Oak Hill Blog

Oak Hill’s “relational approach” provides structured independence for students

Adolescent growth and academic success don’t happen in a vacuum. At Oak Hill Academy, we understand that every aspect of a teenager’s environment impacts them. And our community is built to support students in prospering into independent young adults. This is called our “relational approach.”

Picture a triangle, with the student as the top point. The student’s family and support network, in partnership with Oak Hill faculty and staff, make the base of the triangle. Working together harmoniously, with the student’s needs and aspirations foremost, we help students become their best selves.

● The student

● Oak Hill Academy faculty & staff

● The students’ family and support network

Learning by doing

High school is a critical and formative time for students to develop the abilities that will prepare them for life beyond Oak Hill—for succeeding in continued education, building strong relationships and healthy personal lives, and thriving in the workplace. By learning independence in a guided, structured environment, our students practice the social-emotional skills needed to flourish as adults as they learn by doing.

As students negotiate coursework, extracurriculars, and social life at Oak Hill, they ask questions and practice independent decision-making: How do you advocate for yourself with teachers? How do you manage time on your own, building good habits and routines? How do you stay healthy, wrestle with questions of faith, manage emotions, and on and on? In short, how do you learn to become an autonomous, healthy adult?

Independence with support

Oak Hill is a small and safe place to learn and grow, and our triangle partnership provides a solid foundation of support. When a student is struggling academically, or going through a challenging situation, or needs help managing emotions, we recognize that their families are often far away, on the other end of a phone or internet connection. We encourage our students to build relationships with adults here, and teach them to advocate. We establish good lines of communication with parents, and put our heads together on how best to support their children. Most importantly, this doesn’t just happen in the classroom. It’s 24/7; it’s life at Oak Hill.

Oak Hill is distinctively well-suited to partner with families to prepare their children to thrive as adults by working together through the key developmental high school years . . . because becoming an adult does not happen overnight.

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