Student Life

Although student life at Oak Crest includes all sorts of activities—academics, athletics, the arts, and extracurriculars—at the core, it is about self-discovery within a community. Students come to realize that they will learn more about themselves and the worlds they are a part of if they engage wholly in the life swirling around them.

The threads of community at Oak Crest are woven together from the small moments of daily living: a student and teacher puzzling over a math problem, yoga with a friend on the grassy knoll, a student staying after school to help a friend perfect her chess game, a conversation about a short story while eating chips and salsa on the picnic benches, a quiet moment of reflection as the day begins at our peaceful Oak Park location.

Oak Crest also incorporates service learning into the classroom. Service-learning can help students become better learners, classmates, and citizens, and can help them make a valuable contribution to their communities.


Understand why Oak Crest Academy is your choice for Gifted Education.


Engage your brain–nothing activates as many areas of the brain as music. Students unleash their creativity and improve academic power and physical coordination while learning and using music basics such as reading notes, identifying note locations, and playing chords on the piano and guitar.


Instruction classes are taught by our seasoned art educators. Although our products are beautiful and interesting, without question we emphasize process: experience, explore and express. Our six year curriculum moves through drawing, painting, sculpting and constructive art.

Our theater program provides children with unique opportunities to develop clear speech, fluent delivery and pleasing social skills. Our program helps to give them the confidence to be participants in all aspects of their lives, able to ask questions, seek answers and share information with others. Children who mix well with others find it easier to make friends and adjust to new situations. They find school an enjoyable adventure!

Our highly trained theater teacher motivates and inspires the students to become articulate communicators through enthusiastic participation in a wide range of creative activities including speech, creative movement, improvisation, and performances.

language arts

The goals of the Language Arts units are to develop students’ skills in literary analysis and interpretation, persuasive writing, linguistic competency, and oral communication, as well as to strengthen students’ reasoning skills and understanding of the concept of change. The units engage students in exploring carefully selected, challenging works of literature from various times, cultures, and genres, and they encourage students to reflect on their readings through writing and discussion. The units also provide numerous opportunities for students to explore interdisciplinary connections to the language arts and to conduct research around issues relevant to their own lives.

Consistent with the focus on gifted and talented education, at Oak Crest Academy mathematics class offers a differentiated curriculum created to meet the specific needs of each student. Initially, Montessori math materials are used to introduce basic concepts of arithmetic. In the early stages of math education, we encourage repetition and accuracy. When the child is observed to be ready to move to new concepts, and depending on the individual and collective work of the classroom, the child is either flexibly grouped with others working at their pace on a specific topic, or assigned independent and more advanced work. Enhancing the breadth and depth of mathematical thinking is encouraged through the provision of opportunities to test concepts in real-world contexts that require higher order thinking skills and allow for multiple solutions to problems. We offer small group interactions and modified lessons based on the needs and interests of our students. At Oak Crest Academy, we do not simply provide students with more of the same work, but offer meaningful work that honors the talents of each individual.


The science curriculum units developed by the Center for Gifted Education contain simulations of real-world problems that face today’s society. The units are geared toward different grade-level clusters, yet can be adapted for use at all levels K–8. The goals of each unit are to allow students to analyze several real-world problems, understand the concept of systems, and design and conduct scientific experiments. These units also allow students to explore various scientific topics and identify meaningful scientific problems for investigation. Through these units, students experience the work of real science in applying data-handling skills, analyzing information, evaluating results, and learning to communicate their understanding to others.

The social studies units emphasize primary source analysis, critical thinking, and concept development to help students develop understanding of high-level social studies content in key CFGE Curriculum areas. Thus, the units reflect the focus of national and state-level standards on historical thinking and research and on the integration of major concepts across disciplines. With five American History units, an American government unit, and two units focused on ancient cultures, the unit series covers a wide range of topics while maintaining consistent models for understanding issues, documents, and artifacts. Interdisciplinary connections are explored through in-class activities and student projects. The units also emphasize the development of student skills in the areas of discussion, writing, and research.


Physical education prepares children to be physically and mentally active, fit and healthy…for life. Here are some of the many benefits children receive from our PE program:

  • Improved physical fitness
  • Skill and motor skills development
  • Teaches self-discipline
  • Facilitates development of student responsibility for health and fitness
  • Influence moral development, leadership, cooperate with others
  • Stress reduction – an outlet for releasing tension and anxiety
  • Physical education can improve self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Experience in setting goals
  • Improved academics – The big bonus benefit!


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