Oak Arbor School’s comprehensive curriculum emphasizes the core academic subjects as well as a unique Christian perspective for students in Pre-Kindergarten through 8th grade. Founded in 1978, our school is part of a consortium of schools with headquarters near Philadelphia, PA. Our curriculum closely follows what has been developed through our central Office of Education. We also account for the local needs of students by aligning our curriculum as much as possible with the academic standards of the Rochester Community School District so that students are well prepared for a transition upon graduating from Oak Arbor. Our curriculum is designed to…
Our experience has shown that the well-rounded combination of our strong academic curriculum, highly dedicated, professional teachers and our small classes gives our students the tools they need to perform at a very high level in both our school and others to which they transfer. Please see our testimonials from alumni who transferred to other local schools.
Literacy is the cornerstone of Oak Arbor School’s program. To be literate is to understand and communicate ideas. There are many facets to being literate. Some examples include reading competency, social literacy, scientific literacy, artistic literacy, etc. all of which come together and enable an individual to understand and communicate ideas of all types. To begin with, learning to read and improving a child’s reading competency is imperative. Without reading students cannot access information for themselves, including the most important source of information – the Lord’s Word. We seek not only to teach our students to be good readers, but also to inspire them with a strong love for books and all that they hold. We select literature based on years of experience with high quality, motivational books. We also regularly read aloud engaging stories and novels from Pre-Kindergarten through the Middle School years. Based on our view of developmental stages of academic growth, our focus on reading competency encourages students to become literate in as many areas as possible and to attain high academic standards throughout the curriculum.
Oak Arbor School uses the “Everyday Mathematics” program, developed by the University of Chicago School Mathematics Project for it's Pre-K through 5th grade classes. This is the mathematics curriculum also used throughout the local Rochester Community School District. Everyday Mathematics is distinguished by its focus on the following:
� real-life problem solving
� balance between whole-class and self-directed learning
� emphasis on communication
� facilitation of school-family cooperation, and
� appropriate use of technology
In order to provide for a smooth transition from Oak Arbor School to the local public school system, our 6th, 7th & 8th grade students also use the same mathematics texts as are used in the Rochester Community Schools - currently the Holt Math program.
Science is, most importantly, a place to give children a wonder of and appreciation for the Lord’s creation. In every unit the content chosen can enrich a student’s awareness of the perfect order and variety in that creation. Each unit highlights how the Lord provides and cares for all aspects of His creation. For example, He established laws to provide order and regenerative forces that protect and sustain His creation. We use themes such as these as the framework for the knowledge and skills within our curriculum.
We teach the processes of science, namely observation, inference, experimentation, etc. along with scientific knowledge, and we encourage the use of these to develop their scientific reasoning skills and critical thinking skills in order to enhance their understanding of science.
A goal we have for our science program is for students to use their scientific knowledge in life situations – an important key in promoting literacy in science.
Social Studies, including history and geography, opens students to the world around them, both the past and the present. Through the lens of history, students develop an understanding of people and society, what it means to be a good citizen, and a sense of moral interaction. On a spiritual level, understanding history allows students to consider the workings of the Lord and His providence. Geography is more significant than ever as students discover a world that is “shrinking” daily thanks to new technologies. Through geographical studies, not only can students become more aware of the physical lands, nations, and cultures around the world, but they also explore and appreciate the infinite variety of the Lord's creation.
Oak Arbor School’s physical education program engages students in a wide variety of activities suited to their varying states and needs and also integrates the development of good sportsmanship. The pre-K & Kindergarten students have a weekly non-competitive class which incorporates creative movement and elements of games into the students’ first formal physical education experience. Often music is used in conjunction with equipment such as wands, bands, balls, and more.
For students in 1st & 2nd grades, there is increased emphasis on group dynamics, sharing, sportsmanship, listening, and more advanced motor skills to increase balance and coordination.
In grades 3-6 we introduce exercises, games and activities that provide a cardiovascular workout while increasing reaction time, balance, cross brain/bilateral activity, tracking skills and more, incorporating a wide variety of equipment such as balls, jump ropes, parachutes, scooters, racquets, nets, bands, mats, hula hoops, floor hockey sticks, golf equipment, etc.
Students in grades 7-8 are introduced to activities that promote lifetime fitness with an increasing accountability in competitive games. Units include volleyball, tennis, golf, flag football, soccer, soft ball, floor hockey, biking, badminton, ping pong, bowling, and weight training. We also incorporate team building and problem solving.
Oak Arbor School’s Music Program provides a wide variety of musical activities for all students. They learn rhythm, tone, pitch, and they are introduced to a variety of instruments, such as the recorder, simple percussion instruments, and specialized tone chimes. We also have a distinctive program for memorizing Bible verses. A resident musician sets each Bible selection to music and also teaches the students using hand signs. Several times a year students perform these and other musical pieces during the church’s Sunday worship services.
Our Visual Arts program exposes students to many different media and modes of artistic expression. The students are also encouraged to develop their own style as they are introduced to varying facets of art across the curriculum. The principles and elements of art are taught in many different and exciting ways, including… Arts and crafts are integrated into the classroom experience as well as on a regular basis during the “Friday Elective” programs.
This is one of many people’s favorite parts of Oak Arbor School’s program. In the context of our small classes, our students have many opportunities throughout the year to engage in performances and public speaking activities, including plays, musicals, poetry readings, and presentations. They practice with their peers in their classrooms, they present to small audiences, and they perform for larger audiences. All students have speaking roles in plays and are involved in various facets of production. Also, at 8th grade graduation, each graduate gives a short speech to the assembly. All of these experiences help them progressively gain self confidence and competence in public speaking, a very important life-skill.
Our staff is actively engaged in curriculum development throughout the year. We also invite master teachers from our organization's headquarters to support and evaluate our staff and our school as a whole on a regular basis.