Over the last few months, I’ve had many meetings with Oak Meadow graduates. Every graduate has told me their experience at Oak Meadow prepared them for high school in ways they are just now beginning to appreciate more fully.
This was strongly emphasized to me over the winter break when I met with six alumni from the Oak Meadow Classes of 2010 and 2012. All of the graduates told me that Oak Meadow strongly prepared them for success in their academic subjects, including core subjects like math, writing, and science. In addition to acquiring a solid preparation in academic content knowledge, these graduates recounted how the teachers at Oak Meadow made the subjects come alive in practical, hands-on ways, providing additional opportunities to develop practical-life skills in problem-solving and team building, a benefit they feel has helped them in high school, college, and professional life.
All of these graduates matriculated to very fine high schools and colleges after graduating from Oak Meadow, and I asked them to tell me about their experience in making a transition to much bigger schools. They reflected that the small environment at Oak Meadow actually ended up being an advantage socially and not a hindrance. Like all teenagers, they had to work through social issues with their peers, but the difference for them was that the small environment and the caring teachers provided a foundation to build productive and healthy relationships with all of their classmates, rather than staying within a comfort zone of a smaller clique. In effect, they learned to appreciate the differences of their classmates, and worked harder to figure out how to get along with others as part of a cohesive community. These graduates told me that the environment at Oak Meadow enabled them to solidify their social skills, and when they made the transition to high school, these social skills actually ended up being incredibly valuable in making the adjustment to a much larger school population. An amazing testament to the social experience at Oak Meadow is the fact that most of the graduates in these two classes are still remarkably connected and close as friends, in ways they have found more enduring and meaningful than many of their other friendships.
Whether our graduates matriculate to private or public high schools, their experience at Oak Meadow fully prepares them academically and socially.
In addition to enrolling in a variety of very fine public high schools nearby, many of our graduates are admitted to some of the finest private high schools in the area, including Cambridge School of Weston, Chapel Hill Chauncy Hall, Concord Academy, Groton School, Lawrence Academy, Middlesex School, Phillips Academy, and Worcester Academy.
Correction: an earlier version of this article mistakenly identified Middlesex School as Middlesex Academy. My apologies to the school and to our alumni who attend or have graduated from Middlesex School. We are glad to include Middlesex School among the list of highly selective schools who have enrolled Oak Meadow graduates.