Seven Oaks plans to operate on its regular schedule on Wednesday, March 21. No closings or delays are currently anticipated. Please allow extra time and use caution on the roads!
Seven Oaks Classical School is holding a Kindergarten Open House. Join us this Monday, February 5, from 4:00-6:00pm! Prospective parents are invited to learn about our innovative option in public education. Curious about charter schools? about classical education? Come find out more. As an open-enrollment public school, families from all backgrounds are welcome to attend. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet our kindergarten team, see the classrooms, and discuss the curriculum.
We look forward to seeing you there!
This year's participation in the National Scripps Spelling Bee was another Seven Oaks first. Class bees were held earlier this month. The school-wide bee was on Wednesday and included three students each from grades 3-8.
Seven Oaks congratulates this year's winner of the school Spelling Bee, 8th Grader Morgan McGowan! She will be representing our school at the Regional Spelling Bee on February 10th. In second place was 3rd Grader Wally Paulsen, and in third place was 5th Grader Mackenzie Eads.
Congratulations to all of the students who participated in the bee!
Last week, the 9th graders had the opportunity to attend the invited dress rehearsal for Shakespeare's Julius Caesar at Indiana University. They were also given a guided tour of the backstage and scene shop from the Technical Director of the production. Seven Oaks Classical School is very thankful to Paul Brunner and the rest of the theatre department staff at IU for welcoming us into their theatre.
Mrs. Walcott's second grade class has spent the last two weeks learning about mixtures, solutions, and compounds. The class concluded the unit with a science experiment. Students successfully grew crystals around wires from a solution of borax and water. They wrote about the experiment in their science notebooks and drew pictures of their jars. After soaking over 24 hours, the students dumped the water and were amazed at the crystals they had grown. The students again logged their observations in their science notebooks. After the crystals dried, they were packaged up and sent home for their families to see. Best of all is the students' growing sense of wonder and love of science!
For Returning Students...
As long as current students indicate their intent to return by Friday, March 9, 2018, they are guaranteed a seat for the 2018-2019 school year. Click here for an Intent-To-Return Form. For further details, see the Admissions page of the website.
For New Students...
The initial application period for new students runs from Monday, December 4, until Friday, March 9. To apply, click here for a brief Intent-to-Enroll Form. Anyone who submits an Intent-to-Enroll Form during this period will receive equal consideration. After the initial open enrollment period ends on March 9, the school will tally the number of applicants per grade. For grades where there are more applicants than openings, a public lottery will be held on March 19 to determine the order of admissions.
Applications received after March 9 will be be processed in the order in which they are received. For more details about the school's admissions policies and procedures, see the Admissions page.
To Find Out More...
Public Information Meetings
Mon, Dec 11 @ 6:30pm (campus)
Wed, Jan 10 @ 6:30pm (Monroe County Public Library)
Thu, Jan 25 @ 6:30pm (campus)
Sat, Feb 24 @ 4:00pm (Ellettsville Branch Library)
Thu, Mar 8 @ 6:30pm (campus)
Wed, Dec 13 @ 8:30am
Fri, Jan 12 - Coffee w/ the Headmaster @ 8:00am, Tour @ 9:15am
Fri, Jan 26 @ 8:30am
Mon, Feb 26 @ 8:30am
Fri, Mar 9 @ 8:30am
On January 4, from 8:00am-11:00am, prospective parents and students are invited to come for Shadow Day. Visiting students will have the opportunity to shadow a Seven Oaks student. Parents are invited to meet with the Headmaster over coffee and snacks, then take a campus tour. Drop-ins are welcome for those whose schedule doesn't permit them to stay for the entire time. Click here to RSVP for Shadow Day.
Kindergarten Open House
In addition to Shadow Day, prospective kindergarten families are invited to a Kindergarten Open House from 4:00-6:00pm on Monday, February 5.
If you have other questions, or if these meeting and tour times do not work for you, please call the school at 812-935-5003 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here for details about the enrollment process. Click here for the latest information about public meetings or school tours.
Seven Oaks Classical School's library has received a major boost. Through the determined effort of Seven Oaks parent, Dana Geldhof, we opened a small school library this fall. Mrs. Geldhof has now orchestrated a windfall for our little library.
