Oak Hill Blog

Small Boarding School Creates Connectedness


As a small boarding school, Oak Hill Academy has the rare opportunity to foster face-to-face, personal relationships among students, families, and our faculty and staff. Shared goals, shared experiences, and a 24/7 shared environment allow for interaction that grows these connections organically.

We all want to feel that we are needed, valued, and have a place.  At Oak Hill Academy, our desire is to help our students find meaningful and productive ways to connect with each other and adults, in the context of a supportive community.





When I feel connected to my colleagues, when I feel that I have a community of friends and families who support me, when I feel connected to my work, that I am valued and needed, affirmed in my talents and abilities – this is when I am able to thrive. 

The same is true for our students.  Our goal is to pull out those talents, and find ways to connect our students to our community in authentic, meaningful ways.  Athletics, leadership, astronomy, debate, broadcasting, tutoring, theater, horsemanship, community service, choir, peer mentoring, chess, cheer – students who are connected in productive ways to the Oak Hill community are students who are thriving. 

Oak Hill Academy provides the environment:  pockets of appropriate cell phone and internet access, required participation in an activity or club, structured quiet time and daily routines, high expectations to meet our values and standards.  We work to provide the support and encouragement:  full time residential life staff, small class sizes, advisory activities, academic support.  We nudge our students to connect to each other and to the community, and we show that they are valued and have a place.

When faced with a challenge, like leaving home to attend boarding school, students might think it’s easier for them to keep their heads down, to push through and “endure” the days.  Our hope–our goal–is to help our students turn this mindset upside down, and embrace the opportunities at Oak Hill to grow and to connect with something bigger than themselves.

Aaron Butt
Director of Student Affairs
Oak Hill Academy

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