Alicia Payton-MiyazakiPrincipal, Oak Knoll SchoolRead our Weekly Newsletter and follow us!Follow Oak Knoll on Twitter@ OakKnollOttersInstagram @oakknollotters#goMPCSD #OKbestyearyet
Principal Messages 2021-2022
Welcome to Oak Knoll School, we are excited to have you as part of our school community! Oak Knoll has always had a special place in my heart, ever since I attended as a student. All these years later I am thrilled to return as the lucky principal of this amazing school. Menlo Park City School District has been a huge part of my life, my son is currently attending Hillview and my daughter is attending Oak Knoll. I have been an educator and administrator for twenty years in the Menlo Park City School district, and now I am thrilled to be Oak Knoll's Principal for the 2021-2022 school year.
My focus and my passion is to make school work for kids. In order to create an inclusive school climate where students (and staff) feel comfortable and confident, we prioritize social-emotional learning (SEL). Especially as we all return to school this fall our focus is on creating a sense of community for our students, staff, and families. For years we have said, "Together, we are Oak Knoll." Every morning our news broadcast which is anchored by all our fifth graders ends with this sentiment. Our fifth-grade anchors on our morning news broadcast changed the message last year to "Together or Apart, we are Oak Knoll" in light of the pandemic. This year, as our students and teachers from the Virtual Academy return to us at Oak Knoll, we are working to make sure that "Together is our favorite place to be." When we focus on making sure that coming to school together is our favorite place to be we focus on creating an inclusive culture, being flexible and caring, and meeting the needs of a wide variety of learners. All of our staff from our teachers, myself, front office staff, and yard aides are working together to make Oak Knoll the best part of every child's day. We believe that students who feel safe, heard, and cared for are able to do their best work. Students who know their teachers are listening to them are able to ask questions, dig deeper, and stretch their thinking.
Our school mission, “Every student, an exemplary scholar, a valued friend, and a courageous citizen” is our primary driver. Our mission is anchored in teaching students about mindset, compassion, and civic engagement. We believe that exemplary scholars have a growth mindset, valued friends are compassionate, and courageous citizens recognize the needs of others and see themselves as part of the solution. Last year we launched our Learner Profile to further define and set goals around whole child development. We believe our work is never done, and as we continuously improve in our ability to meet the needs of all our learners we continue to make each new year Our Best Year Yet.
Our teachers are intentional about building a strong and safe classroom community so our students can take risks, be creative, and learn deeply. This process takes many forms, from greeting students by name every day at the door, to getting to know each student, including their interests, strengths, and needs. Goal-setting and targeted instruction is the path that leads our students to academic success, but again, we know their success is only as strong as their ability to apply a growth mindset, show compassion and see the needs of others from a global perspective.
I value the strong connections between our teachers, staff, students, and parents. Our community is special because we come together to face challenges, and always seek first to understand. We keep our student's success at the center of all of our work, and we have built a strong foundation of collaboration and compassion. This year and for years to come, let's make sure that "Together is our favorite place to be."
Principal, Oak Knoll School