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Oak Knoll School Blog

Cultural Appropriation: Is Your Halloween Costume Insensitive?

Posted by Jennifer Wilson on Oct 23, 2020 9:24:26 AM

Anyone who is a returning member of our community knows that Halloween is a special time at Oak Knoll. For all of our new students and faculty – just wait! From the sweetness and joy of the Lower School parade to the creativity and hilarity of the Upper School seniors’ costume reveal, it is another example of our unique traditions and community spirit.

For some, unfortunately, Halloween can also be a time of hurt and disappointment, when they see their culture appropriated* or reduced to a costume. We know that this is not what any member of our community would want, and so we are sharing some resources that shed light on some costumes that are sold or created nationwide that are not appropriate. This is by no means meant to be an exhaustive list, so if you are questioning if a costume not on this list is appropriate, please feel free to reach out.

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Topics: halloween, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice

5 Tips for Applying to Private School

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 16, 2020 11:00:00 AM

With COVID-19 still lingering about, the routine of going to school this year has been anything but normal, adding more layers of confusion onto an already tumultuous 2020. If you’re lucky, your child’s school has reopened its doors for full-day instruction or turned to a hybrid learning model while taking heavy safety precautions. Some schools have also switched to completely virtual platforms.

As you navigate the uncertainty of this school year, Kelly Dun, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child's Director of Enrollment Management and Financial Aid, has provided some helpful tips for families applying to private school as they navigate the pandemic.

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How to Help Your Child Understand Politics Respectfully

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 11, 2020 8:25:36 AM

Undoubtedly, there has never been a more turbulent election year. As the country still wades through the lasting effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and amid racial and ethnic inequities still piling onto structural racism, this election runs deep – and differently – for everyone. 

Children, in fact, can pick up on political banter and news soundbites, often leaving them unsure about what they are hearing or about what it means. 

It is important that parents and educators provide children the tools they need to understand politics respectfully, and age appropriately. 

Here are some helpful tips on how to help your children understand politics respectfully. 

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Topics: election, teaching, high school, elementary school, parenting, middle school, politics

Behind the Mask: Staying Connected while Physically Distant

Posted by Laura Perillo on Oct 1, 2020 1:26:01 PM

This fall, parents who were able to send their children into the classroom – whether a full day or via hybrid model – lined up their children’s backpacks and pencil cases the night before their first day of classes. Also sitting among that pile of new school supplies was 2020’s newest necessity required for in-person school days – a mask.

While the CDC requires that masks be worn this fall while in the classroom and out in public to help keep COVID-19 at bay, this new normal does not arrive without its challenges.

One of the biggest challenges with mask-wearing is that faces are covered, therefore making social cues less reliable and sometimes difficult for children to interpret.

With the school year well underway, here are some helpful tips on how teachers and children can connect with one another when faces are not fully visible.

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Topics: teaching, elementary school, social and emotional learning, Coronavirus

How to Instill Empathy and Compassion in Children

Posted by Laura Perillo on Sep 21, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Raising kind and compassionate children is inevitably one of the most – arguably the most – important tasks that parents and caregivers are responsible for. Of course, parents want their children to do well in school, get involved in activities and make friends, but the foundation to raising a kind human being all boils down to the basic of principals – teach your children to become empathetic and compassionate toward others. 

This, however, does not happen overnight. In fact, it takes a lot of practice. But the process can start when children are young. Between the ages of 6-9 months, infants focus on parents’ reactions to social events and mimic them to learn how to operate in a social world. Between 18-24 months, toddlers begin to develop their own theories about the way the world works by attributing thoughts, feelings and intention to others and themselves. 

So, how can you instill empathy and compassion in children? Melissa Nelson, Oak Knoll's Lower School Guidance Counselor, says there are several ways parents and caregivers can model and guide, starting when they are very young: 

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Topics: elementary school, lower school, parenting, social and emotional learning

5 COVID-19 Back to School Tips

Posted by Laura Perillo on Sep 15, 2020 11:00:00 AM

In September, as the air gets cooler, kids load their new notebooks, folders, and pencils into their new backpacks. When the first day of school finally arrives, parents shuttle their children out the door and cross their fingers for smiles and a great first day. This year, however, back-to-school looks vastly different as the country is still dodging COVID-19 minus a vaccine.

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Topics: back-to-school, parenting, tips, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Podcast: Navigating Athletics During a Pandemic

Posted by Meghan Hodgin on Sep 11, 2020 8:00:00 AM

In episode 3 of the Academically Speaking podcast, Laura Perillo — Oak Knoll's Marketing Content Strategist — sat down with Athletic Director Dr. Kelly Childs to speak about navigating athletics during a pandemic and how the school is preparing for athletes to return to the playing field safely this fall.

 

Listen to the Podcast

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Topics: high school, athletics, middle school, COVID-19

Podcast: Understanding Re-Entry Anxiety in Children

Posted by Meghan Hodgin on Aug 24, 2020 5:19:34 PM

In our brand new podcast, Academically Speaking, Laura Perillo — Oak Knoll's Marketing Content Strategist in the Office of Marketing and Communications — sat down with new Lower School Guidance Counselor Melissa Nelson on re-entry anxiety in children as they return to campus this fall under COVID-19 restrictions.

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Topics: elementary school, parenting, separation anxiety, tips, mental health, Coronavirus, COVID-19

How to Mask Train Your Child Before Returning to the Classroom

Posted by Laura Perillo on Aug 19, 2020 1:34:06 PM

The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced countless changes since March. Absent of a vaccine, and with the start of the school year just weeks away, parents everywhere are wrestling with the fact that the return to the classroom is going to look very different this fall.

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Topics: education, students, student advice, social and emotional learning, mental health, Coronavirus, COVID-19

Is Your Child Ready for Preschool?

Posted by Laura Perillo on Jun 29, 2020 11:35:08 AM

For years, experts from different specialty areas have proven multiple benefits of a pre-K learning experience. From being better prepared for kindergarten to increasing high school graduation rates by 11 percent, there is no doubt that children who are exposed to a preschool experience reap advantages from this form of early education. 

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Topics: parenting, separation anxiety, pre-kindergarten, pre-K, preschool, preschool ready

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