Oak Crest teachers are effective for 2 reasons, they are exceptionally bright and they sincerely care about all the students. They all call my son by name to greet him, will stop and help him do whatever is needed and have each taken the time to get to know him personally - even the ones that are not his official teachers.
There is only 1 passing grade at Oak Crest, 100%. Masterly of the material is the only objective and the only acceptable outcome so students MUST persist or they will not make it at Oak Crest. That sounds 'harsh' or 'heavy' until you see what a difference it makes in a child. My son went from a tentative learner that was discouraged by mistakes to a kid that gets more and more determined with his mistakes because he knows the material and he is not guessing if he is right or wrong. He is a confident, capable learner that is motivated to do his best work every day.
Empathy is a vastly overlooked quality in today's kids. But not at Oak Crest. Empathy requires kids to care about others, help others and think about the consequences of their actions. Oak Crest focuses on individual students in its teaching - making learning meaningful for the student, helping the child learn and fostering a larger world view in each student. The students, in turn, not only see empathy from their teachers, they learn to "feel" the strength of support from their teachers and "feel" the energy that comes from acceptance by their classmates. Empathy, compassion, caring and a deep love of self and others are natural consequences of such a rich, powerful learning environment.
Oak Crest actually teaches ethics, responsibility and other age-appropriate core values to their students. The small class size, personal attention and rigorous curriculum demand (and mold) students of strong character, self-control and good manners. These students are confident, polite and responsible - in a world where far too many are not.
My bright, well behaved son has found a school he loves! He is surrounded by similarly smart, mature kids and a host of teachers that work really hard to make sure every child is fully engaged in learning every single day. I was worried that "self-paced" would not work for my son but I was 100% wrong...he is now highly motivated and wants to learn more and do more than I ever thought possible. He just finished what public school calls 1st grade and he can read anything we give him, from newspapers to popular magazines, and he loves reading. His ability to do math is even more impressive. The Oak Crest curriculum makes sure he really understands numbers and their relationships so he is doing 3rd grade math and wants to be a "math expert" when he grows up. His teachers support him, his classmates encourage him and he is really thriving in an environment that caters to exceptional learners. What a relief to find a school that really believes in teaching and cares (deeply) about every student!
"Where very young children learn to read" They aren't kidding. My 4-year-old has read, completed and passed tests on 25 school books and is now starting to read her own bedtime stories at night! Admittedly, we're talking "Cat in the Hat" and "Green Eggs and Ham" but this is all happening before she would have even started kindergarten in public school! (And I've not met many kindergartners who are reading even Dr. Seuss.) I'm impressed. Thank you, Oak Crest.
OCPS is truly the best school in Carrollton! Before entering OCPS, my child was constantly searching for social acceptance, bullied, afraid to participate in class, would shut down and had very little trust in her teachers/administrators. To witness this daily and the impact it had on her (despite all the praise she received at home) took it's toll on me. Now, she looks forward to going to school. Her writing/spelling has improved drastically. She is pushing herself to learn, so 'she can make us proud' (her words). She LOVES to read even when there's 'a lot of pages.' I've stop counting the # of times she asked me to wait so she can finish her 'study hall' (they actually learn/get homework assistance in day care!) assignment. What's more amazing, many times it's an upper classmen (who's also staying late) that's helping & encouraging her, 'as they've been there' (that's a quote from a 9 year old BTW). The teachers are compassionate, patient & genuinely invested in seeing each kid succeed. She's not anxious. I'm not stressed trying to figure out how to 'fix it.' It's like our house is finally at peace. Honestly, I can't tell you how many times I've cried tears of joy.
This is a wonderful school. The children learn what they study and can apply what they learn. They learn it fully with complete understanding of the subject. They are taught respect for each other and valuable communication skills starting from the Early Beginners class. The children gladly help, encourage and applaud each other for their successes. The whole school participated in a dance show that was awesome. None of the students showed any embarrassment to get out there and dance. That shows how safe the kids feel to get outside their comfort zone. When a child needs extra help they get it till they fully understand what they are studying.