Center for Civic Engagement
The Oaks Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) has been the vision of Ted Hamory since he accepted his appointment as Head of School in 2010. The broad goal of the CCE is to build meaningful connections and exchanges with the community that surrounds the school and beyond. These connections and exchanges will allow for Oaks students to have deeper learning experiences that prepare them for success in a complex, diverse and multicultural world. The Oaks School mission comes alive through the Center for Civic Engagement by becoming an active and engaged community institution working to make life better in the local community. In 2015, The Oaks Board of Trustees adopted a new long-range plan that approved the following goals for the CCE:
The Oaks School Long Range Plan 2015 – 2020
The Oaks believes that the doorway to understanding the world at large begins with an awareness of and participation in the community that surrounds us. Our location in the heart of Hollywood affords us the unique opportunity to be part of a thriving and eclectic neighborhood.
Establish The Oaks Center for Civic Engagement
· Further define the mission of the CCE.
· Expand our relationship with the surrounding communities by actively seeking opportunities or collaborative events.
· Evolve a curricular plan where Oaks students learn about how community is formed through shared values and sense of purpose. Students have the opportunity to experience service learning through partnership and community purpose.
· Seek out sponsors and grants to support the CCE program.
· Cultivate the CCE as a resource for current families as well as families from the surrounding schools and neighborhoods.
In line with The Oaks philosophy--change from the inside out--diversity, equity, and inclusion training has been at the forefront of staff and faculty professional development. In these trainings, Guidelines for Inclusivity were adopted to facilitate safe conversation. With this, the current curriculum teaches students through multiple perspectives across the grade levels.
In 2017 the position of Director of Admissions and Civic Engagement was approved by the Board of Trustees, created and filled. As a result, The Oaks School has enhanced focused dedication to the school’s philosophy, added bandwidth to the administrative team and is moving the community through the next phases of its’ mission driven work. With Tanynya Hekymara on the team - through conference presentations and participation, increased community visibility and the development of collaborative relationships with mission-aligned organizations - The Oaks has expanded its connections to the education community in meaningful ways. The CCE continues to collaborate with schools as they work toward creating communities that are inclusive and welcoming for all families by offering consulting and professional-development services. Concurrently, Tanynya’s work has fostered opportunities for experiential student learning. The school has grown from a community-service model to one of student leadership and service learning at all grade levels.
In 2018, Nicole Richardson joined The Oaks to work with Tanynya in the strategic development of the Student Leadership and Service Learning Programs. Nicole is currently curating the Civic Engagement Database of resources and partners. The database will support the faculty and staff to further develop civic engagement goals by sourcing accessible and appropriate community partners with aligned missions fitting elementary aged development. (providing easy access to information and community partners?).
The entire school community has worked diligently to lay a strong foundation for a forward-thinking community that models multiculturalism, inclusivity and equity. Although we have a long way to go, the recruitment, engagement and training of employees, board members, and families continues to support our community’s on-going growth and development.
What’s Next in the 2018-19 School Year
Cultivate additional collaborative relationships with mission-aligned non-profits, schools, and service organizations
Cultivate new relationships with area preschools that are not currently served by independent schools
Host community events that are geared toward parents and other adults in the areas of school choice, parent education, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Offer professional-development programs in the areas of diversity, inclusion, and social-justice education to educators in Los Angeles and beyond
Secure additional funding for CCE and our community partners to expand our service-learning and community-engagement projects
If you are interested in our community events, please email CCE@oaksschool.org to be added to our email list.
For greater insight into how we plan to engage with this philosophy and progress in the future, you can explore to our Long Range Plan.