Oak Hill Blog

Nurturing well-rounded young adults: Oak Hill Academy’s life skills program

At Oak Hill Academy, our curriculum transcends the classroom.  We provide our students with a strong scholastic foundation, but preparing students for college classrooms is not enough.  Our aim is to spend equal time equipping students to manage themselves independently. Our Life Skills Curriculum helps us accomplish this goal and offers a unique opportunity for students to grow socially, emotionally, and ethically.  As they grow, they acquire the traits and practice the skills necessary to thrive as self-directed  young adults.

The Academy’s Life Skills Curriculum (LSC) is built around our four core values of Community, Responsibility, Moral Courage, and Transformation. These foundational values are an integral part of our school culture, and through the LSC our staff helps students apply them in everyday life.

We begin with community, one of the touchstones of our boarding school.  LSC modules investigate topics such as how true community responsibility is created and why the language we speak to one another is so vitally important to community well-being.  We insist on using positive and intentional words. We emphasize why it’s important to be responsible citizens, how to make good friends, and how to value diversity and resolve conflict appropriately. Ultimately, students not only learn how to pull their own weight but also how to serve one another. 

Responsibility underpins our LSC and emphasizes each community member’s connectedness to one another.  We teach students to be encouraging, to manage their time, to study effectively, to make good decisions, and to set both short term and longer-term goals, to be organized, and to understand that accountability is unavoidable in the real world.  The notions of hard work, self-advocacy, and taking ownership of our journeys and outcomes are important components of our LSC.

Moral courage calls for students to stand up for truth and to do the right thing even when no one is watching.  Our LSC emphasizes the importance of standing against things like bullying, prejudice, and exclusion.  Our expectation is for students to tell the truth, follow the honor code, and always set a good example. Following these rules helps to develop our students into healthy members of their community at large. 

The outcome of all of these components is transformation. When our students cross the stage on their graduation day, we see sure-footed young adults prepared academically, but also equipped emotionally, socially, and morally to take their place in the world and positively contribute to their communities.   

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