The Middle School experience at Oak Crest Academy significantly differs from any other independent or public middle school. Why? While just as social as other sixth-through-eighth-grade middle schoolers, our students are passionate about being creators and contributors of knowledge and not merely consumers of facts. Through shared engagement with true peers in a challenging, yet developmentally appropriate setting, early adolescents at Oak Crest Academy are able to be comfortable with their talents at a vulnerable time in their development. The middle school years can be a particularly difficult time for all kids, but this is especially true for gifted children; Oak Crest Academy provides a safe haven for these students. Here, it is both cool and fun to be smart. Our thoughtful advisory program, travel away from campus, small student-teacher ratio, after-school programming, and the inherent opportunities for leadership in a K-8 school operate in conjunction with an advanced academic environment to achieve this end.
Curriculum in the Middle School is typically one to three years ahead of other middle school programs. Oak Crest Academy uses William & Mary gifted curriculum as well as project based teaching. Examples would be communicating with a scientist outside of Oak Crest Academy, creating a 3D Essay Model Explanation or taking a field trip to a bank to learn about investing. Students are grouped as a middle school cohort and are then broken up by ability vs age. Math placement within a grade is determined by past instruction and mastery. Individual class sizes in all subjects typically range from seven to fourteen students. All Middle School students take Spanish, in addition to their English studies. In the arts, students take classes together, selecting rotating course options such as playwriting, photography, or “improv.”
All students use portable technology like laptops or Chromebooks. Using Google Apps for Education, we use technology to enhance the educational program much as state-of-the-art textbooks or other materials would do. Students are expected to present content in many electronic forms, such as PowerPoint, Prezi, eMaze, etc. While the students are engaged with challenging curriculum, our primary focus is the development of skills and habits necessary for success in secondary school, and our students will do well in their placements after Oak Crest Academy.