Mrs. Geldhof secured a $1500 grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation and then a $10,000 Smithville Communications Library Grant. Meanwhile, St. Joseph's College in northern Indiana had closed. The college's library was acquired by Mr. Rob Knight of the Book Bin out of Indianapolis, who has now donated half of the books to Seven Oaks. That includes an estimated 50,000 volumes, mostly in the humanities.
The collection is a treasure trove. It contains reference works, classic literature and poetry, biographies, collections of historical documents, children's books, and more. In addition to books, we acquired 48 boxes of musical scores from the college's collection of sheet music.
Cicero once likened a home without books to a body without a soul. This is even more true of a school. At a time when books are on the decline, Seven Oaks Classical School is proud to celebrate good books, and the good habits that are cultivated through the reading of books.
Today, Judge Magnus-Stinson of the Southern District of Indiana issued a ruling on Seven Oaks Classical School’s motion to dismiss ICPE-MC’s lawsuit against the state of Indiana and Seven Oaks Classical School. In the ruling Magnus-Stinson dismissed two of the three claims in the complaint. The case will proceed for a further discovery of facts, but now with a narrowed focus.
Last March, Seven Oaks Classical School, a public charter school, found itself party to a lawsuit brought by the Indiana Coalition for Public Education-Monroe County (ICPE-MC). ICPE accused the school of following Indiana’s charter law, but found fault with that law because it allowed all accredited 4-year colleges in Indiana to become authorizers. That includes Grace College, which happens to be a religious college. Grace followed the standard state procedure to become an authorizer, and has now authorized four public charter schools in Indiana, including Seven Oaks Classical School. ICPE alleges that Grace’s involvement in the authorizing process violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the Indiana Constitution.
“I find it curious that this suit was brought by a group that claims to support public education. We’re a public school that offers parents the option of a classical education in a small-school environment,” says Stephen Shipp, Headmaster of Seven Oaks Classical School.
“So far,” Shipp says, “the parents of over two hundred students have decided that Seven Oaks was the best option for their child. As we enter enrollment season for next year, I’m encouraged that the court has so far ruled in our favor.”
The federal district court has now dismissed two of the three claims brought by ICPE-MC for lack of constitutional merit. That includes the claim that Seven Oaks’ payment of a state-authorized administrative fee to Grace College violates the Establishment Clause. As for the remaining complaint about the state’s granting of authority to Grace to issue charters, the court offered no support for ICPE-MC’s argument. The court has only said that it is unable to decide the issue based only on the allegations of the complaint. The trial will proceed to discovery with a narrowed focus.
“I look forward to our final vindication after the court has the facts it needs to reach its final ruling,” says Matt Wolf, president of the Seven Oaks board. “In the end, we trust that the court will affirm the constitutionality of the Indiana’s charter law.”
Click here for copy of the decision.
On November 10, Seven Oaks observed Veterans Day. Over thirty veterans and active duty personnel joined us as students paused from their regular schedule to honor those worthy of honor through songs and readings. Major General Courtney P. Carr, Adjutant General of Indiana, offered a few words, thanking our guests for their service and reflecting on the importance of cultivating virtue.
For a second year in a row, the Seven Oaks Community collected socks in the month of October to give to a local homeless shelter. This year's "Socktober" drive netted 636 pairs of new socks. On November 8, Rev. Forrest Gilmore, Executive Director of Shalom Community Center, received the donation during morning assembly.
In the month of November, Seven Oak Classical School's own Junior Classical League has organized a school wide food drive. The families of our school community gave money and supplies toward Thanksgiving boxes. General donations of canned goods and hygiene products are also welcome. All donations will be given to Food Panty #279 in Ellettsville. The drive ends on Friday, December 1.
For a second year in a row, the Ellettsville Police Department brought home the golden ball in Seven Oaks Classical School's annual Battle of the Badges basketball game. Seven Oaks is proud of the community it serves and is grateful to our first responders. Twenty percent of the t-shirt and concession sales will go to a charity of the Police Department's choosing.
Our Second Annual Battle of the Badges will take place on Saturday, October 21st, from 11am-2pm. A fun, community event with food trucks, touch-a-truck with police and fire vehicles, and then a rematch basketball game (at 1:00pm) between the Ellettsville Police and Fire Departments. Can the police retain their champion status?
