Seven Oaks To Celebrate Classics Week

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Seven Oaks will celebrate Classics Week from April 22-26. Some of the activities include:

  • Each morning will see a recitation during assembly.

  • The headmaster will conduct naming ceremonies in each lower school classroom with a history lesson on each room’s namesake

  • On Monday after school, students have a dress rehearsal for the spring concert

  • On Tuesday, Ms. Hoit’s upper school Latin students will be holding reading groups with the kindergarten students. Then, in the afternoon, a faculty team will square off against the student Junior Classical League’s Certamen team for a trivia contest.

  • On Wednesday evening, the school is hosting a movie night from 5-7pm for the younger students featuring Disney’s Hercules, including costume contest.

  • On Thursday evening at 6:30pm, the school community is invited to attend the Declamation finals at the Ellettsvile Branch Library.

  • On Friday morning, the winners of the Declamation Contest will recite in morning assembly.

  • On Saturday, 1-3pm, the school will hold a Toga Fun Run & Spartan Athletic Contests on campus.

Ms. Hoit Named Indiana Classical Conference Rising Star Teacher of the Year

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Jennifer Hoit has received the 2019 Indiana Classical Conference Rising Star Teacher of the Year award. The Rising Star award is given to teachers in the first five years of teaching.

Ms. Hoit will be given this award at the Spring Meeting of the Indiana Classical Conference for her success and advancement of Latin at her school and in the wider Indiana Classical Community. She will also be recognized at the Indiana Foreign Language Teacher Association meeting in November.

Jennifer has been an active Junior Classical League sponsor in addition to all of her duties and responsibilities at school. She goes above and beyond to provide more opportunities for students. She offers many opportunities to her students and contributes to the larger classical community as well.

Please congratulate Ms. Hoit for her success!

A Thought Experiment in 8th Grade History

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At Seven Oaks, history is a serious study — though with a seriousness that is fully compatible with a spirit of fun. Consider this vignette:

As the 8th grade history class nears the end of its study of modern world history, students assumed the roles of Soviet Politburo members struggling to keep the USSR together during the tumultuous events of the 1980s. Through a classroom simulation that began in 1982, the year of Brezhnev's death, class members were confronted with a series of scenarios drawn from true historical events, debated the merits of possible reactions, and struggled to balance the impact of their decisions on various facets of Soviet life, such as the economic troubles, military hardliners, and popular dissent. The exercise gave students a deeper sense of the constraints that bound their real-life counterparts while applying their historical knowledge (and using the word "comrade" frequently). Our fictitious Politburo’s attempts to maintain control ended in a military coup in 1989, following their refusal to devote more funding to the Soviet military in response to American advances in SDI technology and spending.

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Seven Oaks Launches New After School Care Program

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After a temporary closure to reboot our after-school care program, we're pleased to let you know what is now available under Mr. Rix's pioneering leadership. 

As before, after-school care is available to students from the end of school until 6:00pm at a cost of $5 per hour. But the space and the programming have been transformed.

When you walk in, you'll see a beautiful space, made cozier with plants. On the board each day, you'll find notes about the day's programming, "this date in history," and a spotlight on the virtue of the month.

When they first arrive, students will enjoy a structured setting to complete homework, with assistance by Mr. Rix. Then they will transition to regular programming. Consider the calendar line-up for the upcoming week: 

  • Mon, 3/25 - A moment of science, including a hands-on science activity

  • Tue, 3/26 - Mini master chef to help students recover the lost art of cooking

  • Wed, 3/27 - Chess/checker club, including tutorials (tournament to come!)

  • Thu, 3/28 - IU music demo by a guest from the Jacob's School of Music

Next month's special focus, in addition to these regular features, will be sewing. If we have enough participants, students will partner with a local sewing club to piece together two quilts for a local women's shelter.  

For details about how to apply for the Extended Care program, please email Mr. Rix at jonathan.rix@sevenoaksclassical.org. 

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Teacher Recruitment Fair

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Seven Oaks Classical School is holding a recruitment fair on Saturday, April 6, 10:00am-12:00pm. We are seeking individuals for the 2019-2020 school year who are professionals who are expert in their field, who are eager to train the minds and improve the hearts of young people, and who have a love of classical education. Please visit the employment page of our website for additional information about our school and employment opportunities. 

Click here to RSVP for the event.

A Formidable 2nd Grade Greek Phalanx Surprises Headmaster, Assistant Headmaster, and Unsuspecting Teachers

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This year, twenty-seven 2nd grade students took part in the 3rd Annual Hoplite March. This was the largest march in SOCS history! Students learned to cover the person standing next to them, move as a team, and march quietly through the halls so that we could “attack” as a proper Greek phalanx would.

Students first attacked Dr. Shipp (who was in Mr. Thomas’ office). Mr. Thomas was caught by surprise. Ms. Geldhof and Mr. Reynolds marveled at the scene and felt amazement at the wondrous historical event they witnessed. The hoplites then moved to Mr. Huber’s room where he was teaching 9th graders the history of the Battle of Marathon (perfect!). After that, the 2nd graders invaded the office of Mr. Noyes and Mrs. James. Those two had to be claw-mad as lions to fight off the onslaught of the invading warriors—somehow, 27 students were able to fit into their office!

Specials thanks go out to Mrs. Walcott, Mrs. Shipley, parents who enthusiastically helped with shield construction, the 2nd graders who put a great amount of though into their shields, and the teachers and administrators who endured the attacks.

Shields are on display in Ms. Hoit’s room for Upper School students to admire. If only the 2nd graders could hear the Upper School students’ admiration of the shields.

