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Oak Hall Lower School4
Posted January 01, 2013
- a parent
We enrolled here because we were interested in providing our child with more structure and discipline than the daycare he had attended; but we didn't want to ruin his enthusiasm for learning nor his ability to have fun and socialize. The lower school teachers are excellent; they take pride in knowing each child and their families. I have never met a more compassionate and dedicated group of educators. They are exceptionally creative and go to great lengths to incite ingenuity and imagination. It was always wonderful hearing marvelous stories from our child and appreciating how much he had learned in a day. The teachers welcome parents into the classroom frequently and truly keep us engaged. They have a decent aftercare program which is convenient for working parents and very clever afterschool activities that one can elect to enroll their child such as chess, karate, and etiquette classes. The curriculum appears innovative using Singapore math and there is integration of computer and learning boards in the classroom. I absolutely recommend OHS for young children who you believe will be ready for classroom structure.
We went to Oak Hall School because our child was too young for Chiles and had outgrown her pre-school. Well she thrived at Oak Hall School. The teacher met her half way as she used to finish her work quickly and so she would either have a chance to read, play on the computer or build a puzzle. At the end of the year, I did not want to mess with something which was clearly working. My daughter was happy, challenged, surrounded by friends in her class and then there were all the bonuses like daily physical education, music, lots of art, Spanish and computers. This school is well worth checking out. For my family it has been a huge relief and with full day school, aftercare and lots of extracurricular opportunities like chess or sports leagues, a solution to our both working full time.
Although most of the teachers are well-prepared and kind, the curriculum is dry, overly traditional, and lacking in creativity and hands on learning. The four years my child spent at OHS squelched her love of learning completely. She came out with great rote memory skills, but all the AR reading and worksheets (rather than projects, journal writing, etc...) had a negative impact on her skills and her desire to learn. She is now at a Montessori school where she receives more individualized education (small group learning), more experiential learning opportunities, and less busy work and computer testing. We wish we had switched her to a Montessori school sooner. Her abilities and enthusiasm have increased threefold. The behavior of the students at the Montessori school is far superior to that of OHS. Many students were rude, disrespectful and unkind. Such bad behavior was often overlooked because of parental influence.
In my experience the academic programs offered are excellent. Typically the children are learning at one grade above most other school programs. They are building a state-of-art preschool and kindergarten center that will only enhance those classes which are already excellent. All classes, (even preschool), take additional courses of study consisting of, (but not limited to), Spanish, Art, Music, Computers, PE, etc. They have many after school extracurricular activities to choose from and an after care program available for working parents. The code of ethics and morals that is taught is also an extra selling feature that enhances my parenting style. In addition, most parents are very active in the Oak Hall educational experience which I feel adds another important dimension to a child's educational experience.
This school claims to be an accelerated school, but they do not really challenge the students to think. They just give more work and move faster. A truly gifted program will include much more hands-on and higher level thinking skills. There are a few very good teachers, but most of them are not as caring as you find at other schools.