Posts from June 2012
Students at The Oaks Academy are presented with a feast of living ideas throughout their learning experiences. Living ideas are truths, meanings and understandings. And, they may be found in artwork, literature, nature, and music.
Students then ponder and engage these living ideas, and perhaps even wrestle with them – all in the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty.
Consider this scripture, an excerpt from Philippians 4:8.
“…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; …think on these things.”
One of the pillars of true education is the central place of active learning. The crux of the idea is that learning isn’t the exclusive domain of an institution, classroom or book. Learning is a part of living.
- A fifth grader sketches an Apache bowl displayed at the Eiteljorg
- A third grader rides a canal boat through Metamora
- An eighth grader touches a slice of moon rock at the Smithsonian
- A sixth grader wades into Fall Creek to take water samples
These all foster a sense of wonder and love for ideas that extends beyond the classroom.
What gave you a love of community or of the arts? Was it that trip to St. Meinrad’s, or what about the Thursday you spent at the IMA looking at the work of Georgia O’Keefe?
Written by Andrew Hart, Fall Creek Head of School
To the Class of 2012:
A couple of weeks ago, I met with most of you to talk about your essays on truth and beauty. I asked you what your favorite experiences were. During the reviews, one of you said that learning Latin was like gaining a superpower. It opened up meaning, gave insight and understanding to language.
Maybe a treasure map? We’ve tried to show you where you can find Truth and Beauty. It’s not always where you think it is.
When we’ve taken you on a nature walk, we wanted you to see not just a beautifully shaded, symmetrical leaf but to gain a sense of wonder and awe in the One who made the leaf. When you read Hamlet, it wasn’t to revel in the language but to gain insight into your own nature. When you ran through a battlefield a few weeks ago that 150 years ago was drenched in blood, it wasn’t to enjoy the view; we wanted you to understand sacrifice and courage.
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” Matthew 13:44
We hope that through your years at The Oaks, we’ve given you a map, located in your heart, that helps you find that treasure no matter where you go, no matter who you’re with.
Now, on with you goes the reputation of The Oaks as you enter the most rigorous and challenging schools in the area. You are, in fact, the standard bearers for all of us associated with The Oaks. I, along with the faculty and staff of The Oaks, wish you well.
Academic success takes many forms at The Oaks Academy. You can witness student achievements during a musical presentation or a recitation of an historic speech. Success is also evident when students are eager to learn and a classroom is bursting with palpable joy.
The Oaks Academy just received news of an additional indicator of achievement – test scores from the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. In math, Oaks students are performing nearly one and a half years above grade level, and they are almost two full years ahead in reading.
This level of excellence is only possible through relationships: student and student learning beside each other, teacher and parent supporting each other, student and teacher respecting and trusting each other. This is what academic success looks like.
On Tuesday evening, families and faculty members gathered to celebrate the graduation of 17 eighth graders from The Oaks Academy.
This year’s graduates are now preparing for their freshman year at Covenant Christian, Herron, Park Tudor, Franklin Community, and other area high schools.
The Oaks faculty is confident that they are prepared to succeed in high school and beyond, and our entire school community wishes the Class of 2012 the very best.