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Oak Knoll School Blog

Keeping Cool About the Return to School?

Posted by Chris Starr on Aug 24, 2023 1:12:48 PM

After weeks of summer fun, a relaxed bed-time routine, more screen time with video games or nighttime movies, and a casual approach to daily responsibilities, your child may be experiencing some anxiety about the return to school in a few weeks, or may be feeling a little less than excited about the prospect.

Experts say there are a number of ways in which parents can ease the transition back to school by using the last few weeks of summer prior to the start of class to physically and mentally prepare for the new academic year.

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Topics: back-to-school, parenting, tips, mental health, family

Why I Chose Oak Knoll

Posted by Zahra Jones '23 on May 31, 2023 12:17:50 PM
 
After my first year of middle school, I knew I needed a change. I had been feeling a variety of emotions I couldn’t put into words, but I knew I needed to switch academic environments. I was a kid who always loved to learn and was eager to enter the classroom. I wanted to be surrounded by people who felt the same way, so I asked my parents if I could look at private schools. I attended a summer camp at a private school the previous summer and really enjoyed it, especially the campus and the schedule each day, and I wanted that to become my daily routine. I looked at many private schools in surrounding towns, but my path led me to Oak Knoll. If you had told me when I was applying to private school that I would end up at Oak Knoll, I wouldn’t have believed you, but it was always meant to be my destination, and for that I am truly grateful. 
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Topics: all-girls, high school, athletics, private school, student advice, building confidence

College Counseling Roadmap: Early Advice for Navigating the Journey

Posted by Chris Starr on May 15, 2023 1:08:48 PM

A major forte at an independent school such as Oak Knoll is the bespoke nature of its college counseling program. Smaller class sizes, lower faculty to student ratios, and individualized learning allow students to be known and honored for their unique abilities and personalities. At Oak Knoll, this enables our college counseling team to tailor a highly personal approach to researching and applying to universities which is introduced to freshman and sophomore parents each year at our College Counseling Roadmap — a late Spring session for families of ninth and tenth graders that offers the following expert advice for gradually navigating school visits, applications, interviews, and acceptances.

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Topics: high school, parenting, tips, college counseling, family

Podcast: Building Momentum — Oak Knoll Track & Field Makes Its Presence Known

Posted by Chris Starr on May 11, 2023 10:25:22 AM

In the Spring of 2023, our 4x800 track and field relay team was proactively invited to compete in the historic Penn Relays — the country’s oldest and largest track and field competition. The invitation was a historic moment and further affirmation for our fleet-footed athletes. Whether it is cross country in the fall, indoor track in the winter, or track and field in the Spring, Oak Knoll is making its presence known. In this short podcast (5:12 mins), Coach Mickey Cassu and our Senior Team Captains share thoughts on why our teams are doing so well. 

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Topics: all-girls, athletics, building confidence, fitness, podcast, sports

Top Reads for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

Posted by Chris Starr on May 6, 2023 3:38:59 PM

Considered the mother of multicultural literature for her groundbreaking research, Rudine Sims Bishop has said that young people need books that are mirrors (that allow them to see themselves and their own experiences), windows (that they can look through to see other worlds), and sliding glass doors (that allow them to enter other worlds.) With that in mind, Oak Knoll sophomore Amelia Pace ’25 is celebrating her Asian American roots and inviting others to see and enter into her world with a selection of books she curated to honor Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Amelia’s maternal grandparents emigrated to the United States from Japan after World War II. Later, her father, Italian American, and her mother, Japanese American, met in Tokyo, married, and settled in New Jersey. Both cultures are honored in their home, where English and Japanese are commonly communicated. 

“I’ve been a member of the Asian American Pacific Islander Society at school since seventh grade, and it’s nice to have that sort of community,” said Pace. “Recently, I was offered the opportunity to take on a leadership role, and I just thought that it’s so important to share my culture — not just for people who have similar backgrounds to me, but also for the wider community here — whether through recommending reading or making presentations when possible. Asian literature is just so fascinating, the style of writing, and I feel that it’s so important for people not of that background to be able to glimpse into the lives of these characters.”

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Topics: reading, student advice, things to do, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage

6 Ways to Foster a Love of Reading in Children

Posted by Chris Starr on Apr 17, 2023 3:54:31 PM

According to recent research, the number of children 0-17 years of age who read for fun has dramatically dropped over the last decade. Those who said they read for pleasure “every day” or “nearly every” day have plummeted from 38% to 25%. Experts attribute this drop to a variety of factors including: the rise of technology and digital entertainment, the decline in numbers of caregivers who read aloud to their children at home, and some schools who focus on the acquisition of reading “skills” which leads to students approaching reading as work rather than fun. Oak Knoll prides itself on being a community that bucks that trend and furnishes our students with a lifelong love of reading.


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Topics: elementary school, reading, success skills, family

Podcast: Oak Knoll Presents Powerhouse Women in Sports Panel (5:49)

Posted by Chris Starr on Apr 12, 2023 11:09:35 AM

On Thursday night, April 20th at 7:00 pm a truly newsworthy event will take place in the Tisdall Hall gymnasium at Oak Knoll. In this short podcast, Kelly Childs, 7-year Oak Knoll Athletic Director, former Assistant Commissioner at the Big East Conference, and former Athletic Director for Marketing at Seton Hall University, tells us about the upcoming powerhouse women in sports panel entitled “Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX at Oak Knoll.” Register here.

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Topics: all-girls, athletics, health, wellness, fitness, podcast, sports, student athlete

Podcast: Dance the Night Away

Posted by Chris Starr on Mar 28, 2023 1:38:22 PM

Join us on Friday, April 21st at 7:00 pm in the Mother Mary Campion Performing Arts Center where multiple creative arts disciplines will converge for our annual Dance Concert. Listen to this short podcast as Creative Arts Teacher Carlee Bennett describes what's in store! Admission is free but reservations are recommended. Call 900-522-8150 or email carlee.bennett@oakknoll.org.

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Topics: performing arts, Summit NJ, the arts, fine arts, podcast, Community, creative arts

Why Parents Need to Pay Attention to AI Literacy

Posted by Chris Starr on Mar 23, 2023 3:35:35 PM

Fifteen years ago, a helpful blog post might have listed five ways parents can assist their children in becoming computer literate. As the wave of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine intelligence (MI) crashes over society, it is now vital that parents assist their children in becoming “reality” literate. 

One of the cunning aspects of chatbots such as ChatGPT and others from Microsoft and Google are that they return information to users in natural language. Unlike a simple Google search that returns text and links scraped from the internet, AI synthesizes millions of bits of information and seeks to “chat” with the user as a means of cultivating a relationship. Users, especially younger users, may be fooled into thinking there is a real person on the other side of the conversation. That could be costly.

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Topics: technology, computer science, parenting, activities with kids, internet safety, building confidence, family, safety, Artificial Intelligence

The Myth: I Make Too Much to Qualify for Tuition Assistance

Posted by Chris Starr on Mar 2, 2023 11:54:11 AM

It is not surprising that the tuition page on many private school websites has a large “bounce” or exit rate. Private schools provide a high value education, customized curriculum, signature experiences, and individualized attention—which has led to annual tuition fees that can seem daunting to many.

Many families believe in the value proposition of private school, and may even have the means to afford 40-60% of tuition but never apply thinking their household income, while too little to pay full tuition, is too high to qualify for aid. These families are unaware how valuable they might be to the private school community and the incentive a school might have to meet them part-way.


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Topics: education, admissions, private school, tuition

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