We will be selling concessions and t-shirts during the basketball game in our historic gymnasium. Will you support team Fire Department (red) or team Police Department (Blue)? 20% of the proceeds will go to a charity chosen by the departments.
Our goal with this event is to lead our students, and all students in the community, by example by recognizing and honoring the men and women among us that put their lives on the line daily to keep our community safe and by giving back to those who give so much to all of us.
Come out with the family for some food and fun at this free event!
Last Thursday, the First Grade class took a trip to the Indianapolis Zoo. The class had been studying animal classification and habitats. The Seven Oaks curriculum offers a defined course of study in science beginning in kindergarten. Where possible, our teachers seek to bring students' book learning to life through direct interaction with nature.
Seven Oaks earned an "A" rating last year from the state of Indiana. This grade is based on students' performance on the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress Plus (ISTEP+).
In a school's first year, the school's grade is based entirely on student growth. Of the students who came to Seven Oaks who had taken the ISTEP+ previously, all showed growth. The greatest progress was seen among the bottom quarter of students. This was especially the case in English/Language Arts.
Seven Oaks is pleased with these results. As a school, we do not focus on test preparation. Time is precious, and we prefer to focus on giving students a solid foundation in the liberal arts and sciences. The growth seen in the ISTEP+ scores is gratifying because it came without making the ISTEP+ our focus. Our students' growth shows what happens when you give the gift of a knowledge-rich curriculum, high expectations, good teaching, and an orderly environment where intellectual and moral virtue are celebrated.
Miss Holland's Music Theatre Club got underway last week. Student interest was through the roof. Enrollment was capped at 45 students in grades 3-9, and the cap was met. Over the course of the year, students will prepare and perform a full production.
Other clubs starting this year include Art Club, Narrative Writing, Service Club, Junior Classical League, and Robotics, as well as Cross Country and Volleyball. The school is also looking for sponsors for Chess Club and Wrestling.
Seven Oaks started several athletics programs last year with the hopes that they would grow into proper teams. Two of these clubs are taking their play to the next level.
A committed group of students, led by coach Michael Summers, started running cross-country last Spring and continued through the summer. The Middle School Cross Country Team is now looking forward to its second meet this coming Monday against Bedford Middle School and a local home school team. The race starts at 4:00pm at Parkview Elementary.
Under the leadership of Coach Rebecca Chesser, the Middle School Girls Volleyball team has also taken off. After starting last spring and meeting through the summer, the girls have started dividing up for competitive scrimmages every Friday night. This past Friday, they stayed after school for dinner before showcasing their progress for the Seven Oaks community. The girls are already looking forward to competition with other schools next year.
Seven Oaks will continue developing its athletics offerings and looks forward to what her student athletes will achieve.
Seven Oaks is excited to have all grades under one roof. Miss Holland has seized the opportunity by working with the 9th graders to start a reading buddies program. Last Friday, each student in the 9th grade was paired with a student in the 4th grade. The plan is for the older students to spend a portion of their end-of-day study hall each Friday listening to their buddy read, helping with harder words as needed, and offering encouragement along the way.
On Monday, students in Kindergarten through Fourth Grade had the privilege of a visit from a professional violinist. Dan Galat plays for the Columbus Philharmonic and the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra and he is moving to Chicago to play for the Chicago Civic Orchestra. For the students, he played selections of Brahms, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky, along with some fiddle music. The students had the chance to ask questions and learn more about how the violin works and about the life of a professional musician. For some of the students, this was their first experience with live instrumental music. We are looking forward to all of the new musical experiences the students will continue to share this year!
Time is running out on our playground fundraiser. If the school raises $40k by August 31, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority will match the contribution. One of the distinctives of the Seven Oaks model is the time we give the younger students to pause from their studies and play outside. A large play structure would be a blessing not only to our students but also to the local community.
You can donate here online or write a check made out to Seven Oaks Classical School with "Project Play" in the memo line and drop it off in the school office or mail to 200 East Association Street, Ellettsville, IN 47429.
Seven Oaks students are serious about their studies. But part of the purpose of those studies is to help them understand the world around them. Often learning begins with curiosity. That curiosity was piqued by the first total eclipse viewable across the U.S. since 1918. Students in grades 3-9 donned certified glasses so that they could watch the eclipse first-hand. Younger students watched a livestream from Nasa in their classrooms.