Stories enchant us

Elementary

Yesterday he told you The Lorax book is better than the movie. Today he followed a butterfly to see which flowers it liked best. No doubt about it—he’s sharp, and he’s inquisitive. He already loves learning—and you want him to keep loving it, with the same fresh delight, all his life.

At Oakwood we celebrate his incisiveness and his spontaneity. But we also want him to be as open to learning at sixty as he was at six.

That’s why we expect even our youngest children to master core skills in reading, writing, and math. Our curriculum works to make this core knowledge automatic, giving your child the intellectual stamina to forge ahead. But our teachers present that curriculum through their own inventive methods, inspiring your child to roam the byways of his creativity. In this open yet strengthening environment, he grows into a nimble, joyful, persistent thinker, who’s ready to take on any challenge.

We are Morgan Hill’s independent, non-sectarian, college-preparatory school for students in preschool through grade 12. Our diverse community, thriving on an expansive campus, provides a home for an extended family of learners. Here, we share our unwavering commitment to a more intentional education. To learn more about our educational philosophy, download our Lower School Brochure. The best way for your family to meet our family is to tour our scenic Morgan Hill campus, meet our teachers and students, and observe our learning in action. Our family looks forward to meeting yours.

Elementary News

Camp Read-A-Lot Fun Way to End 2nd Grade

Ms. Mallette and Mrs. Pappa's second-grade classes experienced a distance learning version of our beloved Camp Read-A-Lot on the last day of the 2019-2020 school year. Students set up tents or forts in their living rooms, bedrooms, or even their backyards, and dressed in camping attire ready for a fun last day together. The excitement began the day before as Ms. Mallette and Mrs. Pappa packed their cars and headed off to each student's home to make Camp Read-A-Lot deliveries. Our second-grade teachers were deeply moved by their warm welcome from each student and family and somewhat overwhelmed with emotion at being able to see each student in person after 66 days apart. On Friday, each student "Zoomed" from their tents equipped with a flashlight, goody bag, and the most exhilarating energy. Just as in previous years, the classes heard stories from our "Reading Rangers," Mrs. Shales and Mrs. Helvey, all while snacking on camp treats. The 2nd graders also enjoyed some camping review lessons. They ended the day with awards highlighting all of the special qualities each teacher found in our extraordinary group of resilient second-grade students.

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Elementary Students Awarded for Exemplary Behavior in Science

It's no secret that Oakwood teachers have worked diligently to keep the continuity of everyday school life for our students as they learn remotely. Elementary science teacher Ms. Pompa is no exception. She has always felt it important to reward students for being good examples to their classmates. Before we moved to online learning, Ms. Pompa would secretly select students in each grade and reward them for modeling the character word of the month. They would receive the Secret Student award for their efforts, and the entire class would receive a "high-five".

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Second Grade Students Experience Pioneer Life while Oakwood is Away from Oakwood

On Friday, April 24th, as a tie-in with their history unit, Oakwood 2nd-grade students celebrated Pioneer Day: Zoom Style. While it looked much different than it had in previous years, Ms. Pappa and Ms. Malette wanted to ensure that even though the school is currently practicing Oakwood Away From Oakwood remote learning, the children were still able to learn about pioneer life in the 1800s interactively. The teachers were pleased to see that the students still had a great time dressing up with costumes they found at home. Students read their pioneer adventure tales to their classmates, ate some homemade pioneer snacks, and even danced a pioneer jig.

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Fourth-Grade Book Report Project Showcases Creative Learning

Each year Oakwood 4th-grade students complete a book report project that includes picking a book of their choice to read, writing a three-paragraph summary and a paragraph reflection, and creating a t-shirt to represent the book they read. They depict a favorite part of the story on the front of the shirt, on the sleeves they put the book characters, and on the back of their shirts, they show a theme or motto from the book. The project is typically wrapped up with a t-shirt fashion show where the students model their shirt design, walking the "runway" to a fun script they wrote. This year, with the current shelter-in-place occurring, the 4th-grade students put on their shirts for a Zoom share with their classmates, where they discussed protagonists and antagonists, along with flat, round, dynamic, and static characters. The class also talked about their favorite part of their books and if they would recommend it to others. We love that Oakwood teachers present curriculum through their own inventive methods, inspiring students and keeping them engaged in their learning. Great job 4th grade, your shirts look fantastic!

