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Oak Knoll School Blog

Prepare for Thanksgiving with a Gratitude Week

Posted by Chris Starr on Nov 2, 2022 12:10:18 PM

Gratitude is an emotion we should express throughout the year. The days leading up to Thanksgiving, though, are an excellent opportunity to reinforce the practice of giving thanks and schedule some fun activities with your children to promote gratitude. Here are some suggestions for holding a “Gratitude Week” prior to Thanksgiving to dedicate one activity per day to remind kids of the many blessings and people that surround and support them.

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Topics: faith, parenting, thanksgiving, activities with kids, things to do, family, Community

5 Ways Oak Knoll Cultivates Leaders in Middle and High School Girls

Posted by Chris Starr on Oct 27, 2022 3:30:24 PM

There are a variety of strategies a single-sex school can employ to capitalize on an all-girls environment and provide an array of opportunities for students to grow in confidence and hone their leadership skills. Running for office on a student-council may seem an obvious choice, but not all students have that comfort level. Oak Knoll deploys the following strategies to ensure that all students can explore leadership (whether with a lower case “l” or an upper case “L”) throughout their Middle and Upper School years.

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Topics: education, all-girls, high school, independent catholic school summit nj, middle school, success skills, building confidence, leadership

Three Ways to Participate in Global Maker Day

Posted by Chris Starr on Oct 17, 2022 11:00:00 AM

Global Maker Day will be celebrated on October 18, 2022. Founded by a group of volunteer educators, the day brings together “makers” from around the world to participate in local maker space events and share ideas and projects globally. Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child Lower School students will be participating in the detailed series of challenges that will be released prior to the event and making good use of our IDEAS Lab, but anyone can participate from anywhere in the world.

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Topics: robots, education, STEM, science, lower school, project-based learning, the arts, steam, academics

A Conversation to Commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted by Zahra Jones on Oct 14, 2022 10:01:21 AM

Every year, from September 15 to October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated around the world in recognition of the contributions and influences that Hispanic Americans have had on the United States. During the month, we celebrate their history, culture, and historical figures that have paved the way for generations to come. 

I spoke with Liandra Taylor ’24, a junior, who is of Puerto Rican descent. In addition to her academic work, she is involved in Dancers Club, Black Scholars, and a member of the Varsity Volleyball team at Oak Knoll. She is also a grade representative on the new Student Diversity Leadership Board. The Board focuses on spreading awareness about underrepresented communities and supporting inclusivity.

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Topics: students, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, hispanic heritage, Community

4 Ways to Get Involved on the International Day of the Girl

Posted by Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child on Oct 11, 2022 12:56:15 PM

October 11, 2022, marks the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the International Day of the Girl (IDG). The United Nations General Assembly declared IDG as a day dedicated to recognizing and highlighting the rights and challenges of girls around the world. The theme for this year is “Our time is now - our rights, our future.”

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Topics: education, all-girls, building confidence

How to Mentally Prepare Your Kids for Back-to-School

Posted by Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child on Sep 2, 2022 5:11:48 PM

While kids are still spending every minute soaking in these last few weeks of summer weather and vacation time, it’s a good idea to start to mentally prepare your kids to return to school in person in September. 

Here are tips on how to help mentally prepare your elementary, middle schooler and teenagers about returning to the classroom before that last day of Labor Day weekend arrives.

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Topics: high school, elementary school, back-to-school, middle school, mental health

Student Voices: Lessons I’ve Learned from Playing Softball

Posted by Zahra Jones on Jul 19, 2022 10:32:36 AM

I have been playing softball my whole life and it’s the only sport that I have stuck with while trying out new sports (trust me, I’ve tried a LOT of sports). I’m still not sure what drew me to softball. I don’t know if it was the high intelligence of the game, the people I played with, or the excessive amounts of gatorade that I drank during each game. Over time, I learned to balance softball’s intensity, highs and lows, and pressure. It is through those aspects where I learned lessons that have not just applied to sports, but to all areas of my life.

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Topics: athletics, building confidence, life lessons

Best Ways to Prevent the 'Summer Learning Slide'

Posted by Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child on Jul 12, 2022 4:27:39 PM

Summertime is well underway and children have been busy trading in their class time for pool time as schools around the country are on hiatus until late August/early September. 

Families are enjoying day trips, lighter schedules, vacations, quality time together, and plenty of outdoor fresh air. However, although children would probably much prefer to shelve their books and ignore practicing those basic math facts – they shouldn’t. 

Each fall, teachers wrestle with the inevitable “summer slide” – or summer learning loss where studies show there is significant knowledge loss in reading and math over summer break if children don’t practice these skills each day. 

Kelly Ross, Oak Knoll's Academic Support Counselor, said throughout the past year, schools and teachers have noticed a greater need for support of executive functioning skillsor self-regulation skills that are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully.

Ross offers the following advice for parents and families to help children avoid the summer slide and manageably prepare for the 2022-23 school year ahead.

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Topics: summer, executive functioning

How to Reinforce Mental Health Awareness All Year Long

Posted by Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child on May 14, 2022 7:36:47 PM

While most schools and businesses have resumed close to normal schedules following the shutdowns of 2020, many students and adults are still dealing with post-pandemic mental health issues. 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, but there are several ways that schools and parents can help raise awareness about mental health all year long. 

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Topics: wellness, social and emotional learning, mental health

11 Must-Read Books for AAPI Heritage Month

Posted by Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child on May 7, 2022 1:59:31 PM

Since 1992, the month of May in the United States has celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage month. May commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese person to the U.S. on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. (Most of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.)

One way we can teach children about Asian and Pacific Islander cultures, is through stories written from their unique identities, perspectives, and voices. 

Here are 10 powerful books you should read this year written by those of Asian American and Pacific Islander descent.

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Topics: reading

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