot of collaboration and school spirit. At Oak Knoll we expect a lot of our teachers and put them on a pedestal because we appreciate and value the work they do to make Oak Knoll exceptional. Like our students, our teachers, are amazing!
Oak Knoll is fortunate to have a close partnership between the staff and parents. Parent volunteers spend countless hours supporting classroom teachers, programs, and events. Oak Knoll is a neighborhood school like no other!
As we take our students on this educational journey, we emphasize strategies that help them develop a deep sense of self-awareness, self-advocacy, and self-confidence.
During the 2017-18 school year Oak Knoll students, staff and parents will be engaging in activities and learning that intentionally deliver on our mission. Projects like our Beyond Me Challenge and our Whole Teacher Framework are two examples:
2017-18 Oak Knoll Beyond Me Challenge:
Embrace Diversity: learn, understand, do!
This school year all students will engage in growing their brain by learning about another place/culture in our world, empathize and understand others who are different from themselves, and provide help/support to a community other than their own. Each classroom will earn a badge, presented to them by their principals when they can explain what they learned. This project is directly tied to the Oak Knoll mission.
The Whole Teacher Framework:
Continuous improvement is a core value at Oak Knoll. In order to improve, our teachers and staff must understand the expectations, engage in self-reflection and set individual goals. We have created a framework that focuses on the most important characteristics for a teacher. This framework is called The Whole Teacher Framework. Just as we focus on all the elements of the "whole child" at our school to ensure student connectedness and success, we also want to have clear vision on what elements we believe contribute to teacher success at our school. The Whole Teacher Framework is made up of four equal components: teaching, connection, collaboration and communication. All teachers at Oak Knoll are aware of these components and have spent time discussing, self-reflecting and goal setting around each component. Throughout the 2017-18 school year Oak Knoll principals will meet with teachers one-on-one to check in and continue the conversation. Resources will be allocated based on teacher goals to ensure progress and development across our staff. The Whole Teacher framework is another import aspect of our overall vision.