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Creative Color Wheels Engage Elementary Students in Offline Learning

At Oakwood, we believe that balance is essential. While we engage in remote learning, students enjoy spending time in their online classes, but it is also vital for them to learn and create offline as well. In art class this week, Oakwood Elementary students were given the assignment of creating a color wheel by using found objects around their homes. The outer ring was to showcase primary and secondary colors, while the center objects represented neutral colors. We think they did a fantastically colorful job!

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First Day of Oakwood Zoom Classes a Success!

On Wednesday, March 18, all Oakwood students, preschool through high school seniors, powered up their devices and joined teachers and peers online for the first day of Oakwood Zoom classes. Our passionate faculty and support staff have worked furiously behind the scenes to transform and organize the current curriculum to facilitate an "Oakwood away from Oakwood" education. This time of unease has tested the resilience of our community. We have all responded quickly to ensure that our students are now back to learning from their teachers and engaging with their peers.

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Oakwood's Techie Pizza Robotics Team Prepares for FLL Innovation Expo

Oakwood's 4th, 5th, and 6th grade robotics team, Techie Pizza, continues to make progress in preparing for regional championships that will occur March 7th at the Northern California FIRST LEGO League Innovation Expo.

During the regular season, the team was challenged to identify a problem with a building or public space in their community and chose the problem of rental scooters ridden illegally on sidewalks. While scooters are environmentally friendly and convenient, pedestrians are being injured and even killed. The team employed an accelerometer and demonstrated that scooters operated on streets and sidewalks produced different vibration patterns.

Now, the team has modified an electric scooter to prototype and prove their solution. They adapted the scooter's drive electronics and used CAD to design an enclosure into which they have installed a small computer and sensors. They have written software to gather accelerometer data and are training machine learning models to automatically tell the difference between sidewalks and streets. They hope to produce software that can be installed onto existing rental scooters that will slow down and sound alarms to encourage users to avoid riding on the sidewalk.

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Oakwood Eyases Support HS Basketball Team

Oakwood 4th and 5th grade students met after school yesterday to make signs and learn cheers (while enjoying a yummy snack) in preparation for the Boys' Varsity Basketball game last night. Our mascot Thunder even made an appearance for a special photo opp before the game. Thank you to the high school students and their advisors who came out to teach the students cheers and to the parents who donated food for their snack. And congrats to the Boys' Varsity Basketball team on their win!

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Third Grade Students Honor Veterans' Day With White Table Tradition

In the spirit of compassionate citizenship, Oakwood third grade students learned about the "White Table" tradition of setting a small table with a white cloth and one chair in a common dining area to honor our veterans – especially MIAs and POWs – to remind us of their sacrifices and the impact on their families. They respectfully set a "white table" on campus to serve as a visual reminder to our student body. Students were invited to add the name and photo of a military family or friend who has served, or is presently serving, to their display. To learn more about this tradition and the meaning of each item on the table, you can visit the website of Margot Raven, author of children's book, America's White Table, which the third-grade students read in class.

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Oakwood Success at FIRST LEGO League Regional Qualifying Tournaments

Congratulations to Oakwood's three rookie FIRST LEGO League teams on their successful participation in Regional Qualifying Tournaments on November 9, 2019! Oakwood's after-school FIRST LEGO League team of 4th, 5th, and 6th graders, also known as Techie Pizza, participated in a qualifying tournament at Intel, won the Judges' Award, and were one of two teams invited to participate in the Northern California Innovation Expo. The two Oakwood Middle School teams (8th grade team Big Brain and 7th grade team Poison Oak) traveled to Amazon Labs in Sunnyvale, where Big Brain finished fourth overall in Robot Game performance and Poison Oak was selected to advance to the Regional Championship in Mountain View on December 15.

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Our children are part of an invigorating educational program at Oakwood, which allows each of them to use their strengths and confidently conquer their challenges.

Oakwood Parent

Oakwood is a place where dedicated people instill values, leadership and pride into children while giving them a top notch education.

Oakwood Parent

I love how my children are thriving at Oakwood and how the teachers and staff are always there for them.

Oakwood Parent