Seven Oaks Earns 'A' Rating Again

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Seven Oaks Classical School has once again earned an ‘A’ rating on both state and federal report cards. These grades were based on the academic growth of students in grades 3-8 as measured by the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress (ISTEP+) for English Language Arts and Mathematics.

Seven Oaks’ enrollment grew by 40% from the 2016-2017 to the 2017-2018 school year. Despite this wave of new students, the school achieved strong academic growth. Pass rates in all subjects are above state averages. What is most remarkable is a number the state data fails to capture: Among the students who joined the school in 2016, the average growth in pass rate across grade levels was 27%!

The real story here is that academic growth is possible without intensive test preparation. Seven Oaks pays little attention to the state test. We refuse to become a test-prep school. Our teachers and students are not burdened with the stress of high stakes testing. Instead, we offer students a rich classical curriculum.

Seven Oaks students enjoy daily, year-round instruction in the fine arts, foreign languages, history, and science. We do not waste precious class time with diagnostic after diagnostic, practice test after practice test. Nor do we sacrifice our curriculum in order to boost scores in tested subjects.

That is the real story to tell: Without preparing for the test, in two years of testing, the school has received an ‘A’ rating twice for academic growth.

Seven Oaks Receives Large State Grant

By Kate Nielsen Photos [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Kate Nielsen Photos [CC BY-SA 3.0  (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

Seven Oaks was awarded a grant of nearly $900k on Friday. The school applied for the grant under the Quality Counts Indiana Charter School Program Grant. The Quality Counts program is intended to support the opening, expansion, or replication of high-quality charter schools. The funding will extend over a four-year period and will help Seven Oaks grow its academic program as the school continues increasing enrollment and adding grade levels. The money will allow Seven Oaks to provide additional instructional staff; professional development opportunities; admissions software; instructional technology; science, fine arts, and physical education equipment; and additional books and instructional resources for both teachers and students.  

Seven Oaks Wins Lawsuit

Image from blogtrepreneur.com/li

Image from blogtrepreneur.com/li

On Thursday, September 6, the federal district court judge dismissed the lawsuit against Seven Oaks Classical School. The school's primary focus has been and always will be on providing a high-quality classical education to the students who attend our school. We are not surprised by the dismissal of this suit, as its claims were baseless. Even so, it is a relief to have the matter settled. 

The court's favorable decision will allow the school to focus without distraction on its core mission of training the minds and improving the hearts of young people through a solid education in the liberal arts and sciences. Seven Oaks appreciates Grace College’s ongoing support in authorizing our charter, which allows us to continue offering this kind of education as an open-enrollment, tuition-free, public school. 

Enrollment grows (again) by 50%

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Seven Oaks Classical School has seen exceptional growth for a second year in a row. This year's enrollment is up by 50% over last year's count, jumping from roughly 220 to 340. This is after growing approximately 40% the previous year from an opening enrollment of around 160 in 2016. Last year, this meant we were the fastest growing 'A'-rated charter school in the state. 

Not only is Seven Oaks growing in number, but it is also growing in grades. The school started in 2016 with kindergarten through 8th grade. Last year, it added 9th grade and this year 10th. The school will continue to add a grade each year until it offers a K-12 classical education. As a chartered public school, enrollment is open and parents pay no tuition. 

Notwithstanding this growth, the school is committed to remaining a community school. It plans to limit long-term growth. Seven Oaks want to become a school of around 700 students. The goal is 50-60 students at each grade level so that the education remains on a human scale and students are known by name. 

Book Talk by Leading Children's Author

We invite you to join us for a conversation with Dr. Matthew Mehan about the power of poetry and the imagination to form habits of love, friendship, and self-government.  

Seven Oaks is hosting a book talk by Dr. Matthew Mehan this Saturday on the theme of poetry, imagination, and leadership. Mehan is the author of the newly released Mr. Mehan's Mildly Amusing Mythical Mammals, a book of children's poetry.
The book is currently the #1 bestseller in children's poetry on Amazon and sits among the top 5 in all of children's literature. Through poems and oil paintings that instruct and delight, the book weaves a story of friendship between the Dally and the Blug.  

Where: Seven Oaks Classical School
When: Saturday, August 25, 6:00-7:30pm

Sign-up Now Open for Back-to-School Camps

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The sign-up form for our back-to-school camps is now open. Click here to access the online form. 

Seven Oaks will offer camps in reading and in math to students entering grades 1-6. New students who want to get their feet wet in our phonics and math programs, and returning students who would benefit from the extra practice, are invited to apply. 

For students entering grades 1-2,  there will be a single two-week camp that includes both math and reading. The cost for the two weeks is $170. For students entering grades 3-4 and 5-6, the camps are one-week each and cost $85 each. Payment by cash or check is due by the first day of camp. Checks may be made payable to Seven Oaks Classical School.

Camps will run 9:00am-1:00pm, Monday-Thursday, the weeks of July 23 and July 30. For students entering grades 3-4 and 5-6, the math camp will be the first week and the reading camp will be the second week. Students in these grades may sign up for one or the other, or both. 

Sign-ups will be processed in the order received. Space is limited. 

Awards Ceremonies & Academic Showcases

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The 2017-2018 school year wrapped up with a series of Academic Showcases and Awards Ceremonies. Separate ceremonies were held for K-2, 3-5, and 6-9. Students received awards for outstanding character and academic achievement. Parents also enjoyed a window into aspects of the curriculum that make Seven Oaks a unique place to be. They saw sample artwork and Latin translations. They heard songs and poetry recitations. The second grade class recited the Preamble to the United States Constitution. The third graders composed a presentation about black holes and prepared their own dramatized rendering of Horatius at the Bridge. And, with graduation caps for the occasion, the kindergartners celebrated the completion of their first year of formal education.  

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