Welcome to Oak Knoll School! 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 debate, 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. In the Science Lab you will see students working hands-on with experiments and asking and answering scientific questions. 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. Oak Knoll is a big school of over 700 students that feels small, personal and focused on its mission: every child an exemplary scholar, a valued friend, and a courageous citizen.
Smart is not something you are; smart is something you get through hard work. This slogan epitomizes the school’s Mindset philosophy. We 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.
Oak Knoll believes in the power of relationships. We have implemented specific strategies for building long-term student/teacher relationships. Teachers tutor every student in the classroom who has not yet reached proficiency. Tutoring is designed around academic goals and is also used as a critical time to deepen relationships.
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. We keep rules to a minimum, emphasize self-directedness and creativity, and dig deeply into yearly school themes designed to build citizenship. We believe in restorative discipline (there has not been a school suspension in 4 years). Our fervent belief in inclusion for students with disabilities has helped create an appreciation and celebration of unique differences. As we take our students on this educational journey, we emphasize strategies that develop a deep sense of compassion and confidence. As one student put it, “I love how you can try new things here and nobody makes fun of you.”