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Oak Knoll School Blog

Improve Your Child’s Executive Functioning Skills

Posted by Chris Starr on Nov 1, 2023 2:10:48 PM

Those who struggle with Executive Functioning can often face challenges with activation (getting started on a project), focus (avoiding distraction), effort (following through on tasks), emotion (self-control and self-regulation), and action (monitoring progress and staying on track).

In a webinar for parents entitled “Executive Functioning 101,” Oak Knoll Upper School Academic Support Counselor Kelly Ross explained, “Executive Functioning is critical for social behaviors, emotional well-being, and goal-directed behaviors.” She stressed that under-developed executive functioning skills are not a character flaw, but a neurological issue, that can affect social emotional skills across the board, but can be improved through targeted assistance.

Though Ross works with Upper School students at Oak Knoll to recognize areas for improvement and assist them in honing their executive functioning capabilities, she offers this advice to all parents on how they can support executive functioning skill development at home.

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Topics: parenting, tips, building confidence, academics, executive functioning

Beyond the Classroom: Oak Knoll's Holistic Approach to Education

Posted by Kelly Dun on Oct 16, 2023 9:00:00 AM

Oak Knoll is an environment that nurtures each child's growth, not just academically but in all facets of life. We firmly believe in the idea of "actions, not words," a philosophy that encourages students to embrace new experiences, venture out of their comfort zones, and not fear failure.

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Topics: all-girls, coeducation, admissions, independent catholic school summit nj, private school, building confidence

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

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

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

Podcast: A Vision for Community Impact

Posted by Chris Starr on Mar 1, 2023 12:50:53 PM

During a recent three-day Community Impact Symposium in Washington DC, four Oak Knoll High School students gathered with students from across the country to share ideas on how they could make more positive and systemic changes in their school and local communities.

The goal was to work in teams to identify various approaches taken to local, state, and national levels and work with their schoolmates to draft a vision statement and action strategy to take back home to Oak Knoll.

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Topics: community service, building confidence, growth mindset, diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, podcast, social justice, Community, leadership

5 Steps Towards Safe Social Media Behavior and Improved Online Mental Health

Posted by Chris Starr on Jan 24, 2023 1:54:20 PM

Is social media bad for teen health? It doesn’t have to be. That was the key takeaway following a talk with Upper School students by social media expert Bailey Parnell. Parnell is the founder of #SafeSocial and CEO of Skills Camp – a company that offers soft skills training to businesses and educational institutions. She presented students with some very compelling risks of social media addiction and its effects on mental health – especially with young women – but also offered advice on bringing balance to your online self by maintaining balance with your offline self.

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Topics: health, wellness, social and emotional learning, success skills, building confidence, growth mindset, family, online, safety, executive functioning, life lessons

Podcast: Physics First – Why Oak Knoll Students Learn Physics in 9th Grade

Posted by Chris Starr on Jan 18, 2023 2:15:07 PM
It seems that school’s have been teaching the sciences in a certain order dating back to the launching of Sputnik and the cold war period, but Oak Knoll has decided to re-order that sequence in a way that makes more sense for students of today. We sat down with Upper School science teacher Jeff Yuhas to learn the rationale behind this decision. Mr. Yuhas also explains the benefits of teaching science in an all-girls school.
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Topics: teaching, education, all-girls, STEM, science, building confidence, academics, podcast

Podcast: The Write Stuff–Cultivating Student Leadership in Oak Knoll's Writing Center

Posted by Chris Starr on Dec 1, 2022 9:50:53 AM

"No matter what field you're in–whether you're a scientist, a philosopher, or a linguist–whoever tells the best story is going to win. When I'm competing with all the other people, if I can make my case more clearly, and more persuasively, and actually more entertaining than anybody else, then I'm going to win that argument," says Lisa Levchuck, Upper School English Teacher at Oak Knoll.  She is extolling the importance of writing skills and a skilled writer's power to persuade. 

In this episode of The Happy Kids Project we learn about The Writing Center at Oak Knoll–a truly distinctive peer to peer service in the Upper School. Oak Knoll's Writing Center provides a unique opportunity for middle and high school students to take on leadership roles while supporting their peers. Hear how the Writing Center increases student confidence, leadership skills, and academic excellence in a safe and supportive space.

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Topics: education, Summit NJ, building confidence, growth mindset, academics, podcast, leadership, writing skills

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

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