When you visit the campus of Oak Knoll Elementary School in Menlo Park, California, you can feel the hum of the energy being generated by both staff and students. Learning at Oak Knoll is not limited to the classrooms; instead, each and every part of the school encourages dynamic interaction, exploration, and both directed and self-led learning experiences.
Oak Knoll is a big school—over 700 students—that feels small, personal, and focused on its mission: every child can be an exemplary scholar, a valued friend, and a courageous citizen. In order to do this, they focus on the whole child, celebrating each child’s individuality while helping them overcome any challenges they may face. Their philosophy is rooted in Dr. Carol Dweck’s Mindset work, and they teach both students and parents that intelligence is not an asset determined at birth, and that the brain is pliable and capable of amazing accomplishments with practice and perseverance. One of the ways they do this is by utilizing Dr. Joann Deak’s Your Fantastic Elastic Brain: Stretch It, Shape It to demonstrate how the brain works, and how each person can make their brain stronger and more flexible with hard work and practice.
Oak Knoll encourages a close, nurturing relationship between faculty and students. They have implemented specific strategies for building long-term student/teacher relationships. Teachers tutor every student in the classroom who has not yet reached proficiency. Tutoring is designed around academic goals and is also used as a critical time to deepen relationships. Learning is hands-on as well, with students running a broadcast studio, performing science experiments, or learning violin.
School hours are full of the fun of learning, but Oak Knoll does not stop there. Their afterschool program is filled with educational and entertaining activities such as chess, creative writing, public speaking, LEGO, yoga, tennis, flag football, math, science, cooking, and art. Their sports programs stress having fun, cooperation, learning the rules of the games, and building teamwork, friendships, and community.
If you are looking for a great school for your children, or would like to see just how amazing the educational experience can be when done properly, take some time and visit Oak Knoll!